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Opinion | Rules Won’t Save Twitter. Values Will. - The New York Times
The platform won’t ban the dangerous liar Alex Jones because he “hasn’t violated our rules.” Then what’s the point of these rules?
This week, Alex Jones, the persistently mendacious conspiracy-theory spouter — yeah, that’s a real job in 2018 — finally became the ultimate swipe left of the social media age.
Apple, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Spotify and most other major internet distributors banished Mr. Jones, either permanently or for some unspecified star-chamber-determined amount of time, for hate speech and other violations.
But not Twitter. Instead, Jack Dorsey, the chief executive, founder and tweet inventor himself, took to his own platform to explain in the high-minded tone that one takes with small children that Mr. Jones wasn’t suspended from Twitter because he “hasn’t violated our rules.”
politics  twitter  nytimes  op-ed  propaganda  fake_news  alt_facts  racism  hate  curation 
8 days ago by rgl7194
Jack Dorsey's Dangerous Defense of Alex Jones - The Atlantic
8/8/18 - ... I do not envy publishers like Dorsey and Zuckerberg. The scale of the problem they face—and that we all face as a result—is mind-boggling. In journalism, reporters who lie are fired. But no newsroom has a structure like Facebook, with 2 billion individuals publishing stories and no real editors. On a platform where users can publish freely, and provocations and misinformation are incentivized by the very architecture of the platform, what’s a publisher to do? Perhaps a better question is: What is the publisher’s moral or ethical responsibility?
Twitter  Free_speech  Fake_News  Social_Media 
11 days ago by mcbakewl
YouTube bans Alex Jones, following Facebook and Apple’s lead | Ars Technica
YouTube cites policies against hate speech and harassment.
Conspiracy theorist and online troll Alex Jones got more bad news on Monday as YouTube banned Jones' channel on the platform.
"This account has been terminated for violating YouTube's Community Guidelines," a notice on Jones's YouTube channel states.
The decision comes hours after Apple and Facebook made similar moves. Early on Monday, Apple removed five of the six podcasts from Infowars, Alex Jones's site, from its popular podcast directory. Facebook followed suit, taking down four of Jones's most popular pages and effectively banning him from the site.
apple  facebook  youtube  spotify  alt-right  propaganda  fake_news  politics 
12 days ago by rgl7194
Alex Jones hit with bans from Facebook and Apple | Ars Technica
Jones can appeal to have his banned pages republished to Facebook.
After more than a week of controversy and pressure, Facebook removed four pages run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from its platform. According to a blog post published Monday morning, Facebook removed the Alex Jones Channel, Alex Jones, InfoWars, and Infowars Nightly News pages for "repeatedly posting content over the past several days" that violates the company's Community Standards.
"Since then, more content from the same Pages has been reported to us," the blog post states. "Upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies."
apple  facebook  youtube  spotify  alt-right  propaganda  fake_news  politics 
12 days ago by rgl7194
Alex Jones’ InfoWars Podcast Removed from Apple and Spotify | Consequence of Sound
The far-right conspiracy theorist has also been barred from Facebook and YouTube
The entirety of Alex Jones’ podcast library, including his popular InfoWars program, has been removed from both Apple’s iTunes and Spotify, according to BuzzFeed News. Update: Jones’ YouTube channel has also been terminated for violating “community guidelines.”
The InfoWars founder is infamous for peddling far-right conspiracy theories, including his promotion of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting as being a false flag attack perpetrated by the government. He is also a proponent of the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory, claims Stoneman Douglas survivor David Hogg is a crisis actor, and says NFL players protesting during the National Anthem are “kneeling to white genocide” and violence against whites.
apple  facebook  youtube  spotify  alt-right  propaganda  fake_news  politics 
12 days ago by rgl7194
Apple Kicked Alex Jones Off Its Platform, Then YouTube And Facebook Rushed To Do The Same
The removals are one of the largest crackdowns on conspiratorial news content by technology companies to date.
Some of the world's largest social media and tech companies kicked Alex Jones and his conspiracy-theory driven show, InfoWars, off their platforms on Monday after months of hand-wringing about how to handle a personality who claimed he was delivering news but didn't deal in facts.
Apple moved first, striking the entire library for five of Infowars' six podcasts from its iTunes and Podcasts apps. Among the podcasts, which were removed from Apple's iTunes directory, are the show War Room and the popular Alex Jones Show podcast, which is hosted daily by the prominent conspiracy theorist.
After that, platforms that have come under far more scrutiny for hosting Jones and his content — Facebook and YouTube — quickly followed suit after long and tortured deliberations. Spotify also did the same.
apple  facebook  youtube  spotify  alt-right  propaganda  fake_news  politics 
12 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Apple Removed Infowars From iTunes Podcast Directory, Then YouTube and Facebook Followed Suit
John Paczkowski, reporting for BuzzFeed...
I’m curious if these companies did this in cooperation, or if Apple acted alone and Facebook and YouTube followed in their wake. It sounds like this was Apple acting on its own and YouTube and Facebook followed their lead.
UPDATE: Also curious: Apple only removed Infowars from their podcast directory — the Infowars app remains in the App Store. Different standards? Seems hard to justify de-listing the podcasts for “hate speech” but leaving the app in place when it contains the same content.
apple  facebook  youtube  spotify  alt-right  propaganda  fake_news  politics  daring_fireball 
12 days ago by rgl7194
Apple, Facebook, YouTube, and Spotify all ban Alex Jones’s Infowars - Vox
Apple’s Infowars ban altered an industry overnight — and dealt a significant blow to fake news.
Within the past 24 hours, Apple, Facebook, and YouTube have all joined in summarily banning far-right broadcaster and known conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars network from their platforms.
The bans have been swift and startling, coming after mounting public backlash against Infowars’ pernicious rhetoric, which is most notorious for helping popularize the false belief that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting never happened. Jones is currently the defendant in a precedent-setting lawsuit brought against him by the parents of a Sandy Hook victim.
apple  facebook  youtube  spotify  alt-right  propaganda  fake_news  politics 
12 days ago by rgl7194
How Trolls Control an Internet Forum - WhoWhatWhy
What to Watch Out For
You have probably met these people online. Photo credit: Tristan Schmurr / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Disinformation is alive and well. Despite all the inconvenient truth in circulation, the trolls are keeping up with it. If you want to know how they do it, read on — and immunize yourself against this deception and, worse yet, intimidation.
We originally published this three-part series in 2016, but the subject never grows old, as is evidenced by the “troll factory” Russia allegedly employed to influence the US presidential election. Expect more of the same this year with control of Congress hanging in the balance.
internet  forum  troll  propaganda  russia  fake_news 
12 days ago by rgl7194
Yuval Noah Harari extract: ‘Humans have always lived in the age of post-truth. We’re a post-truth species’ | Culture | The Guardian
Wowwww. "A cursory look at history reveals that propaganda and disinformation are nothing new, and even the habit of denying entire nations and creating fake countries has a long pedigree. In 1931 the Japanese army staged mock attacks on itself to justify its invasion of China, and then created the fake country of Manchukuo to legitimise its conquests. China itself has long denied that Tibet ever existed as an independent country. British settlement in Australia was justified by the legal doctrine of terra nullius (“nobody’s land”), which effectively erased 50,000 years of Aboriginal history. In the early 20th century, a favourite Zionist slogan spoke of the return of “a people without a land [the Jews] to a land without a people [Palestine]”. The existence of the local Arab population was conveniently ignored."
news  religion  fake_news  sociology  history  how_we_learn  how_we_live  culture  politics  government  propaganda 
13 days ago by alexpriest
Disinformation and ‘fake news’: Interim Report
By authority of the House of Commons of UK Parliament
Fifth Report of Session 2017–19
Report, together with formal minutes relating
to the report
Ordered by the House of Commons
to be printed 24 July 2018
Read the whole report here.
There are many potential threats to our democracy and our values. One such threat arises from what has been coined ‘fake news’, created for profit or other gain, disseminated through state-sponsored programmes, or spread through the deliberate distortion of facts, by groups with a particular agenda, including the desire to affect political elections.
Such has been the impact of this agenda, the focus of our inquiry moved from understanding the phenomenon of ‘fake news’, distributed largely through social media, to issues concerning the very future of democracy. Arguably, more invasive than obviously false information is the relentless targeting of hyper-partisan views, which play to the fears and prejudices of people, in order to influence their voting plans and their behaviour. We are faced with a crisis concerning the use of data, the manipulation of our data, and the targeting of pernicious views. In particular, we heard evidence of Russian state-sponsored attempts to influence elections in the US and the UK through social media, of the efforts of private companies to do the same, and of law-breaking by certain Leave campaign groups in the UK’s EU Referendum in their use of social media.
In this rapidly changing digital world, our existing legal framework is no longer fit for purpose. This is very much an interim Report, following an extensive inquiry. A further, substantive Report will follow in the autumn of 2018. We have highlighted significant concerns, following recent revelations regarding, in particular, political manipulation and set we out areas where urgent action needs to be taken by the Government and other regulatory agencies to build resilience against misinformation and disinformation into our democratic system. Our democracy is at risk, and now is the time to act, to protect our shared values and the integrity of our democratic institutions.
uk  gov2.0  report  fake_news  propaganda  russia 
14 days ago by rgl7194
Figure of the Week: $400 Million
Last week, a series of articles was published in the U.S. media relating to a $400-million donation allegedly made by U.S.-born financier Bill Browder to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election campaign.
The figure was quoted by  Russian President Vladimir Putin himself at a news conference on 16 July following his meeting with Donald Trump in Helsinki. He claimed that Browder’s hedge fund stole the money from Russia through tax evasion.
The Kremlin had “solid reason” to believe U.S. intelligence officers had “guided these transactions,” according to the Russian President, and he offered U.S. investigators to question 12 Russian intelligence officers charged with hacking Democratic computer networks during the U.S. election in exchange for Washington handing Browder over to Russian investigators.
The story appeared in leading U.S. publications including The New York Times, The Atlantic, Timemagazine, and Newsweek, which all quoted Browder as rejecting the claim and insisting he had never made any political donation to Hillary Clinton or any other political candidate.
The New York Times reporter Kenneth P. Vogel said on Twitter that his newspaper had investigated the $400-million allegation and found it “completely without evidence.”
We tried to fact-check PUTIN’s claim that @BillBrowder‘s associates donated $400M in un-taxed Russian $ to @HillaryClinton‘s campaign, but it was so completely without evidence that there were no pants to light on fire, so I hereby deem it “WITHOUT PANTS.” https://t.co/js3XprGK1T
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) July 16, 2018
russia  propaganda  fake_news  election  hillary  gov2.0  twitter  factcheck 
18 days ago by rgl7194
Three Variations on Trump: Chaos, Europe, and Fake News - The Philosophical Salon
We can now see what those who bemoan the “death of truth” really deplore: the disintegration of one big Story more or less accepted by the majority, a story, which used to bring ideological stability to a society. The secret of those who curse “historicist relativism” is that they miss the safe situation where one big Truth (even if it was a big Lie) provided basic “cognitive mapping” to all. In short, it is those who deplore the “death of truth” that are the true and most radical agents of this death: their motto is the one attributed to Goethe, “besser Unrecht als Unordnung,” better injustice than disorder, better one big Lie than the reality of a mixture of lies and truths. One thing is clear: there is no return to the old ideological hegemony. The only way to return to Truth is to reconstruct it from a new cognitive interest in universal emancipation.
zizek  politics  fake_news  international 
19 days ago by jstenner
Fake News and Fake Solutions: How Do We Build a Civics of Trust?
We need to start serious conversations about systemic social challenges, rather than tinkering with their effects
In his recent manifesto, Mark Zuckerberg asserts that the response to our dysfunctional and conflict-ridden politics is to build a stronger global community based on ubiquitous interconnection. We know of course that Facebook stands to profit from this utopian vision, and we should be skeptical of the motives underlying Zuck’s position. But it’s worth taking a second look at the idea of working on underlying economic and political issues in our societies, rather than focusing on the effects of online expression — particularly in the context of the moral panic over “fake news.”
The consternation about fake news from Western journalists, scholars of propaganda, and policymakers has inspired waves of stories and talk-shopsaddressing its growth as a threat to our public discourse, our journalism, and our systems of governance. And we see many attempts to understand, fix, or apportion blame. Yet many of the proposed fixes are deeply problematic because they advocate overly broad and vague restrictions on expression. Solutions that would limit suspected “fake” expression or strongly encourage private intermediaries to restrict some kinds of speech and prioritize or “whitelist” others are particularly troubling.
This week, Germany was the latest country to introduce a plan that would force social media companies to monitor and censor some kinds of online expression. Justice minister Heiko Maas wants to put regulatory pressure on social media companies, and especially Facebook and Twitter, to police expression, asserting that they have failed to do so voluntarily. Draft legislation proposes to fine social media companies up to €50 million for failure to quickly delete hate speech, fake news, and other types of misleading speech.
In this context, we can look to countries that have created regulatory regimes to control online expression — such as China — not as entirely “other”, but perhaps as cautionary examples. When posing solutions to fix fake news, we should be extremely careful not to build our own self-censorship machines.
fake_news  politics  social_media  gov2.0  news 
21 days ago by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Kara Swisher Interviews Mark Zuckerberg
From a 90-minute podcast interview:
ZUCKERBERG: Let me give you an example of where we would take it down. In Myanmar or Sri Lanka, where there’s a history of sectarian violence, similar to the tradition in the U.S. where you can’t go into a movie theater and yell “Fire!” because that creates an imminent harm.
The principles that we have on what we remove from the service are: If it’s going to result in real harm, real physical harm, or if you’re attacking individuals, then that content shouldn’t be on the platform. There’s a lot of categories of that that we can get into, but then there’s broad debate.
SWISHER: Okay. “Sandy Hook didn’t happen” is not a debate. It is false. You can’t just take that down?
ZUCKERBERG: I agree that it is false.
facebook  propaganda  politics  daring_fireball  fake_news  censorship  interview 
21 days ago by rgl7194

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