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Friday, January 19, 2018
technology
facebook_factcheck

Facebook’s News Feed Changes Could Elevate Fake News While Harming Legitimate News Outlets

Over the past year, Facebook has struggled to combat the spread of fake news and misinformation on its platform. On January 11, the social media giant announced that it would change the algorithm of its news feed so that it would “prioritize what [users’] friends and family share and comment on,” according to The New York Times.

January 13, 2018
corporations

Corporations Stealing Online Identities To Push Their Political Agenda

Forget Russian fake news for a moment. Another extremely consequential privacy-breaching, identity-theft hack is undermining our democracy and almost certainly being perpetuated by corporate America.

January 10, 2018
Trump economy fix

The Definitive Guide To Understanding The Sinister Tactics Behind Trump’s Tweets

Over the past two years, Trump’s Twitter habits have been honed and polished into an art form. And really, he is a master at it. Maybe after Mueller takes him down, he can write “The Art of the Tweet.” Until then, Americans will continue to reel from unfiltered posts like his most recent threats to North Korea and play the absurd game of trying to tell if our lives are immediately under threat or not.

January 9, 2018
facebook-cycle-2

New Study: Facebook ‘Most Important’ In Spreading Fake News

The political scientists estimated that more than a quarter of American adults visited a page on a pro-Donald Trump or pro-Hillary Clinton fake news website. Most of the fake news was pro-Trump, and people who supported his campaign were significantly more likely to visit fake news sites than people who supported Clinton.

January 3, 2018
Fake partisan news makes Facebook millions

Facebook’s Uneven Enforcement Of Hate Speech Rules Allows Vile Posts To Stay Up

Facebook’s community standards prohibit violent threats against people based on their religious practices. So when ProPublica reader Holly West saw this graphic Facebook post declaring that “the only good Muslim is a fucking dead one,” she flagged it as hate speech using the social network’s reporting system.

December 29, 2017
Former Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz speaks during the third night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Ted Cruz Just Got Owned By Luke Skywalker Over Internet Freedom

As Star Wars: The Last Jedi takes over the box office this weekend, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz unwisely decided to mess with the film’s star over net neutrality. And he got the business end of Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber-sharp wit for his troubles.

December 18, 2017

Is FCC Chairman Ajit Pai A Closeted Alt-Right Sympathizer?

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 along party lines to repeal an Obama-era regulation to preserve net neutrality, defying Silicon Valley executives and consumer advocacy groups, not to mention the will of the people. A recent University of Maryland survey finds that more than 80 percent of registered voters oppose the FCC’s plans.

December 18, 2017
Trump campaign merchandise vendor David Dickson from Florida holds Trump campaign "Make America Great Again" hats dusted with falling snow outside a Trump campaign town hall event in Londonderry, New Hampshire February 8, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

12 Most Insane Rules From The Biggest Neo-Nazi Website On The Internet

The Daily Stormer is an online hub for racists, white nationalists, anti-Semites, neo-Nazis, and other assorted angry white men. It’s run by Andrew Anglin, who’s been in hiding for months avoiding an SPLC lawsuit charging stochastic terrorism against a Jewish woman in Montana.

December 17, 2017

The GOP’s 10 Biggest Social Media Blunders Of 2017

It’s hard to avoid the yearly recaps that spring up every December. From the ubiquitous lists of celebrity deaths to recaps of the top Twitter hashtags, countdowns are everywhere as the new year approaches.

December 15, 2017

Republicans Join Outcry Against Trump’s Net Neutrality Repeal

On the eve of a Federal Communications Commission vote to repeal net neutrality rules, some congressional Republicans are suddenly pivoting against the Trump administration and joining the outcry against the move — just as a new poll shows the vast majority of GOP voters want the rules preserved.

December 14, 2017

The Great Scamazon

As you’re doing your holiday shopping this season, think about this: While big brand names travel hither, thither and yon to play Milk the Taxpayer, Amazon is totally rewriting the rules of the taxpayer subsidies game, super-sizing their piles of public money without even having to go door to door.

December 14, 2017

Oligarchs And Oligopoly Killing Net Neutrality

We’re told by politicos, pundits and internet providers themselves that access to the net is crucial to our educational achievement, future prosperity and ability to be self-governing. Yet, while this digital highway is deemed vital to our nation’s well-being, access to it is not offered as a public service — i.e., an investment in the common good.

December 8, 2017

Far Right Plots To Silence Liberals On Twitter

In October, a notorious right-wing troll quietly launched an “operation” aimed at suspending progressive voices from Twitter. The plan was to use the platform’s mechanisms for reporting abuse in order to silence those he perceived as attempting to censor right-wing voices.

December 7, 2017

Facebook Allowed Political Ads That Were Actually Scams And Malware

Russian disinformation isn’t the only deceptive political advertising on Facebook. The pitch designed to lure President Donald Trump’s critics is one of more than a dozen politically themed advertisements masking consumer rip-offs that ProPublica has identified since launching an effort in September to monitor paid political messages on the world’s largest social network.

December 6, 2017

FCC Chair’s Deceptive History Of The Internet

The world of the internet, as seen by Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai, is simple. Regulation is bad, deregulation is good. Conservatives are victims, and liberals reign supreme. And history doesn’t matter. That’s the impression one gets from a remarkable speech…

December 1, 2017
sanctions

Lobbyists Push US-Saudi Nuclear Deal

The Saudi government wants nuclear power to free up more oil for export, but current and former American officials suspect the country’s leaders also want to keep up with the enrichment capabilities of their rival, Iran.

November 30, 2017

Your Secrets Are Not Safe With Anyone

Timothy Carpenter specialized in stealing cellphones, the same devices that betrayed him. Based on four months of cellphone location data from the companies that provided Carpenter’s mobile phone service, the FBI placed him near four stores while they were being robbed.

November 30, 2017

7 Things To Know About Ajit Pai, The Man Trump Tasked With Killing Net Neutrality

Ajit Pais is chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, the government agency that regulates radio and television airwaves, cable TV, and internet. In other words, he has immense power. President Trump appointed Pai to serve as chairman in January…

November 29, 2017
Facebook, Fake News

Why Pro Publica Bought Racist, Sexist, Bigoted Facebook Ads

Were these actual ads? No. And as someone who’s spent the past month on a New York City apartment hunt, I’m pretty confident that no one would mistake our “real estate company” for an actual brokerage.

November 28, 2017

FCC Obstructs Probe Of Illegal Telecom Lobbying

In typical corporate double-speak, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that removing price-gouging barriers would “benefit consumers,” because, “instead of [websites] being flyspecked by lawyers and bureaucrats, the internet would once again thrive under engineers and entrepreneurs.”

November 23, 2017

Investigative Report: Instagram’s Political Propaganda Spread To Multi-Millions Of Facebook Users In 2016

Maybe you saw it, too. On Thursday, I read a post from Facebook executives touting their determination to reel in the propaganda monster their platform had enabled in 2016’s election. “We are committed to protecting legitimate political discussion within our community,” Facebook said…

November 21, 2017
alt-right-memes-8

Racism Is A Highly Profitable Online Business

White supremacists, alt-right members, Republicans and other garden-variety bigots used to rely on mainstream crowdfunding sources when they wanted to raise money. Vocal white nationalist Emily Youcis received donations using Patreon; violent alt-rightie Kyle Chapman had a PayPal;

November 21, 2017
sutherland-springs

Google Ads Pushing Fake News On Texas Shooting

On November 5, a gunman opened fire and killed at least 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, TX. The alleged gunman, Devin Patrick Kelly, was court martialed while in the Air Force in 2012 on charges of “assaulting his wife and child” and has been accused of stalking ex-girlfriends.

November 8, 2017
Russia

Russian Propagandists Took A Page Out Of America’s Racist Political Playbook

By now, it’s common knowledge that Russian companies bought more than 3,000 ads on Facebook, along with countless posts across other platforms. Many, though certainly not all, of those ads featured racist and anti-immigrant messages. It’s impossible to quantify the impact those messages had on vote tallies.

November 5, 2017

Google And Facebook’s Congressional Testimony Reveals A Deep Hypocrisy At The Heart Of The Mission Of These Tech Titans

The House and Senate intelligence committees probed legal representatives from Google, Facebook and Twitter this week over their role in Russian hacking of the 2016 election. While the three corporate reps played along, claiming ignorance of the extent of the Russian involvement and outrage over it happening…

November 3, 2017