Twitter Makes Changes to Help Curb Election Disinformation

In advance of the U.S. presidential election, Twitter will temporarily change some of its basic features as well as the site’s look on October 20. Users will get a timeout before they can retweet a post from another account and if a user tries to share content flagged as false, a notice will warn them that Twitter designated the content as inaccurate. Twitter will also “add a label” to any claims of election victory until it is called by election authorities. Twitter hasn’t accepted political advertisements for a year. Continue reading Twitter Makes Changes to Help Curb Election Disinformation

Russia Pushes More Disinformation via Facebook and Twitter

Facebook and Twitter reported that the Internet Research Agency in Russia, which reportedly interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, is again using fake accounts and created Peace Data, a fake left-wing website. With the likely goal of influencing the 2020 election, it is believed to be spreading disinformation about Democratic presidential candidate Joseph Biden. U.S. intelligence agencies have warned for months about Russian meddling. Both social platforms have already taken steps to address such disinformation; most recently, Facebook announced plans to block political ads one week before the November election and Twitter is adding more context to Trending Topics. Continue reading Russia Pushes More Disinformation via Facebook and Twitter

Twitter Bans Accounts Promoting QAnon Conspiracy Theories

Twitter removed about 150,000 accounts disseminating QAnon right-wing conspiracies for violating the social platform’s policies and distributing harassment and misinformation that could potentially lead to harm. The company added that it will no longer recommend QAnon-related accounts and content, including that contained in email. Twitter also stated it will make efforts to limit these theories from appearing in trending topics and search, as well as users posting links affiliated with the theories. Continue reading Twitter Bans Accounts Promoting QAnon Conspiracy Theories

Facebook Pays for Watch Content From ABC, CNN and FOX

In the wake of ending Trending Topics, Facebook is amping up its Watch platform, and plans to pay TV news organizations ABC News, CNN, FOX News Channel and Univision to create original content. Facebook will also fund original content from local news publisher Advance Local; and digital media companies ATTN: and Mic. Content that includes breaking news, daily news briefings and longer-form series will debut this summer. Campbell Brown, Facebook head of global news partnerships and a former CNN host, is leading the project. Continue reading Facebook Pays for Watch Content From ABC, CNN and FOX

Facebook Drops Trending Topics, Tests Other News Features

Facebook is removing Trending Topics next week, saying that the feature has become “less useful” over time and that pulling the plug on it will “make way for future news experiences.” The feature accounted for an average of less than 1.5 percent of clicks to publishers from Facebook. Conservatives also decried the feature saying it proved Facebook’s liberal bias, an accusation the company is still trying to get out from under. Facebook now plans to pay some news outlets to produce daily and weekly news show for Watch. Continue reading Facebook Drops Trending Topics, Tests Other News Features

Google, Facebook in Earliest Stages of Combatting Fake News

Although both Google and Facebook have declared they will fight fake news, the two companies are still in the early stages of acting on that pledge. Google says that, as of the end of 2016, it had permanently banned almost 200 publishers from its AdSense advertising network. Facebook took aim at its Trending Topics feature, blamed by some for spreading fake news, introducing changes intended to showcase only reliable news articles. But these actions are miniscule in context of the immense problem at hand. Continue reading Google, Facebook in Earliest Stages of Combatting Fake News

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Lists Options for Managing Fake News

After weeks of accusation that fake news on Facebook, much of it favorable to Donald Trump, impacted the election, Facebook chairman/chief executive Mark Zuckerberg published a post describing ways the social media company might handle the issue. Among the potential steps are third-party verifications, improved automated detection tools and simpler ways for an ordinary user to flag suspicious content. Zuckerberg originally stated that the idea Facebook influenced the election was “a pretty crazy idea.” Continue reading Facebook’s Zuckerberg Lists Options for Managing Fake News

Twitter Launches App That Allows Alexa to Read Your Tweets

Twitter has introduced an app that enables Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa to read users’ Twitter timelines and topics currently trending on the social network. The new app is called Twitter Reader and it connects to Amazon Echo smart speakers and other Alexa-ready devices. Twitter Reader will recite individuals’ main timelines in addition to trending topics based on location. Users can ask for tweets that correspond to specific trends — or even ask if they have recently been mentioned on Twitter or if any of their tweets have been retweeted. Continue reading Twitter Launches App That Allows Alexa to Read Your Tweets

Celebrities Can Interact with Fans via Facebook Mentions App

Facebook Mentions is a new iOS app that encourages “actors, athletes, musicians and other influencers” to interact with their fans. It is essentially a more straightforward way for verified accounts with cluttered activity to manage their public figure pages. On the app, these users have a facilitated process for accessing their mentions and responding to them, along with allowing users to view conversations they follow and general trending topics.
Continue reading Celebrities Can Interact with Fans via Facebook Mentions App

Facebook Unveils New Sidebar with Games, Video in iPad App

Facebook’s iPad app will no longer be merely a larger version of the iPhone app. The social network has launched a new sidebar in its iPad app for U.S. users. This new feature makes it easier for people to discover games, videos, and news articles based on their interests and their friends’ activity. The update includes a new “My Games” section that has notifications from the games that users already play and “Popular Games,” which suggests new iPad games that users may be interested in. Continue reading Facebook Unveils New Sidebar with Games, Video in iPad App