Trump Affiliate Gave Data Profiles on 200 million Americans to US Adversary, Covid Fact Checks, and Trump on Facebook Despite Platform's Claims
Threats, Fact Checks, and Reads #6.3.21
Several French bloggers said they received emails offering to pay for social-media videos criticizing the Covid-19 vaccine
Hoaxlines covered this before the major outlets and took a different approach, aiming to set the disinformation in context.
Kremlin-controlled outlets have denied the claims, portraying the influence operation as a red herring meant to distract from the dangers of Pfizer, while also making claims about Pfizer in a variety of languages and countries.
New Report from Hoaxlines out soon
How are state-controlled media websites that spread disinformation finding an audience?
Are American companies involved or funding them?
Can we do anything to stop it? That's what we hoped to answer.
The project involved 100s of websites from Russia, Iran, and China, and will publish later this month. We’ll include it in the newsletter so if you’re on the mailing list it will come to you.
Facebook Published A Report on Information Operations on the Platform That Confirm the Domestic Efforts Researchers Have Suspected on the Platform
Mamie 😌 @MC_HyperboleHere is the video of former national security advisor Michael Flynn saying that he thinks a coup like the coup in Myanmar should happen in the US. https://t.co/7mGYjfXg18
Facebook told Climate Home News that the platform directly connects over 100,000 people every day with reliable information through its Climate Science Information Centre, which was set up in September. The center compiles data and expert information from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the national oceanic and atmospheric administration, and the UN environment program.
“We combat climate change misinformation by working with a global network of independent fact-checking partners to review and rate content,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
But Buchan said the center does not do enough to prevent climate misinformation from slipping through. “It’s not sufficient right now. With Cop26 around the corner, climate misinformation is going to be on the rise,” said Buchan.
“This is a really big opportunity for Facebook to take leadership on this. These sorts of events have been derailed by misinformation campaigns before,” he added.
Australian MP George Christensen spread false information that was shared 1,400 times. The report highlights the global scale of misinformation, from Australia to the US.
During the bushfires in Australia last year, bots and trolls spread false posts on Facebook claiming that arson by environmental campaigners was to blame, the report states.
Misleading claims by US conservative pundits, saying that frozen wind turbines were causing mass power outages in Texas in February, were shared on Facebook without fact-checking labels.
This Fox News misinformation has no fact-check warning and has been viewed 4.4 million times.
The activity shown in screenshots highly suggests coordination and an effort to manipulate platform trending topics, possibly to shift the discussion.
It’s not possible to say who is responsible.
What we can say is that coordinated inauthentic behavior is used to influence the public discussion, most often and that this activity appears to be misrepresenting the circumstances of the death of a woman at the Capitol on Jan 6th.
Democrats are ready to move on President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan unless there is a major breakthrough this week. The two sides are over $1 trillion apart in how much they want to spend, and they have not agreed on what to fund or how to pay for it
by John Sipher, a 28-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency’s National Clandestine Service
We already knew Manafort had passed confidential internal polling data to Kilimnik, who was described by the 2020 Senate Select Intelligence Committee report as a “Russian intelligence officer.”
The major change is that the US government has now acknowledged Putin’s intelligence services were the recipient of the campaign data, which included the GOP data trust database, something revealed in recently unsealed interviews with Rick Gates--a cache of data points on some 200 million US voters handed willingly to an adversary.
“The content was not designed to persuade people to change their views, but to harden those views…The intention of these campaigns was to activate—or suppress—target groups. Not to change their views, but to change their behavior.”
Complicated crimes leverage our attention economy--or our lack of attention economy. A major American party gave information about 200 million Americans to an adversary, and that data could be used without GOP permission for other efforts in the future. Headlines related to it lasted less than a day.
Narratives related to the vaccine and children have become popular across platforms. The claims often stem from a misunderstanding of the VAERS database, which has low specificity and detects many instances that are not related to vaccines, and false claims, like a false report in VAERS that reported a two-year old's death although, at the time, children had not yet been permitted to get the vaccine.
The meme includes this heading: “Things NOT being offered to take the Covid jab.” Then it lists: “Peer-reviewed clinical studies proving its safety and efficacy” and “Liability when something goes wrong.”
It’s easy enough to show the first claim is false. The New England Journal of Medicine — a peer-reviewed publication — has published studies finding that the vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson are effective and safe. The NEJM is the oldest continuously published general medical journal in the world and is among the most frequently cited journals.
It’s also worth noting that more than 290 million vaccines have been administered across the country so far with only rare documented cases of serious adverse reactions, including anaphylaxis occurring in approximately 2 to 5 patients per million.
Engagement with content from deceptive sites on Facebook and Twitter retreated from last year’s historic highs during the first three months of 2021. On Twitter, the drop was dramatic: a 60 percent quarterly decline in shares of content from deceptive sites by “verified accounts.”
On Facebook, interactions with content from deceptive sites dipped by 15 percent in the first quarter of 2021, reflecting a comparable decline in interactions with all U.S.-based sites on the platform.
The changes were likely driven by platforms’ suspension of accounts and pages that have propagated deceptive content in the past as well as policy change such as prioritizing original news reporting within Facebook’s News Feed.
At the same time, there was an increased concentration among Manipulators (see below) as The Daily Wire’s share of interactions grew from 13 to 22 percent.
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Val Arkoosh condemned Pennsylvania House Bill 118 as "unbelievable" and "outrageous" in May 2021. The claims appear inaccurate.
Does a video back up its claim that Dr. Anthony Fauci had Nobel laureate Kary Mullis murdered to silence the chemist, who often criticized Fauci?
No, that's not true: The claim is made without reference to physical or documentary evidence and with one piece of circumstantial evidence that scarcely deserves that label. Mullis' unchallenged obituaries say he died of pneumonia.
The tweet where this originated has since been deleted.
This is definitely false and this specific problem is precisely what fueled so much spread in the early pandemic.
The misunderstanding may flow from a study earlier in 2021 that didn’t find asymptomatic spread but did find presymptomatic spread, far more than previous studies. The message to take is still the same. People who feel well and have no symptoms can spread the virus.
Referenced Study: Asymptomatic spread of Covid
A post circulating on Instagram claims, "The latest CDC data show reports of adverse events from COVID vaccines surpass 220,000, including 943 among 12-17-year-olds."
This is false.
Given the highly polarized coverage of the movement, a data-driven approach is a welcome addition.
The BLM movement has remained overwhelmingly non-violent. 94% of all pro-BLM demonstrations have been peaceful, with 6% involving reports of violence, clashes with police, vandalism, looting, or other destructive activity.
In the remaining 6%, it is not always clear who instigated the violent or destructive activity. While some cases of violence or looting have been provoked by demonstrators, other events have escalated as a result of aggressive government action, intervention from right-wing groups or individual assailants, and car-ramming attacks.
Protest-for-protests demonstrations involving far-right militias or militant social movements are twice as violent according to the data, with 14% of protests involving violence.
As an aside some criminal activities that began at BLM protests were assumed to be the work of BLM or Antifa. Investigation revealed something else.
Examples of instances that have been misportrayed by either media or on social media:
Feds say far-right group coordinated attack on Minneapolis police precinct during a protest--coordinated may suggest we were meant to mistake the identity of the arsonists in the precise way that many people did.
This doesn’t mean that far-left actors don’t commit crimes or that far-left groups aren’t a problem. Critically, the data show they are not the biggest threat facing the right now.
Officials in both the Trump and Biden administration have confirmed White Supremacy is the greatest threat. That may be due in part to the tendency of law enforcement to take far-left threats more seriously.
CONTENT WARNING: Please note that the two following reports contain offensive and extreme language because 4chan was the queried platform.
We Have Some Qualms With This Article: Study: QAnon Is as Big as Some Major Religions in the US — and One in Four White Evangelicals Believe It
E. Rosalie @NovelSci1/11 Comparing policies that have existed in the US for over 100 years to people who died violent deaths under the Chinese Communist Party or in the Holocaust is an appalling, irrational display of ignorance and tribalism. https://t.co/Pd6mpOuRP2
Often the article doesn’t actually say what the headline promised. We call this an ‘Edline.’
Sometimes the contradiction between the headline and the rest of the piece hides in plain view.
Last May, a MailOnline headline said “Coronavirus IS causing deadly new inflammatory fever in some children”—but just three bullet points below, the “IS” turned into “may.”
Critical Point: At the time the scientists, unlike the headline, were not sure.