Bloomberg: Twitter Bots Helped Trump and Brexit Win, Economic Study Says.
“Twitter bots may have altered the outcome of two of the world’s most consequential elections in recent years, according to an economic study.
Automated tweeting played a small but potentially decisive role in the 2016 Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s presidential victory, the National Bureau of Economic Research working paper showed this month. Their rough calculations suggest bots added 1.76 percentage point to the pro-“leave” vote share as Britain weighed whether to remain in the European Union, and may explain 3.23 percentage points of the actual vote for Trump in the U.S. presidential race.
“Our results suggest that, given narrow margins of victories in each vote, bots’ effect was likely marginal but possibly large enough to affect the outcomes,””
Link via MetaFilter.
The Long Goodbye.. “Friday, April 13, 2018: As of today, dangerousmeta! is no longer being actively updated.”
I’ve been a reader of Garret’s blog since the beginning, back when his blog was called array.editthispage.com. In those first few years the community on EditThisPage.com felt like a neighborhood in a small town, where everyone knows everyone else. Many of those bloggers have stopped blogging years ago, but Garret’s was one of the most prolific and long-lived weblogs.
Garret organized the Behind the Curtain project in September of 2000, in which over a hundred webloggeres documented their day-to-day lives with photos during a time in which affordable digital cameras were still a novelty. I was able to help him a little, and we became friends. About two years later André and I got to meet him and his lovely wife for the first time when we got married (shout-out to all participants of the weblogger wedding!), and we’ve visited them several times since.
Garret, your voice on the web will be missed, especially during these times of political upheaval. Even though I understand your reasons, I’m sad that I won’t find daily dangerousmeta updates in my RSS reader any longer. Thank you for sharing your unique point of view for the past almost 20 years, and keep in touch!
The Economist: The joys of data hygieneEurope’s tough new data-protection law. “Complying will be hard for businesses, but it will bring benefits too.”
“The new law was mostly written by privacy-conscious Germans. Consent to collect and process personal data now has to be “unambiguous” and for “specific” purposes, meaning that catch-all clauses hidden in seldom-read terms and conditions, such as “your data will be used to improve our services”, will no longer be sufficient. “Data subjects” can demand a copy of the data held on them (“data portability”), ask for information to be corrected (“right to rectification”), and also request it to be deleted (“right to be forgotten”).
The GDPR is prescriptive about what organisations have to do to comply. They have to appoint a “data-protection officer” (DPO), an ombudsman who reports directly to top management and cannot be penalised for doing his job. They also have to draw up detailed “data-protection impact assessments”, describing how personal data are processed. And they have to put well-defined processes in place to govern the protection of personal data and to notify authorities within 72 hours if there is a breach. Companies that persistently ignore these rules face stiff fines of up to €20m ($25m) or 4% of global annual sales, whichever is greater.
As a result the GDPR ensures that all organisations which collect and keep data will take their use (and abuse) much more seriously”
The GDPR will have effects on my weblog as well. See WordPress.org:
GDPR Compliance Tools in WordPress.
“GDPR compliance is an important consideration for all WordPress websites. The GDPR Compliance team is looking for help to test the privacy tools that are currently being developed in core.
What is GDPR?
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and is intended to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union. Its primary aim is to give control back to the EU residents over their personal data.
Why the urgency? Although the GDPR was introduced two years ago, it becomes enforceable starting May 25, 2018.”
Deutsche Welle: Barley pocht bei Facebook auf umfassende Aufklärung. “Im Skandal um mutmaßlichen Missbrauch von Millionen Facebook-Daten erhöht Bundesjustizministerin Barley den Druck. Sie bestellte die Spitzen von Facebook Europe für kommende Woche in ihr Ministerium ein.”
“Schon zuvor hatte die Ministerin betont, es sei nicht hinnehmbar, dass Nutzer in sozialen Netzwerken “gegen ihren Willen ausgeleuchtet werden, um sie ganz gezielt mit Wahlwerbung oder Hass gegen den politischen Gegner zu bombardieren”. Solche Wahlkampfmethoden seien “eine Gefahr für die Demokratie”. Europa habe beim Datenschutz ein sehr viel strengeres Recht als die USA, betonte die Ministerin.
Auch die EU-Justizkommissarin Vera Jourová warnte angesichts des Datenskandals, die Demokratie sei bedroht. Sie sagte in Washington, in dem Fall gehe es nicht nur um den Schutz persönlicher Daten, er habe “massive Auswirkungen” auf die demokratische Debatte und Wahlen. Es sei in das Privatleben von Menschen eingegriffen worden, fügte sie hinzu. Es handele sich um eine “heftige Manipulation” von Meinungen, die sich in Wahlergebnissen spiegelten.”
Die Zeit: EU-Parlament lädt Mark Zuckerberg vor. “Nach der Datenaffäre will Präsident Antonio Tajani den Firmenchef vor dem EU-Parlament befragen. Erste US-Investoren reichen Klage gegen Facebook ein.”
Die Zeit: Datenaffäre: US-Investoren verklagen Facebook. “Anteilseigner fühlen sich von Facebook in die Irre geführt und haben Klage eingereicht. Das Unternehmen teilte mit, man sei sich “des Ernstes der Lage bewusst”.”
The Washington Post: FTC opens investigation into Facebook after Cambridge Analytica scrapes millions of users’ personal information.
“Recently, though, former FTC officials have said that Facebook’s entanglement with Cambridge Analytica may have violated the company’s legal agreement with the federal watchdog agency. Whistleblowers in recent days contend that Cambridge Analytica collected information about users and their friends under a since-ceased policy governing third-party apps on Facebook – then kept that data even after Facebook asked that it be deleted.
About 270,000 users downloaded Cambridge Analytica’s app. But the firm was able to obtain personal information about their friends, who likely had no knowledge that their data was being collected. Roughly 50 million people may have been affected.
If the FTC ultimately finds that Facebook broke that agreement, it could fine the company $40,000 for each violation.”
More on this at MetaFilter : Six Degrees Of Surveillance.