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Month: December 2016

Washington Post’s “Russian hacking” fake news story falls apart

Washington Post’s “Russian hacking” fake news story falls apart

TL;DR Summary Washington Post writers Juliet Eilperin and Adam Entous publish a news story titled “Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont“. This story is shared widely on social media, in part from social media promotion by Washington Post staff, and is quickly re-printed and re-published nationwide relying on the fear created by the headline. The headline is false and ultimately the entire story is shown to be false. The Washington Post silently rewrote the headline…

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“Fake News” primarily driven by profit motives

“Fake News” primarily driven by profit motives

“It’s about chasing the viral dragon,” said Matt Waite, a professor of journalism at the University of Nebraska and developer of PolitiFact, a fact-checking website. “If you wait for facts to ruin a good story [by showing the story is not true], then you won’t be in on the pageview bonanza, and your bosses want to be in on the pageview bonanza,” Waite added. “So, post goes up, facts come later.” Source: The left’s emerging ‘fake news’ problem “Fake news”…

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Profit behind social media fake news and propaganda

Profit behind social media fake news and propaganda

Banning fake-news sites doesn’t address the real problem: Social-media companies make big money off lies and hate. Source: Fake News and Online Harassment Are More Than Social Media Byproducts—They’re Powerful Profit Drivers This is a good article and catches up with where we were a year ago! But like all articles on the topic, this one also leaves out mention of perhaps the largest for profit, online social-media based fake news publisher (nearly 4.8 million Facebook subscribers). I’ve mentioned them…

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Anti-fake news methods are logically flawed

Anti-fake news methods are logically flawed

The real weakness exposed by fake news may be this: critical thinking skills. Source: Your new civic duty: Flagging fake news True. And: Digital media has changed the game by speeding blatantly false information to millions in a matter of seconds, the eagerness of people to embrace “evidence” that supports their opinions, and the “monetization of viewing” that makes fake news lucrative. Social media cuts the cost of a printing press or a broadcast station to zero. Today, everyone can…

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Up to 76% of hiring managers profile job candidates on social media

Up to 76% of hiring managers profile job candidates on social media

Be careful about what you post online. Up to 76% of hiring managers review the social media posts of job applicants: Hiring managers in information technology and sales are the most likely to use social networks to screen candidates; professional and business services were least likely. IT: 76 percent Sales: 65 percent Financial services: 61 percent Health care: 59 percent Retail: 59 percent Manufacturing: 56 percent Professional and business services: 55 percent Source: Number of Employers Using Social Media to…

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Fake news: Anonymously sourced social media as the basis for news reports

Fake news: Anonymously sourced social media as the basis for news reports

This “news” report is based on an anonymously authored social media account: While the American media and leaders in Washington, D.C., wonder if Vladimir Putin’s government played dirty tricks to get Donald Trump elected, rich Russian youngsters have better things to worry about. Like expensive cars, bubble baths, jewelry, private jets — and showing it off on social media for the world to see. An anonymous Instagram account called RichRussianKids is still providing glimpses of the opulent lifestyle of “minigarchs,” or…

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Facebook testing anti-fake news features

Facebook testing anti-fake news features

Facebook is going to start fact checking, labeling, and burying fake news and hoaxes in the News Feed, the company announced on Thursday. Source: Facebook is going to use Snopes and other fact checkers to combat fake news “Fake news” is what we used to call “propaganda”. Facebook has been aware of the propaganda platform issue since at least 2014. Many users (like me) use FB less because we recognize that FB is an ideal platform for the friction-less distribution…

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Fake news fools about 75% of the time

Fake news fools about 75% of the time

In a survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for BuzzFeed News, 71 percent of self-identifying Democrats surveyed mistook fake news headlines for real stories. Those who identify as Republicans fell for the false headlines at a higher rate, with 84 percent of those surveyed believing they were true. Source: The fake news stories that fooled liberals in 2016. Read the original report here.  (UPDATE: This link goes to Buzzfeed, which confirmed in Jan 2017 that they lack traditional media editorial standards…

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How media headlines shape the emotional response

How media headlines shape the emotional response

TL;DR Summary Media editors make choices in the words they use in media headlines. These words shape your perspective and understanding of the story. Remember that propaganda is messaging designed to persuade a group to adopt someone else’s agenda. Then consider the following headlines captured from Google News and how some assert a conclusion that is not yet evident at the time these headlines were posted: USA Today: Obama orders review of foreign attempts to hack US election NY Times: Obama Orders…

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Leave social media to improve mental health

Leave social media to improve mental health

“I noticed that Twitter, Facebook and other digital forms of communication fed and nurtured my very real anxiety until it consumed me. Whenever I turned to the internet for a distraction, and even a possible sense of reassurance, I was instead sent reeling to the worst corner of my psyche. Only when I consciously stepped away from the screen, did I regain some sense of calm and perspective.” Source: In these turbulent times, take a break from social media to…

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Use Chrome extension “B.S. Detector” to alert you to unreliable and possibly fake news

Use Chrome extension “B.S. Detector” to alert you to unreliable and possibly fake news

If you use the Chrome browser, you can add an extension called “B.S. Detector” that checks links to “news” for authenticity. To set it up, click on the 3 vertical dots at upper right of the Chrome browser and then choose Settings. At the Settings change, click on “Extensions” near the upper left. On the Extensions page, scroll all the way to the bottom and click on “Get more extensions”. At the Chrome Web Store, search for B.S. Detector, and…

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Tech news site runs fake news report about fake news story

Tech news site runs fake news report about fake news story

Now with a correction added to the original story: Update: The feature appears to be an implementation of the Chrome plugin B.S. Detector, which some users took as a test by Facebook itself. Source: Reports of a Facebook fake news detector are apparently a plugin | TechCrunch

Man behind “alt right” fake news sites is registered Democrat

Man behind “alt right” fake news sites is registered Democrat

As this blog pointed out long ago, its all about money. There are right wing sites published by left wing authors and left wing sites published by right wing authors. The goal is to hook the target’s emotions, encouraging Likes, Shares and more click throughs to generate ad revenue. In this case, some of the best known “alt right” fake news was produced by a registered Democrat, political scientist and self admitted liberal: Coler is a soft-spoken 40-year-old with a…

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