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"Fake News"

Murphy Bannerman first noticed the posts this summer in a Facebook group called Being Black in Arizona.

Someone started posting memes full of false claims that seemed designed to discourage people from voting.

The memes were "trying to push this narrative of, 'The system is a mess and there's no point in you participating,' " Bannerman said. She recalled statements such as, " 'Democrats and Republicans are the same. There's no point in voting.' 'Obama didn't do anything for you during his term, why should you vote for a Democrat this time around?' "

President Trump is advocating that people who previously voted for Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden change their vote.

Updated 10:14 p.m. Monday ET

TikTok is toughening its stance against the QAnon conspiracy theory, expanding its ban to all content or accounts that promote videos advancing baseless ideas from the far-right online movement.

It is a classic moment in the weeks before Election Day: a news outlet runs a front-page exclusive promising scandalous revelations about a big-ticket candidate.

This week, the New York Post published a story based on what it says are emails — "smoking gun" emails, it calls them — sent by a Ukrainian business executive to the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The story fits snugly into a narrative from President Trump and his allies that Hunter Biden's zealous pursuit of business ties abroad also compromised the former vice president.

Updated at 7:05 p.m. ET

Facebook said on Tuesday it will ban anti-vaccination ads, following widespread pressure on the social network to curb harmful content.

Under the new global policy, the company will no longer accept ads discouraging people from getting vaccines; ads that portray vaccines as unsafe or ineffective; or ads claiming the diseases vaccines prevent are harmless.

Just as the coronavirus pandemic began its rapid and deadly spread across the United States, a well-known doctor named Dominique Fradin-Read told thousands of viewers tuning into an Instagram Live video that she had an answer: "one of the best ways to prevent and fight COVID-19."

Tucker Carlson appears to be made of Teflon. Fox News' top-rated host has been repeatedly accused of anti-immigrant and racist comments, which have cost his political opinion show many of its major advertisers. Yet Carlson endures in his prime-time slot.

Critics of Facebook and Twitter — and even some people inside the companies — say dramatic action is needed to counter the way the platforms supercharge false, and sometimes dangerous, claims.

Facebook says it has taken down a network of China-based fake accounts whose posts included content about the U.S. presidential election.

Most of the activity by the more than 180 fake accounts, groups and pages was focused on Southeast Asia, Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of security policy, said in a blog post Tuesday.

President Trump addressed the baseless, far-right QAnon conspiracy theory directly for the first time on Wednesday, saying he didn't know much about the online community and its followers other than "they like me very much."

"I heard that these are people who love our country," Trump added in response to a question about the conspiracy community during a press briefing at the White House.

Twenty-four hours after entertaining and amplifying a false and racist birther conspiracy aimed at Sen. Kamala Harris, President Trump had an opportunity to correct the record. He didn't. Neither did his son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner.

For Trump, this is a return to familiar territory.

"Unfortunately, this might have been inevitable," said Doug Heye, a former Republican National Committee communications director.

Google, Facebook, Twitter and other major tech companies met with U.S. government officials on Wednesday to discuss their plans to counter disinformation on social media in the run-up to the November election.

Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

Twitter put a 12-hour restriction on Donald Trump Jr.'s account, saying the president's son put out a tweet that contained "misleading and potentially harmful" information about the coronavirus.

The news emerged after a person close to Trump Jr. — Republican political strategist Andrew Surabian — posted a screenshot showing what appeared to be a message to Trump Jr. alerting him of a temporary limit on his account based on the company's policy on spreading misinformation on COVID-19.

Twitter said on Tuesday it has removed more than 7,000 accounts associated with the QAnon conspiracy theory, a loose group of online provocateurs who support President Trump and spread absurd claims about forces supposedly attempting to topple the president.

Content associated with QAnon will be banned from the platform's trends section and tweets sharing links involving QAnon theories will be blocked, Twitter officials said.

Ohio Department of Health

State officials are pushing back against the false claim that COVID-19 cases are being counted more than once. 

Updated at 7:25 p.m. ET Friday

Facebook and Twitter said Friday that a post shared by President Trump about a "racist baby" has been removed from the platforms following a copyright complaint from one of the children's parents.

Officials at both social media companies confirmed to NPR that the president's video was deleted from the platforms following a request from the rights holder.

The action comes after Twitter on Thursday added a label to the tweet warning that the content contained manipulated media intended to deceive viewers.

Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET

Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard, who was college football's leading rusher last season, threatened on Monday to stop participating in the program in response to a photo released of his head coach wearing a shirt with the logo of a far-right television network.

But Hubbard apologized several hours later in a video with coach Mike Gundy, saying that he "went about it the wrong way" by taking to Twitter.

Russia's trolling specialists have evolved their disinformation and agitation techniques to become subtler and tougher to track, according to new research unveiled on Thursday.

A cache of Instagram posts captured by researchers showed that the Russians were "better at impersonating candidates" and that influence-mongers "have moved away from creating their own fake advocacy groups to mimicking and appropriating the names of actual American groups," wrote Young Mie Kim, a University of Wisconsin professor who analyzed the material with her team.

Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET

Facebook says it's banning many types of misleading videos from its site, in a push against deepfake content and online misinformation campaigns.

Facebook's new ban targets videos that are manipulated to make it appear someone said words they didn't actually say. The company won't allow videos on its site if they've been either edited or computer-generated in ways that the average person couldn't detect.

President Trump was impeached Wednesday night on two articles of impeachment — one for abuse of power, the other for obstruction of Congress. And they both got more votes than either of the other two impeachments in American history.

After 43 years in the State Department, Anne Patterson got a plum job offer from the Pentagon and thought the opportunity would be an honorable way to cap her long career as a foreign service officer.

But then Patterson's nomination unleashed a torrent of articles in conservative media that painted her as a clandestine partisan or worse. And shortly after the headlines rocketed around the Internet, then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis withdrew Patterson's nomination, and she eventually left government.

Facebook announced new efforts Monday to curb the spread of false information on its platform ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

But, in an acknowledgement of the struggle the social network faces to stay ahead of groups intent on manipulating its users, Facebook said it had taken down another set of disinformation networks, this time tied to Iran and Russia. That adds to the more than 50 such networks the company said it has already removed in the past year.

Twitter permanently suspended thousands of accounts in its ongoing effort to fight the spread of disinformation and political discord on its platform, the company announced Friday.

The accounts originated from six different countries. And they included the Twitter account used by Saud al-Qahtani, a former adviser to Saudi Arabia's crown prince and suspected of being involved in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Cesar Sayoc, the Florida bodybuilder and nightclub bouncer who mailed inoperative pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and media figures seen as critical of President Trump, was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a federal judge in New York on Monday.

Facebook

A conservative group known for its use of doctored undercover sting videos has sued the Ohio Elections Commission, alleging it enforced an unconstitutional state law banning the use of such videos in campaigns. 

Reddit, the self-proclaimed "front page of the Internet," is restricting a forum that is wildly popular among some of President Trump's core fans.

Officials with Reddit said Wednesday that a community on the message board called The Donald, which has around 750,000 followers and is known for its provocative content, is being "quarantined" over violations of its content policies.

snopes.com

A report by an independent fact-checking website shows a network of Facebook pages that appear to represent  diverse conservative groups belongs to an Upper Arlington woman.