Matter of Facts #117

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Deepnews Digest #117

Matter of Facts

Editor: Christopher Brennan
While Deepnews likes to use its algorithm to highlight writers putting out quality information, it also likes to talk about the way that information is shared around. Countries all over the world are asking how to make social networks live up to their promise rather than be part of the problem. From Detroit to Delhi, this week’s Digest looks at pieces that are doing the real reporting and analysis to look at issues such as misinformation, regulation and why you see what you see on social media.

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Want to chat with us and Prof. Chris Bail?
After the Digest sometimes we have a guest expert in the topic join us for a discussion on Clubhouse (link below). This week’s guest is Prof. Chris Bail, director of the Duke Polarization Lab and author of the new book “Breaking the Social Media Prism: How to Make Our Platforms Less Polarizing.” The event is at 17:00 CET/11:00 EST and we’d love to see you there!

Published every Friday

Tortoise Media

Your face, someone else’s naked body

In November of last year, Helen Mort heard a knock on the door. When she saw the worried look of her friend standing on her doorstep, her first thought was that her son – who was at nursery that day – had been in an accident. In November of last year, Helen Mort heard a knock on the door. When she saw the worried look of her friend standing on her doorstep, her first thought was that her son – who was at nursery that day – had been in an accident.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 98%

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The Information

The Guardians of Apple’s App Store Gird for Battle

For the next three weeks, one of Apple’s most senior executives, Phil Schiller, will spend his days in a sterile courtroom in Oakland, Calif., 50 miles from Apple’s gleaming spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino. Schiller, who helped launch the App Store 13 years ago and still oversees it, is the designated “corporate witness” for the company’s trial, which pits it against Epic Games. The videogame developer claims that Schiller and his colleagues have operated the App Store as an illegal monopoly by, among other things, requiring app makers to pay a 30% fee to Apple for all in-app transactions.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 92%

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NPR

At Supreme Court, Mean Girls Meet 1st Amendment

Even Supreme Court advocates can look at a case before the court with their own teenage years in mind. And lawyer Gregory Garre sums up Wednesday’s case this way: “Mean girls meet the First Amendment.”

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Score: stars image Confidence: 90%

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Buzzfeed

Facebook Knows It Was Used To Help Incite The Capitol Insurrection

An internal task force found that Facebook failed to take appropriate action against the Stop the Steal movement ahead of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, and hoped the company could “do better next time.”

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Score: stars image Confidence: 66%

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France 24

Indian government tightens its grip on Twitter as Covid-19 cases surge

Indian social media users have taken to Twitter with desperate pleas for help as the country struggles to cope with record high Covid-19 cases and deaths. But Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been accused of attempting to control the narrative with legal orders to delete Twitter posts critical of its response.

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Editor’s Note:

With the world’s attention on a COVID surge in India, the way that many people have learned about it has been on social media. Here our algorithm highlighted a piece from Leela Jacinto looking at how the government has reacted to the spread of information. – Christopher Brennan, Editor


Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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Detroit Free Press

Detroit Automakers Work to Combat Vaccine Hesitancy

General Motors assembly plant worker Mike Yakim is firm in his feeling about a COVID-19 vaccination. “I’m dead set against it,” Yakim said last week.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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University of Oregon

Study finds US Twitter users have strongly supported face coverings amid the pandemic

University of Oregon linguistic analyses explored the language behind hashtags and linked the polarization of opinions to media coverage of mask resisters

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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Vice

Facebook Won’t Ban Its Biggest COVID Anti-Vaxxer Accounts

Despite big promises to remove anti-vaxxers, Facebook’s disinformation superspreaders are still racking up tens of millions of impressions.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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NBC News

Tech execs grilled by senators on algorithms and misinformation

The hearing before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on privacy and technology also focused on Section 230, the shield that protects the platforms from being held liable for their users’ posts.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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The Markup

Shadow Bans, Dopamine Hits, and Viral Videos, All in the Life of TikTok Creators

A secretive algorithm that’s constantly being tweaked can turn influencers’ accounts, and their prospects, upside down

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Editor’s Note:

TikTok is a social network that seems to rely particularly hard on its algorithm to recommend content to users. Here The Markup digs into issues like censorship and what succeeds on the platform. – Christopher Brennan, Editor


Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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AL

‘Campaign smut’: Alabama mayoral candidate raises concerns over fake Facebook post

A Mobile mayoral candidate is concerned over a recent fake Facebook account that posted to social media that he was arrested for DUI by the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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NOEMA

Francis Fukuyama: Will We Ever Get Beyond The Nation-State?

In the face of planetary challenges, the nation-state is both the problem and the solution, says the Stanford scholar.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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CBC

Edmontonians use social media to help in India’s COVID-19 crisis

As India weathers a devastating second wave, some Edmontonians are doing what they can to help from afar.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 99%

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New Indian Express

Need for community-based social media regulations

India entered the golden age of mass media after the economic liberalisation in 1991.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 98%

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USA Today

Hidden Common Ground: Why Americans aren’t as divided on issues as we appear to be

Americans already this year have shuddered at scenes of a violent insurrection inside the nation’s Capitol and shared a sigh of relief as George Floyd’s killer was convicted. Just how divided are we as a nation? To make sense of it all, it helps to distinguish ways in which Americans are becoming more polarized and ways in which they are not.

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Editor’s Note:

Talking about a “polarized society” is commonplace, but are countries like the US really that split? Here writers from Public Agenda discuss what is really going on. – Christopher Brennan, Editor


Score: stars image Confidence: 98%

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Mail and Guardian

How youth can reshape political participation in Nigeria

In a country as large and heterogeneous as Nigeria, these young people come from all walks of life and have different experiences, but they also share some important commonalities. They have no little to no memory of Nigeria under military rule, they increasingly reject the respectability politics that govern intergenerational social interactions, and they are very online. #EndSars was undeniably their moment; their introduction to the world as a social force to be reckoned with.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 98%

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WSJ ($)

Iran Floods Clubhouse to Drown Out Debate

While China and other countries fence off foreign social-media sites, Tehran tries to use them to its advantage

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Score: stars image Confidence: 97%

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GovTech

To Fight Social Media Disinformation, Look to the Algorithms

The nation is debating Section 230 reform, but fighting social media disinformation may be less about what users can say than about how platforms can amplify and recommend it, said MIT panelists.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 97%

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MLive

Pics or it didn’t happen: Indoctrinated on Facebook, Capitol rioters turn to social media to rehash their exploits

Following the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol, many rioters took to Facebook, posting incriminating selfies and bragging about their exploits in the building.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 96%

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Tampa Bay Times

Florida lawmakers advance bill to penalize social media companies

The bill would require social media companies to publish the standards it uses for censoring, de-platforming or blocking a user or their content, and give users 30 days before removing them from the platform.

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Score: stars image Confidence: 95%

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