Facebook shrinks fake news after warnings backfire

In its efforts to combat the spread of false news online (whether by malicious people who knew it was propaganda, or through the wishful thinking of overly-credible sheep who saw a post as confirmation of a value they already held), Facebook experimented with flagging stories as “disputed by third-party fact-checkers.” It turns out that a significant number of users were motivated by the “disputed” flag to share that item even…

Google Pledges $300 Million to Clean Up False News

This is a welcome step, but we cannot trust big corporations to solve the fake news problem for us. (Slow down and think before you share that infuriating or inspiring detail you see in your feed.) In a move to combat the epidemic of false and unreliable information on the internet, Google is pledging to spend $300 million over the next three years to support authoritative journalism. | Google’s campaign, which…

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Why Textbooks And Education Are To Blame For Fake News

The way we teach it at Seton Hill, as a process that leads to a researched term paper, I think it’s safe to add freshman comp to the good list. We continue to operate on the basis that knowledge is stored in repositories, usually a book or an teacher. This dependence on textbooks has distorted education, and made it vulnerable to indoctrination. But, above all, textbooks make us dependent on…

The science of fake news: Addressing fake news requires a multidisciplinary effort

The rise of fake news highlights the erosion of long-standing institutional bulwarks against misinformation in the internet age. Concern over the problem is global. […] Our call is to promote interdisciplinary research to reduce the spread of fake news and to address the underlying pathologies it has revealed. Failures of the U.S. news media in the early 20th century led to the rise of journalistic norms and practices that, although…