2H 2016 Quick Links, Part 8 (Fake News, Terrorist Content, Censorship & More)

Fake News/The Presidential Election

* NY Times: Facebook Is Said to Question Its Influence in Election

* Slate: The Real Problem Behind the Fake News

* Vox: Facebook exec: “We resisted having standards” on fake news. “That was wrong.”

* NY Times: How Fake News Goes Viral: A Case Study

* NY Times: Fake News Onslaught Targets Pizzeria as Nest of Child-Trafficking

* USA Today: Twitter suspends alt-right accounts

* Search Engine Land: Google studying ways to deal with offensive search suggestions & results. Followup: Official: Google makes change, results are no longer in denial over ‘Did the Holocaust happen?’

* Reuters: Google, Facebook move to restrict ads on fake news sites

* Digiday: ‘The underbelly of the internet’: How content ad networks fund fake news

* Ad Age: Catching Their Ad Tech in Bed With Fake News, Marketers Ask Fraud Fighters for Help

* BuzzFeed: How Macedonia Became A Global Hub For Pro-Trump Misinformation

* Los Angeles Times: Inside a Long Beach Web operation that makes up stories about Trump and Clinton: What they do for clicks and cash

* Washington Post: Facebook fake-news writer: ‘I think Donald Trump is in the White House because of me’

* NPR: We Tracked Down A Fake-News Creator In The Suburbs. Here’s What We Learned

* Wired: Here’s How Facebook Actually Won Trump the Presidency

Coby’s team took full advantage of the ability to perform massive tests with its ads. On any given day, Coby says, the campaign was running 40,000 to 50,000 variants of its ads, testing how they performed in different formats, with subtitles and without, and static versus video, among other small differences. On the day of the third presidential debate in October, the team ran 175,000 variations. Coby calls this approach “A/B testing on steroids.” The more variations the team was able to produce, Coby says, the higher the likelihood that its ads would actually be served to Facebook users.

* Vox: Trump understands what many miss: people don’t make decisions based on facts

* NY Times: Automated Pro-Trump Bots Overwhelmed Pro-Clinton Messages, Researchers Say

* WSJ: Blue Feed, Red Feed. “See Liberal Facebook and Conservative Facebook, Side by Side”

* NY Times: The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.

* Washington Post: I was a victim of a Russian smear campaign. I understand the power of fake news.

War on Terrorist Content Online

* Congressional Research Service: The Advocacy of Terrorism on the Internet: Freedom of Speech Issues and the Material Support Statutes

* Wired: Google’s Clever Plan to Stop Aspiring ISIS Recruits. Fighting terrorists is good, but imagine if Google were to deploy a similar technique for any other political objective. Do we really want private entities implementing these kinds of deliberate “reeducation” at the government’s insistence?

* AP: “The Islamic State group’s Twitter traffic has plunged 45 percent in the past two years, the Obama administration says, as the U.S. and its allies have countered messages of jihadi glorification with a flood of online images and statements about suffering and enslavement at the hands of the extremist organization.” Counterspeech FTW!

* Twitter has shut down 360,000 accounts in a year for “promotion of terrorism.”

* Reuters: “Facebook, Google and YouTube are complying with up to 95 percent of Israeli requests to delete content that the government says incites Palestinian violence”

* NY Times: In the Age of ISIS, Who’s a Terrorist, and Who’s Simply Deranged? “The age of the Islamic State, in which the tools of terrorism appear increasingly crude and haphazard, has led to a reimagining of the common notion of who is and who is not a terrorist.” This is directly relevant to the lawsuits against social media for providing “material support to known terrorist organizations.” It’s also relevant to any belief that a list of known terrorists will be objective or reliable.

* Reuters: “Web giants YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft will step up efforts to remove extremist content from their websites by creating a common database. The companies will share ‘hashes’ – unique digital fingerprints they automatically assign to videos or photos – of extremist content they have removed from their websites to enable their peers to identify the same content on their platforms.”

Vice: Terror Scanning Database For Social Media Raises More Questions than Answers

Censorship (Not China)

* The Wire: Governments Shut Down the Internet More Than 50 Times in 2016

* Meduza: This is how Russian Internet censorship works

* Reuters: Russia starts blocking LinkedIn website after court ruling. Related from NY Times: Russia Requires Apple and Google to Remove LinkedIn From Local App Stores

* Reuters: “Britain’s GCHQ looks at creating nationwide internet firewall” Helpful infrastructure for future censorship

* Reuters: Facebook reinstates Vietnam photo after outcry over censorship. Norway does understand the parallels between Facebook “editing history” and the right to be forgotten being used to ERASE history, right?

Censorship (China)

* Bloomberg: China Bans Internet News Reporting as Media Crackdown Widens

* Reuters: China says terrorism, fake news impel greater global internet curbs

* Reuters: Draft law gives Chinese police control of online discussion on disasters

* NY Times: Facebook Said to Create Censorship Tool to Get Back Into China

* Reuters: China takes action on thousands of websites for ‘harmful’, obscene content

* China has made obedience to the State a game. HORRIFYING.

* Reuters: “Apple Inc has removed the New York Times Co’s news apps from its app store in China, following a request from the Chinese authorities.”


* Glenn Greenwald: WashPost Makes History: First Paper to Call for Prosecution of Its Own Source (After Accepting Pulitzer)

* Buzzfeed: Here’s Where Donald Trump Gets His News. “The news stories Trump tweets share several characteristics: 1) They often favor sensationalism over facts and reporting; 2) They frequently echo direct quotes from Trump himself or his closest advisers; and 3) They routinely malign his enemies and vindicate his most controversial opinions.”

* NY Times Magazine: Billionaires vs. the Press in the Era of Trump

* EFF: Trump on Free Speech and Freedom of the Press

* Politico: Kushner: We struck deal with Sinclair for straighter coverage

* Eriq Gardner: Hollywood’s Top 10 Nearly Incredible Lawsuits from 2016

* WSJ Year in Review: The Biggest Media and Advertising Stories of 2016


* Slashdot: UK Proposes Mandatory Age Verification For Porn Sites

* NY Times: Peter Thiel: The Online Privacy Debate Won’t End With Gawker. Dressing up his lawfare as a sexual privacy initiative does not mask its censorious effects.
Techdirt’s comments. Trevor Timm: Some questions for those who are cheering Gawker’s demise.

* Washington Post: The seventh-grader’s sext was meant to impress him. Then he shared it. It nearly destroyed her.

* United States v. Ackerman, 2016 WL 4158217 (10th Cir. Aug. 5, 2016). Court reverses child pornography conviction because “NCMEC is a governmental entity or agent and…it searched Mr. Ackerman’s email without a warrant.”

Sexual Predation

* State v. Moser, 2016 WL 4162818 (Minn. Ct. App. Aug. 8, 2016):

1. By eliminating a mistake-of-age defense and imposing strict liability, Minnesota Statutes section 609.352, subdivisions 2 & 3(a) (2014), as applied to solicitation that occurs over the Internet, involves no face-to-face contact between the solicitor and the child, and where the child represents to the solicitor that he or she is 16 or older, violates substantive due process.

2. Defendants charged with violating Minnesota Statutes section 609.352, subdivision 2, solely over the Internet and without any face-to-face contact, must be given an opportunity to raise a mistake-of-age affirmative defense if the child represents to the defendant that he or she is 16 or older.

* The Verge: New York governor bars sex offenders from playing Pokémon Go