fake news

Wed
22
Apr
John Lister's picture

Fake News: Many Twitter 'Debates' are Actually Bots

Human tiredness could be the key to spotting automated fake posts online, according to researchers at the University of Southern California. They are developing systems to distinguish between posts by humans and those posted by automated programs, ... otherwise known as 'bots' - which is a short form for robots. Since most of the online world gets their news using smartphones these days, fake news is a serious problem. It's also an incredibly serious issue for social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, where news is often talked about, debated, and forwarded to others. Bots Designed To ... (view more)

Fri
10
Apr
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WhatsApp Attempts to Slow Spread of Fake News

A messaging service owned by Facebook is to change its policies to reduce the risk of people passing on bogus information. The WhatsApp changes follow a "significant increase" in forwarded messages since the COVID-19 pandemic began. WhatsApp lets ... users form and join multiple chat groups: for example, one for work colleagues, one for personal friends and one for neighbors. One key feature is that it's relatively simple to forward a message from one group to another, which means information can spread rapidly. That's particularly problematic when it comes to false and even dangerous information ... (view more)

Wed
18
Mar
John Lister's picture

Tech Giants Tackle COVID-19 Fake News

Leading tech companies have agreed a joint program to week out false information about the COVID-19 pandemic. It could have a knock-on effect on the rest of their services. The program is announced in a joint statement from Facebook, Google, ... LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter and YouTube. It says they will take steps "to make sure everyone has access to accurate information, stop misinformation and harmful content, and support global health experts, local governments, businesses and communities." (Source: fb.com ) It's part of a four part program of measures from Facebook. The ... (view more)

Tue
05
Feb
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Facebook Fake News Fact-checkers Call it Quits

Two organizations hired by Facebook to check facts in news articles have pulled out of the deals. The Associated Press (AP) and Snopes are both being somewhat vague about exactly why they are stopping the work. While financial considerations may be ... the cause, third-party reports suggest the organizations were upset with the way Facebook handled their fact-checking operations. The two groups were among the most high-profile of what Facebook says is 34 organizations checking facts across 16 languages. According to the BBC, the AP and Snopes withdrawal means only two organizations in the US are ... (view more)

Thu
24
Jan
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WhatsApp Restricts Message Forwarding to Combat Fake News

A messaging service owned by Facebook is purposely limiting the amount of times users can forward a message. It's an attempt to slow the spread of false information. The change to WhatsApp follows a six month trial in India sparked off by several ... cases where bogus stories led to lynch mobs. WhatsApp lets users send text messages, video, images and documents. One of its core functions is a group system that lets a set of friends, family members, work colleagues or people with a share interest send a single message that reaches everyone in the group. The maximum group size is 256. One Message ... (view more)

Tue
30
Oct
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Facebook Election War Room Spots Fake News, but is it Enough?

Facebook has unveiled a 'war room' to combat misinformation during election season. But it was short on detail and provoked cynicism among many reporters. The company invited reporters to a briefing to show off the war room at it headquarters in ... Menlo Park, near San Francisco. The room reportedly has a capacity for 20 to 40 people drawn from 20 departments within the company. The use of the term 'war room' isn't related to military options but instead appears to be a reference to the way political campaigns use the same term for their headquarters during a campaign. Of course, that's somewhat ... (view more)

Thu
12
Jul
John Lister's picture

New FB, Messenger, Whatsapp Tools Prevent Scams, Fake News

Facebook is testing new tools to stop people being fooled by bogus messages. Meanwhile it's subsidiary "Whatsapp" is working on ways to stop hoaxes and other false information. The Facebook trial is for a series of tools relating to the direct ... messaging elements of the service, which includes messages through the website itself and via the dedicated "Messenger" app for mobile devices. The tools are aimed at messages which come from people or organizations the user hasn't previously communicated with, which carry a higher risk of being bogus than from genuine contacts. The ... (view more)

Wed
21
Mar
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Google Bids $300M for Paywall Support, Combat Fake News

Google says it is investing $300 million to help improve the quality and reliability of online news. It argues that such work is in its own business interests. The biggest change with the 'Google News Initiative' is a couple of steps to improve the ... online experience for people who subscribe to news sites that are behind a paywall. One is that subscribers, once signed up to a news site, will be automatically logged on to it whenever they are signed in to their Google account, saving the need to re-enter passwords. Another change is that people who use this facility will now see a special ... (view more)

Tue
29
Aug
John Lister's picture

Fake News Sites Banned from Facebook Ads

Facebook is to ban ads from sites that habitually share bogus 'news' stories. The ban will apply even if the ads themselves don't point to the false stories. It's no secret that Facebook is one of the biggest sources of traffic for news sites, both ... legitimate outlets and those which deliberately run tantalizing but misleading, or outright false stories. The latter sites thrive on people sharing the bogus stories on social media sites, thus bringing more visitor and bumping up ad revenue. However, some sites also buy Facebook advertising as a way to attract visitors who will then share the ... (view more)

Thu
22
Jun
John Lister's picture

Online Politics Riddled with 'Bots' Perpetuating Fake News

Political discussion on social media is often driven and manipulated by automated "bots," a university department claims. The word "bots" is a short form for "robot," and refers to online activity carried out using an automated program. The Oxford ... Internet Institute says it studied events in nine countries and found the bots played a role in every case. However, social media groups have questioned such studies saying they are often based on flawed research methods. The study looked at activity on Facebook and Twitter among users in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany ... (view more)

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