Tag Archive | "Fake"

Twitter Gets Rid of 70 Million Fake Accounts in May and June, Cracks Down on Trolls

Twitter has been aggressively suspending false accounts in a bid to curtail the spread of fake news. The company’s massive crackdown on trolls and bots have resulted in one million dubious accounts being deleted or suspended per day.

According to the Washington Post, Twitter has been coming down hard on fake accounts, trolls, and bots since late last year. The purge of these accounts was reportedly brought about when testimonies from Google and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter revealed that millions more Americans were exposed to fake news than previously estimated.

Fake Accounts But Real Damage

Fake accounts with links to Russia are said to have tweeted false information in an attempt to affect the 2016 US presidential elections. This disinformation campaign involved a troll factory based in St. Petersberg that used state-of-the-art technology to fool voters and exacerbate the tension in the already worsening political and social environment.

Data compiled by the Post revealed that Twitter got rid of more than a million accounts per day in the past several months. The company reportedly suspended 70 million or more accounts in May and June. The purge apparently continued until July.

Twitter’s aggressive steps to shut down these malicious accounts could lead to a major backlash against the company as it could result in a decline in monthly users. But the company appears unfazed as it continues its campaign against the bots and trolls responsible for the propagation of false news.

Taking a Stand Against Fakes

Twitter has repeatedly garnered criticism for failing to control the spread of bots and trolls that were created with the sole purpose of spreading disinformation. But the social media platform’s new and harsher stand against fraudulent accounts shows a clear shift in the company’s ideology. Twitter had previously refrained from checking possible abuses with regards to tweets due to free speech.

The company’s Vice President for Trust and Safety, Del Harvey, revealed to the Washington Post that they are changing their stand on “balancing free expression versus the potential for free expression to chill someone else’s speech. Free expression doesn’t mean much if people don’t feel safe,” Harvey explained.

While a lot of Twitter users applaud the company’s move to delete fake accounts, President Donald Trump has taken to the platform to tweet about getting rid of the accounts of news organizations like the New York Times and the Washington Post.

While the two companies’ accounts are legitimate, Trump has been blaming them for the spread of fake news or at least news that paints him in a negative light.

[Featured image via Pixabay]

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Facebook to Block Ads From Publishers Who Share Fake News

Facebook has ramped up its drive to combat the spread of fake news and hoaxes. It announced on Monday, that it will no longer allow Pages known to have repeatedly shared fake news in the past to advertise on its platform.

Via a blog post, the social media company stated that the move is aimed to reduce the distribution of fake news by disrupting the economic incentives to create them in the first place. It further stated that some Pages are buying Facebook ads to increase their audience base so they may distribute fake news more broadly.

Facebook already does not allow advertisers to run ad campaigns that link to fake stories. However, the most recent update of its site rules states that it will now penalize Pages that share fake news stories as well.

Based on Monday’s announcement, it looks like Facebook might be lenient to first-time offenders especially if they inadvertently shared a fake story. According to the company, it will only block ad purchases of Pages that repeatedly share fake news or hoaxes. To determine if a story is true or not, Facebook has partnered with third-party fact-checkers to help them thresh out real news from the rest.

However, it does not mean that affected Pages will be blocked from purchasing FB ads forever. According to the same blog post, blocked Pages will become eligible to purchase ads once they stop sharing misleading stories. It did not say how long the block would last before a Page can purchase ads again.

Facebook has been under pressure to curb the spread of fake news on its platform after it was accused of enabling the spread of fake political news during the U.S. presidential elections. The company faced the same criticism in Europe when French voters were reported to have been bombarded with fake news during France’s presidential elections.

[Featured Image via Pixabay]

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SearchCap: AdSense exploit, Google local links and UK boots fake Google company

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

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Dear Google: 4 suggestions for fixing your massive problem with fake reviews

Columnist and local search expert Joy Hawkins notes that unless Google My Business gets serious about addressing fake reviews, it will suffer a loss of credibility. Here are her suggestions for tackling this ongoing issue.

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After Fake News, Facebook Starts Crackdown on Spammy Ads

Facebook has rolled out a new update that seeks to cut down on spammy ads on users’ news feeds.

The announcement came just over a month after the social media site clamped down on fake news and disinformation.

“With this update, we reviewed hundreds of thousands of web pages linked to from Facebook to identify those that contain little substantive content and have a large number of disruptive, shocking or malicious ads,” the blog post, written by Jiun-Ren Lin and Shengbo Guo, said.

This is not a new policy, of course, as engineers at the social media site have been trying to weed out low quality or “disruptive” content from its pages since last year. Tabloid-style headlines, deceptive ads, sexual images, and shocking content are either pushed back down in the feeds or erased altogether.

Facebook utilized machine learning to study the blueprint and models used by spammy ads. With the new algorithm in hand, its AI systems then comb through the billions of posts to find similar patterns.

One of the reasons for Facebook’s aggressive approach toward spammy ads, fake news, and disruptive content was the blowback that Mark Zuckerberg received from critics who accused the social media company of influencing the U.S. elections last November.

Zuckerberg initially hedged, but immediately introduced measures to insulate the platform from being a harbinger of fake news and disinformation. In February, the billionaire released a manifesto where he reiterated the company’s original vision of building a community to bring the world closer together.

In this manifesto, he revealed that they were working on machine learning to flag videos and photos that are deemed to be controversial. The Facebook team will then review the content before allowing it to be seen on users’ news feeds. “Today I want to focus on the most important question of all: Are we building the world we all want?” Zuckerberg wrote.

Greg Marra, the company’s product manager for news feed, said the system is not perfect, but the initial results have been encouraging. Below are some of the criteria Facebook’s machines are looking at to categorize a specific content as low-quality or disruptive:

  • Does it have a “significant amount of original content?”
  • Are there pop-up ads on the landing pages?
  • Are the ads shocking or sexual?

Marra said their algorithms will skip over some ads if they are “high-quality” enough that people wouldn’t mind seeing them when they do click on a sponsored content in their news feeds.

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SearchCap: Google fake news, Yext IPO & Google answers

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

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Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Fred Update Analyzed, Google Targets Fake & Hateful Content & Google Home Ads

This week in search, I dug deeper into the Google Fred update and discovered it targeted low value sites monetized via ads, affiliates and lead generation…


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Content Curation in an Age of Fake News, with Dave Pell

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It’s been almost two years since I started Further, my curated email newsletter about personal growth. And there’s no mistaking that the project was inspired by Dave Pell’s NextDraft.

Content curation is all about becoming a trusted editorial source that finds the best information within a certain topic from amongst the valueless clickbait and mediocre dross that overruns the web. Pell’s NextDraft takes on the daunting task of delivering “the day’s most fascinating news,” plus commentary that’s often better than the links themselves.

Even though Further is a side project for me, I’m an advocate for smart curation due to the valuable service it provides in a world of excess content. And because it’s centered around an email audience, it can become the catalyst for a thriving business based on sponsorships, affiliate marketing, or promoting your own products and services.

Now curation is becoming more important than ever. Trust in media has never been lower, and the new norm of social content distribution allows fake information and fluff to go viral — which amplifies the skepticism.

Listen in to my conversation with Pell to understand how to become a trusted editorial voice for a valuable audience. More importantly, understand how curation can restore trust in the media sources that you trust.

Listen to this Episode Now

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Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Sentence Compression, Top Stories Fake News Algorithm & Search Console Updates

Today is the 13th year anniversary of this site and me covering the search industry. Today I talk about Google using machine learning for feature snippets with sentence compression algorithms. I also cover how Google appears to have tweaked their top stories algorithm to block fake news…


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SearchCap: Google rich cards, AdWords store visits & fake news

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Google rich cards, AdWords store visits & fake news appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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