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EU Releases Guidance for Strengthening Code of Practice on Disinformation

EU Releases Guidance for Strengthening Code of Practice on Disinformation

The European Commission today published its Guidance on Strengthening the Code of Practice on Disinformation. The Code of Practice, launched in 2018, called on tech platforms to voluntarily commit to participate in a self-regulatory process to combat disinformation in a variety of ways. Under the Code, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and TikTok submit regular reports to the EU Commission to monitor disinformation and detail efforts to combat it. The European Commission is the executive branch of the EU. The new guidance- developed in answer to “significant shortcomings” the...

May 26, 2021
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Parler warned the FBI about impending violence at US Capitol on January 6

Parler warned the FBI about impending violence at US Capitol on January 6

In a hearing on the January 6 insurrection hosted by the House Oversight & Reform Committee, Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney said that “the Committee has obtained documents showing that the social media company Parler sent the FBI evidence of planned violence in Washington DC on January 6. Parler referred this content to the FBI for investigation over 50 times, and according to the company ‘even alerted law enforcement to specific threats of violence being planned at the Capitol.'” It was the first confirmation that a social media platform provided the FBI with specific material related to...

June 15, 2021
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FBI Director Testimony Makes Clear Why January 6th Commission Should Investigate Social Media Platforms

FBI Director Testimony Makes Clear Why January 6th Commission Should Investigate Social Media Platforms

Congressional hearings in the days since the violent insurrection on January 6th, 2021 have on intelligence failures, and why information about the threat against the Capitol did not result in better preparation. But one man warned the country about potential violence months in advance: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.Arguably, Zuckerberg has access to more data on the state of political discourse in the United States than any other human being. So, it was notable when, in September 2020, he issued a dire statement. Announcing his platform would impose new rules to curb political...

March 3, 2021
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Study of social media, collective behavior should be a “crisis discipline,” researchers say

Study of social media, collective behavior should be a “crisis discipline,” researchers say

Social media, message apps and other digital communications technologies restructure the ways in which information flows, and thus how humans interact with one another, how they make sense of the world and how they come to consensus on how to deal with problems.Now, more than a dozen researchers at multiple universities who study technology, behavior and complex systems believe questions about the impact of communications technology on collective behavior should be regarded as a “crisis discipline,” noting that “the vulnerability of these systems to misinformation and disinformation poses a...

June 17, 2021
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What the Infrastructure Bill Means for Tech

What the Infrastructure Bill Means for Tech

The word “technology” appears 324 times in the text of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that passed the United States Congress with bipartisan support on Friday. The word “digital” appears 143 times. Indeed, on top of building new roads, bridges and rail, and investing in climate change mitigation, clean water and air, the investment of more than $1 trillion will go towards broadband, transportation, clean tech, cybersecurity, smart manufacturing, and much more. More of the country will have access to high speed internet as a result of the investment, including rural and...

Nov 6
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“Fake News,” Meet Fake Censorship

“Fake News,” Meet Fake Censorship

As tech giants come under rightful scrutiny for their lack of transparency and unchecked power over free expression online, politicians in the United States and around the world are exploiting the moment. They are using the pretense of supposed censorship by platforms to issue laws that outlaw or hobble content moderation. Whether it’s in Florida, Texas, Wisconsin, Brazil, Poland, or Hungary, politicians are proposing “anti-censorship” laws that are actually designed to let those with political power arbitrate what can be said and to open up the spigots of disinformation, trolling, and...

Oct 18
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Researchers Query Misinformation and Interventions to Address It

Researchers Query Misinformation and Interventions to Address It

Disinformation! Misinformation! What to do about it? Academic researchers continue to crack away at the question. Three new studies look at issues around the credibility of news sources and the impact of factual corrections in social media news feeds. Not All Misinformation Is Created Equal A paper published this week in Nature by Carlos Carrasco-Farré at Universitat Ramon Llull—ESADE Business School in Barcelona is titled “The fingerprints of misinformation: how deceptive content differs from reliable sources in terms of cognitive effort and appeal to emotions.” Carrasco-Farré analyzed...

May 10
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Meta Meets the Reality of War

Meta Meets the Reality of War

For those studying how the Russian invasion of Ukraine is reshaping technology policy, Meta’s decision last week to temporarily permit calls for violence against “invading Russians” will stand among the most consequential episodes of the war. This moment shows how public distrust of Western social media platforms can redound to cast their policies in the most sinister light possible. It also provides a window into the impossible decisions that confront Meta and other technology companies as they try to write wartime content moderation policy in real-time. Here is how events unfolded: On...

Mar 15
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