How to check whether you’re looking at a fake tweet

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If you see a screen capture of a tweet, you should immediately suspect its legitimacy. Here’s how to check if it’s fake or real. This is a real problem. A friend of mine, for example, posted this capture of a purported Trump tweet on her Facebook page (I added the orange “Fake” to the screen … Continued

Truth, science, and herd immunity

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In epidemiology, “herd immunity” is the essential concept that prevents the spread of deadly viruses. Now that disinformation and fake news are viral, we need to start thinking about herd immunity for the health of the nation’s perception of reality. When it comes to actual viruses, here’s how herd immunity (also known as community immunity) … Continued

Fakery is coming. We’re not ready.

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I’m going to share some tweets with you. I’ll tell you who wrote them in a moment. “Today I’m announcing an important partnership that has the potential to transform America’s foreign policy – it comes from the heart!” “I am pleased to announce our new alliance with North Korea. Kim Jong Un and I are … Continued

Fake news detection for kids? How about adults?

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Quartz published an awesome analysis of how teachers are attempting to teach kids to spot fake news — and how bad we all are at it. Here are some highlights from the article: “In the age of fake news, here’s how schools are teaching kids to think like fact-checkers,” by Annabelle Timsit: About Stanford University … Continued

Can Facebook block lies about voting?

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In the US, the midterm election day is one week from today, November 6. Facebook says it will ban misinformation on voting. If you find this news item encouraging, allow me to discourage you. First off, the ban is limited in scope. Facebook is not banning fake news (as if such a thing were possible) … Continued

Facebook is secretly rating your trustworthiness. Excellent!

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According to the Washington Post, Facebook is rating your trustworthiness on a zero-to-one scale. Not only that, they won’t tell you how they rate people. Here’s why that’s a necessary first step in squashing the spread of fake news. First, let’s get this out of the way. Facebook is biased. All social media and search … Continued

The strange thing about Trump’s Fake News Awards

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President Donald Trump announced his Fake News Awards yesterday. Many of them are, indeed, news reports that turned out to be wrong. Strangely, though, that’s not at all what Trump actually means when he says “Fake News” — or when he generates it himself. Breaking down the 2017 Fake News Awards Trump’s Fake News Awards … Continued