Last Week in Discourse - The CyberWar Continues
Community Notes is strained and breaking, military gamers are leaking docs, and the YouTubers are At It Again
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Community Notes and Misinformation
The first casualty of war is truth. Last week we talked about how social media information and messaging campaigns are a vital part of any modern military conflict. It’s abundantly clear that the Israel/Palestine conflict is already caught in that dynamic.
Social media sites writ large are fighting an avalanche of misinformation, and Twitter in particular is struggling. In theory, Twitter’s Community Notes feature is one of their main tools to fight disinformation. It’s a valuable addition to the site, and is frequently used to correct misleading or outright false posts. But Community Notes is breaking under the avalanche of misleading information, propaganda, and outright lies.
NBC News documented in the first days of the conflict how the majority of disinformation has remained un-Noted and un-corrected. And they’re not the only ones documenting the failure of Community Notes. BBC journalist Shayan Sardarizadeh has created daily threads for each day’s prominent, uncorrected posts. You can check out examples of what these threads look like here, here or here.
These images and videos are being viewed hundreds of thousands or millions of times and remain uncorrected. They span the width of the conflict - some falsely accuse Palestinians of faking injuries with makeup, and others falsely accuse Israelis of attacks that are actually from Syria. Doctored images are common, as is Russian influence. Misattribution is endemic. There are scores of images from Syria or other conflict-heavy locations being touted as images from Palestine, and many images from years ago claimed as images of the current war.
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