Social media companies retreat from fight against election lies

Forces to fight election lies on the internet are shrinking as the 2024 presidential election looms. Artificial intelligence poses a real threat, allowing users to fake videos, photos and ads. Social media companies are cutting their content moderation staff, and conservative politicians are pressuring researchers who study internet lies. The recent injunction by a Texas federal judge weakens the federal government’s efforts to get accurate voting information out and fighting false rumors about the election. (The Washington Post, July 8, 2023, by Cat Zakrzewski, Naomi Nix and Joseph Menn)

As one of the most popular domains shared across all platforms, YouTube plays a key role in curtailing internet lies. But in June the company announced it would not curtail lies in the interest of fostering political debate. The other main companies are also reducing their content moderation efforts in response to political pressures, calls for them to end censorship, and to gain more traffic. (Poynter, July 7, 2023, by Sevana Wenn)

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