All Misinformation stories

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jun 18, 2020 - Technology

Facebook takes down Trump campaign ads with symbol once used by Nazis

Screenshot: Axios

Facebook has taken down an ad from the Trump campaign that went after antifa and leftist groups with a prominent display of an inverted red triangle in a black outline, a symbol the Nazis used for political dissenters.

Why it matters: Facebook has given politicians and campaigns wide latitude in what they say on its platform, but this appears to have been a step too far.

Jun 18, 2020 - Technology

Schiff: Trump's tweets complicate election investigations

Photo: Shawn Thew - Pool/Getty Images

Ahead of a House Intelligence Committee virtual hearing with Facebook, Google and Twitter on Thursday, committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) tells Axios that he worries the president's attacks on Twitter and other tech companies could complicate Congress' and the intelligence community's efforts to learn more about election interference.

Driving the news: Schiff says the president's criticism "certainly heightens the concerns of the social media companies and how they interact with the Congress and with the Administration which threaten to make it more difficult to get information from them. I hope it won't have that impact."

The nerve center of the American news cycle

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The fast-moving world of Twitter has become the nerve center of the American news cycle — as evidenced by record-breaking downloads and engagement for the service last week.

Why it matters: Twitter is our mediaverse's grand interface between journalism and social media. While news organizations play a central role in sharing links to their coverage on Twitter, much of the visual content shared in real time during breaking news events like protests is shared by everyday users.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jun 2, 2020 - Technology

Exclusive: Nonprofit targets Facebook employees in new ad campaign

Images: Accountable Tech

A new ad campaign is using CEO Mark Zuckerberg's own words to encourage Facebook employees to push their company to do a better job of keeping harmful content off its platforms.

What's happening: The targeted ads went live today on Facebook and come from newly launched Accountable Tech, which is spending "five figures" on the effort, Axios has learned. The campaign follows yesterday's employee walkout and rising internal dissent over Facebook's handling of President Trump's tweets.

Jun 2, 2020 - Technology

Podcast: Social media maelstrom

Hundreds of Facebook employees yesterday walked off the job to protest the big blue app's refusal to pull certain posts from President Trump, days after Trump threatened to change the laws around social media in response to a Twitter fact-check. Dan digs into what comes next with attorney Stewart Baker, former Department of Homeland Security assistant secretary for policy.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jun 2, 2020 - Technology

Twitter suspends fake antifa account tied to white nationalists

Twitter said Monday that it has suspended an account named "ANTIFA_US" which it says was tied to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa. Over the weekend, the account had called for violence and its posts had widely circulated online.

Why it matters: It's the latest example of social media being used to exploit and sharpen the very real divisions in American society. It's also the latest example of Twitter more aggressively rooting out false information on its platform.

Zuckerberg says Trump’s “shooting” tweet didn’t violate Facebook’s rules

Mark Zuckerberg at the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 15. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Facebook did not remove President Trump's threat to send the National Guard to Minneapolis because the company's policy on inciting violence allows discussion on state use of force, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Friday.

The big picture: Zuckerberg's statement comes on the heels of leaked internal criticism from Facebook employees over how the company handled Trump's posts about the Minneapolis protests and his unsubstantiated claims on mail-in ballots — both of which Twitter has now taken action on.

May 27, 2020 - Technology

Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump

Twitter came under fire on Tuesday for allowing President Trump to tweet conspiracy theories about Joe Scarborough and the 2001 death of one of his staffers, despite the objections of the staffer's family. The company came under further fire from Trump himself for fact-checking two of his tweets about mail-in voting.

Dan and the New York Times' Kara Swisher dig into Trump’s use of the platform and Twitter’s steps — and missteps — in handling it.

Go deeper: Trump has turned Big Tech's speech rules into a political football

Trump has turned Big Tech's speech rules into a political football

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Twitter made headlines Tuesday after labeling two election-related tweets from President Trump as potentially misleading — the company’s first action against the president’s tweets, which often test its policies on misinformation and abuse.

The big picture: Twitter's unprecedented move, which swiftly drew Trump's fury, was just one of four controversies over the last 24 hours involving tech platforms grappling with free speech issues. And all of them, Axios' Sara Fischer and I report, reflect what a partisan issue the policing of social media content has become.

"Close them down": Trump threatens action against social media platforms

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump threatened to shut down or regulate social media platforms due to anti-conservative bias in a pair of Wednesday tweets — the day after Twitter's first fact-check against the president's claims on its platform.

Reality check: While his claim that social media companies target conservatives isn't new, an Axios analysis last year found that stories about the 2020 presidential election that drove the most engagement online often came from right-wing media outlets.