A computer scientist in London has stumbled upon massive networks of fake Twitter accounts – with the largest consisting of over 350,000 profiles – which may have been used to ‘fake‘ numbers of followers, send spam, and boost interest in trending topics.
On Twitter, bots are accounts that are run remotely by someone who automates the messages they send and activities they carry out.
Some people pay to get bots to follow their account or to dilute chatter about controversial subjects.
(RPI) Are you terrified of “fake news”? Don’t worry, the elites are doing something to combat it!
As anyone active on the Internet is aware, there have been increasing calls for social media companies (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to address the mostly manufactured crisis of “fake news” making its way onto people’s computer screens. The mainstream media, which finds itself increasingly viewed as untrustworthy by the American public, has latched on to the idea that the relatively free flow of ideas and opinions on the Internet actually poses a threat to our well-being.
There have been murmurs about it all along.
Someday, they simply wouldn’t allow certain things to remain on the Internet any longer. The potential to reach a global audience with important information, and the idea that it could be in the hands of anyone is just too big.
So it is no surprise that many corporate giants from Silicon Valley are now putting forward a unified front to silence free speech on social media.
According to a new statement by Facebook, they have joined with YouTube, Microsoft, and Twitter to create a shared database of “terrorist content” which they can all jointly use to identify further attempts to post such banned content.
The database will create hashes of videos and images that they’ve already decided are related to terrorism, and then will allow them to single out any further content matching those hatches. Facebook says this will allow them to more quickly remove such content.
A Kuwaiti online activist will spend 10 years in jail, an appeals court has ruled, for posting messages on Twitter that “insulted the emir” and “spreading false news” that endangered the country.
The court on Thursday confirmed the jail term against Waleed Fares handed down by a lower court in May, AFP reported.
Fares was arrested in September 2015 for comments under the name “Gibrit Seyassi” about Kuwait’s emir and ruler, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al Sabah, “offending the judiciary” and “accusing the attorney general and public prosecution of being biased”.
Fares said at his trial he had been beaten and threatened into a confession, according to a statement by the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI).
This week three media goliaths — Facebook, Google, and Twitter, who collectively act as information gatekeepers for the Internet — announced they would begin implementing censorship practices against news sites they deem misleading.
Websites that publish “fake,” misleading, or even satirical news will now be subject to a sliding scale of infractions that will target ad revenue and social media algorithms. Without ad revenue from monetization platforms like Google Adsense, many of these sites would not be able to continue publishing, and without Facebook’s distribution platform, even sites with good organic reach could find their traffic severely crippled.
“Moving forward, we will restrict ad serving on pages that misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about the publisher, the publisher’s content, or the primary purpose of the web property,” Google stated, following the lead of Mark Zuckerberg.
Days after Twitter unleashed a purge of so-called “alt-right” accounts, deleting users without explanation, many speculated that this would lead to an angry backlash in which conservative pundits using Twitter would voluntarily leave the struggling social network in protest over Twitter’s suddenly rampant, and dubious, censorship.
Overnight, this was confirmed when actor and prominent conservative commentator James Woods tweeted that “Since @Twitter is now in the #censorship business, I will no longer use its service for my constitutional right to free speech. #GoodbyeAll”
He also changed his bio to say “Twitter has now sadly abdicated its position as a sole beacon of free speech. Voltaire’s famous dictum has been quietly buried by these left wing savages.”
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) November 18, 2016
In the 24 hours since FBI Director Comey dropped perhaps the biggest bombshell of the entire Presidential campaign, sending Democrats (and media) scrambling headless-chicken-like for answers (and blame-scaping), does anyone else find it odd that ‘FBI Emails’ does not appear to be a hot topic, trending, big deal on any social media?
H/t reader kevin a.
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John B Wells interviews James O’Keefe from Project Veritas
James Edward O’Keefe III (born June 28, 1984) is an American conservative political activist. He has produced secretly recorded undercover audio and video encounters, some selectively edited to imply its subjects said things they did not, with figures and workers in academic, governmental and social service organizations, purportedly showing abusive or alleged illegal behavior by representatives of those organizations. He gained national attention for his video recordings of workers at ACORN offices in 2009, his arrest and guilty plea in 2010 for entering the federal office of then-U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) under false pretenses, and the release of videos of conversations with two high-ranking, now former, NPR executives in 2011.
When his videos of ACORN workers allegedly aiding a couple in criminal planning hit the 24-hour cable news cycle, the U.S. Congress quickly voted to freeze… Read more by clicking the link below –
H/t reader I.G.
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DCLeaks, a website that releases information on powerful political figures, has had part of its website taken offline after releasing a cache of documents on billionaire donor George Soros. The @DCLeaks Twitter account has also been suspended from Twitter for reasons unknown.
The website had previously released 2,500 internal Open Society Foundation (OSF) documents in order to “shed light on one of the most influential networks operating worldwide.” OSF is one of Soros’ networks of organizations.
The Twitter account of Guccifer 2.0, the hacker who claimed responsibility for leaking a trove of Democratic National Committee documents, was suspended less than 24 hours after dumping fresh sensitive DNC data.On Friday, the hacker wrote a blog post taking credit for a fresh leak from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
He published an excel spreadsheet containing the mobile phone numbers and email addresses of every Democrat in the House of Representatives, as well as passwords to DCCC files to substantiate his claim.
The hacker, who had actively been using Twitter to publicize his leaks, has since had his account suspended.
WikiLeaks claims that the suspension was related to the publication of the DCCC documents.
Updated March 25, 2016:
H/t reader kevin a.
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In its latest attempt to keep up with the times the Vatican has married one of its oldest traditions to the world of social media by offering “indulgences” to followers of Pope Francis’ tweets.
The church’s granted indulgences reduce the time Catholics believe they will have to spend in purgatory after they have confessed and been absolved of their sins.
The remissions got a bad name in the Middle Ages because unscrupulous churchmen sold them for large sums of money. But now indulgences are being applied to the 21st century.
The Washington Examiner reports an audit of the Twitter accounts for the 2016 presidential candidates found Hillary Clinton has the highest percentage of phony followers by far, a whopping 41 percent. This means that of the 4.65 million followers Clinton claims, 1, 906,500 of them might be fakes.
These fake followers were sniffed out with a tool called TwitterAudit, which examines the activity on Twitter accounts and looks for telltale signs of falsehood, such as a very low number of tweets, small numbers of followers, and other metrics combined into an authenticity score. Its creators readily concede the process is not perfect and can have a significant margin of error.
United Kingdom — Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter play an increasingly important role in our lives, but a brand new study into online censorship has revealed a number of developing trends regarding how social media platforms are attempting to regulate their users’ speech.
While most readers have likely been lucky enough to evade Facebook jail, others might have friends who have been kicked off the social networking site for designated periods of time for ‘violating community standards.’ Some may even have had their Facebook accounts closed permanently due to the site’s ‘real names’ policy. Others have likely have had posts flagged or removed for containing nudity or other allegedly offensive content.
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Police in Berlin have raided ten apartments because residents may have posted “anti-migrant” views online.
Berlin Police completed a large scale raid on internet users Wednesday. The officers ransacked ten separate apartments in the German capital in the suburbs of Spandau, Tempelhof, Marzahn, Hellersdorf and Pankow.
The force confiscated mobile phones, narcotics and weapons. Nine suspects were arrested, aged 22-58, and are accused of posting messages critical of migrants, migrant helpers and some anti-semitic slogans on social networks like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter, reports Berliner Morgenpost.
(MIDDLEEASTEYE) Saudi Arabia has sentenced a journalist to five years in prison and a fine of 50,000 riyals (around $13,300) after being charged for “insulting the rulers (and) inciting public opinion”, said Amnesty International on Friday.
Alaa Brinji was also found guilty on 24 March of “accusing security officers of killing protesters in Awamiyya” – a Shia town in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.