Nov 26, 2019

The next pro-Trump social media network

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Efforts to crack down on nefarious content have forced pro-Trump communities online to migrate to newly-created sites and private groups, according to a new report from social intelligence firm Storyful provided to Axios.

Driving the news: Moderators of the r/The_Donald subreddit have urged users to move from Reddit, where their original subreddit page had been quarantined in June, to a newly created site called

  • The site bills itself as "the forum of choice for The President of The United States, Donald Trump!"
  • Thousands of posts have already been shared. Several of the top posts discuss what type of content will get users banned from social media sites like Reddit or Twitter.
  • The site bears several similarities to Reddit, including the ability to up-vote and down-vote posts, as well as filtering posts by Hot, New, Rising, and Top. 

Between the lines: Operators of say increased “thought-censorship” on Reddit motivated them to create the site.

  • The top-ranked post, authored by one of the site's group moderators, says "We've been developing this site in secret for the better part of the year. Believe me, not letting it slip was difficult, with the rising tide of people begging for a backup as Reddit got worse and worse."
  • Last week, Reddit warned Trump supporters on its platform against systematic harassment of the potential Ukrainian whistleblower, per CNN. Group moderators said this prompted the launch of their site.

The big picture: This isn't the first time pro-Trump groups have created their own social media site, after facing pressure from mainstream sites to adhere to content policies around hate speech.

  • Gab, a social networking site for conservatives, was founded in 2016 as a restriction-free alternative to Twitter.
  • 8kun, a social site formerly known as 8chan, relaunched and rebranded earlier this month after being kicked off Cloudfare's content server. 8kun was eventually booted offline, and re-emerged under a new name days later.

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NASA picks a sample site for asteroid mission

OSIRIS-REx's chosen landing site on Bennu. Photo: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft — designed to snag a piece of an asteroid and deliver it back to Earth — officially has a sample collection site.

Why it matters: Asteroids are thought to be leftovers from the dawn of the solar system, so the sample that OSIRIS-REx gets from the asteroid Bennu could help scientists piece together the history of planetary formation and even how organic compounds made it to Earth.

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Reddit: Accounts sharing sensitive U.S.-U.K. trade documents linked to Russia

Reddit's logo on a smartphone. Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Reddit said that accounts that shared sensitive U.S.-U.K. trade documents on its platform acted as part of a suspected Russian-based disinformation operation, in a post on Friday.

The big picture: The platform believes that the accounts that shared the leaked documents are tied to the same Russian disinformation campaign reported by Facebook in May, which focused on Ukraine, the Syrian civil war and "political news in Europe."

Go deeperArrowDec 7, 2019

New York Times dropping most social media trackers

The New York Times building. Photo: Eduardo MunozAlvarez/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images

The New York Times will no longer use tracking pixels from Facebook and Twitter to track its users' browser history, executives tell Axios.

What's new: The company has created a marketing tool that will allow it to target potential subscribers on platforms like Facebook and Twitter without having to leverage its users' general browsing history.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019