On Saba Facebook is the most common communication medium that seems to suit the needs of many for staying in touch with the community. But there are also other aspects to the use of this technology, aspects that may well endanger the quality of life as we enjoy it today. Also on Saba we have observed how easy it is to generate and spread rumors, fake news, etc.
In an unmissable TED talk, journalist Carole Cadwalladr digs into one of the most perplexing events in recent times: the UK’s super-close 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Tracking the result to a barrage of misleading Facebook ads targeted at vulnerable Brexit swing voters — and linking the same players and tactics to the 2016 US presidential election —
Cadwalladr calls out the “gods of Silicon Valley” for being on the wrong side of history and asks: Are free and fair elections a thing of the past?
For those of you who would like to dig a bit more into the background and impact of “Computational Propaganda” , you may want to look at the work published by the “Computational Propaganda Project”
Since 2012, we have been investigating the use of algorithms, automation, and computational propaganda in public life. Political bots are manipulating public opinion over major social networking applications. This project enables a new team of social and information scientists to investigate the impact of automated scripts, commonly called bots, on social media. We study both the bot scripts and the people making such bots, and then work with computer scientists to improve the ways we catch and stop such bots. Experience suggests that political bots are most likely to appear during an international crisis, and are usually designed to promote the interests of a government in trouble. Political actors have used bots to manipulate conversations, demobilize opposition, and generate false support on popular sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Sina Weibo.
First, we are conducting international fieldwork with the political consultants and computer experts who are commissioned to make bots. Second, we are building an original database of political incidents involving bots. Finally, we are using this knowledge to make better tools for detecting political bots when they appear. We engage in “real-time” social and information science, actively disseminating our findings to journalists, industry, and foreign policy experts. By developing a network of experts in political bot detection and compiling original data sets, our project helps researchers develop a better understanding of how bots are manipulating social networks while advancing the conversation in the social sciences, computer sciences, and industry about the size of the problem and possible solutions.
You are welcome to explore their website for the latest research findings, current activities, and impact.