Facebook knew about Cambridge Analytica’s “improper data-gathering practices” months before the Guardian first reported on them in Dec 2015, according to a court filing by the attorney general for Washington DC. The new information “could suggest that Facebook has consistently mislead [sic]” British lawmakers “about what it knew and when about Cambridge Analytica”, tweeted Damian Collins, the chair of the House of Commons digital culture media and sport select committee (DCMS) in response to the filing.
There was a proliferation of fake news during the 2016 election cycle. Grinberg et al. analyzed Twitter data by matching Twitter accounts to specific voters to determine who was exposed to fake news, who spread fake news, and how fake news interacted with factual news. Fake news accounted for nearly 6% of all news consumption, but it was heavily concentrated—only 1% of users were exposed to 80% of fake news, and 0.1% of users were responsible for sharing 80% of fake news.
Advocacy groups urged the Federal Trade Commission to order a breakup of Facebook after the agency concludes its investigation into the company’s handling of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The groups, led by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, wrote in a letter to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons that modest enforcement actions would not be adequate to curb Facebook’s privacy practices. They urged the FTC to require Facebook to divest from subsidiaries like WhatsApp and Instagram and to i
Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime informal adviser to President Donald Trump who has spent decades plying the dark arts of scandal-mongering and dirty tricks to help influence American political campaigns, was arrested after an indictment was unsealed in the special counsel investigation.
The decisions by networks to go all-in on Donald Trump in 2016 may sound a distant echo today. But it’s one that is still being heard and felt in the wake of the networks’ decision to air President Donald Trump’s Jan 8 speech about a border crisis that doesn’t exist and a wall that the vast majority of US taxpayers don’t want to pay for. News outlets need to have a deeper reckoning about their role in enabling President Donald Trump’s lies and spreading his racist propaganda.
The Trump administration slapped new sanctions on 18 Russian intelligence agents for a variety of activities, including interfering in the US presidential election, the attempted assassination of a former spy in Britain, and hacking international agencies that combat chemical weapons and doping. The latest round of sanctions bring the total of Russian individuals and entities the Trump administration has sanctioned to 272. Nine officers for Russia’s Main Intelligence Director (GRU) were sanctioned for playing a role in undermining the election.
The attorney general for the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against Facebook for allowing Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy, to gain access to the names, "likes" and other personal data about tens of millions of the social site's users without their permission. The lawsuit filed by Karl Racine marks the first major effort by regulators in the US to penalize the tech giant for its entanglement with the firm. It could presage even tougher fines and other punishments still to come for Facebook as additional state and federal investigations continue.
The researchers behind the blockbuster reports detailing a sweeping online influence campaign by Russia during and after the 2016 election offer what to expect ahead. Bharath Ganesh of Oxford University said trolls are likely to move into the background and “embed” themselves among activist groups critical of US institutions in order to amplify their voices.
Congressional Black Caucus Statement on Russian Attempts to Suppress African American Turnout in 2016 Election
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) – led by Chairman L. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), and Congressional Black Caucus Diversity Task Force Co-Chairs, Reps Barbara Lee (D-CA) and GK Butterfield (D-NC) – issued the following joint statement in response to a new report prepared for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which reveals Russia targeted African American voters in attempts to suppress the vote in the 2016 election:
New report on Russian disinformation, prepared for the Senate, shows the operation’s scale and sweep
A report prepared for the Senate that provides the most sweeping analysis yet of Russia’s disinformation campaign around the 2016 election found the operation used every major social media platform to deliver words, images and videos tailored to voters’ interests to help elect President Donald Trump — and worked even harder to support him while in office. The report is the first to study the millions of posts provided by major technology firms to the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), its chairman, and Sen. Mark Warner (VA), its ranking Democrat.