Attacks, Threats, and Vulnerabilities
Protecting People From Online Threats In 2022 (Meta) We’re sharing a number of updates on our work to protect people globally from online threats.
Bad Reputation (Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory) Suspected Russian Actors Leverage Alternative Tech Platforms in Continued Effort to Covertly Influence Right-Wing U.S. Audiences
An Alternate Reality: How Russia’s State TV Spins the Ukraine War (New York Times) Leaked emails detail how Russia’s biggest state broadcaster, working with the nation’s security services, mined right-wing American news and Chinese media to craft a narrative that Moscow was winning.
Russian trolls found manipulating audiences on Trump’s Truth Social, new research finds (The Record by Recorded Future) Russian operators linked to election interference have been manipulating audiences on alt-right social media platforms, including Trump’s Truth Social.
Russian Trolls Made Fake Kid Rock Fan Accounts -- and Fooled Donald Trump Jr. (Rolling Stone) The former president’s son reposted a conspiracy theory on Ivermectin and oil supplies from “KidRockOfficial.” The account was a Russian troll trying to meddle in the U.S. election
Russian disinformation is demonizing Ukrainian refugees (Washington Post) On social media, pro-Kremlin networks are exploiting German anger over its energy crisis to undermine support for Ukraine
U.S. ‘War Profiteering’ in Ukraine Is a Red Herring (World Politics Review) A $1.2 billion defense contract for Raytheon is fueling claims by some NATO allies that the US is profiting from the war in Ukraine.
World Insights: U.S. -- "the greatest propagator" of disinformation (Xinhua) "Do you know who the greatest propagator of disinformation in the history of the world is? The U.S. government," U.S. Senator Rand Paul spoke bluntly at a Senate hearing in May.
Rise of deep-fakes to spread misinformation for Ukraine – Russia crisis, possible spillovers, and impact (Modern Diplomacy) Volodymyr Zelensky appeared in a video during the third week of the Ukraine crisis earlier this year, wearing a dark green shirt and speaking slowly and deliberately while standing behind a white presidential podium bearing his country’s coat of arms. The Ukrainian president’s body barely moved as he spoke, with the exception of his head. […]
Fact check: Article falsely claims Speaker Nancy Pelosi was arrested for treason (USA TODAY) An article from a website that has repeatedly produced false stories fabricated one about Nancy Pelosi being arrested.
Twitter Files: Former Trump DNI John Ratcliffe claims vindication on Hunter Biden laptop story (Yahoo) Former DNI John Ratcliffe reiterated that the intelligence community had "zero evidence" the Hunter Biden laptop story was "Russian disinformation" following the latest Twitter Files revelations.
Twitter’s Chief Censor Met Weekly With US Intelligence Officials While Trump Was In Office, Internal Comms Reveal (Shore News Network) Twitter’s Chief Censor Met Weekly With US Intelligence Officials While Trump Was In Office, Internal Comms Reveal John Hugh DeMastri on December 9, 2022
Former DNI Ratcliffe: Office Didn't Work With Twitter to Block Laptop Story (Newsmax) Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe Sunday stressed that when he reported in 2020 that the Hunter Biden laptop was not the result of a Russian disinformation campaign, that was the official position of the intelligence community and that nobody from his office at the time would have been speaking with Twitter officials about suppressing news about the matter.
Musk Shakes Up Twitter’s Legal Team as He Looks to Cut More Costs (New York Times) Twitter has stopped paying rent on offices and is considering not paying severance packages to former employees, among other measures.
Why Is Twitter Shutting Down Chinese Activists' Accounts? (Rolling Stone) Elon’s mass firing of security staff and increased reliance on automation is going to make it easier for tyrants to shout down and silence their critics, former staffers warn
We’re witnessing the brain death of Twitter (MIT Technology Review) An analysis of Musk’s tweets shows him at the center of conversations once kept on the fringes of Twitter.
Technologies, Techniques, and Standards
How Twitter’s “Teacher Li” became the central hub of China protest information (MIT Technology Review) In his own words, the Chinese painter shares how he became a one-person newsroom during a week of intense protests against China's zero-covid policy.
Twitter abruptly dissolves safety council moments before meeting (the Guardian) The firm’s turmoil appears to deepen since Elon Musk’s takeover with Yoel Roth forced to flee home amid personal attacks
Former NYT columnist Bari Weiss releases ‘Twitter Files Part Two’ (The Hill) The first installment of the “Twitter Files” sparked outrage across right-wing outlets, but it seemed to fall flat otherwise, with some criticizing the release for failing to deliver groundbreaking…
Musk's 'Twitter Files' offer a glimpse of the raw, complicated and thankless task of moderation (TechCrunch) Far from conspiracy or abuse, the files offer a peek at the Sisyphean labors undertaken by moderators at social media companies.
The ‘Twitter Files’ Is What It Claims to Expose (Intelligencer) The purported exposé of Twitter’s political bias is itself an attempt to weaponize control of Twitter for political purposes.
a native internet protocol for social media (Revue) There’s a lot of conversation around the #TwitterFiles. Here’s my take, and thoughts on how to fix the issues identified. I’ll start with the principles I’ve come to believe…based on everything I’ve learned and experienced through my past actions as a Twitter co-founder and lead:Social media must be resilient to corporate and government control.Only the original author may remove content they produce.Moderation is best implemented by algorithmic choice.The Twitter when I led it and the Twitter …
Hello! You’ve Been Referred Here Because You’re Wrong About Twitter And Hunter Biden’s Laptop (Techdirt) Hello! Someone has referred you to this post because you’ve said something quite wrong about Twitter and how it handled something to do with Hunter Biden’s laptop. If you’re new h…
A Member of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council Explains Why She Got Fed Up and Quit (Slate Magazine) Eirliani Abdul Rahman helped the platform stop youth sexual exploitation. The new boss wasn’t listening.
Design and Innovation
Is the Next Tina Fey a Bot? (Puck) The rise of ChatGPT suggests how artificial intelligence is coming for the arts.
The inherent misogyny of AI portraits – Amelia Earhart rendered naked on a bed (the Guardian) The hugely popular Lensa AI app creates portraits based on image prompts, but users say it sexualizes them unnecessarily
The viral AI avatar app Lensa undressed me—without my consent (MIT Technology Review) My avatars were cartoonishly pornified, while my male colleagues got to be astronauts, explorers, and inventors.
The New Chatbots Could Change the World. Can You Trust Them? (New York Times) Siri, Google Search, online marketing and your child’s homework will never be the same. Then there’s the misinformation problem.
Why Google Missed ChatGPT (Big Technology) The tech giant believes the future of search is conversational. How did it let OpenAI’s ChatGPT take the lead?
ChatGPT’s Fluent BS Is Compelling Because Everything Is Fluent BS (WIRED) The AI chatbot was trained on text created by humans. Of course its writing is superficially impressive and lacking in substance.
Obligatory ChatGPT Post (Schneier on Security) Seems like absolutely everyone everywhere is playing with Chat GPT. So I did, too…. Write an essay in the style of Bruce Schneier on how ChatGPT will affect cybersecurity.
Stumbling with their words, some people let AI do the talking (Washington Post) The latest AI sensation, ChatGPT, is easy to talk to, bad at math and often deceptively, confidently wrong. Some people are finding real-world value in it, anyway.
Legislation, Policy, and Regulation
China’s top cyberspace regulator issues rules to regulate application of ‘deepfake’ technology to protect personal info, safeguard national security (Global Times) China’s top cyberspace regulator issued new rules to regulate the application of “deepfake” technology and services that alter facial and voice data with deep learning or virtual reality in a bid to curb risks that might arise from activities provided by related platforms.
China to ban deepfakes that aren’t properly labeled (The Record by Recorded Future) Beijing will prohibit the publication of so-called deepfakes without proper disclosure that they were created by AI.
Vietnam to block ads on 'toxic' online content in further crackdown (Nikkei Asia) State's blacklist may affect Facebook and YouTube users as well as TikTok stars
Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement
A New Lawsuit Accuses Meta of Inflaming Civil War in Ethiopia (WIRED) The suit claims the company lacks adequate moderation to prevent widespread hate speech that has led to violence and death.
Google refused Hong Kong request over protest anthem - HK official (Reuters) Google has refused to change its search results to display China's national anthem, rather than a protest song, when users search for Hong Kong's national anthem, the city's security chief said on Monday, expressing "great regret" at the decision.
Hong Kong condemns Google's handling of protest anthem (Nikkei Asia) City officials pressure search giant to scrub search results
Republicans Intensify Calls for Investigation of Twitter After Disclosures of Internal Documents (Wall Street Journal) The release of details about the company’s decisions in 2020 has again spotlighted how the platform handled coverage of Hunter Biden, the president’s son.
McCarthy says GOP will subpoena intel officials who signed Hunter Biden letter (The Hill) House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he plans to subpoena intelligence officials who signed a letter saying a New York Post story about Hunter Biden might be disinformatio…
McCarthy Plans to Subpoena Intel Agents Who Dismissed Hunter Biden Laptop Story (National Review) McCarthy also said he plans to investigate whether Facebook and Google worked to suppress information related to the story.
China Wants Your Attention, Please (Foreign Policy) Beijing’s massive expansion of state media hasn’t quite worked as planned. But watch out for Xinhua’s growing global deals.
Kremlin Critic Yashin Jailed Over Ukraine Remarks (Barron's) Russia on Friday sentenced opposition figure Ilya Yashin to eight and a half years in jail for spreading "false information" about Russia's offensive in Ukraine, the highest-profile conviction under new legislation criminalising criticism of the campaign.
Google must delete search results about you if they’re fake, EU court rules (POLITICO) Claimants have to prove the information about them is ‘manifestly inaccurate.’
Is Dominion’s $1.6bn defamation lawsuit a death blow for Murdoch and Fox News? (the Guardian) The media mogul and Fox Corp are being sued for allegedly broadcasting ‘lies’ about the voting machine company