Kinzen's Weekly Wrap - August 12, 2022

This week, my colleague Razan Ibraheem published a blog post about the challenges in decoding online misogyny. Hatred of women, she writes, exists on a spectrum, from casual to blatant, from disguised to undisguised. 

If we are to make progress in tackling this problem we need to consider the impact of how language is used online to target women for simply being women. Her post goes into detail on some of the rhetoric she’s seen in her research, with examples pulled from both Arabic and English in audio.

As Razan writes, "Human expertise is critical in understanding the complex evolution of these narratives, and when married with technology we can scale detection broadly and identify harm with speed." Read the post here

For Your Ears

What happens when lawyers spread misinformation? That’s the subject of the latest Arbiters of Truth podcast. It touches on various ethical questions for the legal profession, including what forms of discipline can be used to ensure lies aren’t spread by those who should know better. Listen here.

From the Kinzen Slack Channels

Articles recommended by our uniquely experienced group of engineers, scientists, designers, developers and editorial experts

Vice. Far-Right Extremists Are Violently Threatening the Trump Search-Warrant Judge

The midterms are fast approaching. Already, extremism researchers in the US were watching with alarm as violent rhetoric online was heating up. Then, the search at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago happened. Quickly, threats against the FBI increased. This story highlights threats against the judge involved in the search warrant.

NBC News. Man who fired nail gun at FBI building called for violence on Truth Social in days after Mar-a-Lago search 

Following the search, an attack on an FBI building. Reporters at NBC dug into some of the violent rhetoric the attacker was promoting online beforehand. 

The New York Times. How Russian Propaganda Is Reaching Beyond English Speakers

An important look into how non-English disinformation can play a massive role in our information ecosystem, but which often is left understudied. 

AP. Russian disinformation spreading in new ways despite bans 

Tactics will always evolve. As this article states, “They’ve rebranded their work to disguise it. They’ve shifted some propaganda duties to diplomats. And they’ve cut and pasted much of the content on new websites — ones that until now had no obvious ties to Russia.”

DFR Lab. Colombian PR firms used Facebook ads to spread disinfo on presidential candidates

This story shows the role “disinformation for hire” played in the 2022 Colombian election. When both economic and political incentives are aligned, this is what we should expect.

ProPublica. How Misinformation About COVID Vaccines and Pregnancy Took Root Early On and Why It Won’t Go Away

This is an important reflection on the massive anti-vaccine campaign we saw throughout COVID and, unfortunately, its lasting effects in relation to other vaccines and health misinformation generally. "The decision to delay or avoid vaccination, often made out of an abundance of caution and love for the baby growing inside of them, had dire consequences: Unvaccinated women who contracted COVID-19 while pregnant were at a higher risk of stillbirths — the death of a fetus at 20 weeks or more of pregnancy — and several other complications, including maternal death."

From the Archives

A space to highlight previous blog posts from the team at Kinzen

Earlier this year, Lucy Gould, Kinzen’s VP, Sales & Partnerships, announced our partnership with Verificat focusing on climate misinformation in Spanish. Verificat, a fact-checking agency based in Spain, is using Kinzen’s audio tooling to enable analysis of podcasting, which is inherently a difficult medium for researchers. Find out more in the blog post, and if you’re a researcher or fact-checker looking to know more, get in touch. 

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