US legislator, David Cicilline, joins international push to interrogate platform power

US legislator David Cicilline will be joining the next meeting of the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and ‘Fake News’, it has been announced. The meeting will be held in Dublin on November 7. Chair of the committee, the Irish Fine Gael politician Hildegarde Naughton, announced Cicilline’s inclusion today. The congressman — who is chairman […]

Twitter bags deep learning talent behind London startup, Fabula AI

Twitter has just announced it has picked up London-based Fabula AI. The deep learning startup has been developing technology to try to identify online disinformation by looking at patterns in how fake stuff vs genuine news spreads online — making it an obvious fit for the rumor-riled social network. Social media giants remain under increasing […]

Facebook found hosting masses of far right EU disinformation networks

A multi-month hunt for political disinformation spreading on Facebook in Europe suggests there are concerted efforts to use the platform to spread bogus far right propaganda to millions of voters ahead of a key EU vote which kicks off tomorrow. Following the independent investigation, Facebook has taken down a total of 77 pages and 230 […]

Facebook still a great place to amplify pre-election junk news, EU study finds

A study carried out by academics at Oxford University to investigate how junk news is being shared on social media in Europe ahead of regional elections this month has found individual stories shared on Facebook’s platform can still hugely outperform the most important and professionally produced news stories, drawing as much as 4x the volume […]

Facebook’s latest account purge exposes Africa’s misinformation problem

Facebook last week purged a network of hundreds of pages, groups and Instagram accounts it labeled as producing “coordinated inauthentic behavior” toward Africa. The activity originated in Israel and was largely targeted toward Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger, and Tunisia. It was mostly political in nature and primarily paid for by Archemedes Group, a global […]

When it comes to elections, Facebook moves slow, may still break things

This week, Facebook invited a small group of journalists — which didn’t include TechCrunch — to look at the “war room” it has set up in Dublin, Ireland, to help monitor its products for election-related content that violates its policies. (“Time and space constraints” limited the numbers, a spokesperson told us when he asked why […]

Twitter to offer report option for misleading election tweets

Twitter is adding a dedicated report option that enables users to tell it about misleading tweets related to voting — starting with elections taking place in India and the European Union . From tomorrow users in India can report tweets they believe are trying to mislead voters — such as disinformation related to the date […]

Facebook has quietly removed three bogus far-right networks in Spain ahead of Sunday’s elections

Facebook has quietly removed three far-right networks that were engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior intended to spread politically divisive content in Spain ahead of a general election in the country, which takes place on Sunday. The networks had a total reach of almost 1.7 million followers and had generated close to 7.4 million interactions in […]

Sri Lanka blocks social media sites after deadly explosions

The government of Sri Lanka has temporarily blocked access to several social media services following deadly explosions that ripped through the country, killing at least 207 people and injuring hundreds more. Eight bombings were reported, including during Easter services at three churches, on the holiest weekend of the Christian calendar. In a brief statement, the […]

WhatsApp adds a new privacy setting for groups in another effort to clamp down on fake news

WhatsApp today announced another protection for users in an effort to clamp down on the spread of fake news and misinformation. Through a new feature, users can control who has permission to add them to groups. The company says this will “help to limit abuse” and keep people’s phone numbers private. Related to this, the […]