Selected Washington Post Articles – Week Ending May 21st, 2019

Austria shows the risks of dealing with the far right
Ishaan Tharoor, May 21st 2019, Washington Post
Sebastian Kurz’s partnership with the Freedom Party and its leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, dramatically ended after leaked videos showed Strache promising government contracts in return for donations from a woman posing as a wealthy scion of a Russian oligarch family. Strache announced his resignation both as the country’s vice chancellor, as well as leader of his party.

Israeli disinformation campaign targeted Nigerian election
Isabel Debre, May 17th 2019, Washington Post
A U.S. think tank that analyzes misinformation online said Friday that an Israel-based influence campaign busted by Facebook had stumped for the winning candidate in the February 2019 Nigerian presidential elections.

Facebook, Twitter and the Digital Disinformation Mess
Shelly Banjo, May 20th 2019, Washington Post
The kind of disinformation now known as fake news has tainted public discourse for centuries, even millennia. But it’s been amplified in our digital age as a weapon of fearmongers, mob-baiters and election-meddlers that can widen social fissures, undermine democracies and bolster authoritarian regimes. As voters in some of the world’s most-populous countries headed to the polls in 2019, governments began to respond. Companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google have come under increasing pressure to take action.

Facebook shuts down Israel-based disinformation campaigns as election manipulation increasingly goes global
Craig Timberg and Tony Romm, May 16th 2019, Washington Post
Facebook said it shut down 265 fake accounts run by an Israeli social media company on Thursday for engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” as it sought to affect politics in African, Latin American and Southeast Asian nations.

Facebook busts Israel-based campaign to disrupt elections
Isabel Debre and Raphael Satter of the AP, May 16th 2019, Washington Post
Facebook said Thursday it banned an Israeli company that ran an influence campaign aimed at disrupting elections in various countries and has canceled dozens of accounts engaged in spreading disinformation.

Deepfakes are coming. We’re not ready.
Brian Klaas, May 14th 2019, Washington Post
If 2016 was the election of “fake news,” 2020 has the potential to be the election of “deepfakes,” the new phenomenon of bogus videos created with the help of artificial intelligence. It’s becoming easier and cheaper to create such videos. Soon, those with even a rudimentary technical knowledge will be able to fabricate videos that are so true to life that it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to determine whether the video is real.

Report: Iran-linked disinformation effort had personal touch
Raphael Satter of the AP, May 14th 2019, Washington Post
When an attractive young Middle Eastern woman contacted Saudi dissident Ali AlAhmed over Twitter last November, he was immediately suspicious.