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Replacing Disputed Flags with Related Articles

Instead of flagging links to questionable news items, Facebook will instead hide them. Which is nice, but it still means we have to trust the algorithm Facebook uses. (Don’t trust Facebook to filter your news for you.) False news undermines the unique value that Facebook offers: the ability for you to connect with family and friends in meaningful ways. It’s why we’re investing in better technology and more people to…

Other than #StarTrek memes, my favorite part of the web is how it’s a rhetorical battleground for the fate of the free world.

Saturday, Donald Trump tweeted that he knew Flynn lied, and that’s why he “had to fire” him. Critics immediately raised concerns, noting that if Trump did in fact know Flynn had lied, then Trump’s request that FBI Director James Comey “let this go” amounts to an obstruction of justice. Sunday, Trump’s lawyer John Dowd told CNN “he drafted the tweet and believes White House social media director Dan Scavino posted…

Did you share Russian fake news? Facebook, apparently unable to insert items directly in our feeds, will make you jump through hoops to find out.

Did you share fake news from Russia during the US Presidential election? Grudgingly following up on a Congressional order, Facebook will permit you to jump through hoops to find out. Because Facebook apparently does not have the technology to insert items of its choosing directly in user feeds, the social media company has helpfully provided a new option in its maze of settings. Whether you have unknowingly participated in the…

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Controlling behavior of HQ CEO hijacks what should have been a puff piece about popular HQ host Scott Rogowsky

A few minutes ago I heard about HQ for the first time, through a friend’s Facebook post. An item or two down in my feed I saw a different FB friend had linked to this story. The Daily Beast describes a tense encounter with a CEO who calls a reporter, threatens to fire his own employee who previously spoke with a reporter for allegedly revealing company secrets, discloses at least…

The Digital-Humanities Bust

Dinosaurs evolved into birds. Not all of them, of course. Birds are so much a part of our environment that we barely notice them. I’ve said the same about weblogs. Monetized and platformized and app-ified, the basic functions of blogging live on — a reverse-sorted stream of posts, a mechanism to engage with visitors to your stream, and a mechanism for engaging with the authors of other streams. It is…

Russian troll factory paid US activists to help fund protests during election

Russian trolls posing as Americans made payments to genuine activists in the US to help fund protest movements on socially divisive issues, according to a new investigation by a respected Russian media outlet. On Tuesday, the newspaper RBC published a major investigation into the work of a so-called Russian “troll factory” since 2015, including during the period of the US election campaign, disclosures that are likely to put further spotlight…