In many ways, our cultural calculation on social networks and the Internet in general began in late 2016. Russia had waged an information war against the United States in our presidential election and Donald Trump had won a victory surprising on Hillary Clinton. Much of this war took place on our social platforms and, although we will never be able to quantify their precise effect on the outcome, a medico-legal analysis of the election conducted by the United States. one of our most prominent political scientists concluded that Russia most likely delivered to victory at Trump.
Partisan rancor prevented the holding of a serious investigation into Russia's interferences at the Congress level. The world is waiting for the next best thing: the arrival of Robert Mueller's report on Russia's interference in the 2016 elections. Of course, much of the anticipation came from the question of whether the special council would find that the President obstructed justice or other acts committed before or after taking office. But there have also been questions about the scope of Russia's campaign and how it is actually being exploited on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other sites.
Today & # 39; hui the report has arrived. This is not the president of the crimes or exonerated, although some analysts suggest that Mueller may have left Trump open to prosecution after leaving office. His account of Russia's interference on Facebook and Twitter had been recounted in previous indictments of Russian agents of the special advocate. But if the report does not offer big surprises, it will remind us once again how vulnerable they are – and may still be so.
Ryan Broderick breaks down some of the numbers in BuzzFeed:
At first, the IRA focused its activity on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Later, Tumblr and Instagram accounts were created. At first, Russian trolls kept only false individual accounts. In 2015, however, they started creating larger groups and pages. Finally, they tried to modulate their network effect to organize real gatherings.
According to Mueller's report, Facebook groups were particularly popular. By the time Facebook turned them off in 2017, the Russian-controlled group "United Muslims of America" had more than 300,000 subscribers, the "Do not shoot us" group had more than 250,000 subscribers, the Facebook group "Being Patriotic" had more than 200,000 subscribers. and the Facebook group "Secured Borders" had more than 130,000 subscribers.
To the extent that these methods have been successful, it is because they have played on real social tensions here in the United States. But Mueller's reports once again show how determined the Russians were to amplify these divisions, while flogging Trump's candidacy – and demonizing Clinton's candidacy. (The report also contains new details on how Russia has hacked the messaging servers of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton Commission. election campaign, reports Zack Whittaker.)
There are few major conclusions to be drawn from the report. Instead, it is recalled that the creation of open Web platforms rooted in the traditions of free speech of the United States, although it is a noble cause, has created a massive attack surface for authoritarian and dictators. Trend algorithms were easily played; incendiary messages and misinformation have spread more widely than the truth; and the decline of democracy has accelerated around the world.
And even if it's too much for all those who are at the feet of social networks – the decline of democracy has preceded them – there is never anything to be surprised by the way they are going to address the governments that would seek to put a complete end to democracy.
Well Alex Hern:
Years after the company had rejected its fears about the empowerment of extremists, Facebook has definitely banned a number of far-right organizations and individuals, including the British National Party (BNP ) English Defense League (EDL) and Britain First.
The ban, which came into effect on Thursday noon, extends far beyond the groups and individuals specifically cited as hate organizations: posts and other content "expressing praise or support" will be banned, same as users supporting group support.
Sam Levin reports that Facebook has chosen an affiliate with the hyper-partisan Daily Caller as a verification partner:
Check your done is bill as a "fact-checking service" of the Daily Caller, and the website said he is "non-partisan" and "loyal to peoples and parties". He has dedicated reporters evaluating the content as true and false and saying that it is a profit subsidiary company Daily Caller Inc., of which Carlson is a majority owner. […]
On Wednesday, the fact-checking initiative on Facebook also brought Scientific Comments, a non-profit organization that reviews news coverage on a range of topics, including health and climate change.
Hey, it's illegal in Germany:
Since October, in nine WhatsApp groups watched by BuzzFeed News, tens of thousands of messages are part of its far-right participants. Among them are symbols glorifying the Third Reich and Adolf Hitler, deeply anti-Semitic images created with the help of WhatsApp's "sticker" function, as well as messages aimed at inciting violence and threats against leftists or the refugees. […]
German media lawyer Christian Solmecke told BuzzFeed News that users who send banned images during a private chat on WhatsApp to only one person or to a few people they know in groups Whatsapp closed will not be punished by the authorities. "But if the image is sent to the WhatsApp group with many members, depending on the size of the group, it can quickly become a criminal offense," he added, becoming an "uncontrolled number of participants" in German law.
Gopal Sathe reports that the ruling party in India has hired a company to eliminate propaganda on WhatsApp:
According to a current employee of Sarv, the company keeps a huge cache of mobile SIM cards and sends messages via several registered numbers.
As WhatsApp limits the number of participants per group, each number is used to configure multiple groups, depending on the screenshots shared with HuffPost India. He also claimed that he had systems in place to beat (mainly) WhatsApp's automated controls.
My Twitter feed has a lot to say about Pete Buttigieg and Andrew Yang, but other Democrats are collecting more money. Issie Lapowsky said that there was a link between popularity on Twitter and at the polls, but it's easy to overestimate.
A cursory comparison between overall funding of applicants and their popularity online would seem to suggest that viral success on Twitter is a weak indicator of the health of a campaign as a whole. That is, with the exception of Senator Kamala Harris, who excels in both areas.
In comparison, popularity on Facebook is a little closer to fundraising statistics, although that is not quite yet. Facebook also has a much larger user base than Twitter.
David Ramli and Shelly Banjo's profile on TikTok reveals that his parent company, ByteDance, is engaging US regulators in an effort not to be stuck. It was new to me:
Android users in Europe will have a pro-competition version of the operating system, announced today Google (under pressure from the government).
Follow the changes We started with the European Commission last year, we will start presenting new screens to Android users in Europe with an option to download search applications and browsers.
These new screens will be displayed the first time a user opens Google Play after receiving an upcoming update. Two screens will appear: one for search applications and the other for browsers, each containing a total of five applications, including those that are already installed. Applications that are not already installed on the device will be included based on their popularity and displayed in random order.
Today, a story about the current pivot of Facebook to confidentiality, in four parts.
Rob Price understands that Facebook has got an unknown number of contacts from 1.5 million users. To do this, he asked some users creating new accounts to check these accounts in by typing their passwords, what everyone recognizes now was a bad idea and no one on Facebook really explained how or why such a feature would be created.
The Irish Data Protection Commission is currently working on this issue.
This ruling "also potentially violated several laws – including the US FTC Consent Decree, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – the European Union's regulation on the protection of personal data. Data privacy – and if there is likely to be a strong defense for Facebook, perhaps even computer fraud – and Abuse Act (CFAA), a US criminal law relating to computer fraud and abuse. "
Oh, take it off, Kurt Wagner:
The same morning, the report of the special advocate Robert Mueller on the Russian interference in the elections finally became publicFacebook has dropped some troubling news: Millions of Instagram user passwords have been accidentally stored unencrypted on Facebook's servers, which means Facebook employees can access them.
Facebook announced for the first time at the end of last month that he had hundreds of millions of unencrypted user passwords on its servers, a massive security problem. At the time, it was stated that "tens of thousands" of Instagram passwords were also stored this way.
Thursday morning, Facebook updated his blog to say that, in fact, "millions" of Instagram users, not "tens of thousands", have been affected.
On Thursday, Pinterest began trading on the NYSE on Thursday under the nickname "PINS". He had a good first day and raised more than expected – $ 1.4 billion – during its IPO.
Pinterest shares are priced higher than expected, but remain below their last private value.
Very well done an app to share text screenshots on Twitter more easily, and now Twitter has bought them. As a person who tweets screenshots of this newsletter almost daily, I would like to see a nice native integration.
Feeling perhaps a bit more confident after organizing a successful event in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, Spiegel will be sitting down for a live interview with TechCrunch in the fall
As a bad player on Instagram, I'd like to use an Instagram version that hides my likes as well as those of others.
In 2017, Google removed YouTube from Amazon's Fire TV platform on various competitive issues. Now he's back, in exchange for adding Amazon to Chromecast support in the Prime Video mobile app. (There is, however, one big exception: Echo Show, Amazon's smart speaker with a screen, will still not get YouTube.)
As a satisfied YouTube Premium subscriber, I can not wait to be able to pay 2 dollars on my favorite creators. For the most part, all work for the Bon Appetit chain.
Mike Masnick challenges the idea that YouTube can solve its moderation problems simply by forcing one person to watch the video posted:
Oh, and we always assume that only one person watching the video is enough. But that's wrong. Last year, when we ran our "You make the call" At the Washington Content Moderation Summit, one of the things we noticed was that in every instance we had the public vote, there was no uniform agreement on what content should be allowed or prohibited – even when we specifically highlighted the rule that the content was probably violated. In each example, people were not in agreement and had strong arguments in favor of allowing certain content, while others felt it was should be deleted, and vice versa.
So at the least you would like at least two people to review each piece of content, but if they did not agree, you would probably want a third criticism. And that assumes that a sample size of three is actually reasonable. This is probably not. Damn, our sample of about 100 critics at the Content Moderation Summit could not agree on anything, we do not know how many people it would take but at least doubling the 200,000 employees we had already mentioned. So we're not talking about at least 400,000 employees, which is almost five times Google's workforce just because sometimes some bad videos go through the existing process.
The Digital Forensics Research Lab claims that Republicans were able to mitigate the impact of a recent democratic hearing on white nationalism by inviting social media star Candace Owens, who managed to distract the attention of all.
Instead of focusing on the historical nature of testimonials or potential political solutions, the conversation on Twitter is mainly focused on a conflict between two personalities with a significant online presence. Such framing trivializes the serious issues under discussion and has a disproportionate impact on the average coverage of the audience.
As a result, the issues of white nationalist terrorism and the role of social media companies have received little attention. On the other hand, the quarrel between Owens and Location has quite too much received.
And finally …
It is enough that the Mueller report does not exonerate the president. Now, HBO urges him not to use his information to remember himself:
Trump tweeted to remember the publication of the report of the special advocate Robert Mueller on his investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election. The main font shown in the image below comes directly from the most popular series of HBO. This is not the first time that Trump uses a Game of thrones Even to address a controversy in which he is involved, but HBO issued a statement asking the president to stop.
"Although we can understand the enthusiasm for Game of thrones now that the last season has arrived, we still prefer our unused intellectual property for political purposes, " The HBO spokesman said Bloomberg.
I am especially supportive of this idea, but I think some similarities between politics here and in Westeros could be a good idea.
Talk to me
Send me slightly edited tips, comments, questions and reports: firstname.lastname@example.org.