News on Algorithms and Automation

YouTube has allowed some peddlers of disinformation about the coronavirus to earn money from advertising, according to a Tech Transparency Project investigation, despite its promise to limit the ability to creators who produce quality videos about the pandemic. TTP found advertising on several YouTube videos promoting questionable coronavirus treatments, like home remedies, meditative music, and […]

“The Technology and Social Change Research Team at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center will describe the phenomenon of “zoom bombing,” the act of hijacking a virtual meeting, and its consequences. This is not a Zoom training, it will just be an overview of security concerns surrounding Zoom and research relating to the manipulation of networked communication systems. […]

On March 18, an email went out from the World Health Organization soliciting donations for its Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund, to support WHO’s work tracking and treating the novel coronavirus. The sender address was “,” and is the real domain name of the organization. But the email is a scam. It was not sent […]

Last week, Netflix, Google, Facebook and others agreed to reduce the quality of their videos to avoid internet congestion in Europe. According to Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, this could be a turning point in how big platforms behave in the future. “It’s the first time tech companies act in such a strong way. They […]

NPR’s Ailsa Chang talks with Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications Nick Clegg about the platform’s efforts to stop the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus. AILSA CHANG, HOST: With everyone hunkered down, it is boom times for Facebook, which, we should note, is among NPR’s financial supporters. More people are relying on […]

On March 16th, 2020, virtually every major social media company released a joint statement on their efforts to curb the spread of disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic. As of the writing of this article, the top comment on Facebook’s Twitter post of this statement is, itself, a piece of disinformation, furthering the conspiracy theory that […]

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Twitter said Wednesday it would take renewed action to clamp down on misinformation on the site, requiring people to remove tweets that deny health recommendations or promote ineffective or misleading health claims. The change comes amid the ongoing spread of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, that has infected more than 200,000 people.“As the entire world […]

FACEBOOK USERS AROUND the globe began to notice something strange happening on their feeds Tuesday night. Links to legitimate news outlets and websites, including The Atlantic, USA Today, the Times of Israel, and BuzzFeed, among many others, were being taken down en masse for reportedly violating Facebook’s spam rules. The problem impacted many people’s ability to share news articles […]

Big tech companies are being confronted with the swift spread of online misinformation about the coronavirus—from dangerous health advice to racist conspiracies to scammy products—and the industry has launched what looks like all-out war to fight it. It’s a high-stakes test case for defense operations at companies including Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Twitter, and experts say their efforts appear more […]

Abstract—Actors engaged in election disinformation are using online advertising platforms to spread political messages. In response to this threat, online advertising networks have started making political advertising on their platforms more transparent in order to enable third parties to detect malicious advertisers. We present a set of methodologies and perform a security analysis of Facebook’s […]

Over the past few years, Russian-funded propagandists have tried a number of ways to reach American audiences without revealing their links to the Kremlin, from claiming to be “grassroots” start-ups to cycling their funding through cut-outs that obscure their Russian origins. Now, Russian propagandists have a new trick: Pushing a “news” app that poses as […]

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