News on Algorithms and Automation

Michael R. Bloomberg’s presidential campaign has been experimenting with novel tactics to cultivate an online following, or at least the appearance of one. But one of the strategies — deploying a large number of Twitter accounts to push out identical messages — has backfired. On Friday, Twitter began suspending 70 accounts posting pro-Bloomberg content in […]

Over the past four years, Facebook has made a big show of demonstrating how much it cares about democracy and how much it’s doing to combat election interference or fake news. It has assembled “war rooms” and published white papers. It has hired thousands of content moderators (as in, they’re looking at content; they’re actually […]

YouTube Gaming has been clawing its way into streaming platform Twitch’s market share for months. But new data retrieved by WIRED suggests that YouTube Gaming also has a serious problem with scammers and cheat-makers—and lots and lots of bots. In January, all seven of the most-watched YouTube Gaming channels weren’t run by happy gamers livestreaming […]

Trump is kicking the Democrats’ asses. For decades, the theory of communications that undergirded politics was: Politician says something → press covers it → public reads or watches the press’ account of what the politician said. The results of the 2016 election should make it crystal clear that approach is antiquated at best. Political campaigns […]

Every day, platforms like Facebook have to make trade-offs on important social values — between free expression and safety, privacy and law enforcement, and between creating open systems and locking down data. There is rarely a clear “right” answer. Often it is as important that decisions are made in a way that people feel is […]

Facebook said Friday that it would not be adding sponsored posts that politicians commission from influencers to its public ad library, a tool that saves information about advertisements on the platform. Given the platform’s policy of not fact-checking political ads, it’s also unclear whether the platform will fact-check the posts. The platform’s announcement about sponsored […]

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Transgender users on TikTok have complained of censorship after their posts were removed. Videos, including some of people discussing their lives, were taken down and others had the sound removed, according to some posters. TikTok said some posts were deleted for breaking guidelines but could not explain why others were removed. LGBT charity Stonewall said […]

In an age of hyper-partisanship, Americans increasingly get their news from sites that align with their political beliefs. But more separates those right and left-leaning sides of the web than their opposite ideologies. According to a new study, the right end of the fractured online news industry also tracks its audience far more aggressively than […]

WASHINGTON (AP) — Heading into this week’s Iowa caucuses, U.S. election officials were on high alert for a repeat attempt to interfere in the presidential election process by Russia or other malicious foreign actors. Turns out, the hazards were closer to home. A buggy mobile app, unveiled by the Iowa Democratic Party just in time […]

Jigsaw, a technology incubator at Google, has released an experimental platform called Assembler to help journalists and front-line fact-checkers quickly verify images. How it works: Assembler combines several existing techniques in academia for detecting common manipulation techniques, including changing image brightness and pasting copied pixels elsewhere to cover up something while retaining the same visual […]

Twitter will ban faked pictures, video, and other media that are “deceptively shared” and pose a serious safety risk. The company just announced a new policy on synthetic and manipulated media — a category that encompasses sophisticated deepfake videos, but also low-tech deceptively edited content. In addition to banning egregious offenders, Twitter will label some […]

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