Facebook failed to warn Georgia voters about misinformation, activists say

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Facebook is still grappling with political misinformation after election day.


Angela Lang/CNET

Facebook has been using labels to warn users about posts that contain misinformation, but a global activist group says false claims are still slipping through the cracks ahead of runoff elections in Georgia that will decide which party controls the US Senate.

Avaaz, a global activist group, said Friday it examined 204 Facebook posts in English and Spanish that contained 12 false Georgia election-related claims debunked by fact checkers. As of Nov 20, about 60% of these posts didn’t have a label that warned users the post contained false information. Some of the posts weren’t labeled at all and others had a different label that directed Facebook users to an online hub with election information.

The analysis raises questions about whether

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Claims of misinformation, censorship place Section 230 in crosshairs

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Back in 1996, when the World Wide Web was just beginning to revolutionize the ways human beings could communicate, many of those helping to build the emerging online tech industry were filled with a boundless sense of optimism.

The core of this optimism was the confidence that the internet could be a truly open space for freedom of speech. It was an ethos embodied that year by a much-circulated and somewhat sly “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” by the cyberlibertarian essayist and Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow. He declared that the legal concepts of the world of matter, “concepts of property, expression, identity,” simply did not apply to the internet, a virtually pure digital space for freedom of speech beyond the “governments of the industrial world, you weary giants of flesh and steel.”

“We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or

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Right-wing users flock to Parler as social media giants rein in misinformation

Since the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Parler has caught on among right-wing politicians and “influencers” – people with large online followings – as a social media platform where they can share and promote ideas without worrying about the company blocking or flagging their posts for being dangerous or misleading. However, the website has become a haven for far-right extremists and conspiracy theorists who are now interacting with the mainstream conservatives flocking to the platform.

As the three highest-profile social media companies – YouTube, Facebook and Twitter – continue to take action to mitigate the spread of extremism and disinformation, Parler has welcomed the ensuing exodus of right-wing users. It has exploded in popularity, doubling its members to 10 million during the month of November – although it is still dwarfed by Twitter’s roughly 330 million monthly active users.

With its newfound success, the site is contributing to the widening gap

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Social media must prepare for flood of Covid-19 vaccine misinformation

Nearly two years ago, public health experts blamed social media platforms for contributing to a measles outbreak by allowing false claims about the risks of vaccines to spread.



Moderna says it will ask US and European regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection.


© Hans Pennink/AP
Moderna says it will ask US and European regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection.

Facebook pledged to take tougher action on anti-vaccine misinformation, including making it less prominent in the news feed and not recommending related groups. But shortly after, Facebook-owned Instagram continued to serve up posts from anti-vaccine accounts and hashtags to anyone searching for the word “vaccines.” Despite actions against anti-vaccine content since then — some as recent as last month — Facebook has failed to totally quash the movement on its platforms.

Now, with Covid-19 vaccines potentially making their way to some Americans as soon as this month, the tech companies will

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Social media ‘misinformation’ endangers democracy, historians say

False or misleading information shared on social media platforms regarding this year’s presidential election, along with racial and social unrest nationally, has some historians and others worried about the damage done to the democratic process.

Howard Schneider, executive director of Stony Brook University’s Center for News Literacy, said a polarized United States helped fuel “misinformation” during the contentious race between President Donald Trump and now President-elect Joe Biden. Underlying the polarization, which continues to flourish on social media, in chat rooms, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, is America’s fraught racial history, some scholars believe.

“We’re in a situation where people are trusting their political and partisan group identity more than they are the news media,” said Schneider, a former editor of Newsday. “This is a real problem for the country. How do we educate people … who are so fixed and set in their ways, who won’t believe fact-based information?

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How To Avoid Social Media Misinformation Ahead Of Winter Storms

It’s been a rough year for bad weather. After a rambunctious spring of severe thunderstorms and a historic hurricane season, a fast-approaching winter doesn’t seem like much of a challenge. But the threat of snow and ice is ripe for misinformation and anxiety. Social media is a salon of bogus weather info during the snowy season. It’s important to be able to spot and stop some of the winter weather nonsense you may encounter in the coming weeks and months.

Check Your Sources

Everything old is new again.

It took a

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Conservatives find home on social media platforms rife with misinformation.

Among tweets containing baseless claims about election results, Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo echoed a rallying cry of many prominent conservative voices in a tweet shortly after Election Day: “I will be leaving [Twitter] soon and going to Parler. Please open an account on @parler right away.”



a screen shot of an open laptop computer sitting on top of a table: Amid rising turmoil in social media, alternative social network Parler is gaining with prominent political conservatives who claim their voices are being silenced by Silicon Valley giants.


© Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images
Amid rising turmoil in social media, alternative social network Parler is gaining with prominent political conservatives who claim their voices are being silenced by Silicon Valley giants.

Others who’ve been active on the alternative social network Parler in recent weeks include Fox News host Sean Hannity, radio personality Mark Levin, far-right activist Laura Loomer, Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Devin Nunes. Eric Trump also has an account verified by Parler as does Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

A substantial number of users have followed these voices onto the platform, fueled by complaints over actions major social media platforms have

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Misinformation about election fraud has flooded the internet. Here’s how to spot false reports

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Election security experts warned for months that misinformation would ramp up after election day to cast doubt on the vote with falsehoods.


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This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the voting in November and its aftermath.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has beaten President Donald Trump in a contest punctuated with wild rumors, false reports and premature declarations of victory. The end of the election, however, hasn’t meant an end to the misinformation.

Social media posts from the sitting president that falsely claim the election was stolen from him have swept through the internet, and Trump has continued to tweet and retweet items that contain disputed information, which Twitter has labeled. Additionally, baseless claims of election fraud from a variety of sources have also swept Twitter, as well as YouTube and Facebook. 

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