October 13, 2022 T&S Newsletter

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T&S Early Warning News

Get ahead of new stories that are impacting the T&S industry.

Violent threats against Jan. 6 witnesses spread on fringe sites

The Washington post | October 12, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

In the hours after former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson shocked the country with her testimony to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attacks, people in the extreme corners of the internet started plotting their revenge.

“She’d be fun to smash … with a hammer,” wrote one user on the anonymous forum 4chan.

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Misinformation Swirls in Non-English Languages Ahead of Midterms

The Washington post | October 12, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Unsubstantiated rumors and outright falsehoods spread widely in immigrant communities ahead of the presidential election in 2020. That is happening again in the run-up to this year’s midterm elections, researchers say, but with an insidious twist: The social media accounts pushing misinformation are now targeting audiences in more languages on more topics and across more digital platforms, with scant resistance from social media companies.

In recent weeks, posts exaggerating the fallout from inflation have been aimed at Americans from Latin American countries that have been crippled by poor economic management. Conspiracy theories that spread in August about the Internal Revenue Service’s plans for a “shadow army” led mentions of “Ejército IRS” to surge alongside “IRS army,” its equivalent in English, according to the research group Zignal.

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TechScape: Tumblr and why ‘the porn-friendly era of the internet is over’

The Guardian | October 12, 2022

Company Listed: TikTok, Instagram

The quirks and oddities of a social network affect the community that grows up around it. Instagram’s lack of a repost feature pushed users to rely on hashtags to spread their pictures across the network, sowing the seeds of the heavily interest-based communities that still live there today. The anonymity offered by 4chan lead, perversely, to a uniformity of tone, as users conform to the zeitgeist of the site, unable to build a name for themselves as an individual. TikTok – built by people who knew what they were doing – carefully sculpted its quirks to nudge users in its preferred direction, boosting harmless dance trends and discouraging political rants of the sort that litter competitor YouTube.

Over the years, some of the largest social networks have filed those quirks off, pushing for a homogeneity that is more accessible to all, even at the expense of what makes them unique. Twitter’s strict text-only, reverse-chronological, 140-character timeline is now algorithmically curated, offering 280 characters plus a range of multimedia; Instagram posts can be reshared in Snapchat-style stories, which can also contain TikTok-style videos; TikTok pivoted towards political content and now plays a leading role in the culture wars.

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Turkey Slammed Over Proposed Social Media Controls

VOA | October 12, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

ISTANBUL—Turkey's government recently proposed legislation that would criminalize the spreading of misinformation on social media. The move is drawing national and international criticism.

Turkey's so-called disinformat