Elizabeth Dwoskin
Elizabeth Dwoskin
Washington Post Silicon Valley Correspondent. Ex-WSJ big data/AI reporter. Holla: Elizabeth.dwoskin@washpost.com. DM for Signal.Source
San Francisco, California
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Misinformation about coronavirus finds new avenues on unexpected sites

Misinformation about coronavirus finds new avenues on unexpected sites

This article was published more than 2 years agoCommentGift ShareSAN FRANCISCO — Within days of social media companies taking down a viral video touting conspiracy theories about the novel coronavirus, a clip popped up on YouTube telling viewers about another way they could still access the banned footage: through a link to the video on the file-sharing service Google Drive.Google Drive is not a social media platform, nor is it set up to tackle the problems that social media companies face: the weaponization of their services to amplify dangerous content. But the use of the Drive link,...

May 20, 2020
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Zuckerberg once wanted to sanction Trump. Then Facebook wrote rules that accommodated him.

Zuckerberg once wanted to sanction Trump. Then Facebook wrote rules that accommodated him.

This article was published more than 2 years agoCommentGift ShareHours after President Trump’s about sending the military to the Minnesota protests, Trump called Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.The post put the company in a difficult position, Zuckerberg told Trump, according to people familiar with the discussions. The same message was hidden by Twitter, the strongest action ever taken against a presidential post.To Facebook’s executives in Washington, the post didn’t appear to violate its policies, which allows leaders to post about government use of force if the message is...

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June 28, 2020
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As QAnon grew, Facebook and Twitter missed years of warning signs about the conspiracy theory’s violent nature

As QAnon grew, Facebook and Twitter missed years of warning signs about the conspiracy theory’s violent nature

This article was published more than 2 years agoCommentGift ShareWhen an article on Facebook detailed a QAnon conspiracy theory about a “16-Year Plan to Destroy America,” commenters demanded death for those supposedly involved, including former president Barack Obama, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and other Democrats.Some Facebook commenters were specific in their calls for justice: “Firing squad---by SHOTGUN!”Others just craved speed: “TREASON = FIRING SQAUD [sic] OR HANGING! DO IT NOW PLEASE THAT’S THE LAW! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !”These posts — from January 2018, just...

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October 1, 2020
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Men wearing Hawaiian shirts and carrying guns add a volatile new element to protests

Men wearing Hawaiian shirts and carrying guns add a volatile new element to protests

This article was published more than 2 years agoCommentGift ShareA Tampa television reporter was broadcasting live from protests last weekend when two young men in Hawaiian shirts moved in front of the camera and began chanting the name of an obscure white nationalist group, drowning out protesters shouting “No Justice, No Peace!”The incident was one of a growing number in which far-right extremists who once organized mainly online have been inserting themselves into the real-world protests roiling much of the nation, sowing confusion about the nature of the protests and seeking...

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June 3, 2020
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Twitter labels Trump’s tweets with a fact check for the first time

Twitter labels Trump’s tweets with a fact check for the first time

This article was published more than 2 years agoCommentGift ShareTwitter on Tuesday slapped a fact-check label on President Trump’s tweets for the first time, a response to long-standing criticism that the company is too hands-off when it comes to policing misinformation and falsehoods from world leaders.The move, which escalates tensions between Washington and Silicon Valley in an election year, was made in response to two Trump tweets over the past 24 hours. The tweets falsely claimed that mail-in ballots are fraudulent. Twitter’s label says, “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,”...

May 26, 2020
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Trump signs order that could punish social media companies for how they police content, drawing criticism and doubts of legality

Trump signs order that could punish social media companies for how they police content, drawing criticism and doubts of legality

This article was published more than 2 years agoCommentGift SharePresident Trump on Thursday signed that could open the door for the U.S. government to assume oversight of political speech on the Internet, a broadside against Silicon Valley that a wide array of critics derided as a threat to free speech.The new directive seeks to change a federal law that has spared tech companies from being sued or held liable for most posts, photos and videos shared by users on their sites. Tech giants herald these protections, known as , as the bedrock of the Internet. But Trump repeatedly has...

May 28, 2020
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Facebook is working to persuade advertisers to abandon their boycott. So far, they aren’t impressed.

Facebook is working to persuade advertisers to abandon their boycott. So far, they aren’t impressed.

This article was published more than 2 years agoCommentGift ShareFacebook has spent the past few days in round-the-clock conversations with advertisers, trying to persuade them to come back to the platform with the promise of modest changes to address concerns that the social network profits from hate and outrage.But advertisers and the agencies they work with say they are still negotiating. And they say they are so far unimpressed with promises to better police hate speech, including labeling some politicians’ posts when they break the company’s policies. On Tuesday, when the civil...

July 3, 2020
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With Election Day looming, Twitter imposes new limits on U.S. politicians — and ordinary users, too

With Election Day looming, Twitter imposes new limits on U.S. politicians — and ordinary users, too

This article was published more than 2 years agoCommentGift ShareTwitter will impose new warnings on politicians’ lies, restrict premature declarations of victory and block calls for polling violence or other disruptions, the company announced Friday as it rolled out wide-ranging changes designed to harden the platform against abuse related to the U.S. election Nov. 3.The moves also will temporarily alter the look and feel of Twitter, a service built on instantaneous conversation, quips and breaking news. Retweeting others, for example, will require an extra step designed to encourage...

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October 9, 2020
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Zuckerberg once wanted to sanction Trump. Then Facebook wrote rules that accommodated him.

Zuckerberg once wanted to sanction Trump. Then Facebook wrote rules that accommodated him.

Hours after President Trump’s about sending the military to the Minnesota protests, Trump called Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.The post put the company in a difficult position, Zuckerberg told Trump, according to people familiar with the discussions. The same message was hidden by Twitter, the strongest action ever taken against a presidential post.To Facebook’s executives in Washington, the post didn’t appear to violate its policies, which allows leaders to post about government use of force if the message is intended to warn the public — but it came right up to the line. The...

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June 28, 2020
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How Facebook and TikTok are helping push Stop the Steal in Brazil

How Facebook and TikTok are helping push Stop the Steal in Brazil

In the days leading into Brazil’s presidential election in decades, Meta and TikTok have steered millions of Brazilians toward baseless accusations, false claims of election fraud, and extremist content, according to a left-leaning advocacy group that researches disinformation. Portuguese-language searches for basic election-related terms such as “fraud,” “intervention” and “ballots” on Facebook and Instagram, which are owned by Meta, have overwhelmingly directed people toward groups pushing claims questioning the integrity of the vote or openly agitating for a military coup, researchers...

Oct 29
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