Data belonging to Alex Jones, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green, and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell may be included

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Alex Jones and his phone. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A hacker targeted far-right social network Gab and stole more than 70 gigabytes of user data, including 40 million posts and private messages, Wired reported on Sunday.

Gab CEO Andrew Torba acknowledged the hack on Sunday, claiming the platform was attacked by “demon hackers” and referred to these individuals using a transphobic slur, The Verge noted.

The hacker identifies as “JaXpArO and My Little Anonymous Revival Project” and “siphoned that data out of Gab’s backend databases in an effort to expose the platform’s largely right-wing users,” according to Wired. …


‘Vaccine hunters are the result of short supply, disorganization, inadequate sign-up systems, dire circumstances, and crowded hospitals’

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A UCHealth pharmacy technician prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during a mass vaccination event in the parking lot of Coors Field on February 20, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

In a Facebook group called Minneapolis Vaccine Hunters, a member recently shared a flyer announcing that a local shelter for people experiencing homelessness would be hosting Covid-19 vaccinations on February 11 — no appointment necessary. “Please be mindful that this clinic is intended for unsheltered people in Hennepin County,” noted the flyer, which was conspicuously addressed to individuals “living on the street.”

Later, in a separate post, another Facebook member said they’d managed to get vaccinated at the shelter. They were not homeless, as the flyer intended, but arrived late in the day and received a leftover dose from vaccination…


‘I’m concerned that Facebook could misinterpret what we’re about’

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Image: NurPhoto/Getty Images

Three years ago, Kate Bilowitz, a real estate worker with an armchair curiosity about health misinformation, created a Facebook group for vaccine discourse. Vaccine Talk: An Evidence Based Discussion Forum was created as a good-faith space for conversations about vaccines. The group’s original tagline stated that it was “a forum for both pro- and anti-vaxxers,” but beneath the hood it relied on dozens of moderators and admins to keep the community free of false medical claims, eventually attracting 54,000 members.

“It’s one of the few places on Facebook where both sides, and people in the middle, can come together and…


The changes come months after the start of the vaccine rollout in the U.S.

Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone screen with the words COVID-19 blurred in the background on a laptop screen
Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone screen with the words COVID-19 blurred in the background on a laptop screen
Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook announced in a blog post on Monday that it intends to start removing vaccine misinformation from groups and pages, expanding its focus on “debunked claims” about the Covid-19 vaccine.

“We’re running the largest worldwide campaign to promote authoritative information about COVID-19 vaccines,” wrote Kang-Xing Jin, Facebook’s head of health, adding that “following consultations with leading health organizations, including the WHO, we’re expanding the list of false claims we will remove to include additional debunked claims about COVID-19 and vaccines.”

“Today’s change was a response to a ruling from Facebook’s Oversight Board,” the New York Times reported. In an issuance…


The company’s CEO says MeWe does not enforce ‘political litmus tests’ or target political affiliations

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Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Alternative social network MeWe became a destination for right-wing speech surrounding the Capitol riots last month. In groups and chatrooms, some users celebrated the violence in Washington, D.C., and endorsed the possibility of killing their perceived opponents.

Following the attack, MeWe announced that it was cooperating with U.S. Capitol Police and cracked down on far-right groups like Stop the Steal across the platform. MeWe says it began removing accounts and messages promoting violence and in a tweet, the company said it was removing Stop the Steal groups and encouraged people to report such communities. “We are taking Stop the Steal…


Congress asked the FBI to investigate the app’s role in promoting ‘civil unrest’ in the U.S. — but the entire social media ecosystem demands scrutiny

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Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The House Oversight and Reform Committee chair demanded on Thursday that the FBI “conduct a robust examination” of Parler and its alleged role in the Capitol riots on January 6, which resulted in the deaths of five individuals and for which hundreds of people are being investigated by the Justice Department.

In a letter to FBI director Christopher Wray published by the Washington Post, the committee’s chairwoman and New York Representative Carolyn Maloney asked the agency to consider Parler as “a potential facilitator of planning and incitement related to the violence, as a repository of key evidence posted by users…


‘Have you tried to moderate 15 million people?’ MeWe founder Mark Weinstein told OneZero

A photo illustration of the home page of the social media application MeWe displayed on the screen of an iPhone.
A photo illustration of the home page of the social media application MeWe displayed on the screen of an iPhone.
Photo illustration: Chesnot/Getty Images

“I’m an American who is sick and tired of you traitors,” an account going by the name Chuck Testa posted on MeWe, an alternative social network popular with far-right extremists, two days after the Capitol riots. “Did you think we weren’t going to fight back… There is no place for you. You must be purged,” they continued, writing in the chatroom for a Stop the Steal group of more than 2,700 members. Testa’s proposed solution to the nonbelievers? A “firing squad.”

Across MeWe, movements such as Stop the Steal and QAnon, along with right-wing militia groups, have taken root as…


’Guaranteed not a hack’

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Image: NurPhoto/Getty Images

Before Parler went offline Monday morning, a hacker reportedly downloaded all the data that users had shared to the platform, including images, video, and deleted posts mentioning the assault on the Capitol last week, Motherboard reported.

Now, some Trump supporters who have fled to MeWe and Telegram are insisting the hack is “fake news,” and are baselessly claiming it was coordinated by Twitter and Amazon Web Services to dissuade people from using Parler, in the event that it returns. …


The service is now shut down as it seeks a new hosting service

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Photo: NurPhoto/Getty Images

App downloads of “free speech” platforms Parler and MeWe jumped in the days following riots at the Capitol on Wednesday and the subsequent permanent suspension of President Donald Trump’s Twitter account. Before Parler’s removal from the App Store and Google Play on Friday, the platform gained tens of thousands of downloads in the United States alone.

According to daily download data from Apptopia, which tracks mobile app trends, Parler was downloaded roughly 16,600 times in the U.S. last Wednesday, 14,300 times on Thursday, and approximately 94,700 times on Friday, up until its removal from app stores.

MeWe, which functions similarly…


‘This is Gab’s moment’

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Photo Illustration: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump’s personal account Friday evening, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence” posed by his tweets in the context of ongoing unrest and violence in Washington, D.C. The president’s removal from his favorite platform created a vacuum for alternative Twitter sites Parler and Gab, both of which have courted Trump in the past.

Shortly after Trump’s ban from Twitter, both Parler and Gab experienced technical issues, likely from the number of users attempting to access their platforms. Parler users encountered a “networking error” on their home feeds.

On Thursday, Gab CEO Andrew Torba issued…

Sarah Emerson

Staff writer at OneZero covering social platforms, internet communities, and the spread of misinformation online. Previously: VICE

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