Wavelength Weekly

— a weekly collection of reporting and research on disinformation —

IN 2020, DISINFORMATION BROKE THE US

Lies about science, civil rights, and the vote itself have turned Americans against one another.
(Buzzfeed News; Getty Image)

By Jane Lytvynenko
December 6, 2020, at 11:19 a.m. ET

Disinformation and its fallout have defined 2020, the year of the infodemic. Month after month, self-serving social media companies have let corrosive manipulators out for dollars, votes, and clicks vie for attention, no matter the damage….

The return to old-school methods to sow chaos

Leaflets, billboards, emails, SMS and robocalls spread false information about Covid-19 and the US election

By Bethan John, Keenan Chen
December 14, 2020

As millions of people around the world were under lockdown this year, social media became a lifeline for many. While researchers and journalists were focused on mis- and disinformation flourishing on the main social media platforms, information disruptors returned to old-school methods of sowing chaos and confusion through leaflets, billboards, emails, SMS and robocalls….

Facebook is a Doomsday Machine

The architecture of the modern web poses grave threats to humanity. It’s not too late to save ourselves.

By Adrienne LaFrance
December 15, 2020

The doomsday machine was never supposed to exist. It was meant to be a thought experiment that went like this: Imagine a device built with the sole purpose of destroying all human life. Now suppose that machine is buried deep underground, but connected to a computer, which is in turn hooked up to sensors in cities and towns across the United States….