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Saturday, Dec 10th

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A moment of truth amid the fake news for Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg. “For election day influence, Twitter ruled social media,” fumed the New York Times. “Donald Trump won Twitter, and that was a giveaway that he might win the presidency,” claimed Business Insider. And “Donald Trump won because of Facebook,” wrote Max Read in New York magazine.

Twitter was castigated mainly because it was Trump’s favoured channel and his tweeting provided a masterclass in how to exploit it. Facebook was in the dock, though, for a different reason: it was claimed that fake news stories that had spread virally on the service had inflicted real damage on the Clinton campaign. Among these were stories that the pope had endorsed Trump, that Hillary Clinton had bought illegal arms worth $137m and that the Clintons had purchased a $200m house in the Maldives. (There was probably worse stuff, but I didn’t have the stomach to do the necessary trawl.)

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Egypt hands journalist union head two years in prison

Egypt jails journalist union head for two yearsAn Egyptian court sentenced the head of a journalists union and two board members to two years in prison for harbouring colleagues wanted by the law and spreading false news, judicial sources said.

Yahiya Kallash, president of the  Egyptian Journalists Syndicate, Gamal Abd el-Rahim and Khaled Elbalshy were charged in May with sheltering two journalists wanted over protests against the transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

Saturday's decision to sentence the journalists comes as authorities try to quell rising dissent against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

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Why press won't run video of Trump and Japanese prime minister

Japanese PM AbeVideo and images of President-elect Donald Trump's meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday will not be seen on most major U.S. news outlets.

The reason? Trump and Abe did not give the press access to the meeting. Instead, the Japanese government provided a video of the meeting, which in the eyes of the press corps amounts to government propaganda.

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Edward Snowden: Falling For Facebook Fake News Is A ‘Sad Indictment Of Our Democracy’

Edward SnowdenEdward Snowden is weighing in on the impact of fake news on the 2016 election.

The former National Security Agency contractor who revealed the agency was spying on U.S. citizens was interviewed Tuesday for Fusion’s Real Future Fair via video call. He discussed the influence companies like Facebook and Google can have on people, particularly in the wake of reports claiming fake news may have swayed voters in the presidential election.

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How Pro-Trump Twitter Bots Spread Fake News

Pro Trump twitter botsPresident-elect Donald Trump has credited the strength of his political movement, in part, to his immense reach on social-media platforms.

And it’s true, he does have a ton of followers on Facebook and Twitter. But not all of those followers are human. Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, automated networks of social-media bots spread erroneous information to potential voters—often to the benefit of Trump.

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Twitter suspends alt-right accounts

Twitter suspends alt right accountsTwitter suspended high-profile accounts associated with the alt-right movement, the same day the social media service said it would crack down on hate speech.

Among those suspended was Richard Spencer, who runs an alt-right think tank and had a verified account on Twitter.

The alt-right, a loosely organized group that espouses white nationalism, emerged as a counterpoint to mainstream conservatism and has flourished online. Spencer has said he wants blacks, Asians, Hispanics and Jews removed from the U.S.

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Breitbart News planning lawsuit against 'major media company'

Breitbart to sue major news mediaBreitbart News is preparing a lawsuit against a "major media company" over claims that it is a white nationalist website, it said in an exclusive statement to The Hill.

The website has been under intense scrutiny since President-elect Donald Trump named Stephen Bannon as a senior White House counselor and strategist. Bannon is the former executive chairman of Breitbart News, and the site has become associated with the “alt-right” movement that helped propel Trump’s candidacy.

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