Experimentally Reducing Partisan Incivility on Twitter
Cross-partisan incivility is a pressing concern in American politics, especially
online. When partisans communicate incivilly, they are less likely to learn from
each other and more likely to distrust each other. This paper analyzes the way
that people learn about norms of political behavior online. I conduct an experiment
that tests how different forms of moral suasion—appeals to morality
intended to influence behavior—affect how Democrats and Republicans learn
about norms of partisan speech. Using bots that shared the political identity
of the subjects, I sent messages that appealed to the moral principle theorized to
be most convincing to either liberals (“care”) or to conservatives (“authority”).
Using a sample of subjects who had been frequently incivil in political discussions
on Twitter during the 2016 US presidential election, I found that both forms of
moral suasion were equally effective at dissuading both Democrats and Republicans
from online incivility. These effects were significantly moderated by the
anonymity of the subjects, especially among Republicans: subjects who elected
to have an anonymous profile were much less likely to change their behavior. On
some subsamples, the reduction in incivility persisted for up to a month after
3 hours ago
Enigma 2019 Call for Participation | USENIX
Enigma centers on a single track of engaging talks covering a wide range of topics in security and privacy. Our goal is to clearly explain emerging threats and defenses in the growing intersection of society and technology, and to foster an intelligent and informed conversation within the community and the world. We view diversity as a key enabler for this goal and actively work to ensure that the Enigma community encourages and welcomes participation from all employment sectors, racial and ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, and genders.

Enigma is committed to fostering an open, collaborative, and respectful environment. Enigma and USENIX are also dedicated to open science and open conversations, and will make all talk media freely available on the USENIX website.

Call for Speakers
We solicit proposals for original talks. All talks will
3 days ago
The U.S. and Germany are rebuilding a spy partnership - The Washington Post
The NSA’s relationship with Germany dates back to a 1962 pact with the Bundesnachrichtendienst , or BND, as Germany calls its federal intelligence service. According to a Jan. 17, 2013, NSA document summarizing the relationship: “In the past year, Germany displayed both eagerness and self-sufficiency in transforming its SIGINT activities and assumed greater risk in support of U.S. intelligence needs and efforts to improve information sharing within the German government, with coalition partners, and NSA.”

Perhaps most striking, given German public rage at U.S. snooping, the NSA summary credited its German partner for helping to reduce privacy obstacles: “The BND has been working to influence the German government to relax interpretation of the privacy laws over the long term to provide greater opportunity for intelligence sharing.”
7 days ago
U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology
The importance of Internet freedom to the United States was declared in 2006. During an
explanation of that year’s State Department 2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices,
then-Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula J. Dobriansky explained
that the 2006 reports included new, additional focus on “the extent to which internet access is
available to and used by citizens in each country and ... whether governments inappropriately
limit or block access to the internet or censor websites.”52 This was added as an area of concern
because the internet is playing a growing role in people’s ability to freely express themselves and
in the free flow of information. In discussing this new area of focus, then-Under Secretary
Dobriansky said,
We will continue to defend internet freedom, including by addressing internet repression
directly with the foreign governments involved and seeking to persuade foreign officials that

45 Nokia Siemens Networks, “Provision of Lawful Intercept Capability in Iran,” June 22, 2009,
46 Eli Lake, “Fed Contractor, Cell Phone Maker Sold Spy System to Iran,” Washington Times, April 13, 2009.
47 Prepared by Gina Stevens, Legislative Attorney, 7-2581.
48 Deep Packet Inspection (“DPI”) is a computer network packet filtering technique that involves the inspection of the
contents of data packets as they are transmitted across the network.
49 Many foreign countries have privacy laws that may be applicable to Internet Service Providers, websites, etc. See
Morrison & Foerster’s Privacy Library for the text of privacy laws in other countries, in the U.S., and for multinational
organizations, http://www.mofoprivacy.com/default.aspx?tabNum=2.
50 See Andrew Noyes, “Chinese Demands for Web Filtering Software Cause a Stir,” CongressDailyAM, June 25, 2009;
Tim Wu, “The World Trade Law of Censorship and Internet Filtering,” Chi. J. Int’l L., vol. 7 (2006-07). 51 Prepared by Kennon H. Nakamura, Analyst in Foreign Affairs, 7-9514.
52 Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky, AOn-The-Record Briefing on the State
Department=s 2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices,@ Washington, March 6, 2007, http://www.state.gov/g/
U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology
Congressional Research Service 12
restricting internet freedom is contrary to their own interests and that of their countries. The
new information in this year’s reports will make an important contribution.53
At this same time, then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also established the Global Internet
Freedom Task Force (GIFT) in order to provide a U.S. foreign policy response to violations of
Internet freedom by repressive regimes around the world.54
7 days ago
Vice Media Was Built on a Bluff
Background on Gavin McInnes


Brad Fredricks, the company’s director of marketing from 2007 to 2008, said that he was given a mandate to boost traffic and did so by purchasing ads on torrent sites and other high-traffic corners of the web, often featuring “photos of some hot chick with big boobs bouncing up and down.” Fredricks says the strategy boosted Vice’s traffic from a few hundred thousand visitors per month to several million, while obfuscating who the audience actually was. “Advertisers are assuming these are the tastemakers, not some horny guy who clicked on a dark-web link,” Fredricks says.

In 2016, Variety reported that more than half of the traffic Vice claimed as its own on Comscore came from “the digital equivalent of mortgage-backed securities”: The company had struck deals with a number of spam-y websites like OMGFacts and Distractify — along with The Awl and Modern Farmer — that allowed Vice to count their traffic as its own in exchange for selling ads on their behalf. Vice no longer works with OMGFacts or Distractify, but more than half of Vice Media’s traffic on Comscore today comes from a similar arrangement with ranker.com, a site that publishes lists like “The Best Websites to Waste Your Time On,” on which ranker.com was ranked No. 2
7 days ago
Excellent summary of actual state of corporate power in US
8 days ago
Bias in Cable News: Persuasion and Polarization
Bias in Cable News: Persuasion and Polarization†
By Gregory J. Martin and Ali Yurukoglu*
We measure the persuasive effects of slanted news and tastes for
like-minded news, exploiting cable channel positions as exogenous
shifters of cable news viewership. Channel positions do not correlate
with demographics that predict viewership and voting, nor with local
satellite viewership. We estimate that Fox News increases Republican
vote shares by 0.3 points among viewers induced into watching
2.5 additional minutes per week by variation in position. We then
estimate a model of voters who select into watching slanted news,
and whose ideologies evolve as a result. We use the model to assess
the growth over time of Fox News influence, to quantitatively assess
media-driven polarization, and to simulate alternative ideological
slanting of news channels. (JEL D72, L82)
12 days ago
U.S. officials on roadshow to cut Iran investment, trade - sources | Reuters
One EU official said the United States had also pressed the European Investment Bank, which has never done business in Iran, not to invest in European firms doing business there, despite a European Commission proposal it start doing so.
12 days ago
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