Tag: Rumors and Misinformation

Turnout Was Strong in Georgia, but Mail Voting Plummets After New Law

“We got a very quick results, there were no reports of significant failures, exorbitant lines, no one was reporting any systemwide problems, and I think that’s a testament to the improvements in the Georgia law,” Mr. Snead said. During the final weeks of the campaign, Mr. Kemp pointed to high turnout and few reports of […]

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Is Spreading Medical Misinformation a Doctor’s Free Speech Right?

When Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill that would punish California doctors for spreading false information about Covid-19 vaccines and treatments, he pledged that it would apply only in the most “egregious instances” of misleading patients. It may never have the chance. Even before the law, the nation’s first of its kind, takes […]

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Was Election Denial Just a Passing Threat?

In the months before the midterm elections, a reporter for Time magazine asked Mark Finchem, the Republican nominee for secretary of state in Arizona, why he was so convinced that Donald Trump had won the state in 2020 despite all evidence to the contrary. “It strains credibility,” Finchem responded. “Isn’t it interesting that I can’t […]

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Sympathy, and Job Offers, for Twitter’s Misinformation Experts

In the weeks since Elon Musk took over Twitter, dozens of people responsible for keeping dangerous or inaccurate material in check on the service have posted on LinkedIn that they resigned or lost their jobs. Their statements have drawn a flood of condolences — and attempts to recruit them. Overtures arrived from rival tech services, […]

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How Covid Myths Spread on Far-Right Social Media Platforms

WASHINGTON — Not long after Randy Watt died of Covid-19, his daughter Danielle sat down at her computer, searching for clues as to why the smart and thoughtful man she knew had refused to get vaccinated. She pulled up Google, typed in a screen name he had used in the past and discovered a secret […]

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Twitter Users Create Havoc by Impersonating Brands

The parody accounts were proliferating on Twitter. After Elon Musk, Twitter’s new owner, revamped a subscription service to give users a coveted verification check mark for $8 a month, users began abusing the program this week. Twitter accounts with check marks posed as companies like Eli Lilly and PepsiCo, sending spoof messages about free insulin […]

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Election Officials Brace for What Comes Next After Midterms

But the court deadlocked on whether federal voting law requires such ballots to be counted, and Democrats and voting-rights advocates already have filed a federal suit over that question. The state ruling has sent some counties scrambling to warn voters with erroneously dated ballots that they must be corrected by Election Day. In both cases, […]

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Elon Musk Is Tweeting Through a Tide of Criticism

Under pressure and facing a wave of criticism, Elon Musk has increasingly turned to his favorite release valve: Twitter. Since Saturday, Mr. Musk, the world’s richest man and the new owner of Twitter, has embarked on a tweeting spree so voluminous that he is on a pace to post more than 750 times this month, […]

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What Is Mastodon and Why Are People Leaving Twitter for It?

Mastodon is a part of the Fediverse, or federated universe, a group of federated platforms that share communication protocols. Unlike Twitter, Mastodon presents posts in chronological order, rather than based on an algorithm. It also has no ads; Mastodon is largely crowdfunded. Most servers are funded by the people who use them. The servers that […]

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Russia Reactivates Its Trolls and Bots Ahead of Tuesday’s Midterms

The user on Gab who identifies as Nora Berka resurfaced in August after a yearlong silence on the social media platform, reposting a handful of messages with sharply conservative political themes before writing a stream of original vitriol. The posts mostly denigrated President Biden and other prominent Democrats, sometimes obscenely. They also lamented the use […]

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What Can US Democracy Learn From Brazil?

BRASÍLIA — The run-ups to the most recent presidential elections in the Western Hemisphere’s two largest democracies were remarkably similar. Down in the polls, the right-wing president claimed, without evidence, that the election could be rigged. He suggested that he might not accept a loss. And millions of his followers vowed to take to the […]

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YouTube May Have Misinformation Blind Spots, Researchers Say

No, China has not worked with Democrats to steal the midterm elections, as some people on YouTube have claimed. Nor has Saudi Arabia. And there is no evidence that an “overwhelming amount of fraud” tipped Pennsylvania in 2020, or that electronic voting machines will manipulate results next week, as one conservative activist has claimed in […]

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What Twitter’s Shake-Up Could Mean: Midterm Misinformation Run Amok

A recent exchange between David Becker, a nonpartisan elections expert, and a Twitter user named “@catturd2” — an account with nearly a million followers that sometimes exchanges posts with Elon Musk, the world’s richest man and the new owner of Twitter — offered a telling example of why misinformation is such an intractable problem. “Funny […]

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Twitter’s Advertisers Pull Back as Layoffs Sweep Through Company

There were more than 1,000 new advertisers on the platform each month before July, when Mr. Musk’s feud with Twitter began to intensify and the number of new advertisers sank to 200. In September, there were 668 new advertisers, MediaRadar found. Factors such as economic conditions likely played a role in the exodus, as did […]

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Town That Inspired Debunked Voter Fraud Film Braces for Election Day

It was a jumpy, 20-second video clip that touched off a firestorm: During a local primary election two years ago, the former mayor of this farm town of San Luis, Ariz., was filmed handling another voter’s ballot. She appeared to make a few marks, and then sealed it and handed a small stack of ballots […]

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Worries Grow That TikTok Is New Home for Manipulated Video and Photos

Misinformation has become a problem on the platform ahead of the midterms. In recent days, researchers from SumOfUs, a corporate accountability advocacy group, tested TikTok’s algorithm by creating an account and searching for and watching 20 widely viewed videos that sowed doubt about the election system. Within an hour, the algorithm had switched from serving […]

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Paul Pelosi Leaves San Francisco Hospital After Attack

Six days after suffering a fractured skull in a vicious attack, Paul Pelosi, the husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has been discharged from the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Pelosi, 82, is resting at home, recovering from the injuries to his head, arm and hand, the […]

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Uganda’s Ebola Outbreak is a Test of What We’ve Learned From Covid

KAMPALA, Uganda — The first major Ebola outbreak in Uganda happened when I was a medical student at Makerere University in Kampala. A professor of virology explained to us the dangers of filoviruses, the virus family Ebola belongs to, and why they should be avoided at all costs. Seven years later, in 2007, I was […]

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How the Right Became the Left and the Left Became the Right

On the surface, this is not a partisan story: The Intercept is a left-wing publication, and the current version of the D.H.S. anti-disinformation effort got started in the Trump administration. But everyone understands those efforts’ current ideological valence. The war on disinformation is a crucial Democratic cause, the key lawsuit filed against the Biden administration […]

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With Falsehoods About Pelosi Attack, Republicans Mimic Trump

“I don’t know,” Mr. Trump said suggestively. “You hear the same things I do.” Mr. Pelosi, 82, remained in intensive care with a fractured skull, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity. In Arizona, the Republican candidate for governor, Kari Lake, made the attack a punchline at a […]

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The Facts About the Attack on Paul Pelosi, According to Prosecutors

The attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has not only raised alarm about the threat of violence to elected officials and their families, but also become the focus of baseless conspiracy theories propagated by a litany of Republicans and conservatives. After state and federal charges were filed against a suspect, […]

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Security Training Group Asks Elon Musk to Rid Twitter of Antisemitism

The nonprofit organization Secure Community Network, which provides safety consulting and training for Jewish facilities across North America, wrote a letter on Monday to Elon Musk, Twitter’s new owner, imploring him to clamp down on antisemitic content that could endanger lives. “Twitter has an antisemitism problem — with hashtags such as #holohoax [Holocaust Hoax] and […]

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Letters, Tweets, TV: How Midterm Disinformation Has Washed Over Pennsylvania

WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Disinformation has long been a feature of American politics. Mudslinging, smear campaigns, dirty tricks. Yet wading through the muck ahead of this year’s midterm elections in one fiercely contested state, Pennsylvania, shows just how thoroughly it now warps the American democratic process. In July, a tweet made the rounds spreading a […]

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We Might Finally Be Free From the Madness of Bolsonaro

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Four years of madness are nearly over. In a tense second-round runoff, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva prevailed over President Jair Bolsonaro, taking 50.9 percent of the vote. Barring a dramatic turnaround — the dreaded coup that has hung over the country for months, for example — Mr. da Silva will, […]

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Pelosi Attack Highlights Rising Fears of Political Violence

“As we wait to hear more, every single American needs to be lowering the temperature,” Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, said in a statement on Friday. “This is increasingly obvious: Disturbed individuals easily succumb to conspiracy theories and rage — the consequences are bloody and un-American.” Political violence is hardly a new phenomenon. Representative […]

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Some Far-Right Accounts on Twitter Saw Surge in Followers, Researchers Say

In the 24 hours before Elon Musk closed his deal for Twitter on Thursday, thousands of new accounts were created on the social media service and joined a broader surge of new followers for some of the platform’s most influential far-right accounts, according to research from Memetica, a digital investigations company. The Twitter account of […]

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How Talk Radio Unites Ron Johnson and His Wisconsin Voters

The senator was referring to a comment he made at a town-hall meeting in December suggesting that a “standard gargle, mouthwash, has been proven to kill the coronavirus,” a claim for which there is no firm proof, though experts say there is also little downside. Afterward, he defended his stance on a tour of local […]

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Elon Musk Is Buying Twitter. Shudder.

Elon Musk is now the proud owner of Twitter. The danger here is not that we have a rogue billionaire in our midst — that has happened before, and it will happen again — but that this one will be in control of what he has rightly referred to as our “digital town square.” Mr. […]

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