Facebook allowed the president of Honduras to artificially inflate the appearance of popularity on his posts for nearly a year after the company was first alerted to the activity. The astroturfing – the digital equivalent of a bussed-in crowd – was just one facet of a broader online disinformation effort that the administration has used to attack critics and undermine social movements, Honduran activists and scholars say. Facebook posts by Juan Orlando Hernández, an authoritarian rightwinger whose 2017 re-election is widely viewed as fraudulent.
Former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Monday said the "unemployed" former President Trump has nothing better to do than stir up trouble following his departure from Washington. "Here's a guy who's unemployed, has nothing else to do but cause trouble. And clearly, it's obvious to me that he's not going away," Boehner said on "The View."
The Washington Post on Monday lifted a ban on breaking news reporter Felicia Sonmez, which she says had barred her from covering stories related to sexual assault and harassment after she criticized newsroom leadership. Sonmez tweeted she had been informed by her editors that the ban was being lifted on Monday afternoon.
Sharon Osbourne has left US chat show The Talk following an on-air row over Piers Morgan’s comments about the Duchess of Sussex, CBS said. Osbourne clashed with her co-hosts while defending Morgan, who left his job on Good Morning Britain following his comments about Meghan. The Talk is off air while CBS investigates the incident.
CNN should investigate anchor Chris Cuomo and he should publicly talk about allegations he received prioritized COVID-19 testing — ordered by his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) — while reporting on the pandemic, said Matthew Hall, national president of the Society of Professional Journalists.
As the mass shooting that left ten people dead was still unfolding Monday afternoon in Boulder, Colorado, the incident was playing out live on YouTube to an audience of 30,000 people. The livestreamer, Dean Schiller, had left King Soopers supermarket on Table Mesa Drive just before the shooting began. When he heard the first shots fired, he turned on his phone and began to record. More than three hours later, Schiller, who describes himself as a citizen journalist and operates the ZFG Videographer YouTube channel, finally stopped recording.
Donald Trump will soon use “his own platform” to return to social media, an adviser said on Sunday, months after the former president was banned from Twitter for inciting the US Capitol riot. Trump has chafed in relative silence at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida since losing his Twitter account and the protections and powers of office. Recently he has released short statements which many have likened to his tweets of old. Speculation has been rife that Trump might seek to create his own TV network in an attempt to prise viewers from Fox News.
A federal appeals court judge in his dissenting opinion in a defamation case on Friday accused The New York Times and The Washington Post of being “Democratic Party broadsheets.”
A private investigator employed by the Sun has said he illegally accessed the Duchess of Sussex’s private information shortly after she met Prince Harry. Dan Hanks, who lives in Los Angeles, told the website Byline Investigates that he compiled a 90-page report on the future member of the royal family in October 2016, shortly after the tabloid newspaper first became aware of her relationship with the prince.
Just days before she was set to begin the job, Teen Vogue’s new editor-in-chief is out at the publication following internal uproar over her decade-old tweets about Asians. People familiar with the situation told that Alexi McCammond, a former Axios political reporter who was hired by Condé Nast earlier this month to lead Teen Vogue, will no longer join the fashion and lifestyle publication.
French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has sparked outrage with a cartoon depiction of Queen Elizabeth kneeling on the neck of Meghan Markle, echoing the death of George Floyd.
MyPillow founder and staunch Trump ally Mike Lindell plans to launch a social network of his own in the next few weeks, creating a haven for the kind of pro-Trump conspiracy theories that have been banned on more prominent social-media sites. On Lindell’s “Vocl” social media platform, users will be free to claim that a supercomputer stole the election from Donald Trump, or that vaccines are a tool of the devil.
Senior military officials are condemning Fox News host Tucker Carlson for saying this week that President Joe Biden is making a “mockery” of the armed forces through efforts to recruit and keep women in the service. On Tuesday, Carlson complained during his prime-time program that while “China’s military becomes more masculine … our military needs to become, as Joe Biden says, more feminine.”
Fox News host Tucker Carlson devoted a lengthy portion of his show Tuesday night to attacking New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz over her accounts of facing online harassment, claiming that in fact she has “one of the best lives in the country.”
Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, reportedly filed a formal complaint to the British broadcaster ITV concerning host Piers Morgan's comments about her mental health in her and Prince Harry's recent bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Piers Morgan has decided to leave GMB after a row over remarks he made about the Duchess of Sussex’s mental health. ITV said it had accepted the presenter’s decision to leave the breakfast show, saying in a statement: “Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain. ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add.” Ofcom has launched an investigation into Morgan’s comments, after receiving more than 41,000 complaints. Morgan had made dismissive remarks on Monday’s show about Meghan’s claims during a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired in the US on Sunday night to have had issues with her mental health.
Birthday parties in pandemics are dreary, even for billionaires. But Rupert Murdoch’s 90th, which he will celebrate on March 11th, should at least be less stressful than his 80th. Back then British detectives were burrowing into a subsidiary of his firm, News Corporation, then the world’s fourth-largest media company, for evidence that its journalists had hacked phones and bribed police.
Followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory are “gentle people waving American flags”, Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed on Friday night – two months since many joined a mob that stormed the US Capitol seeking to overturn Donald Trump’s election defeat, a riot in which five people died.
A handful of rightwing “super-spreaders” on social media were responsible for the bulk of election misinformation in the run-up to the Capitol attack, according to a new study that also sheds light on the staggering reach of falsehoods pushed by Donald Trump. A report from the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP), a group that includes Stanford and the University of Washington, analyzed social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok during several months before and after the 2020 elections.
Content posted from news outlets rated as far-right received the highest levels of engagement on Facebook in the months surrounding the 2020 elections, according to a new study. Moreover, researchers found that among far-right outlets, sources identified as spreading misinformation had on average 65 percent more engagement per follower than other far-right pages. The study evaluated a total of 8.6 million Facebook and Instagram posts between Aug. 10 and Jan. 11 downloaded from the tool CrowdTangle.
Prominent conspiracy theorist and far-right media personality Alex Jones is seen in a newly revealed video complaining about former President Trump and exclaiming that he wished he had never met him.
The Washington Post on Thursday denounced online abuse that targeted one of its reporters after a photo of her speaking with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was shared on Twitter. The attacks on White House correspondent Seung Min Kim came after Huffington Post reporter Igor Bobic on Wednesday shared a photo of Kim showing Murkowski a tweet from Neera Tanden, President Biden's nominee for Office of Management and Budget director, in which Tanden criticized Murkowski.
Volkswagen accidentally posts new company name
Volkswagen on Monday appeared to accidentally announce a rebranding with the new name “Voltswagen,” before quickly removing the press release from its website. On Monday morning, the German automaker posted a statement on its website announcing the “rebranding,” in an apparent shift towards its investment in electric vehicles, before taking it down, USA Today reported. In the release, the automaker said the rebranding is “more than a name change."
White House downplays surprising February jobs gain
Top White House officials took little solace in the better-than-expected February jobs report, insisting Friday that the U.S. was far from a full and equitable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The February jobs report released Friday showed the U.S. gaining 379,000 jobs last month, nearly double the consensus estimates of economists. The unemployment rate also dropped 0.1 percentage points to 6.2 percent, its lowest level since March 2020, as businesses prepared for a post-pandemic world.
CDC signs off on Johnson & Johnson vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday formally accepted the recommendation from its advisory panel that Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine can be given to people ages 18 and older in the United States. The announcement by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will allow vaccinations to begin as soon as the doses are received. Walensky called the decision "another milestone toward an end to the pandemic."
News outlets diverge over airing Trump's speech
CNN and MSNBC did not air former President Trump's speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday while Fox News and other conservative outlets such as Newsmax and OANN carried his remarks live. Fox News began airing Trump's speech after the former president took to to the stage at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday. CNN continued on with coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and MSNBC continued to air its "PoliticsNation" program, though it aired a short clip from the speech.
Federal Reserve suffers widespread disruption
The Federal Reserve suffered a widespread disruption in multiple payment services Wednesday, including a system that banks and businesses rely on to zip trillions of dollars around the financial system each day. After experiencing problems for several hours, the crucial payment system, known as Fedwire, resumed normal operations shortly before 3 p.m. ET, according to the Fed's website.