The Fake News Culprit No One Wants to Identify: You | WIRED
It's actually really clear: How do you reknit society? Society is produced by the social connections that are knit together. The stronger those networks, the stronger the society. We have to make a concerted effort to create social ties, social relationships, social networks in the classic sense that allow for strategic bridges across the polis so that people can see themselves as one. And one of the things we don't account for in our history as a country is that we did a lot of this instinctively. The creation of the US. military was actually a very specific strategic networked part of America's fabric. It allowed you meet people across every line. The way in which we've done higher ed historically has actually created an unbelievable network. Missionary work is another one. Part of what is really collapsing here is that the networks have become too fragmented and too polarized. Technology doesn’t help; it simply magnifies the poles. This is dangerous and cyclical. Polarization leads to distrust and tribalism which leads to more polarization.
5 days ago
Andrew Anglin: The Making of an American Nazi - The Atlantic
“Welcome to the future,” he wrote. “We’re living in a science fiction nightmare.”

Shortly after the divorce proceedings began, Anglin found a new emotional outlet: listening to a right-wing radio host who claimed that 9/11 was an inside job. This was Alex Jones, who would go on to become America’s premier conspiracy theorist. For Anglin, he was an entry point into the “internet truth movement,” an online realm filled with all manner of paranoid delusions. Soon Anglin was pulling classmates aside to warn them about lizard people. After graduation, few of his friends saw or spoke to him again.

Anglin was by then spending a lot of time on 4chan, a website that lets users post images and comments anonymously, and that has drawn droves of socially isolated young people thumbing their noses at political correctness. The channers started memes and organized pranks that would later evolve into troll campaigns such as Gamergate, which targeted women in the gaming community with death threats and other abuse. On one board in particular, users vied to see who could make the most-racist comments, ostensibly as a joke. Over time, the humor receded and the racism stuck. “4chan was more influential on me than anything,” Anglin told me over email last year before he cut off communication.
8 days ago
How Richard Spencer Became an Icon for White Supremacists - The Atlantic
He lasted just one academic year at Colgate before transferring to the University of Virginia, where he majored in music history and English. He developed intellectually after a swift kick in the cortex from Richard Wagner and, ultimately, Friedrich Nietzsche, the 19th-century German philosopher whose skepticism of democracy and egalitarianism later made him beloved by the Nazis. “You could say I was red-pilled by Nietzsche,” Spencer told me. To “red-pill,” in alt-right slang, is to enter a vertiginous spiral of awakening and reassessment. The term comes from The Matrix, in which Keanu Reeves’s character discovers, after swallowing a red pill, that his universe is counterfeit, his fellow humans are enslaved to false dreams, and he himself is destined to free them.
10 days ago
How the New Right Succeeds Where Republicans Fail – The New Right – Medium
at home or work. He recently broke the Susan Rice “unmasking names” story, to the shock of the media. Now alternative media has legitimate sources. He was one of the subjects of a segment on CBS’ 60 Minutes special on “fake news” that failed to diminish his brand. His followers contribute over $10,000 every month to what he calls “high-impact journalism” and he’s talking with investors about expanding Cernovich Media. Bill Mitchell is another figure that has n
10 days ago
Get ready for a wave of Bitcoin forks | Ars Technica
Most of these forks will fail, but a few might succeed

It's hard to tell how many of these projects are serious. Bitcoin Uranium, with a ticker symbol BUM, sounds like it's probably a joke. Others have little more than a post on the Bitcoin Talk page and page on Github.

But with so much potential free money on the table, it's practically guaranteed that we'll see more efforts to fork Bitcoin in the coming months. The Bitcoin Gold team created a currency worth $4.5 billion—and kept $27 million for their own use—with a few months of work.

The Bitcoin Cash approach has a couple of advantages over starting a new cryptocurrency from scratch. The obvious one is that using the Bitcoin name causes people to pay attention.

The more subtle advantage of the Bitcoin Cash approach is that forking the main Bitcoin blockchain instantly creates a big constituency for the new currency. Even before the Bitcoin Cash network launched, customers were bombarding Bitcoin exchanges with questions about whether they would support the new currency. The reason is that the new, forked coins go to whoever actually controls the private keys for bitcoins on the Bitcoin blockchain. If you have your bitcoins deposited with an exchange, then the exchange controls those keys and so only the exchange can unlock the corresponding Bitcoin Cash.

In theory, exchanges could simply pocket the money themselves, but that would cause a huge uproar and cost them a lot of customers. So most exchanges have pledged that if they access the coins, it will only be to turn them over to whoever owned the corresponding bitcoins at the time of the split. For example, Coinbase
11 days ago
YouTube pulls ads on 2 million inappropriate children's videos - The Verge
YouTube has had problems with child-exploitation material being uploaded onto its platform with videos depicting children in abusive situations gaining millions of views. “Over the past week we removed ads from nearly 2 million videos and over 50,000 channels masquerading as family-friendly content,” YouTube said in a statement to Vice. “Content that endangers children is abhorrent and unacceptable to us.”

This comes shortly after YouTube was found to be autofilling search results with pedophiliac terms; for example, when a user searched something like "how to," the autocomplete generator suggested "have s*x kids" and "have s*x with your kids." The results, first reported by BuzzFeed, were also spotted by some users on the site, but have since been removed and were gone when The Verge tested for it in a private browser.

YouTube says the matter is under investigation. "Earlier today our teams were alerted to this awful autocomplete result and we worked to quickly remove it," the company told BuzzFeed News on Sunday. "We are investigating this matter to determine what was behind the appearance of this autocompletion." BuzzFeed does note a source saying that the asterisk in the autocomplete phrase suggests a potential campaign to populate the site with inappropriate search results.
13 days ago
The Automated Public Sphere by Frank Pasquale :: SSRN
The public sphere has experienced yet another structural transformation. Firms like Facebook and Google have largely automated the types of decisions made by managers at television networks, or editors at newspapers — but with much more powerful effects. Long critiqued in academic circles, the manifest inadequacy of this new media landscape is now itself a matter of public debate. The deficiencies of the automated public sphere are so manifest that consumer protection and media regulatory authorities must intervene. As they do so, they should carefully examine how emergent dynamics of communicative capitalism vitiate older societal protections. New methods of monitoring and regulation should be as technologically sophisticated and comprehensive as the automated public sphere they target.

This article first describes the documented, negative effects of online propagandists’ interventions (and platforms’ neglect) in both electoral politics and the broader public sphere (Part I). It then proposes several legal and educational tactics to mitigate platforms’ power, or to encourage or require them to exercise it responsibly (Part II). The penultimate section (Part III) offers a concession to those suspicious of governmental intervention in the public sphere: some regimes are already too authoritarian or unreliable to be trusted with extensive powers of regulation over media (whether old or new media), or intermediaries. However, the inadvisability of extensive media regulation in disordered societies only makes this agenda more urgent in well-ordered societies, lest predictable pathologies of the automated public sphere degrade their processes of democratic will formation.
13 days ago
The Rise of the Alt-Right Movement
Undergraduate thesis (mine for biblio etc)
13 days ago
Recent accounts from researchers, journalists, as well as federal investigators, reached a unanimous
conclusion: social media are systematically exploited to manipulate and alter public opinion. Some
disinformation campaigns have been coordinated by means of bots, social media accounts controlled by
computer scripts that try to disguise themselves as legitimate human users. In this study, we describe one
such operation occurred in the run up to the 2017 French presidential election. We collected a massive
Twitter dataset of nearly 17 million posts occurred between April 27 and May 7, 2017 (Election Day). We
then set to study the MacronLeaks disinformation campaign: By leveraging a mix of machine learning and
cognitive behavioral modeling techniques, we separated humans from bots, and then studied the activities
of the two groups taken independently, as well as their interplay. We provide a characterization of both the
bots and the users who engaged with them, and oppose it to those users who didn't. Prior interests of
disinformation adopters pinpoint to the reasons of scarce success of this campaign: the users who engaged
with MacronLeaks are mostly foreigners with preexisting interest in alt-right topics and alternative news
media, rather than French users with diverse political views. Concluding, anomalous account usage patterns
suggest the possible existence of a black-market for reusable political disinformation bots.
PDKL-Ninety-five  Info_with_Abe 
13 days ago
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