- Engagement on Facebook posts from misleading websites has spiked by 242 percent from 3Q of 2016 to 3Q of 2020, according to a new report from German Marshall Fund Digital.
- Only 10 outlets, which researchers labeled as “False Content Producers” or “Manipulators,” were responsible for 62% of interactions.
- Facebook in the past has been slammed by civil rights leaders for inadequately handling the spread of misinformation on its platform.
- Facebook’s attempts to moderate misinformation on the platform come into focus ahead of the US presidential election.
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Engagement from misleading websites on Facebook has tripled since the 2016 US presidential election.
The total number of user interactions with articles from “deceptive outlets” has increased by 242% between the third quarter of 2016 and the third quarter of 2020, according to a study published Monday by the German Marshall Fund Digital, the digital wing of the Washington, DC-based public policy think tank.
Only 10 outlets — out of thousands — received 62% of those interactions, GMF Digital found. The researchers categorized outlets as either “False Content Producers” for sites, including The Federalist, that provide information that’s false, and “Manipulators” for sites, like Breitbart, that present claims that aren’t backed by evidence.
The study concluded that since the third quarter of 2016, the number of articles from False Content Producers jumped by 102 percent and the number of articles from Manipulators increased by 293 percent.
“Disinformation is infecting our democratic discourse at rates that threaten the long-term health of our democracy,” Karen Kornbluh, director of GMF Digital, said in a press release. “A handful of sites masquerading as news outlets are spreading even more outright false and manipulative information than in the period around the 2016 election.”
Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that
(Reuters) – Facebook Inc and Twitter took action on posts from U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday for violating their rules against coronavirus misinformation by suggesting that COVID-19 was just like the flu.
Facebook took the post down but not before it was shared about 26,000 times, data from the company’s metric tool CrowdTangle showed.
“We remove incorrect information about the severity of COVID-19,” a company spokesman told Reuters.
The world’s largest social media company, which exempts politicians from its third-party fact-checking program, has rarely taken action against posts from the Republican U.S. president.
Twitter disabled retweets on a similar tweet from Trump on Tuesday and added a warning label that said it broke its rules on “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19” but that it might be in the public interest for it to remain accessible.
During the 2019-2020 influenza season, the flu was associated with 22,000 deaths in the United States, according to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (bit.ly/30ByG1m)
Since the first case of the novel coronavirus was recorded in the United States at the beginning of this year, more than 210,000 people in the country have died of the disease caused by the virus, the world’s highest death toll.
On Monday, Trump told Americans “to get out there” and not fear COVID-19 as he returned to the White House after a three-night stay in a military hospital outside Washington where he was treated for COVID-19.
“Silicon Valley and the mainstream media have consistently
Instagram said Tuesday that it will automatically hide negative comments in posts, one of several new steps the Facebook-owned social media platform is taking to reduce bullying and harassment.
Instagram has been testing the feature in recent days and said it will target comments that users have reported as inappropriate in the past. Users must now click the ‘View Hidden Comments’ button to unveil a negative comment that has been covered.
Instagram has also tweaked its comment warning feature. After a user writes a potentially offensive comment, but before the comment is posted, a pop-up message will now appear that reads: “This may go against our guidelines.” The pop-up message notifies users that if they post a negative comment, it will likely be hidden and that Instagram may investigate whether to delete the user’s account.
“These new warnings let people take a moment to step back and reflect on their words and lay out the potential consequences should they proceed,” Instagram said in its announcement. “Since launching comment warning, we saw that reminding people of the consequences of bullying on Instagram and providing real-time feedback as they are writing the comment is the most effective way to shift behavior.”
Instagram didn’t offer specifics on what kind of language or comments would be hidden. The platform automatically deletes posts and comments that are pornographic, praise organized crime or threaten physical harm.
Twitter’s policy is to remove posts that “wish or hope for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against anyone.”
As Instagram hopes to minimize inappropriate comments, Facebook has
Instagram has begun rolling out new “state-controlled media” labels—here are the ones for Kremlin outlets aimed at younger Americans: pic.twitter.com/vyUySA1zbW
— Casey Michel 🇰🇿 (@cjcmichel) October 5, 2020
“Instagram defines ‘state-controlled media’ as media outlets that Instagram believes may be partially or wholly under the editorial control of their government, based on our own research and assessment against a set of criteria developed for this purpose,” the company says on the page. “We hold these accounts to a higher standard of transparency because we believe they combine the influence of a media organization with the backing of a state.”
Facebook says it plans to add the labels to Instagram ads “in the months to come.” When the company detailed the policy in June, it said it had consulted with 65 experts to create an internal criteria for deciding when the “state-controlled” label is appropriate. As you can see from the screenshots, some of those publications have updated their profiles to dispute the labels. They have the option to appeal them in an official capacity.
Instagram is rolling the labels out mere weeks before the 2020 presidential election on November 3rd. In the lead up to the election, Facebook has consistently faced criticism for its mostly hands-off approach to misinformation on its platforms. At the end of September, Jen O’Malley Dillon, Joe Biden’s campaign manager, called the company “the nation’s foremost propagator of disinformation.”
January Jones has become something of an accidental influencer in recent months as the Mad Men star’s chaotic Instagram has fans intrigued.
One of the actress’ latest post has raised a few eyebrows—in the best possible way.
Jones, 42, joked about taking a bath in beer and linking it to Cleopatra bathing in sperm.
A fan tweeted stills from the story from September 29with the caption: “January is self care posting again and just poured beer in her bath because she read that Cleopatra used to bathe in sperm (?) and it ‘can’t be that different depending on who you’ve dated.'”
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They added: “This is by far one of the greatest videos she’s ever posted but the yeast implications are terrifying me.”
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The tweet has since gone semi-viral garnering more than 11,000 likes at the time of reporting.
One fan commented: “January Jones is chaotic and honestly I’m here for it.”
While another Twitter user added: “I am obsessed with this specific brand of weird white woman.”
In the post, Jones gave a glimpse into her quarantine lifestyle where she laid down on the floor of her closet because “Mares is in retrograde or something.”
“Welcome to the floor of my closet. This is where I go when I’m feeling down, and right now Mars is in retrograde or something and everything in my house is falling apart,” she explained.
“So I wanted to lay here and look at pretty shoes and bags and things. Come up with outfit