U.S. to Begin Collecting Social Media Usernames, Passwords from Visa Applicants

The Trump administration announced today that it will begin collecting social media information on individuals applying for visas to the United States. The new policy is expected to affect roughly 14 million visitors per year. Visitors will be asked to provide social media user names used on popular platforms during the five years preceding the […]

Continue Reading

Facebook Helped Trump Win the Election – But it Wasn’t Just Because of the Russians

The effects of the efforts of Russian operatives sitting at computer terminals half a world away on the 2016 presidential election are still being discovered nearly sixteen months after Election Day.  What’s receiving much less attention though are the legal tools the Trump campaign used to gain exposure, engagement and by extension, momentum, heading into […]

Continue Reading

Russian-Linked Bots Seek to Amplify Loudest Voices, Deepen Divisions in Wake of Parkland Shooting

The aftermath of one of the deadliest school shootings in the nation’s history in Parkland, Florida, this week saw a spike in Twitter activity of accounts linked to Russian disinformation campaigns.  Hamilton 68, a website that tracks the Twitter activity of Russian-related accounts, reports that within 24 hours of the massacre, shooting-related terms dominated the […]

Continue Reading

Former Executives at Google and Facebook Form New Group to Combat the Tech Giants’ Influence

A group of early employees at Facebook and Google have banded together to counter the effects of the companies hey helped build.  The employees are forming a consortium of experts called the Center of Humane Technology.  Along with the nonprofit media watchdog, Common Sense Media, they are planning anti-tech-addiction campaigns patterned after anti-smoking campaign, that […]

Continue Reading

President Trump: Sometimes I Tweet from Bed, “Not Aware” of Invite to Royal Wedding in May

President Trump revealed in an interview that he sometimes tweets from bed and occasionally lets others tweet for him.  The president made the revelation in an interview with Piers Morgan on Britain’s ITV network. “Well, perhaps sometimes in bed, perhaps sometimes at breakfast or lunch or whatever, but generally speaking during the early morning, or […]

Continue Reading

Twitter: Russian Bots Retweeted Trump Nearly 470,000 Times During Final Weeks of the Election

Twitter revealed to Congressional lawmakers this week that Russian bots, or automated accounts, retweeted the president nearly 470,000 times during the final weeks of the presidential election.  The company had reported that it has identified 201 accounts linked to Russian interference efforts. The company says the retweeting activity took place between September 1 and November […]

Continue Reading

Google, Twitter Saw No Evidence of Russian Influence Efforts in Any of Last Year’s Special Elections

Google and Twitter told Congress that they have found no evidence of Russian influence efforts in the handful of U.S. special elections held last year.  The companies responded to written questions from the Senate Intelligence Committee.  The questions were a follow up to a November 1 hearing in which the companies were heavily criticized for […]

Continue Reading

Facebook to Begin Ranking News Outlets on Trustworthiness

Facebook has announced that it will begin ranking news outlets based on how trusted they are by its users.  Those outlets that rank higher will get priority in their positioning on users’ news feeds.  The move is meant to decrease the level of “sensationalism, misinformation and polarization” in the media, the company said. Facebook has […]

Continue Reading

Twitter Identifies, Suspends 1,062 Russian Troll-Farm-Linked Accounts

Social media giant Twitter announced that is has suspended over 1,000 accounts it believes to be linked to Russian active measures – the propaganda and disinformation campaigns Russian intelligence services use to influence politics.  The company believes the accounts are linked to the Internet Research Agency, an agency that works with Russian intelligence services to […]

Continue Reading