Alphabet-Owned Jigsaw Bought a Russian Troll Campaign as an Experiment

For more than two years, the notion of social media disinformation campaigns has conjured up images of Russia's Internet Research Agency, an entire company housed on multiple floors of a corporate building in St. Petersburg, concocting propaganda at the Kremlin's bidding. But a targeted troll campaign today can come much cheaper—as little as $250, says Andrew Gully, a research manager at Alphabet subsidiary Jigsaw. He knows because that's the price Jigsaw paid for one last year. As part of research into state-sponsored disinformation that it undertook in the spring of 2018, Jigsaw set out to test just how easily and cheaply social media disinformation campaigns, or "influence operations," could be bought in the shadier corners of the Russian-speaking web. In …

‘I’ve paid a huge personal cost:’ Google walkout organizer resigns over alleged retaliation

Longtime employee who helped organize global protest alleges Googles response was designed to have a chilling effect on growing workplace activism A prominent internal organizer against Googles handling of sexual harassment cases has resigned from the company, alleging she was the target of a campaign of retaliation designed to intimidate and dissuade other employees from speaking out about workplace issues. Claire Stapleton, a longtime marketing manager at Google and its subsidiary YouTube, said she decided to leave the company after 12 years when it became clear that her trajectory at the company was effectively over. I made the choice after the heads of my department branded me with a kind of scarlet letter that makes it difficult to do my …