YouTube Is Profiting Off Of Russian And Chinese Government Propaganda On Its Platform

The Taliban PR Campaign Has Not Ended, But Transformed (Defense One) Messages of liberation and inclusiveness have given way to ones that serve the consolidatation of power.

Troll farms reached 140 million Americans a month on Facebook before 2020 election, internal report shows (MIT Technology Review) “This is not normal. This is not healthy.”

Russia’s Crazy Sham Election (Foreign Policy) To retain control in this weekend’s Duma elections, the Kremlin has reached very deep into its bag of tricks.

Far-right groups tell supporters planned Washington rally is a government ‘trap’ (the Guardian) Rightwing forums and prominent figures claim event is government ‘trap’ but police brace for violence

Huge hack reveals embarrassing details of who’s behind Proud Boys and other far-right websites (Washington Post) Researchers say it will allow them to gain important new insights into how extremists operate online

'Anonymous' hackers claim to hit website hosting firm popular with Proud Boys (CNN) The hacking collective Anonymous last week claimed to have stolen and leaked reams of data held by Epik, a website hosting firm popular with far-right organizations like the Proud Boys.

N.Y. lawyers charged over Molotov cocktail hope to finish plea talks soon (Reuters) Two New York lawyers charged with attacking an empty police vehicle with a Molotov cocktail during 2020 protests over George Floyd's death hope to complete plea discussions with prosecutors within the next two weeks, according to a defense attorney.

Attorneys Accused Of NYC Molotov Attack Take Plea Deal (Law360) Two attorneys accused of firebombing an empty New York Police Department vehicle during racial-injustice protests last year have reached a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to a single count of making or possessing a destructive device, carrying a maximum of 10 years in prison, people familiar with the negotiations said Monday.

News Consumption Across Social Media in 2021 (Pew Research Center's Journalism Project) About half (48%) of U.S. adults say they get news from social media “often” or “sometimes,” a 5 percentage point decline compared with 2020. More than half of Twitter users get news on the site regularly.


Google and Apple, Under Pressure From Russia, Remove Voting App (New York Times) The app, created by allies of the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, vanished from online stores, reflecting a new level of pressure against U.S. technology companies in the country.

Facebook Employees Flag Drug Cartels and Human Traffickers. The Company’s Response Is Weak, Documents Show. (Wall Street Journal) Employees raised alarms about how the site is used in developing countries, where its user base is already huge and expanding. In many instances Facebook’s response is inadequate or nothing at all.

The Oversight Board wants Facebook to explain its controversial rules for VIPs (Engadget) The Oversight Board is pushing Facebook to provide more information on its controversial “cross-check” system..

No More Apologies: Inside Facebook’s Push to Defend Its Image (New York Times) Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive, has signed off on an effort to show users pro-Facebook stories and to distance himself from scandals.

There’s no escape from Facebook, even if you don’t use it (Washington Post) You pay for Facebook with your privacy. Here’s how it keeps raising the price.

Instagram chief faces backlash after awkward comparison between cars and social media safety (CNBC) "Cars create way more value in the world than they destroy," Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said. "And I think social media is similar."

Technologies, Techniques, and Standards

What Social Media Needs to Learn From Traditional Media (Wired) Government regulation will never fix everything wrong with online discourse. The industry needs to develop professional norms—just as journalism once did.

How LA County countered recall-election disinformation in real time on social media (ABC News) The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, which provides record management and election services, was active on Twitter

How Facebook Hobbled Mark Zuckerberg’s Bid to Get America Vaccinated (Wall Street Journal) Company documents show antivaccine activists undermined the CEO’s ambition to support the rollout by flooding the site and using Facebook’s own tools to sow doubt about the Covid-19 vaccine. 

Design and Innovation

The Facebook Files (Wall Street Journal) Facebook knows, in acute detail, that its platforms are riddled with flaws but hasn’t fixed them. That’s a key finding of a Journal series that launched this week, based on an array of internal company documents. Read all the stories here.

Exclusive: Facebook targets harmful real networks, using playbook against fakes (Reuters) Facebook is taking a more aggressive approach to shut down coordinated groups of real-user accounts engaging in certain harmful activities on its platform, using the same strategy its security teams take against campaigns using fake accounts, the company told Reuters.

What the Wall Street Journal Got Wrong - About Facebook (About Facebook) We fundamentally reject this mischaracterization of our work and impugning of the company’s motives.

Legislation, Policy, and Regulation

China and Pakistan See Eye to Eye on the Taliban—Almost (Foreign Policy) They share economic and geopolitical interests in Afghanistan, but counterterrorism could be a wrench.

Al Qaeda Versus ISIS (Foreign Affairs) The jihadi power struggle in the Taliban's Afghanistan.

Upgrading US public diplomacy: A new approach for the age of memes and disinformation (Atlantic Council) A group of current and former State Department officials offer a set of principles and actions the Biden administration can adopt to strengthen US outreach efforts to overseas publics.

The United States of Sanctions (Foreign Affairs) The use and abuse of economic coercion

How Sept. 11 Supercharged China’s Propaganda (Foreign Policy) Beijing has used the “war on terror” to target its own minorities like Uyghurs.

What these Russian elections will reveal about the Kremlin’s power (Atlantic Council) They're the last big test for the Kremlin before the 2024 presidential election.

Ahead of September elections, Russia tightens grip on remaining online freedoms (Global Voices Advox) Ahead of Russia's parliamentary elections on September 17-19, the state's crackdown on opposition groups, circumvention tools and internet infrastructure has escalated to a fever pitch.

Litigation, Investigation, and Law Enforcement

Trump Reaffirms Lab Leak Theory, Ex-Intel Head Pushes Declassification (The Federalist) Former President Trump reaffirmed his belief COVID-19 originated from a Wuhan lab and a former intell chief said more evidence should be declassified.

Russia accuses U.K. of "anti-Russian sentiment" as third man charged in ex-spy's poisoning (Newsweek) British officials believe Denis Sergeev was involved in a nerve-agent attack against former Russian agent Sergei Skripal in 2018.

Durham is said to be seeking indictment of lawyer whose firm represented Hillary Clinton’s campaign (Washington Post) Special counsel John Durham, appointed during the Trump administration to investigate possible wrongdoing at the FBI and other agencies dating to the 2016 election, is preparing to seek the indictment of an attorney whose firm has close ties to Democrats, according to two people familiar with the matter.

That Alfa-Trump Sussman indictment (Errata Security) Five years ago, online magazine Slate broke a story about how DNS packets showed secret communications between Alfa Bank in Russia and the ...

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter strike back, sue over Texas social media censorship law (USA TODAY) Facebook, YouTube and Twitter sue Texas to stop a new law cracking down on companies for censoring conservative speech. More legislation is expected.

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