Falsehoods are spread due to biases in the brain, society, and computer algorithms (Ciampaglia & Menczer, 2018). A combined problem is “information overload and limited attention contribute to a degradation of the market’s discriminative power” (Qiu, Oliveira, Shirazi, Flammini, & Menczer, 2017). Falsehoods spread quickly in the US through social media because this has become Americans’ preferred way to read the news (59%) in the 21st century (Mitchell, Gottfried, Barthel, & Sheer, 2016). While a mature critical reader may recognize a hoax disguised as news, there are those who share it intentionally. A 2016 US poll revealed that 23% of American adults had shared misinformation unwittingly or on purpose; this poll reported high to moderate confidence in one’s ability to identify fake news with only 15% not very confident (Barthel, Mitchell, & Holcomb, 2016).
Hoaxy® takes it one step further and shows you who is spreading or debunking a hoax or disinformation on Twitter.
On this week’s Future Trends Forum, Bryan Alexander and Jennifer Sparrow, the Senior Director of Teaching and Learning with Technology at Penn State University, will explore the significance of media and digital literacy, especially in the era of fake news.
Jennifer and Bryan will further dissect how digital literacy and fluency differ, and why this difference is important.
Please have a collection of stories regrading the recent events in Chemnitz, Germany.
The articles from different outlets allow to study not only the event and the controversy immigrants / nativism, but also the phenomenon “fake news” in the post-truth era.
A Game, a Video, and a Framework for Teaching Website Evaluation
In this age of fake and misleading news being spread through social media, it is more important than ever to teach students how to view websites with a critical eye. Here are three good resources
The RADCAB website offers short explanations of each of the aspects of evaluation and why they are significant. The site also provides a rubric (link opens PDF) that you can download and print for your students to use to score the credibility of a website.
In Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online, Marwick and Lewis (2017) of the Data & Society Research Institute described the agents of media manipulation, their modus operandi, motivators, and how they’ve taken advantage of the vulnerability of online media. The researchers described the manipulators as right-wing extremists (RWE), also known as alt-right, who run the gamut from sexists (including male sexual conquest communities) to white nationalists to anti-immigration activists and even those who rebuke RWE identification but whose actions confer such classification. These manipulators rally behind a shared belief on online forums, blogs, podcasts, and social media through pranks or ruinous trolling anonymity, usurping participatory culture methods (networking, humor, mentorship) for harassment, and competitive cyber brigades that earn status by escalating bullying such as the sharing of a target’s private information.
Marwick and Lewis reported on how RWE groups have taken advantage of certain media tactics to gain viewers’ attention such as novelty and sensationalism, as well as their interactions with the public via social media, to manipulate it for their agenda. For instance, YouTube provides any individual with a portal and potential revenue to contribute to the media ecosystem. The researchers shared the example of the use of YouTube by conspiracy theorists, which can be used as fodder for extremist networks as conspiracies generally focus on loss of control of important ideals, health, and safety.
One tactic they’re using is to package their hate in a way that appeals to millennials. They use attention hacking to increase their status such as hate speech, which is later recanted as trickster trolling all the while gaining the media’s attention for further propagation
SHARED MODUS OPERANDI
Marwick and Lewis reported the following shared tactics various RWE groups use for online exploits:
Ambiguity of persona or ideology,
Baiting a single or community target’s emotions,
Bots for amplification of propaganda that appears legitimately from a real person,
“…Embeddedness in Internet culture… (p. 28),”
Exploitation of young male rebelliousness,
Hate speech and offensive language (under the guise of First Amendment protections),
Irony to cloak ideology and/or skewer intended targets,
Memes for stickiness of propaganda,
Mentorship in argumentation, marketing strategies, and subversive literature in their communities of interest,
Networked and agile groups,
“…Permanent warfare… (p.12)” call to action,
Pseudo scholarship to deceive readers,
“…Quasi moral arguments… (p. 7)”
Shocking images for filtering network membership,
“Trading stories up the chain… (p. 38)” from low-level news outlets to mainstream, and
Trolling others with asocial behavior.
teenagers in Veles, Macedonia who profited around 16K dollars per month via Google’s AdSense from Facebook post engagements
#FakeNews is a very timely and controversial issue. in 2-3 min choose your best source on this issue. 1. Mind the prevalence of resources in the 21st century 2. Mind the necessity to evaluate a) the veracity of your courses b) the quality of your sources (the fact that they are “true” does not mean that they are the best). Be prepared to name your source and defend its quality.
How do you determine your sources? How do you decide the reliability of your sources? Are you sure you can distinguish “good” from “bad?”
Compare this entry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fake_news_websites
to this entry: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10eA5-mCZLSS4MQY5QGb5ewC3VAL6pLkT53V_81ZyitM/preview to understand the scope
what is social media (examples). why is called SM? why is so popular? what makes it so popular?
use SM tools for your research and education:
– Determining your topic. How to?
Digg http://digg.com/, Reddit https://www.reddit.com/ , Quora https://www.quora.com
Facebook, Twitter – hashtags (class assignment 2-3 min to search)
YouTube and Slideshare (class assignment 2-3 min to search)
Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest for visual aids (like YouTube they are media repositories)
Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World to be Published this Fall!
Metaliteracy is a pedagogical model for ensuring that learners successfully participate in collaborative information environments, including social media and online communities.
Metaliteracy supports reflective learning through metacognitive thinking, the ethical production of new knowledge, the critical consumption of information, and the responsible sharing of verifiable content across media platforms. Through metaliteracy, learners are envisioned as teachers in collaborative social spaces. This book examines the newest version of the Metaliteracy Goals and Learning Objectives, including the four domains of metaliterate learning.
Lazer, D. M. J., Baum, M. A., Benkler, Y., Berinsky, A. J., Greenhill, K. M., Menczer, F., … Zittrain, J. L. (2018). The science of fake news. Science, 359(6380), 1094–1096. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aao2998
Baum and David Lazer, M. A. (2017, May 11). Social media must be held to account on fake news. Winnipeg Free Press (MB). p. A7.
In a paper published in March in the journal Science, David Lazer, Matthew Baum and 14 co-authors consider what we do and don’t know about the science of fake news. They definefake news as “fabricated information that mimics news media content in form but not in organizational process or intent,” and they go on to discuss problems at multiple levels: individual, institutional and societal. What do we know about individuals’ exposure to fake news and its influence upon them? How can Internet platforms help limit the dissemination of fake news? And most fundamentally: How can we succeed in creating and perpetuating a culture that values and promotes truth?
Steven Sloman, professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown University, and one of the paper’s 16 authors. Sloman is also author of The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone, a book about the merits and failings of our collaborative minds, published in 2017 with co-author Philip Fernbach.
Sloman, S. A. (2017). The knowledge illusion: Why we never think alone. New York: Riverhead Books.