An Avalanche of Speech Can Bury Democracy

An Avalanche of Speech Can Bury Democracy (POLITICO Magazine)
For the longest time, we thought that as speech became more democratized, democracy itself would flourish. But in 2018, it is increasingly clear that more speech can in fact threaten democracy.
Zeynep Tufecki in Politico Magazine. All annotations in context. But in the digital age, when speech can exist mostly unfettered, the big threat to truth looks very different. It’s not just censorship, but an avalanche of undistinguished speech—some true, some false, some fake, some important, some trivial, much of it out-of-context, all burying us. Perhaps…

This is what filter bubbles actually look like

This is what filter bubbles actually look like by John Kelly and Camille François (MIT Technology Review)
Maps of Twitter activity show how political polarization manifests online and why divides are so hard to bridge.
John Kelly and Camille François in MIT Technology Review. John Kelly is CEO and Camille François is research director of Graphika, a social network analytics company. All annotations in context. American public life has become increasingly ideologically segregated as newspapers have given way to screens. But societies have experienced extremism and fragmentation without the assistance of Silicon Valley…

Documents Show How Russia’s Troll Army Hit America

Documents Show How Russia’s Troll Army Hit America (BuzzFeed News)
The adventures of Russian agents like The Ghost of Marius the Giraffe, Gay Turtle, and Ass — exposed for the first time.
Buzzfeed report in 2014. All annotations in context. Russia's campaign to shape international opinion around its invasion of Ukraine has extended to recruiting and training a new cadre of online trolls that have been deployed to spread the Kremlin's message on the comments section of top American websites. Plans attached to emails leaked by a…

Social Network Analysis Reveals Full Scale of Kremlin’s Twitter Bot Campaign

Social Network Analysis Reveals Full Scale of Kremlin's Twitter Bot Campaign
With the aid of open-source tools, Internet researcher Lawrence Alexander gathered and visualized data on nearly 20,500 pro-Kremlin Twitter accounts, revealing the massive scale of information manipulation attempts on the RuNet. In what is the first part of a two-part analysis, he explains how he did it and what he found. All annotations in context.…

6 types of misinformation circulated this election season

6 types of misinformation circulated this election season
Claire Wardle in the Columbia Journalism Review. All annotations in context. The New Yorker’s Sasha Frere-Jones called Twitter a “self-cleaning oven,” suggesting that false information could be flagged and self-corrected almost immediately. We no longer had to wait 24 hours for a newspaper to issue a correction.   Jeff Jarvis wrote over the weekend, we need to be careful…

What Do We Know About False News?

What Do We Know About False News? (Harvard Business Review)
A roundup of the latest thinking
From the Harvard Business Review: As false news has become a global phenomenon, scholars have responded. They’ve ramped up their efforts to understand how and why bad information spreads online — and how to stop it. In the past 18 months, they’ve flooded academic journals with new research and have raised the level of urgency.…

Truth, Disrupted

Truth, Disrupted (Harvard Business Review)
False news spreads online faster, farther, and deeper than truth does — but it can be contained. Here’s how.
Sinan Aral in the Harvard Business Review: For the past three years Soroush Vosoughi, Deb Roy, and I have studied the spread of false news online. (We use the label “false news” because “fake news” has become so polarizing: Politicians now use that phrase to describe news stories that don’t support their positions.) The data…

This is what disinformation looks like – Twitter Thread

This is what disinformation looks like - Twitter Thread (Twitter)
“This is what disinformation looks like. There's many forms, many intermediate aims, but the long term goal is not to *use* the information environment, but to render it inoperable. Once accuracy bias and trust are eliminated there is only power. https://t.co/aUAbEotOLO”
Thread by @holden: "This is what disinformation looks like. There's many forms, many intermediate aims, but the long term goal is not to use the information env […]"