Coordinated inauthenticity and content moderation. Media literacy education. “D” stands for “deepfake”. Drop the microphone, comrade.
At a glance.
- Coordinated inauthenticity and content moderation.
- Media literacy education.
- Detecting and unmasking deepfakes.
- The karaoke threat seen from Beijing.
Facebook removes coordinated disinformation spread by inauthentic websites.
Facebook reported in its July coordinated spurious report that it had eliminated two major cases of coordinated spurious.
One is from Myanmar, where the company removed seventy-nine Facebook accounts, thirteen pages, eight groups, and nineteen Instagram accounts linked to Myanmar’s military. The intent was to influence a domestic audience, and Facebook sees some continuity between these efforts and similar activities it broke off in 2017.
The company also deleted sixty-five Facebook and two hundred and forty-three Instagram accounts. These were multinational in an interesting way and were from Russia, but they used the services of the British marketing firm Fazze, which had tried to recruit influencers to spread information about COVID vaccines. (Fazze itself is now also undesirable on the Facebook platforms.)
The efforts seem to have had limited success, but the focus on influencers has been an interesting development, a tribute to the place influencers have generally occupied in the marketing and advertising hype. This concentration was the downfall of the campaign in this case too. Reuters reports that Fazze approached various influencers with offers to pay them to distribute anti-vaccine content, and two of the influencers, one from France and the other from Germany, have publicly complained about the approach. This led to an investigation and eventually to expulsion.
The anti-vaccine issues were the familiar Russian gasp over the gunshots that would surely turn people into chimpanzees, but of course there isn’t such a return (and believe us, we would have noticed – we were a few months ago vaccinated) and didn’t even feel like a banana).
Facebook takes a lot of rigor from both politics and the press when it comes to its content policy. This New York Times story about the White House’s hard line on what Facebook should do about vaccine information provides some good examples. President Biden accused Facebook of “killing people,” an accusation he later pulled back a little, but that’s probably a fair representation of the government’s sentiment on the social network. For its part, Facebook has raised the counter charge that the administration is scapegoating Menlo Park for failing to meet its national vaccination targets. It also tries to walk a fine line. As the Times puts it:
“Facebook told White House officials that it had been looking into content that wasn’t explicitly wrong, such as posts that cast doubts about vaccines but didn’t clearly violate the social network’s rules on health misinformation. Facebook allows people to share their experiences with vaccines – like pain or side effects after an injection, as long as they don’t specifically advocate untruths. “
Twitter’s approach has been more direct, with total bans on anything it deems harmful or inaccurate. The New York Times reports that Twitter banned Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Republican, Georgia 14th) ‘s account for tweeting “‘ FDA should not approve Covid vaccines” “. She said there were too many reports of coronavirus infection and spread among vaccinated people and that the vaccines “failed” and “did not contain the spread of the virus or even do masks”.
But when we are allowed to express our views, it seems to us that Facebook’s approach and focus on coordinated spuriousness and its efforts to be transparent about foreign or government interference have been underestimated. It is not a total or total solution to the problem of lies and nonsense, but it is a partial and valuable contribution that appears to do minimal violence to civil liberties. And for the time being, the legal status of social media seems to be more of a platform than a publisher.
Media literacy in schools in Illinois.
NPR reports that schools in the state of Illinois are offering media literacy classes to their students in hopes of enabling them to distinguish reliable from unreliable sources. The side comparison of different news sources seems to be one of the central approaches, as well as the class discussion on source reliability.
Adobe has a comment on TheHill expressing its strong support for a national task force to combat deepfakes. Specifically, the company is calling for the passage of S.2559 – the Deepfake and Digital Provenance Task Force Act, introduced in the Senate on July 31 by Senator Portman (Republican of Ohio). The proposed law would set up a national task force, led by the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Science and Technology Policy, to oversee how compelling digital counterfeits (especially artificial intelligence) could be created and through which the origins of digital artifacts can be reliably assessed.
Drop the microphone (and put your hands up).
China’s government is taking action against what it apparently fears that the creeping expression is caused by divisive, subversive songs, especially when they are available for karaoke performances. From now on CNN reports. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism publishes a list of karaoke songs that will no longer be allowed from October 1st. The general principle that the ministry has formulated is, as outlined by CNN, that “[K]araoke must not endanger national unity, sovereignty or territorial integrity, incite ethnic hatred or undermine ethnic unity, promote sects or superstitions or violate state religious policy. Also, songs must not encourage profanity, gambling, violence, drug-related activity or crime, or insult or defame others. “Security and ideological security.”
It is not yet clear which songs will be on the prohibited list, but we are offering this list of karaoke “throwback classics” as a possible watchlist. It’s from Teen Vogue and Teen Vogue should know:
- “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey
- “I want to dance with someone” by Whitney Houston
- “Hit the Road Jack” by Ray Charles
- “Dancing Queen” by ABBA
- “Mamma Mia” from ABBA
- “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
- “Girls just want to have fun” by Cyndi Lauper
- “Come on Eileen” from Dexys Midnight Runners
- “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel
- “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves
- “Stayin ‘Alive” by Bee Gees
- “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers
- “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler
- “Africa” by TOTO
- “Can you feel the love tonight” by Elton John
- “Damn it, I wish I was your lover” by Sophie B. Hawkins
- “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
- “Hey Jude” from the Beatles
- “Come on, fly with me” by Frank Sinatra
- “Something’s Gotta Give” by Sammy Davis Jr.
- “I Love Rock n ‘Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
- “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
- “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield
- “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye
“Walkin ‘on Sunshine” may pass, but “Hit the Road Jack” is probably divisive, and “Sweet Home Alabama?” Forget it. Sing them while you still can.