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Social Media

The Russian government's interference in the 2016 U.S. elections singled out African Americans, a new Senate committee report concludes.

Using Facebook pages, Instagram content and Twitter posts, Russian information operatives working for the Internet Research Agency had an "overwhelming operational emphasis on race ... no single group of Americans was targeted ... more than African Americans."

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Fort Worth's anti-discrimination board Monday night passed a resolution calling for one of its members, Mike Steele, to be removed. Steele has drawn broad criticism for inflammatory social media posts that target immigrants, Muslims, LGBT people and the political left.

Associated Press

U.S. Rep. Will Hurd called Donald Trump’s tweets “racist and xenophobic.” Pete Olson and Chip Roy were also critical, with Olson saying the president should “disavow his comments.”

But the bulk of the Texas GOP delegation has remained silent on the matter after Trump said that four Democratic women of color in Congress should “go back” to the “broken and crime infested places from which they came.” 

One afternoon three years ago, Chelsey Vance decided to go for a walk. She took some ibuprofen before she left her Nashville, Tenn., apartment. She didn't know then that she was allergic to the medication.

About halfway down the trail, she felt like she was going to faint. Vance sent her roommate her location through iMessage and asked the roommate to come pick her up. She soon began fading in and out of consciousness as she went into anaphylactic shock.

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Dallas police officials say more than two-dozen officers face disciplinary measures after they were found to have posted bigoted or other offensive material to social media in violation of the department's code of conduct, including mocking protesters who were pepper-sprayed.

Associated Press

The head of the U.S. Border Patrol on Monday slammed as "completely inappropriate" sexually explicit posts about U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and comments questioning the authenticity of a photo of a drowned man and his young daughter in a secret Facebook group for agents.

Dallas Habitat Photos / Flickr Creative Commons

Dallas police are joining law enforcement agencies nationwide in reviewing officers' statements on social media.

The review follows publication of a database that appears to catalog thousands of officers' bigoted or violent posts.

Dallas Police Department / Twitter

Police departments in at least five states including Texas are investigating, and in some cases condemning, their officers' social media feeds after the weekend publication of a database that appears to catalog thousands of bigoted or violent posts by active-duty and former cops.

From student loan debt to unaffordable housing to the opioid crisis, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has developed a reputation for having a policy plan for everything.

Malak Silmi was taking her first real journalism class last January when her professor said something that changed her life: Watch what you post on social media because it might just come back to bite you.

Silmi's Twitter account at the time was one she'd had since she was 14. It was a public profile with her content ranging from memes and status updates to opinions on foreign policy. But she decided something had to change if she wanted to be taken seriously as a journalist. So, she deactivated it.

Unknown to hundreds of millions of Facebook users, their passwords were sitting in plain text inside the company's data storage, leaving them vulnerable to potential employee misuse and cyberattack for years.

"To be clear, these passwords were never visible to anyone outside of Facebook and we have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them," Facebook's Vice President for Engineering, Security and Privacy Pedro Canahuati said in a statement Thursday.

About five years since the war in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russian-backed separatists began, triggering a surge in propaganda and disinformation, some students in four cities across the country are learning how to better assess what they're reading, seeing and hearing.

A report released Friday by global education organization IREX says that students in 8th and 9th grades were better able to identify false information and hate speech after teachers integrated the organization's media literacy techniques into their lessons.

The hashtag #AbledsAreWeird started with a childhood memory that occurred to writer and disability rights activist Imani Barbarin: She was in her community swimming pool when a man threw her crutch into the pool to "help her swim." Naturally, the crutch sank, and she had to fetch it from under water.

Updated at 3:57 p.m. ET

After years of criticism and multiple lawsuits alleging that Facebook engaged in discrimination by allowing advertisers to select which users could see their ads, the social media giant announced it will make changes to its ad platform by the end of the year.

Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET

A Facebook vice president said fewer than 200 people saw the Christchurch massacre while it was being streamed live on the site. But the video was viewed about 4,000 times before Facebook removed it, he added. Countless more views occurred in the hours afterward, as copies of the video proliferated more quickly than online platforms like Facebook could remove them.

Updated at 11:52 a.m. ET

In 2011, Glynnis Bohannon gave her 12-year-old son permission to charge $20 on her credit card to play a game on Facebook called Ninja Saga. Neither of them saw any signs that the credit card information had been stored and was racking up charges as her son played and made additional in-game purchases. Bohannon says her son didn't realize it would end up costing nearly $1,000.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that the social media giant would begin emphasizing more "meaningful" content on users' feeds — giving greater weight to posts from friends and family and less to businesses, brands and media.

In a long Facebook post of his own, Zuckerberg stressed that the social media platform — which has more than 2 billion active users worldwide — was created "to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us."

It's the time of year when kids are thinking about their holiday wish lists. So what's a parent to do when a child, possibly a very young child, asks for a smartphone?

We hear that smartphones can be addictive, that screen time can hurt learning, but can't these minicomputers also teach kids about responsibility and put educational apps at their tiny fingertips?

Like the United States, Germany is grappling with fake news and hate speech and what to do about it. For decades, it has banned incitement, defamation, and phrases and symbols from the Nazi era.

But the lines have been a lot murkier when the offenses in question are on the Internet.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing coalition tried to address the discrepancy this year with a controversial "Network Enforcement Law," which the German parliament passed on June 30, and which quietly went into effect on Oct. 1.

The Department of Homeland Security put a notice in the wonky Federal Register that caught widespread attention this week: It plans to keep files on the social media activity of immigrants.

That touched off concern among immigrant rights groups that this was a new level of surveillance and an intrusion in their lives.

But Homeland Security officials say this is nothing new. In fact, the agency says, it has been collecting social media information on immigrants for years.

J.J. Pearce High School Football Facebook page

The Richardson Independent School District has suspended two high school students after they posted racially charged messages on social media.

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A team of researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington is developing algorithms to detect automated accounts — also known as "bots" — that spread misinformation online.

The project focuses on Twitter bots that spread fake news and their threat to national security. But identifying the characteristics of these bots can help the everyday social media user, too.

From Texas Standard:

In the wake of last weekend’s terrorist attack in London that left seven people dead, Prime Minister Theresa May has gone beyond asking social media companies to vet content posted on their sites more fully. She’s raised the specter of holding social media platforms legally accountable for facilitating the spread of terrorist ideology.

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Another potentially dangerous trend: the "eraser challenge." That's where you vigorously rub an eraser on your skin while reciting a certain phrase or the alphabet. The results can be disfiguring or worse. 

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A recent study from Stanford University found most teenagers couldn’t tell the difference between fake and credible news. That problem isn't limited to teens, though. Leading up to and after the election of Donald Trump, there’s been growing criticism over fake and hyper-partisan news sites. Overwhelmed social media users have even begun to cut back on their Facebook habits.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

A little travel tech could help you get to your turkey on time.

Twitter/@Target

Have you heard the online craze about Alex from Target? He’s real -- and he's from North Texas. He’s had a wild November.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Flight running late? Searching for baggage? Forget standing in line. Send a tweet or Facebook message. A growing number of airlines are hiring social media first responders to help with customer relations, and Southwest Airlines has just joined the club. They now have nine “social care” representatives working seven days a week, eighteen hours a day.

UTA

When your neighbor buys a new car, your brother closes on a five-bedroom house and your boss brags about his trip to the Greek islands, it’s hard not to compare your life to theirs.

As part of our series One Crisis Away, which spotlights North Texans on the economic edge, here's a look at our compulsion to keep up.

Parents, students and teachers in Fort Worth ISD can now stay digitally connected with the district and its schools. The district has launched a new free mobile app for smartphones.

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