TikTok’s Black Box Obscures Its Role in Russia’s War

Earlier this month, researcher Cameron Hickey found he could not expand his flock of TikTok bots, because his method for logging into newly spawned accounts was blocked by the platform. “This research is fraught,” says Hickey, director of the Algorithmic Transparency Institute, a research project at nonprofit the National Conference on Citizenship. “But it’s critical…

We’re “particularly” angry

In a front-page story for the New York Times by Ryan Mac and Sheera Frenkel, ATI Director Cameron Hickey told reporter Davey Alba about his feelings regarding the impending dismantling of CrowdTangle: For academics who relied on CrowdTangle, it was a blow. Cameron Hickey, a misinformation researcher at the National Conference on Citizenship, a nonprofit…

Shadow Bans, Dopamine Hits, and Viral Videos, All in the Life of TikTok Creators

Cameron Hickey, project director for algorithmic transparency at the National Conference on Citizenship, studies the spread of disinformation on TikTok and other social media platforms and believes all of these sites do some sort of algorithmic downgrading. Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube have also been accused of shadow bans. “Are they shadow-banning? I’m sure of it,” Hickey said. “How…

TikTok Played a Key Role in MAGA Radicalization

Our team at the National Conference on Citizenship has been monitoring content on Parler continuously for the past few months, and what we saw generally mirrors what others have reported: The platform was a hotbed of misinformation, conspiracy theories, hate, and incitements to violence. There was also a lot of spam and junk. Parler was,…

The strange, violent death of Parler

And now the world is left to pick through Parler’s remains. “This was a platform that served for casual conversation, amplification and radicalisation,” says Cameron Hickey, director of algorithmic transparency at the National Conference on Citizenship, a non-partisan non-profit. But Parler wasn’t, Hickey argues, a platform where organisation took place.  Wired UK | James Temperton,…

ProPublica’s Electionland: The State of Election Day 2020

One post said the incident “should scare voters,” suggesting local officials can’t be trusted to count the duplicates correctly. That and other examples were collected by Junkipedia, a repository that gathers misinformation online. Electionland from Propublica | November 2020, Caroline Chen, Jack Gillum, Derek Willis, Isaac Arnsdorf, Maryam Jameel, Jessica Huseman and Ryan McCarthy