Who shares the most “junk news”? (But “junk news” ≠ fake news.) Trump supporters and the far right: That’s according to a report out this week from the Computational Propaganda Project at the University of Oxford. But be careful of definitions here! Over three months leading up to Trump’s State of the Union Address this past January, Oxford researchers looked at “the distribution of posts and comments on public pages that contain links to junk news sources, across the political spectrum in the U.S. We then map the influence of central sources of junk political news and information that regularly publish content on hot-button issues in the U.S.” Note the use Continue reading "The far-right sharing fake news — or conservatives sharing conservative journalism?"
Hey, Google — how do we solve the news industry’s various revenue problems? Google gave a preview of some features it’s been working on and thinking about regarding its support for subscription news organizations at its Digital News Initiative Summit on Thursday (on the same day it also rolled out a built-in adblocker in its Chrome browsers). The search platform and digital advertising giant also announced that it would be opening its fifth round of DNI funding at the end of this month; the theme of the upcoming round will be diversifying revenue models. Most relevant for the increasing number of news publishers focusing on getting readers to pay for subscriptions is how Google intends to treat publishers with paywalls. It’s already ended the longtime first-click-free loophole and has been working with a couple of major subscription news publishers on potential tools for publishers over the past year. Now Continue reading "Here’s how Google is thinking about surfacing paywalled news organizations in search"
Here’s something that will either scare or soothe anyone concerned with the future of digital advertising and the web: Starting tomorrow, Google, the largest advertising company in the world, will take an active role in deciding which ads people will see while using Chrome. On Thursday, Google plans to release a new Chrome update that will introduce a built-in ad blocker for the browser. The feature, whose existence was first reported last April, will automatically block ads that don’t conform to the Better Ads Standards from Coalition for Better Ads, as Chrome Web Platform product manager Ryan Schoen explained to TechCrunch. On desktop, these include popups, autoplay, sound-on videos, and “prestitial ads with countdown,” a format that, for most, has become synonymous with Forbes.com. The mobile version of Chrome will target those same ad formats, along with flashing animated ads, full-screen scrollover ads, and ads that take up
Continue reading "Google Chrome’s built-in ad blocker goes live tomorrow. Here’s how it will work for users (and affect publishers)"
The Advox Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in internet rights around the world. Technical attacks ranging from 1:1 hacking incidents to full-on DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks have become an increasingly common tactic for silencing critical voices on the internet. Two examples of this threat have emerged in recent weeks in Azerbaijan and the Philippines. Independent news site MeydanTV was one of those targeted in a wave of attacks on the websites, Facebook pages and email accounts of Azerbaijani dissidents and their supporters. Meydan TV, which has provided routine coverage of politics and social movements (despite clear and present risks), had its Facebook account hacked, resulting in the loss of years’ worth of posts and 100,000 followers. The attacks appear to be part of a broad campaign to quell online dissent in Azerbaijan in the lead-up to presidential elections this
Continue reading "Netizen Report: Cyber Attacks Sideline Independent Media in Azerbaijan, Philippines"
The growing stream of reporting on and data about fake news, misinformation, partisan content, and news literacy is hard to keep up with. This weekly roundup offers the highlights of what you might have missed.
In the news this week, fake followers on social media are under the microscope after an investigation by the New York Times found minor celebrities, media figures and even a Twitter board member had bought followers to boost their influence. Google started testing a new app called Bulletin that allows people to post photos and stories about their community that come up in Google Search and Google News. Will it help coverage or lead to more fake news? And streaming video companies made a big push to grab sports TV rights, but had a win and a loss this past week. Our Metric of the Week is Podcast Metrics, and our special guests are Izzie Lerer & YuJung Kim of The Dodo, a viral video site featuring animals that wants to make an impact with animal rights, too. Don’t have a lot of time to spare, but still want to
Continue reading "MediaShift Podcast #256: Fake Followers Under the Microscope; Google Tests Crowdsourced Hyper-Local News; The Dodo’s Izzie Lerer & YuJung Kim"
The Advox Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world. A January 12 article on the website of O Globo, one of Brazil’s most widely read daily newspapers, alleges that Brazil’s government is seeking to work with Google to customize search results for Brazilian users, based on their location and possibly other characteristics. According to the O Globo article, which did not name its sources, the government is hoping to tailor search results related to a controversial pension reform bill, which the Congress is scheduled to vote on in the near term. Google has made no public statements on the matter. O Globo reports that members of President Michel Temer’s administration met Google representatives in early January to discuss the viability of directing users’ queries to official content produced by the government. According to the article: “It would work
Continue reading "Netizen Report: Can Brazil’s Government Use Google to Manipulate Public Opinion?"
Google is testing a hyperlocal news app called Bulletin in Nashville and Oakland. It’s an “app for telling a story by capturing photos, videoclips and text right from your phone, published straight to the web (without having to create a blog or build a website).” If you’re thinking “sounds like [Twitter/Snapchat/fill in any other company here],” as I was, one difference seems to be the more open publishing format: “Bulletin stories are public and easy to discover: on Google search, through social networks, or via links sent by email and messaging apps.” They appear to be hooked in with Google News</>. (I also saw comparisons to NextDoor, which again is private; NextDoor posts can’t be found in Google search.) Google announced Bulletin at an event in Nashville Thursday, which Slate has video of. There are some (boring) examples of what the stories look like here If you’re Continue reading "Google pilots Bulletin, an app for sharing hyperlocal “stories” on the open web"