What the Tech: Russia, Facebook, Fake News

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A warning from Facebook tonight: Russians are already trying to interfere in the upcoming presidential election. And you may unwittingly be helping them. We take a closer look at the tactics Russian operatives are using your Facebook friends to influence who wins in November

We heard it four years ago, how Russia interfered in our election. Facebook and Twitter say they’re at it again. How does Russian interference work though? Jamey Tucker spoke with Cyber-security expert Joseph Steinberg who told me, it has nothing to do with voter fraud.

The Russians are masters of putting out news that’s false that looks like it’s real, looks like it’s coming from American sources and people don’t understand that this isn’t a newspaper. It’s Russian propaganda.

This is one such site pointed out by Facebook and Twitter: peacedata.net. Facebook says it was launched by the Russian Internet Research Agency backed by the Kremlin. The same organization that was found to have reached millions of Americans through social media four years ago.

There was a story in the last election cycle that the Pope endorsed Donald Trump. It sounds ridiculous but it did go quasi-viral.

Facebook deleted the Peace Data Facebook page. The people behind Peace Data posted to its website that the claims are false. Steinberg says, it’s nearly impossible to stop it with an algorithm.

In the end there is no way to filter, 100% of everything that could be potentially problematic. So people should use, I would say due diligence, but it’s really just common sense.

A few tips: Don’t be too quick to share wild content you see somewhere else. Check the name of the news organization. Is it legit? Have you heard of it before? Are any reputable news outlets reporting it? If not, it’s probably not true. Steinberg said, by sharing it with your Facebook friends and followers, you’re helping to cause the problem.

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