#4
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  • Charming Kitten hackers
  • Pressing pause on fake news
  • Coronavirus and Tokyo 2020
  • How was your Safer Internet Day?
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The Conversation
The overwhelming sharing of fake news amid coronavirus outbreak across the globe raised concerns among governments, including in the Southeast Asian region.

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Xinhua
Stop the discrimination and panic, and let common sense prevail, say U.S. officials, doctors, entrepreneurs and health experts, urging the American public to guard against any xenophobia surrounding the novel coronavirus.

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The New York Times
In August 2017, Ben Nimmo was declared dead by 13,000 Russian bots on Twitter.

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Reuters
Reuters today published a report about an email hacking operation targeting journalists and their connected sources, and the scam appears to be associated with Iran.

Editor’s Note: Journalists not also make up those doing the bulk of the fact-checking in Matter of Facts, but they can also be targets. Here Reuters reports on the hacking group Charming Kitten and its efforts.

The Guardian
A Russia-led campaign that claimed the UN weapons watchdog had manipulated evidence of a Syrian government chemical weapons attack has been dealt a blow by an official inquiry showing that two former employees hailed as whistleblowers had little direct access to the evidence and inflated their role.

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Open Democracy
Lawmakers demand action as openDemocracy reveals global spread of false and “manipulative” activities, posing “grave risks” to women and democracy.

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Daily Beast
In documents obtained by The Daily Beast, Fox’s research team advises colleagues to be wary of “disinformation” from several Trump-boosting on-air regulars, including Giuliani.

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Yahoo Finance
Last year saw the largest number of measles cases in the U.S. since 1992. Several medical experts have indicated that much of the increase is due to low immunization rates as a result of vaccine misinformation.

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Ozy
Because the integrity of the presidential election is on the line.

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Rappler
This year’s Safer Internet Day will be held on February 11. With it, interest groups hope to “promote the safe and positive use of digital technology, especially among children and young people.”

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Mashable
Update, 2/5 9:45 am ET: This post has been edited throughout to highlight skepticism around Goop’s health claims.

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Vanderbilt University
The proliferation of false news stories is a big problem in social media, but there may be a very simple remedy, according to a new Vanderbilt University study published in Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review.

Editor’s Note: One field looking into how fake news spreads online is psychology. Here Vanderbilt writes about the work of its researcher Lisa Fazio and what wonders a brief pause can do.

AFP
Tokyo 2020 Olympics organisers said Thursday the Games would “go ahead as planned”, slamming misinformation over the new coronavirus for triggering panic.

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Bloomberg
By the time the good news arrived from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was too late.

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Mainichi
As the new coronavirus spreads across the world, so too have false rumors and misinformation — primarily via the internet.

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Business Insider
Twitter and Facebook have resisted calls to remove the edited video, claiming it does not violate their rules, enraging Democrats and emboldening Republican attacks against the House speaker.

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Global Voices
An opinion poll conducted by the Institute for European Affairs in September 2019 shows that 23 percent of Serbian citizens believe Russia is Serbia’s largest aid donor. In reality, Russia hasn’t made the top 10 of Serbia’s largest donors since 2000, according to the data by the Ministry of European Integration. The EU tops the list with 2.96 billion euros in aid, followed by USA with 696 million.

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Inc 42
The minister said that there is no proposal with MeitY for social media-Aadhaar linking

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Ozy
With deepfakes, even facial-recognition-based cybersecurity might not be enough.

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ABC News
A mailer circulating in Montana labeled “2019 congressional district census” notifies voters “you have been selected to represent voters in Bozeman, Montana,” with an enclosed letter that reads, “President Trump has requested that a Census of every Congressional district be conducted immediately.”

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California Public Radio
Some on Twitter have falsely claimed that millions of voters won’t be able to choose their favorite presidential candidate because they’re registered as No Party Preference. Others have suggested that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ name was intentionally placed last among presidential candidates on the ballot, fueling mistrust over the election process.

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AP
SAN FRANCISCO — The issue of misleading political messages on social media has arisen again, as President Donald Trump tweeted an edited video showing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi repeatedly tearing up his State of the Union speech as he honored audience members and showed a military family reuniting.

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The Guardian
It’s easy to get distracted by the urge to hit ‘share’. But most of us wouldn’t, if we gave it a moment’s thought

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Mashable
It’s not everyday you get a WhatsApp voice note explaining how it’s possible to get chlamydia in your eye. But that’s what I received when talking to sex educator Alix Fox about her role as a script consultant on Netflix’s Sex Education.

Editor’s Note: This one is in a less commonly discussed corner of misinformation land, though bad information about sex is definitely present online. Here Mashable speaks with Alix Fox, a sex educator who helped try to make the Netflix show “Sex Education” as truthful as possible.

7 News Australia
It’s the type of deception which carries a double-dose of devastation – romance scams combine financial loss and an emotional toll for their victims.

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