Stanford Internet Observatory, Mozilla Fellow alum. Interested in how narratives spread online. Prev: quant finance, VC, startups. Many opinions about SF.
There have also been bizarre fly-by-night Anonymous accounts that have popped up targeting Latin American audiences during times of political unrest. It's unfortunately an easy strategy to execute and hard to refute.
The IRA account was an Instagram account, @_anonymous_news_ that renamed itself after initially pretending to be a local Jackson, Miss. news account for a while; it also spent some time as a gun-related account.
The IRA and GRU have both been documented doing this. (Thread 👇) https://twitter.com/malwaretechblog/status/1267899302916976641
RT @MalwareTechBlog: Here's an interesting one. This Account with 120k followers claiming to represent "Anonymous" was a fake K-pop giveawa…
RT @minipetite: Hoy llevo un artículo en el Semanal de @elpais con un reparto de lujo: @mikko, Karsten Nohl, @noUpside @_pmkr @avilarenata.…
Decided to clear out old boxes of papers that have moved with me for 2 decades. Found OCAML homework, GRE scores, & job interview prep notes for paralegal jobs from right after college (which I could not get, no one would hire me). Basically, an archive of paths I didn’t take.
RT @NancyTungSF: Wow, @shaunking. You could do a little research. I'm one of a handful of San Francisco prosecutor that has actually crimin…
RT @katestarbird: Also helpful here would be a “retraction” feature on @Twitter — which would allow a user to mark a tweet as retracted, st…
RT @noUpside: Natural News, banned in 2019, pushes content into Facebook Groups by way of hired accounts from Macedonia & the Philippines.
Natural News, banned in 2019, pushes content into Facebook Groups by way of hired accounts from Macedonia & the Philippines. https://twitter.com/oneunderscore__/status/1266451751542063104
RT @technology: Twitter's fact-checking labels have triggered a big dispute with President Trump, who signed an executive order to curb the…
The @noUpside on the executive order and just who is and isn’t an “arbiter of truth” https://twitter.com/technology/status/1266149797221806080
RT @math_rachel: Video platforms should consider leaving up the original postings of disinfo. This creates one location to offer debunking…
Good luck to you, FTC staffer, who needs to read year-old blog comments by order of the President of the United States.
 
Do you remember that form? It had a file upload feature. It was *incredible*. "Send us your screenshots!" 😂 FTC staffer is going to be looking at a bunch of 🍆s. It was also built on a non-American platform, which was like a secondary micro-scandal for some.
 
Oh yah someone should FOIA the records and make a coffee table book. And def what’s gonna bring down the Trump admin is if the didn’t get the right TOS from a foreign vendor to do work for the us gov
RT @Pinboard: Otherwise smart people are being distracted by Trump's executive order into doing extensive legal analysis of what is a polit…
This tired trope is grievance-mill grift that’s been ongoing for 3 years now. Where is the evidence? Also: nearly every group has at one time or another complained that enforcement is biased against them.
Evidence, please. How did the conservative bias audit turn out? What pages are getting the most engagement? What stories are going viral on the platforms? https://twitter.com/chadfelixg/status/1266048131604590593
That form was incredible. Anyone could upload anything...so, you can probably imagine what the internet decided to upload. It was also basically a giant e-mail list generator. You got added to a newsletter so the Pres could 'reach people'. https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/15/tech/white-house-social-media-bias-tool/index.html
Almost exactly one year go. And then a month later we got the "social media summit" - at the time, the "censorship" was behaviorally-based takedowns recast as ideological takedowns. The other concern was shadow-banning. Now "censorship" and "bias" is...a fact-check link.
"The draft order also states that the White House Office of Digital Strategy will re-establish a tool to help citizens report cases of online censorship." Re-establish? Does this mean that crazy form for ppl to upload photos documenting "censorship"... https://www.reuters.com/article/us-twitter-trump-executive-order-social/trumps-executive-order-targets-political-bias-at-twitter-and-facebook-draft-idUSKBN2340MW
Yeah, political speech IS scrutinized, in the form of....fact-checks. Making it more convenient for people to see assessments of disputed claims in close proximity to the claims is not "arbitrating truth" or "censorship". https://twitter.com/therecount/status/1265986432033841153
RT @noUpside: First post is up for SIO’s Virality Project, a study of info dynamics surrounding COVID. 1st topic: the recasting of Judy Mik…
Going on Fox to hit Twitter in defense of Trump is really a move. Good look for everyone involved. https://www.foxnews.com/media/facebook-mark-zuckerberg-twitter-fact-checking-trump
 
It reminded me of some sanctimonious little sibling pointing the finger and saying "he did it, not me". Also, Facebook does factcheck. Their no-factchecking policy is limited to political ads. Unless that was an unfair cut, this also seemed...inaccurate.
RT @CNNnewsroom: “The idea that he's going to close tech companies is fantasy,” Renee DiResta, who researches digital misinformation, says…
I really enjoyed this chat with Well Rounded - doctors actually working the front lines treating patients. We talked about the challenges of getting good information, how health authorities communicate, and the role of physicians in the social conversation. https://twitter.com/wellroundedmed/status/1262411075959521282
RT @BrandyZadrozny: The Plandemic example “makes clear the need to develop better solutions that avoid after-the-fact content takedowns tha…
Ultimately, Mikovits had a new book to sell, and this case is interesting in that both ideological and economic motivation were driving forces. Hope you enjoy the post.
There are also really interesting dynamics regarding Instagram, and influencers, requiring more study: many of the highest engagement posts were by blue-checks like RFK Jr. and regional influencers. Influencer marketing is effective for selling products - also ideas….or books.
There were a few interesting details not discussed in the post: a handful of groups had remarkably rapid audience growth over the period we observed. The one that had the most posts mentioning Mikovits, “Collective Action Against Bill Gates”, grew from ~6k members to nearly 100k.
There are a lot of interesting dynamics we’ve yet to explore, but the post includes some preliminary observations about how platforms might consider policies beyond takedowns, or make debunkings more effective.
Even as we saw debunkings began to make their way around the English language social media ecosystem, we kept getting Crowdtangle alerts for mentions of Mikovits - this time in non-English languages. Many of those posts were translations/local-language discussions of Plandemic.
Though the conversations around the debunking content varied a lot... some people sincerely wanted to understand. Others shared the links to encourage Group members to go downvote the debunking videos.
We wanted to begin to trace the debunking content dynamics, too, so we looked for prominent debunking articles within our communities. Debunking content was shared into the Groups that had previous credulously shared Mikovits-related content.
We cover the pre-Plandemic period, when most of the activity was in a handful of echo chambers: shared videos by blue-check Facebook and Insta accounts, and YouTube creators with large audiences. Then we look at the explosion of communities and activity following Plandemic.
Plandemic was one video in a string of cross-platform promotion efforts. This post explains what happened. We classified 16k pages & groups that generated 41,662 posts about Mikovits, looking at post & interaction dynamics in aggregated communities. (There are interactives!)
First post is up for SIO’s Virality Project, a study of info dynamics surrounding COVID. 1st topic: the recasting of Judy Mikovits -a 👩‍🔬 best known for a retracted paper- as whistleblowing influencer. A case study in how marketing & misinfo can intersect. https://cyber.fsi.stanford.edu/io/news/manufacturing-influence-0
"Free speech" now expands to the right to be free from correction. This has been an ongoing process: 1) Erode trust in media so supporters only trust the fact-check from within their bespoke reality 2) Castigate platforms as censors if they don't actively amplify his content
RT @alexstamos: Our team at the Stanford Internet Observatory (@stanfordio) has launched the Virality Project to understand global disinfor…
It seems FB began to promote Groups while aware of this dynamic? Outside observers had very little in the way of quantitative evidence but saw really disturbing intersections between fake trending stories and group sharing dynamics. https://medium.com/the-graph/fake-news-and-rabbit-holes-radicalization-via-the-recommendation-engine-544f99337c55#.uf8p4mdfj
May 11, 2016, article written based on my own personal observations, which were clearly anecdotal but also bizarre. Getting Pizzagate group recos after never typing the keyword, but after joining an anti-vaccine group, was a hell of a thing. https://fastcompany.com/3059742/social-network-algorithms-are-distorting-reality-by-boosting-conspiracy-theories
Hm. IIRC some of us were writing about 'radicalization via the recommendation' engine at the time...which was largely dismissed because there was little in the way of quantitative evidence. https://twitter.com/CaseyNewton/status/1265314414078464000
RT @evelyndouek: Lots of imp pushback abt misconceptions re: "bots" here yesterday, so I'm going to collect them in a thread (mainly so I c…
Those tools would be improved if they were a little clearer about what they are analyzing and what the results mean. Media should also check the claims in bot articles more carefully; much like other misinformation, the correction won’t go as far as the original story.
This post by @benjaminwittes details being part of some of the topics where this happens. He looked to bot tools to try to gauge what was going on and compares a few in here. https://www.lawfareblog.com/random-toxicity-whats-going-benjaminwittess-mentions
The effects still feels like an automated attack, particularly in some of the communities that attract a lot of people who pop up in mentions to yell/harass, get shut down, & respawn (so, recent account creation date). These are low-quality/jerk accounts,but still human-operated.
The effects still feel like entirely automated attacks; @benjaminwittes wrote a post about trying to make sense of what was happening when it’s happened to him. https://www.lawfareblog.com/random-toxicity-whats-going-benjaminwittess-mentions
Unfortunately a lot of the bot-detection classifiers overindex on certain factors that particular groups think of as activism - rapid, high volume retweeting, for example. Saying the same thing. Bombarding a targeted hashtag or person.
There are still lots of fake accounts on Twitter & FB; company transparency reports are a good place to see the #s companies are taking down. But even so, they don’t generally achieve the kind of impact they used to in 2016; things like weights in trending algos have changed
Lots of high-profile political & media discussion of story suggesting that 1/2 the tweets ab #reopen are bots... Bots began to captivate politicos/ public debate ~2yrs after their effectiveness heyday. Researchers had moved to looking at multiple factors to gauge manipulation. https://twitter.com/noupside/status/1037347612549173249
My first meal in 3mo that I didn’t cook: a McDonalds buttermilk crispy chicken sandwich.
RT @zittrain: A brisk roundup on disinformation that says truth is losing ground; it’s become harder for people casually grazing online to…
 
 
 
 
 
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