Filtering and Censorship

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    On fake news, alternative facts and the era of Minority Report

On fake news, alternative facts and the era of Minority Report

Since November’s US presidential election, the issue of fake news has been debated probably more than ever before: where it’s coming from, how it spreads and whether or how attempts to stop it should proceed. Joanna Kulesza, professor of international law and Internet governance at the University of Lodz, Poland, argues that we need careful consideration of the laws […]

The final days of Labour’s Facebook GE2017 campaign

One of the reasons for Labour’s surprising performance in this year’s general election has been said to be voter turnout – which, at 68.7%, reached its highest level since 1997. An analysis by LSE researchers Damian Tambini, Nick Anstead and João Carlos Magalhães suggests that a shift in the party’s Facebook advertising strategy in the last 48  hours of the campaign might be one […]

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    Is the Conservative Party deliberately distributing fake news in attack ads on Facebook?

Is the Conservative Party deliberately distributing fake news in attack ads on Facebook?

The Conservative Party made clear that they would run an anti-Corbyn campaign, attempting to contrast the alleged weaknesses of the leader of the Labour Party with Theresa May’s supposedly superior leadership. An analysis of Tories’ Facebook advertising by LSE researchers Damian Tambini, Nick Anstead and  João Carlos Magalhães suggests that this negative campaign included specific instances of demonstrably false or misleading information.

This […]

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    Labour’s advertising campaign on Facebook (or “Don’t Mention the War”)

Labour’s advertising campaign on Facebook (or “Don’t Mention the War”)

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is the most important event in the recent political history of the UK. However, days before election day, Labour’s campaign on Facebook seems to be ignoring the Brexit issue, an analysis by LSE researchers Damian Tambini, Nick Anstead and  João Carlos Magalhães indicates. This post is the second in a series that is examining data collected […]

What will the UK election mean for online privacy?

Online privacy and the implications for data security are under intense discussion, particularly following the UK’s third terrorist attack in recent months, which led Prime Minister Theresa May to reiterate her call for more regulation of online spaces. In advance of Thursday’s general election, Vladlena Benson, Associate Professor, Department of Accounting, Finance and Informatics, Kingston University, looks at what […]

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    How the Liberal Democrats are using Facebook ads to court ‘remainers’

How the Liberal Democrats are using Facebook ads to court ‘remainers’

It is evident from their manifesto that the Liberal Democrats want to appeal to “remain” voters. It is by looking at their Facebook ads, however, that we get a clearer idea of how their strategy on Brexit has been unfolding, an analysis by LSE researchers Damian Tambini, Nick Anstead and  João Carlos Magalhães suggests. This post is the first […]

Automated censorship is not the answer to extremism

The UK’s Home Affairs Select Committee released a report yesterday following its inquiry into hate crime, in which it criticised social media companies’ handling of illegal content. The report recommends, for example, that the government considers introducing “meaningful” fines for social media companies which fail to remove illegal content within a strict timeframe. Jim Killock, executive director of the […]

Who benefits from using the term ‘fake news’?

‘Fake news’ is a topic that dominates many current debates in academia, politics, and the tech world. In his new media policy brief ‘Fake news : public policy responses’, Damian Tambini illustrates the challenges of finding regulatory solutions to the ‘fake news’ phenomenon. The following excerpt from the brief clarifies who exactly benefits from using the term ‘fake news’.

 

Why […]

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    Jeopardising the effectiveness of journalism in South East Europe: The role of extra-legal policy mechanisms

Jeopardising the effectiveness of journalism in South East Europe: The role of extra-legal policy mechanisms

A range of extra-legal policy mechanisms (policy-relevant actions outside of the scope of law) are used by those in power to prevent journalists from fulfilling their watchdog role in society. In this post, Chiara Sighele from Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa, provides examples from countries of South East Europe (SEE) where extra-legal policy mechanisms are deployed to stifle journalism.

There […]

How advertising fuels fake news

In this second post in our blog series on “fake news”, Damian Tambini illustrates the underlying structures of the online advertising industry that make fake news lucrative.

One of the questions in the UK Parliament’s inquiry into “fake news” asks: “Have changes in the selling and placing of advertising encouraged the growth of fake news, for example by making it […]