Here's How Russia Runs Its Disinformation Effort Against The 2018 Midterms

NPR Technology

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a ceremony to receive diplomatic credentials from newly appointed foreign ambassadors at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia on Oct. 11, 2018. Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a ceremony to receive diplomatic credentials from newly appointed foreign ambassadors at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia on Oct. 11, 2018. The Justice Department has revealed more than ever about the inner workings of Russia's disinformation war against the United States and the West – including how it continues to this day. A criminal complaint unsealed Friday in the Eastern District of Virginia served both to level charges at a woman accused of serving as the money boss for the operation but also to document, in ample detail, how it works. The branch of active measures the Russians call "Project Lakhta" has been running since "mid-2014," and works through some dozen Russian entities, of which the best-known probably was the "Internet Research Agency."


This fake news detection algorithm outperforms humans

#artificialintelligence

When researchers working on developing a machine learning-based tool for detecting fake news realized there wasn't enough data to train their algorithms, they did the only rational thing: They crowd-sourced hundreds of bullshit news articles and fed them to the machine. The algorithm, which was developed by researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of Amsterdam, uses natural language processing (NLP) to search for specific patterns or linguistic cues that indicate a particular article is fake news. This is different from a fact checking algorithm that cross-references an article with other pieces to see if it contains inconsistent information – this machine learning solution could automate the detection process entirely. No offense to the Michigan/Amsterdam team but building an NLP algorithm to parse sentence structure and hone in on keywords isn't exactly the bleeding edge artificial intelligence work that drops jaws. Getting it to detect fake news better than people, however, is.


Tinder's 'Top Picks' feature launches worldwide

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Earlier this year, Tinder began testing out a feature that serves up a list of curated profiles for users who were willing to pay a few extra bucks each month. Now, the popular dating app has announced that the feature, called'Top Picks,' is now launching worldwide. However, it's only available for paying subscribers of Tinder Gold, which costs £7.49 Tinder announced that'Top Picks' is now available worldwide. Top Picks quietly launched in the US and UK last week, after it was tested in Germany, Brazil, France, Canada, Turkey, Mexico, Sweden, Russia and the Netherlands, according to TechCrunch.


Russia used all major social media platforms to aid Trump: report

Al Jazeera

Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election on social media was more widespread than previously thought and included attempts to divide Americans by race and extreme ideology, according to reports by private experts released on Monday by US senators from both parties. The Russian government's Internet Research Agency, based in St Petersburg, Russia, tried to manipulate US politics, said the reports, one by social media analysts New Knowledge and the other by an Oxford University team working with analytical firm Graphika. The twin reports largely verified earlier findings by US intelligence agencies, but offered much more details about Russian activity going back years that continues even now. For instance, one Russian troll farm tried to encourage US "secessionist movements" in California and Texas, the New Knowledge report said. "What they tried to do is divide US public opinion by the existing divisions that were there," Al Jazeera's Alan Fisher said, reporting from Washington.


Cancel the Super Bowl: Rapper Drake curses all four teams in conference championship games

FOX News

New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints -- you're all officially cursed! Thanks to the Drake Curse -- there will be no Super Bowl this year. It's a long-running joke for sports fans that when the Canadian rapper supports your favorite team or athlete on social media, it's bad luck. In early January, Drake supported Alabama, and they lost to Clemson. On Saturday night, Drake -- publicly known as a fair-weather fan -- posted an Instagram story wearing a sweatshirt featuring all the teams trying to emerge from the conference championship games Sunday to meet in Atlanta on Feb. 3 for Super Bowl LIII.