Midterm fakes

Midterms polarized results mirror a polarized debate between democrats and republicans, with rumours of fraud and voters suppression spread by both camps. But that was not the only disinformation, the New York Times called on its readers to share examples of election-related misinformation. In all, more than 4,000 examples of misinformation were submitted. Some were even spread by candidates themselves, as the “jobs not mobs” slogan, which started out as a meme, then turned into a political slogan.

More tapas?

Spain and Russia have agreed on a disinformation forum to tackle fake-news in Catalonia.

Web Summit: the internet father and the sons of anarchy

Last week, the tech community held its major world conference: The Web Summit. Father of the internet Tim Berners-Lee announced a “contract for the web”, setting ethical standards around privacy and open access to the internet. Speaking of ethics, European commissioner Vera Jourova suggested an Hippocrat oath for tech designers in order to put an end to “the online anarchy around elections”. As they feel the change coming, big techs seem to have joined the advocacy for regulation, yet Mark Scott from Politico warns politicians not to get fooled… 

Metadata crafts

MIT technology review present two startups using algorithms to track when images are edited, from the moment they’re taken. Typically, pictures online contain metadata that can be manipulated. Data & Society Research Affiliate Amelia Acker’s analyzes how bad actors manipulate metadata to create effective disinformation campaigns, and provides tips for researchers and technology companies trying to spot this “data craft.” Meanwhile, InVid image fact-checking plug-in is now used by 7000 people.


To read this week:
Reporters without borders published its “International Declaration on Information and Democracy, which establishes democratic guarantees for the global information and communication space.
“Belief in Fake News is Associated with Delusionality, Dogmatism, Religious Fundamentalism, and Reduced Analytic Thinking” in the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.
 UNDP published the first publicly available study that analyses how social media is used by al-Shabaab, Boko Haram and ISIL to contribute to radicalisation in seven African countries.

Mark your calendar

November 12 @ Paris — Hackathon : Relever les défis des troubles informationnels à l’ère numérique
November 29 @ Pullman Riga Oldtown — “Disinformation and Fake news challenge to democracy” event hosted by civil society organisation “ManaBalss”, part of a EC supported project “Smart eDemocracy Against Fake News (SMARTeD)”
December 3 @ Berlin  —  News Impact Summit with @GoogleNewsInit  — December 6 @ Oxford — Book launch: Journalism, ‘Fake News’ & Disinformation