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John Oliver Hatches A Genius Plot To Ban Robocalls By Robocalling The FCC | HuffPost
“Unleash Hell!”: The “Last Week Tonight” team created a program to keep dialing all five commissioners with a special message from Oliver.
It’s easier than ever to create programs to make robocalls ― so easy, that John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” team created one in just 15 minutes.
“Everybody is annoyed by robocalls,” the HBO host said. “Hatred of them might be the only thing that everyone in America agrees on now.”
Americans receive nearly 50 billion robocalls a year, and the calls are responsible for 60 percent of all complaints to the Federal Communications Commission. While some of these calls might be useful, such as those that announce school closings, “the vast majority of them vary from the irritating to the outright illegal,” Oliver said.
There’s one agency with the power to curtail the calls and make it easier for Americans to opt out. Yet it hasn’t done it and that’s why Oliver’s special robocall program contains just five phone numbers.
The program will dial the office numbers of all five FCC commissioners and deliver an automated message from Oliver. Best of all, the robocalls will continue, every 90 minutes, until the FCC commissioners are ready to take action.
See Oliver’s explanation of robocalls and why they’re so hard to block, as well as his FCC-dialing program in the clip above.
fcc  gov2.0  politics  troll  robocalls  spam  tv  talk_show 
9 days ago by rgl7194
Robotrolling 2019. Issue 1
This report presents top-level findings from the first research project to systematically track and measure the scale of inauthentic activity on the Russian social network VK.
On VK, a vocal core consisting of loyal news media, pro-Kremlin groups, and bots and trolls dominates the conversation about NATO. The volume of material from this core group is such, that overall genuine users account for only of 14% of the total number of messages about NATO in the Baltic States and Poland.
The spread of demonstrably fake content can offer a starting point for measuring how social media manipulation impacts genuine conversations. In the case of one story about a fictitious Finnish blogger, our algorithm estimates that at least 80% of users who shared the fake story were authentic.
This quarter, messages appeared in more than 2 000 different group pages on VK. Setting aside messages from group pages, 37% of VK posts came from ‘bot’ accounts—software that mimics human behaviour online. This level of activity is comparable to what we have seen on Russian-language Twitter. Unlike on Twitter, where the vast majority of human controlled accounts are operated anonymously, on VK most accounts are likely to be authentic.
Western social media companies have belatedly taken an active role in reducing the reach of the Kremlin’s social media manipulation efforts. However, it remains hard for researchers to evaluate the effectiveness of these measures on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. In this context, VK offers a cautionary view of a network with minimal privacy, regulation, and moderation.
Download the publication here.
russia  social_media  troll  report  bots  fake_news  propaganda  research 
25 days ago by rgl7194
Are Russian trolls saving measles from extinction?
Scientific researchers say Russian social-media trolls who spread discord before the 2016 U.S. presidential election may also have played an unintended role in a developing global health crisis.
They say the trolls may have contributed to the 2018 outbreak of measles in Europe that killed 72 people and infected more than 82,000 — mostly in Eastern and Southeastern European countries known to have been targeted by Russia-based disinformation campaigns.
Experts in the United States and Europe are now working on ways to gauge the impact that Russian troll and bot campaigns have had on the spread of the disease by distributing medical misinformation and raising public doubts about vaccinations.
Studies have already documented how cybercampaigns by the Internet Research Agency — a St. Petersburg “troll farm” that has been accused of meddling in the U.S. 2016 presidential election — artificially bolstered debate on social media about vaccines since 2014 in a way that eroded public trust in vaccinations.
Now, the World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that “vaccination hesitancy” has become one of the top threats to global health.
It notes a 30 percent rise in measles globally and a resurgence of measles in countries that had once been close to eradicating the disease.
russia  troll  disease  vaccine  health  from instapaper
4 weeks ago by rgl7194
Nancy Pelosi Becomes Internet Meme Gold at the State of the Union - Vogue
The State of the Union went along as planned on Tuesday night after a weeklong delay, and, as expected, most viewers reserved any and all positive reviews for Stacey Abrams’s rebuttal and witnessed Trump’s address to be something of the same old strange rehashing of rhetoric typically traced back to Stephens Miller and Bannon. But something else happened on Tuesday, beyond border talk and lack of brio: Nancy Pelosi, clad in suffragist white, greeting the president from her seat behind him as Speaker of the House, became an instant meme. Caught by cameras mid-clap, eyebrows seemingly arched just so, the Speaker managed to convey so much more than the usual rote welcome. Below, some of the Internet’s best reads of the moment, ranging from the Real Housewives-related to, yes, the “Baby Shark” song, and even a final call from Pelosi's daughter, who recognized the clap very well...
congress  gov2.0  pelosi  politics  speech  trump  meme  troll  twitter 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
The exquisite shade of Nancy Pelosi’s applause at the State of the Union - The Washington Post
The lasting visual image from Tuesday night’s State of the Union address was captured by photographer Doug Mills. It featured House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) applauding President Trump in a way that can only be described as . . . withering? Pitying? Lucille Bluth-like in its contemptuousness?
At his lectern, the president mentioned bipartisanship and turned to acknowledge Speaker Pelosi; she rewarded him by cocking her head, arching an eyebrow, and inventing, as comedian Patton Oswalt would put it online, a clap that somehow managed to be a profanity.
Its power was in its restraint. Pelosi was not booing the president. She was acknowledging his words. She was providing him, in the technical sense, with exactly what he was hoping for: approval. But this was a derogatory clap, make no mistake. This was mockery wearing a half-baked costume of politeness.
congress  gov2.0  pelosi  politics  speech  trump  meme  troll 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
The Clap Heard 'Round The World - News & Guts Media
As Donald Trump spoke last night, we have to admit we were drawn to other areas of the TV, namely Nancy Pelosi’s face. Her expressions and body language were like a screen within a screen, two shows at once. And the Speaker’s performance was often far more entertaining, without saying a word.
For as long as we’ve watched State of the Union addresses, the Vice President and Speaker mostly sit like statues behind the president, rising to applaud at the appropriate moments. And while Mike Pence kept his face mostly frozen for more than an hour, Pelosi was reading along with Donald Trump, searching the crowd for reaction and even showing disgust, especially when Trump said the only thing that could slow down the American economy was “foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations.”
congress  gov2.0  pelosi  politics  speech  trump  meme  troll 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
Pelosi turns clapping into a viral art form as she trolls Trump | US news | The Guardian
House speaker’s sarcastic applause for the president without saying a word has become the defining moment from his State of the Union address
Nancy Pelosi is known as a shrewd political tactician and tireless public servant, but after Tuesday night’s State of the Union address she can add world-class mime to her résumé.
Throughout the speech the House speaker managed to undermine Trump without speaking a word, employing subtle eye rolls or apparently ignoring him by reading papers to show her disapproval.
Her pièce de résistance came when Trump, who has repeatedly attacked Democrats in the most unsavory terms and engaged in petty tit-for-tat with Pelosi during last month’s partial government shutdown, called on Washington to “reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good”. She stood up and began applauding Trump with her arms outstretched towards him, in a manner so sarcastic it would probably get her sent off during a soccer game.
It quickly became the meme of the evening, with Twitter users, one of whom described it as a “walrus clap”, reimagining the applause as everything from a feminist smirk to a new way of cursing.
congress  gov2.0  pelosi  politics  speech  trump  meme  troll 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
With some smirks and an eye roll, Nancy Pelosi expresses Democratic opposition to Trump's speech - Los Angeles Times
Tension between President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was on full display Tuesday as he delivered the State of the Union in a Democratic-controlled House for the first time.
Though it was Trump at the lectern, many eyes in the chamber and on screens nationwide were looking over his left shoulder at the San Francisco Democrat, who has become his toughest domestic rival.
And although she mostly smiled politely and respectfully, at times Pelosi seemed to make no effort to hide her displeasure or bemusement.
She applauded Trump as he entered the chamber and spent portions of the speech reading over the typed copy Trump handed to her when he walked in.
congress  gov2.0  pelosi  politics  speech  trump  meme  troll 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
State of the Union: Nancy Pelosi clap at Trump quickly becomes a meme
Nancy Pelosi clapped back. Literally. 
During President Donald Trump's State of the Union address, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stood and clapped at the commander-in-chief with a grin that caught people's attention.
"But we must reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution – and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good," Trump said prior to Pelosi's clap.
Some broadcasts cut to New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Democratic lawmakers staring, without joining their colleagues on both sides standing for a round of applause.
At the front of the House chamber, Pelosi looked at Trump, who turned around, and the viral moment was born.
congress  gov2.0  pelosi  politics  speech  trump  meme  troll 
5 weeks ago by rgl7194
A Brief History of 'What Time Is the Super Bowl?' - The Atlantic
The story behind "the most legendary act of SEO trolling ever"
Perusing the metaphorical tomes of modern civilization, we can already speak to some of the Great Questions—the ones that might define our era. “How do we balance security and liberty?” captivates our public discussions. Scientists struggle to resolve “Is light a wave or a particle?”
Yet one question mesmerizes us above all the rest. It can never truly be solved, we must admit. Our best epistemological hope is to resolve it from year-to-year. It is, of course:
What time is the Super Bowl?
But how did this enigma come to dominate our era? The history—only now becoming visible—is as follows.
On February 5, 2011—Super Bowl Saturday—Craig Kanalley noticed that a set of queries were peaking on Google Trends. They were all along the same lines: “what time is the super bowl 2011,” “superbowl time” and “superbowl kickoff time 2011.”
Kanalley worked at the Huffington Post. His title was Trends and Traffic Editor. In those proto-social days, one of Kanalley’s jobs was to watch Google Trends and identify what people were searching for. He then leveraged that information by writing stories about those topics—stories designed to appear near the top of Google’s search results for those popular queries.
football  superbowl  time  seo  search  troll 
6 weeks ago by rgl7194

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