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“Your early vote has not been recorded,” one text message said, with a link for more information.

Other messages tell voters they are not registered, or offer unverified information about a political opponent.

Fraudulent messages like these are drawing attention as political campaigns ramp up data collection and voter targeting using their own technology to circumvent restrictions imposed by social media platforms following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Facebook barred apps which scraped data on users and their contacts after revelations about the now-defunct British consulting group. But in response, President Donald Trump’s campaign and some activist groups are using their own methods.

“What we are seeing is almost more potent than in 2016,” said Samuel Woolley, a University of Texas professor who leads propaganda research at the school’s Center for Media Engagement

Woolley’s team, which examined messages such as the above-referenced ones, found that the Trump mobile app, and to

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Facebook Amps Up Its Crackdown on QAnon

October 6, 2020 | technology | No Comments

Facebook, facing criticism that it hasn’t done enough to curb a fast-growing, fringe conspiracy movement, said on Tuesday that it would remove any group, page or Instagram account that openly identified with QAnon.

The change drastically hardens earlier policies outlined by the social media company. In August, Facebook unveiled its first attempt to limit the spread of QAnon, by establishing policies that barred QAnon groups that called for violence.

But hundreds of other QAnon groups and pages continued to spread on the platform, and the effort was considered a disappointment in many circles, including among Facebook employees.

On Tuesday, Facebook acknowledged that its previous policies had not gone far enough in addressing the popularity of the far-right conspiracy movement.

“We’ve been vigilant in enforcing our policy and studying its impact on the platform but we’ve seen several issues that led to today’s update,” Facebook said in a public post.

Since

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