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…

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…

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Chilling analysis of organized, anonymous disinformation campaign against Parkland survivors (impressive journalism from The Washington Post)

Forty-seven minutes after news broke of a high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., the posters on the anonymous chat board 8chan had devised a plan to bend the public narrative to their own designs: “Start looking for [Jewish] numerology and crisis actors.” The voices from this dark corner of the Internet quickly coalesced around a plan of attack: Use details gleaned from news reports and other sources to push false information…

If You Check the Source of an Inspirational Prayer You Shared on Social Media, You Might Be Embarrassed. Check the Source Anyway.

I needed this prayer yesterday. I checked the source today. Quote Investigator The frequent ascription to Mother Teresa stems from the misreading of a book about the famous Catholic charity worker called “A Simple Path” that was compiled by Lucinda Vardey and released in 1995. The page preceding the appendices was titled “ANYWAY”, and it presented versions of eight of the ten statements under investigation. Statements 06 and 07 were…

Don’t use that “18 school shootings since Jan 1” claim. It’s Inaccurate.

Don’t use that “18 school shootings since Jan 1” meme. It’s misleading. I’ve lost track of how many times this image has popped up on my social media feeds. The 18 “school shootings” marked on that map include an instance in which a third-grader accidentally pulled the trigger of a police officer’s holstered gun (nobody was hurt), and an instance in which a man committed suicide in the parking lot…

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How Facebook is killing comedy (and other indie content creators)

Facebook has monetized access to online content. The mobile apps make it difficult for you to actually leave Facebook to follow a link, which means Facebook is increasingly showing other people’s content, bypassing the creator’s own ads (and their “subscribe” and “comment” and “contact us” and “archive” buttons). As Internet comedy writer Matt Klinman puts it: The problem is that Facebook is our editor and our boss. They decide what…