Category Archives: Social media

The ringmaster is gone but the circus remains

Quinta Jurecic writes: The internet has been a bit quiet lately. Or, more specifically, it’s been quiet since the days after the Capitol riot, when Twitter, Facebook, and a string of other social-media companies banned Donald Trump from their platforms for his role in egging on the violence in Washington, D.C. And now the Facebook… Read More »

Oversight Board: ‘Facebook seeks to avoid its responsibilities’

Will Oremus writes: [T]he problems with Mr. Trump’s presence on Facebook — the lies, the propaganda, the incitements — are not just Trump problems. They’re Facebook problems (and to be fair, Twitter problems). Manipulation, misinformation, fear and loathing are endemic to today’s social media platforms, whose engagement-driven algorithms are built to spread whatever messages tap… Read More »

The problem is Facebook

Helen Lewis writes: Back to you, Zuck. Facebook’s oversight board earlier today declined to act as a human shield for the social network. Asked to rule on the suspension of Donald Trump’s account in the wake of the January 6 Capitol riot, it passed the ultimate decision back to Facebook. For now, Trump’s suspension stays… Read More »

Facebook and the normalization of deviance

Sue Halpern writes: When the sociologist Diane Vaughan came up with the term “the normalization of deviance,” she was referring to nasa administrators’ disregard of the flaw that caused the Challenger space shuttle to explode, in 1986. The idea was that people in an organization can become so accepting of a problem that they no… Read More »

Facebook stopped employees from reading an internal report about its role in the U.S. Capitol insurrection

BuzzFeed News reports: Last Thursday, BuzzFeed News revealed that an internal Facebook report concluded that the company had failed to prevent the “Stop the Steal” movement from using its platform to subvert the election, encourage violence, and help incite the Jan. 6 attempted coup on the US Capitol. Titled “Stop the Steal and Patriot Party:… Read More »

The Postal Service is running a ‘covert operations program’ that monitors Americans’ social media posts

Jana Winter reports: The law enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Service has been quietly running a program that tracks and collects Americans’ social media posts, including those about planned protests, according to a document obtained by Yahoo News. The details of the surveillance effort, known as iCOP, or Internet Covert Operations Program, have not… Read More »

China, Russia fueling QAnon conspiracy theories, reports says

Michael Isikoff reports: Foreign-based actors, principally in China and Russia, are spreading online disinformation rooted in QAnon conspiracy theories, fueling a movement that has become a mounting domestic terrorism threat, according to new analysis of online propaganda by a security firm. The analysis by the Soufan Center, a New York-based research firm focused on national… Read More »

What QAnon documentaries reveal about how conspiracies flourish

Derek Robertson writes: A media suddenly bereft of the eye-popping right-wing extremism once peddled daily by the 45th president has found its methadone: a seemingly endless stream of QAnon-centric documentaries, books and essays. There’s Vice’s “The Search for Q” series; CNN’s “Inside the QAnon Conspiracy”; Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer’s announcement of his forthcoming book… Read More »

Facebook planned to remove fake accounts in India – until it realized a BJP politician was involved

The Guardian reports: Facebook allowed a network of fake accounts to artificially inflate the popularity of an MP from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), for months after being alerted to the problem. The company was preparing to remove the fake accounts but paused when it found evidence that the politician was probably directly involved… Read More »

The Facebook loophole that lets world leaders deceive and harass their citizens

The Guardian reports: Facebook has repeatedly allowed world leaders and politicians to use its platform to deceive the public or harass opponents despite being alerted to evidence of the wrongdoing. The Guardian has seen extensive internal documentation showing how Facebook handled more than 30 cases across 25 countries of politically manipulative behavior that was proactively… Read More »

How social media turns online arguments between teens into real-world violence

Comments and livestreams can lead to physical fights, shootings and even death. Photo illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images By Caitlin Elsaesser, University of Connecticut The deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in January exposed the power of social media to influence real-world behavior and incite violence. But many adolescents, who spend more… Read More »