Tim Boucher

Questionable content, possibly linked

Tag: fake news

Fake news fueling crypto-currency pump & dumps

In the wild world of cryptocurrency trading that’s largely untouched by regulation, the spread of fake news and unsubstantiated rumors is becoming common practice among bad actors looking to prey on novices. It’s the perfect environment in which to proliferate misinformation; it’s mercurial, confusing, and full of uneducated, overeager traders hoping to strike it rich.

Buzzfeed, January 2018.

Conservative targeting, ad buys and fake news

From Hopenothate October 2017 article about death of fake news creator Paul Horner:

“Horner claimed he hated Trump but targeted conservatives with his stories because they were more profitable. He reached wide audiences, often on websites masquerading as more reputable news sources.”

I see this sentiment echoed in other places as well. NY Times, November 2016 article about fake news ‘sausage factories’:

“He set up a website, posted gushing stories about Hillary Clinton and waited for ad sales to soar.

“I don’t know why, but it did not work,” said the student, Beqa Latsabidze, 22, who was savvy enough to change course when he realized what did drive traffic: laudatory stories about Donald J. Trump that mixed real — and completely fake — news in a stew of anti-Clinton fervor.

More than 6,000 miles away in Vancouver, a Canadian who runs a satirical website, John Egan, had made a similar observation. Mr. Egan’s site, The Burrard Street Journal, offers sendups of the news, not fake news, and he is not trying to fool anyone. But he, too, discovered that writing about Mr. Trump was a “gold mine.””

Are there records of ad-buys to go with content and keywords which were pro-Trump and which would be basically agnostic as to the veracity of the actual information contained on the pages where the ads are located? AdSense records?

Question: profiteering from fake news

I don’t remember seeing it addressed in any committee hearings, but perhaps it was. Has anyone answered how much money Google has made as a result of AdSense ads placed on fake news sites? Would be really interesting to see an analysis on that…

NATO Memes & Disinformation

Links related to NATO, memes, SCL, Cambridge Analytica.

…a comprehensive study of audience groups and forms the basis for interventions aimed at reinforcing or changing attitudes and behaviour. Significantly, the methodology increases the resilience of susceptible audiences and enables them to withstand foreign propaganda effects.

“Importantly, it seems apparent that bot account networks & hashtags, cookie-cutter websites/blogs, and secret social media “dark posts” visible only to curated individual citizens were deployed — often based around disinformation aka “fake news” — in order to alter opinions but also to manufacture trending topics, commandeer political narratives, and manipulate the larger sociocultural dialogue of the entire populace.”

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