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    1 July 2017

    Fake news and megaphone

    Our recent case study series was profiled in Wired:

    A study from the Oxford Internet Institute warns that social networks have to do more to stymie the tide of fake news, which damages our democracies.

    The researchers looked at content manipulation in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Poland, Taiwan, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States, tracking bot activity and how different tools and tactics were deployed depending on the desired outcome. In total, they analysed tens of millions of posts, and interviewed 65 experts, focusing in on massive events from elections to national security incidents. They found, unsurprisingly, that social media is the predominant force impacting the political opinions of young people, referring to Facebook as being a “monopoly platform for public life”. They found that authoritarian regimes use it for social control, and in democracies, it is used for “computational propaganda either through broad efforts at opinion manipulation or targeted experiments on particular segments of the public”. So, again, social control. The results and tactics may appear different, but the results are similar.

    Read the full article here.

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