Friday, November 25, 2016

Germany is worried about fake news and bots ahead of election; The Verge, 11/25/16

Amar Toor, The Verge; Germany is worried about fake news and bots ahead of election:
"Angela Merkel this week warned that fake news and bots may influence Germany’s national elections next year, days after she announced plans to seek a fourth term as the country’s chancellor. In a speech to parliament on Wednesday, Merkel said that fake news and bots have “manipulated” public opinion online, adding that lawmakers must “confront this phenomenon and if necessary, regulate it," the AFP reports.
"Something has changed — as globalization has marched on, [political] debate is taking place in a completely new media environment. Opinions aren't formed the way they were 25 years ago," Merkel said. "Today we have fake sites, bots, trolls — things that regenerate themselves, reinforcing opinions with certain algorithms and we have to learn to deal with them."
Donald Trump’s victory in this month’s presidential elections has sparked a debate over the role that fake news played in the US campaign, with some critics saying that Facebook and Twitter should do more to curb misinformation on its platforms. Facebook and Google this month announced that they will exclude fake news sites from their ad networks, while Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last week that the social network is taking steps to limit the spread of misinformation online."

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