Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Social Media

DHS OIG Report – CBP’s Searches of Electronic Devices At Ports of Entry

DHS Office of Inspector General Audit – CBP’s Searches of Electronic Devices At Ports of Entry / Redacted, December 3, 2018: “Between April 2016 and July 2017, CBP’s [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] Office of Field Operations (OFO) did not always conduct searches of electronic devices at U.S. ports of entry according to its SOPs. Specifically, because of inadequate supervision to ensure OFO officers properly documented searches, OFO cannot maintain accurate quantitative data or identify and address performance problems related to these searches. In addition, OFO officers did not consistently disconnect electronic devices, specifically cell phones, from the network before searching them because headquarters provided inconsistent guidance to the ports of entry on disabling data connections on electronic devices. OFO also did not adequately manage technology to effectively support search operations and ensure the security of data. Finally, OFO has not yet developed performance measures to evaluate the effectiveness of a pilot program, begun in 2007, to conduct advanced searches, including copying electronic data from searched devices to law enforcement databases.

These deficiencies in supervision, guidance, and equipment management, combined with a lack of performance measures, limit OFO’s ability to detect and deter illegal activities related to terrorism; national security; human, drug, and bulk cash smuggling; and child pornography…”

As fake news flourishes UK’s fact-checkers are turning to automation to compete

Wired – Speed is everything in a post-truth world of alternative facts, online propaganda and political lies. Full Fact, the UK’s fact-checkers, are increasingly relying on technology to tackle counter-narratives: “..Since its inception in 2010, Full Fact has been parsing claims from British politicians and media, cross-referencing them with reliable data and labelling them as… Continue Reading

Poynter launching podcast about fact checking and misinformation

Poynter: “Over the next three weeks, the International Fact-Checking Network is releasing a limited-run podcast about fact-checking and fake news. In each of the three episodes, we talk to fact-checkers, journalists and experts around the world to try and answer one big question about the industry. In the first episode, we talk to Amy Sippitt… Continue Reading

Words always matter

Oxford University Press Blog: “The run-up to the recent mid-term elections saw commentators across the political spectrum claiming that “words matter.” Much of this was in response to violent acts – in particular the Pittsburgh Synagogue massacre and the pipe bombs sent to Democrats – that some argued was a consequence of Donald Trump’s rhetoric.… Continue Reading

UK Investigation – Facebook allegedly offered advertisers special access to users’ data and activities

Washington Post: [see also Motherboard for coverage w/out payall]”A key British lawmaker alleged Wednesday that Facebook maintained “whitelisting agreements” that gave select companies preferential access to valuable user data several years ago, offering insight into how the company balanced concerns about user privacy with the business imperative of growing revenue. Damian Collins, chairman of a… Continue Reading

By the numbers: Political tweets turn blue in 2018

Axios: “New data from Twitter shows the top 10 U.S. politicians who were most tweeted about in the few months after the midterm election were Democrats, replacing a list that was once dominated by GOP lawmakers the majority of 2018. Why it matters: The political clout and conversation is changing with its politicians. Republicans like Speaker… Continue Reading

The godfather of fake news and his counterpart who battles for the truth

BBC News – Meet one of the world’s most prolific writers of disinformation – “Christopher Blair takes a sip of his coffee. Then he carefully focuses on one of the three screens in front of him. He’s in his home office, 45 minutes outside Portland, Maine, on the US East Coast. Stroking his thick beard, he… Continue Reading

Behind an Effort to Fact-Check Live News With Speed and Accuracy

WSJ [paywall] – “The Atlanta-based North Highland consultancy’s Sparks Grove unit has created an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven voice-scanning tool that can identify dubious statements seconds after their utterance, in an effort to more accurately fact-check news. Sparks Grove’s prototype “Voyc” software transcribes live audio and runs each statement against a database of facts compiled from… Continue Reading

Principles and Boundaries of Fact-checking: Journalists’ Perceptions

Principles and Boundaries of Fact-checking: Journalists’ Perceptions by Paul Mena. Published online: 16 Nov 2018. https://doi.org/10.1080/17512786.2018.1547655 [paywall] “This study examines journalists’ perceptions of fact-checking, a growing journalistic activity focused on assessing the veracity of public claims. Professional journalists working on fact-checking or interested in doing fact-checking and based in the United States were surveyed regarding… Continue Reading

Secret Service tests facial recognition system at the White House

FCW.com: “The Secret Service started testing a facial recognition system in and around the White House last week, according to a privacy assessment released by the Department of Homeland Security on Nov. 28. The pilot uses a facial recognition system, unnamed in the privacy document, to pore over faces collected by the Crown closed circuit… Continue Reading

Questions We Should Be Asking About Facebook’s Smear Campaign Against Its Critics

EFF: “The New York Times published a blockbuster story about Facebook that exposed how the company used  so-called “smear merchants” to attack organizations critical of the platform. The story was shocking on a number of levels, revealing that Facebook’s hired guns stooped to dog-whistling, anti-Semitic attacks aimed at George Soros 1 and writing stories blasting… Continue Reading

‘Misinformation’ picked as word of the year by Dictionary.com

The Guardian: “Online resource picked the word over ‘disinformation’ where other dictionaries had opted for ‘toxic’ and ‘single-use.’ “Misinformation”, as opposed to disinformation, is Dictionary.com’s word of the year. It followed “toxic”, picked for the same honor by Oxford Dictionaries, and “single-use”, picked by Collins. Jane Solomon, a linguist-in-residence at Dictionary.com, said the choice of… Continue Reading