California Law Would Require Social Platforms to Report Bots

State legislators in California are pushing for a law that would require Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to identify bots, automated accounts that can be created or used by individuals or organizations. Most recently, bots, reportedly out of Russia, generated hundreds of posts on gun control in the wake of the shooting in Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Russia-linked bots also played a role sharing Donald Trump’s tweets almost 500,000 times in the final weeks of the 2016 election. Continue reading California Law Would Require Social Platforms to Report Bots

Investigations Into Social Media Accounts With Ties to Russia

Four Russian-linked Facebook accounts that bought ads during the U.S. election period were active, posting divisive messages, as late as this past August. “Secured Borders,” “Blacktivist,” “Heart of Texas” and “Being Patriotic” collectively had almost one million followers, before Facebook removed them for misrepresenting their identities. On “Secured Borders,” which had 133,000 followers, messages included those calling for the killing of Muslims and dubbing illegal immigrants “rapists, murderers and child molesters.” Google, Facebook and Twitter are expected to testify before Congress about Russian ties to ad buying, search manipulation and fake news. Continue reading Investigations Into Social Media Accounts With Ties to Russia

Early Oscar Numbers Look Strong, Ellen Breaks Twitter Record

While total viewer numbers will not be available from Nielsen until later today, last night’s telecast of the 86th Academy Awards from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood scored impressive numbers in the major markets, up 7 percent from last year. In addition, host Ellen DeGeneres set a new social media record by taking a celebrity-filled selfie during the broadcast that has been retweeted more times than any photo in Twitter history, besting President Obama’s tweet after he won the 2012 presidential election. Continue reading Early Oscar Numbers Look Strong, Ellen Breaks Twitter Record

Pandora Aims to Build Ad Revenue Based on Voting Patterns

Pandora is starting a new advertising service that would allow political organizations and candidates to target the majority of the Internet radio service’s listeners based on their likely voting preferences. Pandora is doing this by comparing election results with subscribers’ ZIP Codes and musical preferences. Then Pandora is labeling subscribers’ political preferences based on their musical taste, and if an artist is more popular in a largely Republican or Democratic area. Continue reading Pandora Aims to Build Ad Revenue Based on Voting Patterns

Meeting of the Minds: Discussion on Data-Driven Societies

A group of academics, business executives and journalists recently gathered at the MIT Media Lab to discuss the concept of Data-Driven Societies. Alex Pentland, a computational social scientist at the Media Lab and a leading mind in the area of Big Data, hosted the meeting and discussed how increasing amounts of important information are becoming readily available on vast scales and are often all about consumer behavior. Continue reading Meeting of the Minds: Discussion on Data-Driven Societies