Facebook had a design to flag Trump’s hate speech . . . in 2016

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So where the heck is it now? It seems like a lifetime ago. But after Donald Trump won the 2016 election, much of the social media industry seemed to be having an awakening about the role it played in misinformation. From its easy sharing buttons to its suggestive algorithms, Facebook, in particular, enabled the spread of Russian propaganda that helped get Trump elected . Read Full Story

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Study: Facebook’s fake news labels have a fatal flaw

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This isn’t good. In 2016, after coordinated propaganda on Facebook helped Trump win the election, the social media giant introduced a program for independent fact-checkers to flag fake news as “disputed.” In theory, this was a good thing. While Facebook still wasn’t running every story through a fact-check, deleting false information from its service, or banning unreliable blogs and media outlets from sharing stories on Facebook, it was using the flags to make people think twice before believing a headline or sharing false information. At least Facebook did something . Read Full Story

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Report: Trump Facebook campaign tried to deter Black voters in 2016 suppression effort

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Trump’s data science team profiled mainly Black and minority voters and used the detailed data to target them with ads to convince them not to vote. The election victory of political novice Donald Trump in 2016 resulted from a confluence of factors, including Russian disinformation, nationalist political winds, anger at “establishment” politicians, low voter turnout, and the rise of social media as a primary source of news and political messaging. One of the main ingredients in the Trump campaign’s (and the Russian GRU’s) recipe for winning was using social media—primarily Facebook—to convince people not to vote at all. Read Full Story

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Facebook weighs banning political ads before the 2020 election

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As hundreds of advertisers boycott the the social media monolith over its divisive content, a political blackout may be coming in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election. Political ads on Facebook have long proven a lightning rod for controversy. They’re all too easy to pack with misinformation , while removing misleading ads is its own separate ordeal. Experts such as professor and digital rights advocate David Carroll have long suggested banning microtargeted political ads from Facebook, following the Cambridge Analytica fiasco from the 2016 election . Read Full Story

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Dominion Voting Systems seems awful close to suing the Trump campaign for defamation

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The practically unknown Denver company was harmed after being thrust into the middle of a wild vote-switching conspiracy cooked up to explain Trump’s loss. For weeks Dominion Voting Systems has stood by as attorneys Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and other Trump proxies cast it as the center of a wild conspiracy theory : that its software was used to switch votes from Trump to Biden on election night. The baseless theory, which probably emerged from QAnon circles , was used as one of the primary narratives to allege voter fraud and explain Trump’s loss. Read Full Story

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The pro-Trump ‘Stop the Steal’ movement is still growing on Facebook

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The social network is again being weaponized—not by Russians, but by domestic groups calling on cizitens to obstruct vote counting. Facebook says it’s taking “exceptional measures” to control the influence of pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” groups on its platform, but so far the results appear to be mixed. The groups represent a growing right-wing movement on social media to stop the vote count in the presidential election. Read Full Story

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The border wall is destroying ecosystems. Biden can fix it

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The miles of wall built by the Trump administration have interrupted animal migration paths and caused enormous ecological damage. Even if Biden won’t remove it, he can take actions to mitigate the problem. While Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign focused heavily on his “build the wall” slogan, the story of the Trump administration’s actual wall is one of billions in government spending, fraudulent fundraising campaigns, and failed promises (no payment from Mexico has come yet). But hundreds of miles of wall were successfully built, so its most lasting legacy might be the ecological destruction it has wrought. Even if President-elect Joe Biden doesn’t remove the wall entirely, environmentalists hope he will take steps to mitigate its damage. Read Full Story

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