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The New Humanitarian
Fighting the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has proven deadly – not only to aid responders who have suffered nearly 400 attacks since the outbreak began in 2018, but also to those fighting the spread of misinformation about the disease.

Editor’s Note: One of the biggest challenges in fighting Ebola in the Congo has been misinformation, particularly about vaccines. Here Vittoria Elliott writes for The New Humanitarian about getting the facts out there after the loss of a key radio station.

AP
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Two of the first three states to vote in the Democratic presidential race will use new mobile apps to gather results from thousands of caucus sites — technology intended to make counting easier but that raises concerns of hacking or glitches.

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Wall Street Journal ($)
Facebook removed a network of pages Friday night that were reported to be sending coordinated posts defending Connecticut congressional candidate Robert Hyde, who this week was implicated in the Ukraine scandal.

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CNN
Scroll past the teens who film themselves flossing (that’s the dance, not the act of dental hygiene) and the young activists satirizing the issues of the day, and you might find a board-certified physician thrusting furiously to a Ciara song, extolling the virtues of complex carbohydrates.

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Reuters
SINGAPORE – Singapore rebutted a report on Wednesday alleging illegal execution practices in the city-state and ordered Yahoo and others to attach fake news notices on posts and articles that shared the allegations.

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ABC News
American Descendants of Slavery advocates are stirring debate and anger online.

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EU vs. Disinfo
Every year on the 13th of January, Lithuania commemorates the events of 1991 when Soviet forces attempted to crush the country’s recently re-established independence. On that winter night, Soviet troops, still garrisoned in the capital city of Vilnius, attacked its radio and television centre, killing civilians who had congregated there to form a human shield. More than a dozen people lost their lives, and hundreds more were wounded.

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CNN
TikTok, the short-form video app popular among Gen Z and best known for its viral dance challenges, is the No. 1 entertainment app on Apple’s App Store. But publishers have seized on it for a different reason: They’re posting explainers and fact-checks pegged to the news. Sometimes they’re dancing too — all in the name of courting the next generation of news consumers.

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Ars Technica
Biden had harsh words about tech, seemingly spurred by anger with Facebook.

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The Guardian
Executive Andrew Bosworth’s handwringing about the company’s stance should not blind us to the fact that doing nothing is extremely lucrative for it

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Digiday
When news broke earlier this month that companies including Samsung, L’Oréal, Warner Bros and Danone had advertised on YouTube videos promoting climate change denial, they wasted no time pulling their ads from the content they deemed inappropriate.

Editor’s Note: A study from the activist group Avaaz slammed advertisers for paying for spots next to videos with climate misinformation. However the companies are reacting differently than they have after past controversies. Digiday explores here.

AFP
Pakistan says Facebook will help the country in its fight against polio after authorities blamed anti-vaccine content posted last year on the social network site for a leap in the number of cases.

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Rappler
Claim: A chain message circulated through messaging apps claims that ABS-CBN weatherman Kuya Kim Atienza and television network BBC warned the public to turn off their cellphones between 10:30 pm and 3:30 am because those units could emit strong radiation within that span of time due to cosmic rays and “nucli atomic.”

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The Guardian
Campaigners have argued for open access to scientific research since the dawn of the internet – so why is it taking so long?

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AFP
YouTube says it downplays ‘borderline’ video content while spotlighting authoritative sources and displaying information boxes on searches related to climate change and other topics.

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Nikkei
Politicians have been humiliated by lackluster response as country burns.

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The Conversation
Sadly, but unsurprisingly, we’ve also seen a number of scams directed at those who want to help, as well as victims of the fires. In recent days, the ACCC set up a hotline dedicated to the reporting of scams associated with the bushfire crisis. The agency notes some 86 scams have been reported since the fires started in September – and counting.

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AFP Fact Check
A video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times in multiple posts on Twitter and Facebook that claim it shows a Pakistani mother refusing to allow a polio vaccinator to vaccinate her child. The claim is false; the video shows a scene from a Pakistani romantic comedy film released in 2018.

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NY Mag
As Democrats debated and declined to shake hands in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday night, President Trump was just one battle state over, rambling on in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at his second rally of the year. Just as the Democratic contest focused on foreign policy more than in previous debates, Trump, too, looked beyond American borders in his rally, spurred into this territory by his targeted strike on Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.

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Reuters
XINGU INDIGENOUS PARK, Brazil – In the 1980’s Brazil’s first indigenous Congressman, Xavante chief Juruna, went around with a recorder to tape conversations with other politicians because he said the white man’s word was not to be trusted.

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Press Association
Sir Nick Clegg has defended Facebook’s position to not fact-check political advertising as he faced questions on the issue during a conference appearance.

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Decrypt.co
Fake accounts that have fooled Sky News and TechCrunch continue to plague Twitter. Tesla co-founder Elon Musk offers some advice.

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Taipei Times
“Reading the water meter” (查水表, cha shuibiao) is an ordinary expression that in China has taken on the additional meaning of police officers getting people to open their doors by claiming that they are there to read the water meter, or some other excuse. It also includes situations where the police leave notices instructing people to attend interviews.

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AP
SAN FRANCISCO — When is a photograph of nude bodies artistic or titillating? A woman’s exposed nipple a political statement or erotica?

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Belfer Center
Foreign ministries scrambled to make ‘Twitter-Diplomacy’ part of their push-strategy in strategic communication and began, though arguably too slowly, to analyse US-based digital platform-generated data to inform foreign policy decisions. ‘Tech for Good’ was the universal assumption a decade ago.

Editor’s Note: Talk of disinformation often focuses on different countries targeting individual citizens, but how does it impact diplomacy more broadly? Here Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook of the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard goes in-depth on the issue.

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