Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Two new studies show, again, that Facebook doesn’t censor conservatives
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What We’re Reading
We keep an eye out for the most interesting stories about Labby subjects: digital media, startups, the web, journalism, strategy, and more. Here’s some of what we’ve seen lately.
October 30, 2020
“Several key reporters and anchors at MSNBC took a trip down memory lane with Vulture, through the Mannequin Challenges, the phone calls from an irked Sean Spicer, and a planned celebration for Hillary Clinton that turned into the worst kind of purgatory. Understandably, a lot of people would rather forget how those hours felt, but it’s useful to remember as we head into another anxiety-inducing election day.”
Vulture / Jen Chaney / Oct 30
“Ultimately, it was a sense of inclusion that ended up being both the thing that catapulted Man Repeller to stardom, and the thing that broke it. Medine Cohen’s intelligent, comedic approach to fashion made so many women feel welcome to participate in fashion who hadn’t felt welcome before. But without much real diversity of race, socioeconomic status or body type, that sense of welcome seemed to stop short of including anyone from a background that didn’t align with Medine Cohen’s.”
Fashionista / Whitney Bauck / Oct 30
“The Morning Brew brand will remain fully intact and the business will operate completely independently within Insider Inc., which is parent to Business Insider and a paid research division, which includes eMarketer…None of Morning Brew’s roughly 60 employees are being laid off.”
Axios / Sara Fischer / Oct 30
“The decision to disable the recent tab for Instagram hashtags comes after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said he was worried about the elevated risk for civil unrest in the U.S. due to the election…Other steps the company has taken includes helping users register to vote, providing accurate election information, and banning problematic content, including Holocaust denialism.” HT
CNBC / Salvador Rodriguez / Oct 30
“According to two sources familiar with the Times’s discussions on ‘Anonymous,’ James Dao, then the Times’s deputy editorial page editor, asked colleagues for guidance on when no-name bylines were justified. The precedent — which Dao himself would later cite — was that the section had granted anonymity when the writer’s life was in danger. In March 2016, for instance, it published a piece by a Syrian refugee with the byline reading, simply, ‘Laila.’ A tag line explained the decision: ‘Laila is a licensed hairdresser. She asked that her surname be withheld because she fears telling her story could endanger her family in Syria or affect her asylum claim.’ A similar arrangement was extended to a writer who attested to life under ISIS. Perhaps it would be best to stick to that approach.”
The Washington Post / Erik Wemple / Oct 30
El Hilo talks to Politico reporter Sabrina Rodríguez and Miami Herald reporter Bianca Padró about the misinformation, disinformation, and conspiracy theories being circulated in Latino communities in Florida, which could be decisive in next week’s election.
El Hilo / Silvia Viñas, Álvaro Céspedes, Mariana Zúñiga, Daniel Alarcón, Eliezer Budasoff / Oct 30
“The president, his spokespeople, his ministers, and his surrogates habitually make or repeat unfounded accusations against their opponents while broadcasting inflated or entirely fabricated accounts of their own success. Those claims — in fact, almost the entirety of the country’s mainstream political discourse — are mediated through Facebook, which is used by 97% of Filipinos with internet access. That has given the platform an outsize influence in Filipino politics, even as it tries to stay above the fray, declining to fact-check political figures and relying instead on its highly subjective ‘community standards’ to police threats of violence.”
Rest of World / Peter Guest / Oct 30
“A study released Thursday by the Election Integrity Partnership, a consortium of misinformation researchers, found that just 20 conservative, pro-Trump Twitter accounts — including the president’s own @realDonaldTrump — were the original source of one-fifth of retweets pushing misleading narratives about voting. A recent Cornell University study, meanwhile, concluded that Trump was also the ‘largest driver’ of misinformation in the public conversation about the coronavirus during the first half of 2020.”
The Washington Post / Elizabeth Dwoskin and Craig Timberg / Oct 30
“More reporting from outside of studios will likely be on display, with news organizations placing greater emphasis on voter integrity issues and the possibility of legal challenges. PBS is tapping a dozen public broadcasting reporters from across the country to contribute to its coverage. The Washington Post is stationing reporters in 36 states. Networks are hiring election law experts in case those issues need to be addressed.”
The Associated Press / David Bauder / Oct 30
The premium digital ad inventory at the Bangor Daily News has been completely sold out for almost a month … “With this race, [digital advertising campaigns] are kind of really leaning on local news organizations to kind of give them out-of-the-box of solutions. So we’ve been very creative with what we can do, especially with our digital platform.”
BuzzFeed News / Addy Baird / Oct 30