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Category: Tools

Facebook aims to be less useful to you

Facebook aims to be less useful to you

Had this announcement in my notifications today: Facebook intends to stop showing me content that I actually want to see. You can turn this off but it requires manual intervention to regain control over what you want to see, rather than what Facebook thinks you want to see. First, when Facebook decides what you see, Facebook is acting as an editorial director. Second, when Facebook decides what you see, Facebook is potentially promoting propaganda. It does not matter that this…

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Computational propaganda deployed in Mexico since 2012

Computational propaganda deployed in Mexico since 2012

Mexico said to be early adopter of computational propaganda and other social media propaganda techniques: The country’s high level of internet access and history of corruption make it a frequent testbed for digital manipulation techniques often later seen elsewhere. Source: To See The Future Of Social Media Manipulation In Politics, Look To Me When your hypothesis is that computational propaganda is a Russia-specific thing, its awkward to discover its widespread use in social media activities in Mexico since 2012. Computational…

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Fake videos may become the next propaganda focus

Fake videos may become the next propaganda focus

The threat of fake news is about to get immeasurably worse. Start-ups and internet users are discovering ways to quickly create realistic video using artificial intelligence, which could make it hard to know what’s fact and what’s fiction. Source: Fake videos are on the rise. As they become more realistic, seeing shouldn’t always be believing We are no where close to peak propaganda. In the near future, a smart phone app will digitally manipulate real people’s faces into fake video…

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Two computer science students create tool to detect “bots” on Twitter

Two computer science students create tool to detect “bots” on Twitter

Two computer science students created a Google Chrome extension that when clicked tells you if a Twitter user appears to be a bot or not. They claim it has 93.5% accuracy[1] (but see the footnote for a hint at some of the problems in how they came to that conclusion). It uses “machine learning” technology to attempt to identify Twitter accounts that may be automated “propaganda” accounts. Per the article, their classifier was trained using Tweets identified as left or…

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Two computer science students create tool to detect "bots" on Twitter

Two computer science students create tool to detect "bots" on Twitter

Two computer science students created a Google Chrome extension that when clicked tells you if a Twitter user appears to be a bot or not. They claim it has 93.5% accuracy[1] (but see the footnote for a hint at some of the problems in how they came to that conclusion). It uses “machine learning” technology to attempt to identify Twitter accounts that may be automated “propaganda” accounts. Per the article, their classifier was trained using Tweets identified as left or…

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How “Bot Armies” get Twitter hashtags trending

How “Bot Armies” get Twitter hashtags trending

Of interest, a bot army is said to have “taken to Twitter” to influence Twitter social media posts. Bots generate enough Tweets that eventually get shared and then turn into actual hashtag memes passed along by real people. In this way, propaganda bots can initiate and control messaging on social media. This is also known as “computational propaganda”. In the old days, propaganda usually required a printing press or a broadcast license. Social media made it possible for everyone to…

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How "Bot Armies" get Twitter hashtags trending

How "Bot Armies" get Twitter hashtags trending

Of interest, a bot army is said to have “taken to Twitter” to influence Twitter social media posts. Bots generate enough Tweets that eventually get shared and then turn into actual hashtag memes passed along by real people. In this way, propaganda bots can initiate and control messaging on social media. This is also known as “computational propaganda”. In the old days, propaganda usually required a printing press or a broadcast license. Social media made it possible for everyone to…

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Millions of fake Twitter followers, often based on stolen Twitter account identities

Millions of fake Twitter followers, often based on stolen Twitter account identities

Not surprisingly, everything about social media is mostly fake. “Devumi sells Twitter followers and retweets to celebrities, businesses and anyone who wants to appear more popular or exert influence online. Drawing on an estimated stock of at least 3.5 million automated accounts, each sold many times over, the company has provided customers with more than 200 million Twitter followers, a New York Times investigation found. The accounts that most resemble real people, like Ms. Rychly, reveal a kind of large-scale…

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Facebook and Google announce they are launching their own anti-propaganda content

Facebook and Google announce they are launching their own anti-propaganda content

Anti-propaganda is just propaganda in front of a mirror. Facebook, Google and Twitter say they’re creating more anti-terror propaganda to combat violent messages at their source. Source: Facebook, Google tell Congress how they’re fighting extremist content Google’s Youtube analyzes your past searches and viewing patterns and “determines” if the viewer “may be headed toward extremism”. If so, Youtube presents ads to “subtly contradict” others’ propaganda messages. Youtube is removing comments from videos that contain hateful content, as determined by Youtube’s…

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Rent A Crowd “Crowds on Demand” – and How Absolutely Everything is Fake

Rent A Crowd “Crowds on Demand” – and How Absolutely Everything is Fake

A local politician came out to speak to an enthusiastic audience? Could be an entirely fake audience of paid participants.[1] A local protest takes to the streets to demand ACTION over whatever – and gets extensive media coverage? Could be a fake group of paid participants. Or sometimes, it is a mix of paid actors plus others who think its an organic, grass roots event. But its fake too. There are “public relations” firms (a.k.a. propaganda firms) that specialize in…

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