News 

Why the fight against disinformation, sham accounts and trolls won’t be any easier in 2020

“Barrett, the author of a recent report on 2020 disinformation, noted that lies and misleading claims about 2020 candidates originating in the U.S. have already spread across social media” reports politico.com. Real-life examples include a hyper-partisan skewed news operation started by a former Fox News executive and Facebook’s accusations that an Israeli social media company profited from creating hundreds of fake accounts.Foster, for example, cited trolls impersonating journalists or other more reliable figures to give disinformation greater legitimacy. Source: politico.com

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Close Election in Kentucky Was Ripe for Twitter, and an Omen for 2020

“While the Kentucky election, held in an off year, remains a sideshow to most people outside the state, election security experts see in it a worrying sign of what Americans may be forced to contend with next November” writes This Story Was for seattletimes.com. Trump has sown doubts about a “rigged election” system since before his own election, including openly questioning the mail-in ballot process in Colorado.Since his election four years ago, Bevin has hitched himself to President Donald Trump, and his allegations of irregularities echo the Trump playbook.The talk…

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News Platforms 

EU disputes social network’s claims of progress against fake accounts

“Facebook and other major social media platforms have been accused by the European commission of giving a misleading picture of their efforts to remove fake accounts spreading politically motivated disinformation” writes Daniel Boffey for theguardian.com. A further report in January will reveal EU member states’ reactions to the platforms’ efforts over the past 12 months.Facebook, whose founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, recently gave evidence to a US Senate committee looking at disinformation, has said it disabled 2.2bn fake accounts in the first three months of 2019 and removed about…

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Opinion: Trump’s Ukraine call is helping Vladimir Putin spread his narrative of American corruption

“I was undersecretary of State for public diplomacy and we had noticed a disturbing uptick of Russian disinformation about Ukraine on Twitter and other social media platforms” writes Richard Stengel for latimes.com. He was well aware of the flood of Russian disinformation, including a barrage of propaganda asserting that annexing Crimea was simply returning the region to where it rightfully belonged. Source: latimes.com

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Researchers trying to prevent a repeat of 2016’s election misinformation in 2020 are struggling thanks to a lack of data from Facebook

“We’re continuing to make additional data available while making sure to do so in a way that safeguards people’s privacy,” a spokesperson for Facebook told Business Insider” writes Mary Hanbury for businessinsider.com. “This data has already begun to allow researchers to answer important questions about the role that social media plays in democracy and elections.”. According to The Times, seven nonprofit groups that are funding the research efforts have threatened to end their involvement because of the lack of data. Source: businessinsider.com

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Unlike U.S., Canada plans coordinated attack on foreign election interference

“Russia, for instance, banned Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland because of her support for sanctions and targeted her in an online smear campaign” writes Alexander Panetta for politico.com. That includes possible cyberattacks on political groups or widespread online disinformation campaigns aimed at the public.In recent months, the officials have been roleplaying possible threats, including cyberattacks, traditional espionage from foreign groups and digital disinformation, such as the use of so-called deepfakes. Source: politico.com

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Facebook revamps election ad rules amid disinformation fears

“A year and a half after the elections, amid continuing backlash over the Russian manipulation, Facebook required political ads be labeled with a “paid for by” disclosure” writes Nancy Scola for politico.com. With just months before Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, Facebook is refining its rules for political advertisements amid fears that the 2020 election cycle will be hit with new Russian-style disinformation efforts. Source: politico.com

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Ana Palacio: The only way to stop fake news is to eliminate our demand for it

“Europe has led the way in developing policy responses, such as soft guidelines for industry, national legislation, and strategic communications” writes Ana Palacio for marketwatch.com. Governments, lobby groups, and other interests have long relied on disinformation as a tool of manipulation and control.Beyond introducing falsehoods into public discourse, the spread of disinformation can undermine the possibility of discourse itself, by calling into question actual facts.Early this month, the Atlantic Council organized #DisinfoWeek Europe, a series of strategic dialogues focused on the global challenge of disinformation. Source: marketwatch.com

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The only way to stop fake news is to eliminate our demand for it

“Europe has led the way in developing policy responses, such as soft guidelines for industry, national legislation, and strategic communications” writes Ana Palacio for marketwatch.com. Governments, lobby groups, and other interests have long relied on disinformation as a tool of manipulation and control.Beyond introducing falsehoods into public discourse, the spread of disinformation can undermine the possibility of discourse itself, by calling into question actual facts.Early this month, the Atlantic Council organized #DisinfoWeek Europe, a series of strategic dialogues focused on the global challenge of disinformation. Source: marketwatch.com

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GBP News 

Hack on British charity countering Russian disinformation probed by NCA

“A cyber attack on a charity that received Government funding for an initiative to tackle Russian disinformation is being investigated by the National Crime Agency (NCA)” reports aol.co.uk. The UK-based Institute For Statecraft, which received £2 million this financial year, said there was an investigation into the “theft of data” from it’s Integrity initiative and it had removed all content from its website.A statement on the organisation’s website said it believed the attack was an attempt to “undermine” its attempts to counter the threat to European democracies. Source: aol.co.uk

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