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  • Vaccines and misinformation
  • Singapore’s misinfo law
  • TikTok finds time for politics
  • Automatic updates on Wikipedia?
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Annenberg Public Policy Center
People who rely on social media for information were more likely to be misinformed about vaccines than those who rely on traditional media, according to a study of vaccine knowledge and media use by researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Bloomberg
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and TikTok will have to reveal users’ identities if Indian government agencies ask them to, according to the country’s controversial new rules for social media companies and messaging apps expected to be published later this month.

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The Guardian
Julia Ebner spent two years infiltrating far-right networks. The counter-extremism expert discusses fear, loathing and democracy in an age of disinformation

Editor’s Note: One (dangerous) way to look into misinformation is to get inside a group putting it out there. Here the Guardian speaks with the author of “Going Dark,” a fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue in London.

Nikkei
ARMIDALE, Australia — A few days before Christmas, Kay Murray was sound asleep at her farmhouse about 100 km south of the Australian capital, Canberra, when the doorbell rang. It was 3 a.m.

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Foreign Policy ($)
Conspiracy theories are all over state media, following past patterns of disinformation.

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The Conversation
New contagious diseases are scary. They frighten us because they are unknown and unpredictable. The ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus has received extensive media attention, coverage that can tell us a lot about how uncertainty in the face of such an epidemic can all too easily breed fear.

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Northeastern University
A meme has been making the rounds on the internet recently, purporting that the U.S. Constitution allows an impeached president to run for office an additional two terms so long as there is no conviction by the Senate.

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EU vs. Disinfo
The divisive situation around the newly adopted Law on Freedom of religion of Montenegro has been used by disinformation outlets in the region to foment division, resembling the practice already detected in Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia.

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Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – In a country that’s prone to natural calamities, fighting disinformation should be one of its priorities whenever disasters strike.

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Deadline
Reuters and Facebook said Wednesday they’re joining forces for a new fact-checking initiative to identify misinformation on social media. The pact calls for a new unit at Reuters to verify content posted on Facebook and Instagram and flag false or misleading video.

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AP
Facebook’s green light for political campaigns to pay prominent social media users to spread their messages is highlighting the difficulties around setting rules for the fast-changing world of online political campaigning.

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FCW
Officials from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency often describe their role in election security as helping to coordinate and advise the larger ecosystem of election stakeholders.

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MIT
Text-generating tool pinpoints and replaces specific information in sentences while retaining humanlike grammar and style.

Editor’s Note: One recurring issue in the field of misinformation is the emergence of programs that can write like humans. Here MIT looks at a system that was tested on a fact-checking database.

Global Voices
Widespread disinformation related to the outbreak of the 2019n-CoV coronavirus, which originated in the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei province, has caused paranoia, resulting in racist abuse and discrimination against Asian people across Central and Eastern Europe.

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Reuters
SINGAPORE – Facebook Inc said it was “deeply concerned” about a Singapore government order to block access to a blog page on its social media website under a controversial fake news law.

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Mashable
Facebook announced on Wednesday that it’s removing accounts based in Iran that targeted users in the United States.

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AFP
Qatar should scrap several laws which impede free speech and expression, the EU’s human rights envoy said on Monday, February 17, at an event in Doha promoting the online rights of activists.

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Indian Express
According to Pakistan’s new rules for social media platforms, companies will need to act within 24 hours to remove, suspend or disable access to online content “which is in contravention to any provision of the Act”.

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AP
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopian lawmakers on Thursday approved a controversial law aimed at curbing hate speech and disinformation, especially online, just months ahead of a major election.

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Harvard Business Review
Decisions about how and when to use technology are made at every step of the electoral process — by voters, by campaigns, and by election administrators. Each of these decision points bring with it significant risks of failure, so each needs to be backed by a trustworthy process that is resilient in the face of both attacks by external actors and mistakes by its administrators.

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Arizona State University
For all the benefits in the expansion of the media landscape, we’re still struggling with the spread of misinformation-and the damage is especially worrisome when it comes to information about science and health.

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The Conversation
When you think of visual misinformation, maybe you think of deepfakes – videos that appear real but have actually been created using powerful video editing algorithms. The creators edit celebrities into pornographic movies, and they can put words into the mouths of people who never said them.

Editor’s Note: Deepfakes often get a lot of the attention in terms of discussion of a potential information dystopia, but people can also be duped by unaltered photos. Here Lisa Fazio of Vanderbilt explains.

AFP
SINGAPORE – Singapore ordered the Facebook page of an anti-government website Saturday, February 15, to warn readers it regularly posts falsehoods, the first time authorities have taken such action under a tough law against misinformation.

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The Citizen ($)
How do you prepare for the coronavirus? By cutting up a few limes. That’s the message conveyed by a popular internet meme that shows a pair of hands slicing limes. The image and caption — “Me, preparing for the coronavirus” — are a bit subversive.

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Rappler
Claim: Weed, slang for the cannabis plant, can “kill coronavirus,” according to a screenshot of what looked like a newscast shared by several Facebook pages.

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