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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Repressive regimes are making ever more use of aggressive social media techniques to silence critics or exert control over vulnerable populations, reports Axios' Sara Fischer.
Why it matters: General lack of oversight of social media makes it easy for those in power to influence populations without being detected — or at least not until after damage is done.
Driving the news: The latest alleged incident, reported by the New York Times and covered in yesterday's Login, is of Saudi-backed troll farms inundating journalists (like the late Jamal Khashoggi) with hateful messages and threats of violence in an effort to silence them.
Russia and Iran are leveraging social media to undermine stability or elections in other nations.
Facebook and Twitter have taken action in nearly all of these instances, some of which were first uncovered by third parties or reporters.
What's next? Even democratic regimes are not immune to this type of abuse, argues Jennifer Grygiel, assistant professor of communications at Syracuse University.
In the U.S., Grygiel argues, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an independent agency, was engaging in domestic propaganda through the purchase of Facebook ads for some of its European channels that were targeted to U.S. users. That's in violation of a law meant to prohibit domestic propaganda.
"My most immediate concern is here in the United States. The Facebook discovery makes me wonder what else is not being managed around our own government's potential use of communications systems for propaganda here in this country."— Jennifer Grygiel
Go deeper: Sara has more here.
Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
A new report commissioned by advocacy groups finds that multiple tech companies, including Amazon and Palantir, are of special importance to immigration authorities "due to their involvement at multiple points in the profiling, tracking and apprehension of undocumented persons."
Why it matters: Contracts between major tech companies and immigration enforcers have drawn attention from the companies’ employees, some of whom object to playing a role in the Trump administration's immigration crackdown.
The report draws on various sources, notes Axios' David McCabe, including congressional testimony, contracting records and agreements between agencies.
Details, per the report:
Neither Amazon nor Palantir responded to requests for comment.
Go deeper: David has more here.
A trade group ranked the 20 best places for techies to work, with some interesting findings. Sure, traditional tech hubs were there, including San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Austin and the Research Triangle of North Carolina.
Yes, but: Also on CompTIA's list were a number of college towns, including Madison (Wis.), Boulder (Colo.), and Lansing (Mich.).
"From Michigan State in Lansing to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs to the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and even larger cities like Boston which hosts 35 colleges, we see the direct correlation between talent availability and innovation creation...”
"For so many of our nation’s tech towns, the pipeline of skilled talent can be found at local universities."— Nancy Hammervik, EVP, CompTIA, said in a statement to Axios
The top 5: The North Carolina cities of Charlotte and Raleigh topped the list, followed by Austin, San Jose and San Francisco.
Go deeper: You can view the full list here.
Terry Myerson. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Former Windows boss Terry Myerson has a new gig, two of them actually.
What's new: Myerson, who left Microsoft in March, is signing up as a venture partner at Seattle's Madrona Venture Group and as an operating executive with The Carlyle Group.
As for why he is doing that rather than sign on with another company full-time, Myerson told me:
"I’m enjoying getting to work with many companies and work with many teams for now – vs. committing everything to one."
P.S. He's still a Windows fan, having written the blog announcing his new gig on a new Microsoft Surface Pro 6.
This shot was money. About $30,000, to be specific.