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Month: February 2018

It's official: social media is now a global propaganda battlefield

It's official: social media is now a global propaganda battlefield

The State Department is launching a $40 million initiative to crack down on foreign propaganda and disinformation amid widespread concerns about future Russian efforts to interfere in elections. Source: State Dept. launches $40M offensive against foreign propaganda | TheHill 7 years ago, the U.S. government launched its own social media computational propaganda program. Social media is now an official battlefield as nation states and a cast of thousands of others go to war against each other. I’m so old I…

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Newsweek under investigation for financial and advertising fraud

Newsweek under investigation for financial and advertising fraud

Senior executives have resigned or been fired and dozens of staff and reporters have quit. Source: Newsweek in Turmoil: Probe Into Finances and Ties to Bible College Widens – WSJ Newsweek has a history of publishing fake news; in fact, reporters imply they adopted the click-bait model of fake news reporters. There is a relationship between fake news and social media propaganda. One creates fake content for sharing and liking, and the other enables fake stories to propagate like a…

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"Big Tech" under fire for privacy, propaganda, monopoly power

"Big Tech" under fire for privacy, propaganda, monopoly power

Once considered darlings, bigtech is now under fire for their role in destroying privacy, their platforms’ use for spreading propaganda, their own role as powerful monopolies, gaming the tax system, and more. “More” includes their impact on their own local communities were 60 year old 3 bedroom 2 bath homes now have a median price of $1 million. Source: Silicon Valley faces make or break moment amid big tech backlash  

"Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media" – revealed in … 2011

"Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media" – revealed in … 2011

The U.S. media has buried its head in deeply to the Russian-propaganda meme, as if this was new and nefarious. Read this from MARCH 2011: The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda. … Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother…

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Twitter's censorship is just odd

Twitter's censorship is just odd

One of my hobbies is 3D or “stereo” photography. I saw this in my Twitter feed: And what is this sensitive media? This sort of weird Twitter censorship happens every day. And it proves my point that adding more software to solve the fundamental, root cause problem with social media as a propaganda platform, does not work and will not work.

Facebook usage dropped significantly from 2016 to 2017

Facebook usage dropped significantly from 2016 to 2017

Facebook was the major mover in Social traffic in 2017. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a positive move. Their share of visits dropped a massive 12.7% between the second half of 2016 and the second half of 2017. Source: Report: Search Referral Traffic Overtook Social in 2017 as Facebook traffic share falls

"Precision Propaganda on the Internet"

"Precision Propaganda on the Internet"

It’s not the message, its the medium – duh! The central problem of disinformation corrupting American political culture is not Russian spies or a particular social media platform. The central problem is that the entire industry is built to leverage sophisticated technology to aggregate user attention and sell advertising. There is an alignment of interests between advertisers and the platforms. And disinformation operators are typically indistinguishable from any other advertiser. Any viable policy solutions must start here. Source: Digital Deceit:…

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Duh: Automated propaganda

Duh: Automated propaganda

This sounds familiar, where have I heard this? 🙂 Experts, however, say what they call “computational propaganda” doesn’t just piggyback on social platforms; it is baked into the DNA and the business model of companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter. And it’s going to take more than an algorithm tweak to get rid of it. Source: Fake news is part of a bigger problem: automated propaganda – Columbia Journalism Review It’s because Internet Research Agency trolls used social media exactly…

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Governments upset that social media is reducing their influence on the world

Governments upset that social media is reducing their influence on the world

Starting to see a trend here: Oppressive governments around the world have realized that social media have become powerful alternative voices to official propaganda, so governments have not stopped looking for ways to combat political and social dissent on those media. Governments persecute dissenting voices either by openly denying access to the Internet and social media or by harassing critics, especially during elections or turbulent events. Source: Game of Trolls: The Sinister Face of Facebook Related: Billionaire upset that social…

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Media upset that social media reduces their influence on the world

Media upset that social media reduces their influence on the world

Okay, whatever: There’s no doubt in my mind that the ones that have been harmed most by it are news organizations, political parties and government. It was pretty clear to me five years ago they had already lost their power. Right now, they’re grappling with the reality of that and trying to understand what that means. The problem is new changes will be upon us, and I’m worried that by the time they come to terms with it, they’ll miss…

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State of Georgia says it will regulate the political speech of Delta Airlines

State of Georgia says it will regulate the political speech of Delta Airlines

Of interest – a government body says it will force compliance with the government’s desired speech by using the tax code against companies that do not comply with the government’s desired political speech: Delta and United over the weekend said they would end airfare discounts for an upcoming NRA conference. Georgia’s Lt. Gov Casey Cagle said he’d ‘kill’ any tax law that benefits Delta unless it reinstates its relationship with NRA. Source: Georgia Lt. Gov: Will ‘kill’ Delta tax break…

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Center for Humane Technology

Center for Humane Technology

The Center for Humane Technology is a world-class team of former tech insiders and CEOs who are advancing thoughtful solutions to change the culture, business incentives, design techniques, and organizational structures driving how technology hijacks our brains. Source: Center for Humane Technology

Is panic breaking out at social media companies?

Is panic breaking out at social media companies?

I logged into Facebook and had a pop up survey from Facebook itself. The survey asked, basically, Is Facebook good for the world? With a ratings scale from strongly agree through strongly disagree. Wow. Keep saying this: It’s not the message, its the medium. What ever happens, social media as we know it is going to change. Whether that means users have to registrar, pay a fee, subject their posts to human and machine-based editorial standards – who knows? What…

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