robot with phone 'like' 'like' 'like', illustration - Credit: Poynter

A Decade of Social Bot Detection

In this work, we briefly survey the first decade of research in social bot detection. Via a longitudinal analysis, we discuss the main trends of research in the fight against bots, the major results that were achieved, and the factors that make this never-ending battle so challenging. Capitalizing on lessons learned from our extensive analysis, we suggest possible innovations that could give us the upper hand against deception and manipulation. Studying a decade of endeavors in social bot detection can also inform strategies for detecting and mitigating the effects of other—more recent—forms of online deception, such as strategic information operations and political trolls.

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sharing misinformation - Najeebah Al-Ghadban

How the truth was murdered

Instead, I’m here to point out, as others have before, that people had a choice to intervene much sooner, but didn’t. Facebook and Twitter didn’t create racist extremists, conspiracy theories, or mob harassment, but they chose to run their platforms in a way that allowed extremists to find an audience, and they ignored voices telling them about the harms their business models were encouraging.

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NYTimes - The Privacy Project

The Privacy Project

The boundaries of privacy are in dispute, and its future is in doubt. Citizens, politicians and business leaders are asking if societies are making the wisest tradeoffs. The Times is embarking on this monthslong project to explore the technology and where it’s taking us, and to convene debate about how it can best help realize human potential.

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At Least 70 Countries Have Had Disinformation Campaigns, Study Finds

The New York Times, September 26, 2019
By Davey Alba and Adam Satariano

“Despite increased efforts by internet platforms like Facebook to combat internet disinformation, the use of the techniques by governments around the world is growing, according to a report released Thursday by researchers at Oxford University. Governments are spreading disinformation to discredit political opponents, bury opposing views and interfere in foreign affairs.”

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The Great Hack - Website

The Great Hack

Directed by: Karim Amer & Jehane Noujaim
Writing Credits: Karim Amer, Erin Barnett & Pedro Kos
Worldwide release by Netflix July 24, 2019

“Explore how a data company named Cambridge Analytica came to symbolize the dark side of social media in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

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Getting Hooked on Tech

Communications of the ACM, June 2018, Vol. 61 No. 6, Pages 18-19
By Logan Kugler

“Facebook and Google lead the way in this arena. Facebook allows users to customize their personal profile to their liking and indicate their interests by engaging with content. Every reaction a user has to a post teaches Facebook’s algorithms his/her preferences; these algorithms then serve more content that even better matches the user’s preferences.

The result? The user visits and revisits the site, staying for longer, making them a richer target for advertising.”

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