There was a time when three dominant television networks had the power to control the news and information narrative. Societal sources of information, though, have been constantly shifting over the past several decades due in great part to changes in technology. The widespread reliance on digital information today has allowed a trio of technology companies to be in a position to increasingly influence cultural and political conversations in a host of ways. When it comes to establishing the news narrative, the big three consist of Google, Facebook, and Twitter. It is the tech giant Google, however, that has managed to morph into a monolithic kingdom of web search. Google has become a digital pathway to information for almost the entire world, having secured approximately 70 percent of the global search market share. The usage of the search site for exploring the net is almost double the amount of its nearest competitor, Bing. Additionally, as the owner of the principal video sharing … [Read more...] about How to Get Real News in a World of Fake News
Michael Deacon Parliamentary Sketchwriter 8 February 2018 • 7:06pm Sick of fake news? Have no fear. The MPs of the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport select committee are on the case. Whatever it takes to defeat this insidious threat to our democracy, they’re ready. And if that requires them to undertake a taxpayer-funded jaunt to the United States, so be it. Today they arrived in Washington DC, to speak to executives from Google, YouTube and Facebook. The big guns of the digital world. These were seriously important people. Well, I say people. They certainly looked like people. But they didn’t talk like people. They talked like highly sophisticated robots. And bearing in mind the technological capabilities these firms possess, it’s more than likely that that’s what they were. In both tone and content, the exec-bots’ answers sounded pre-recorded, automated, programmed. There was no um-ing and ah-ing, no pausing for thought, no … [Read more...] about MPs try to tackle fake news… but end up bombarded by bots
"Fake news" was not a term many people used 18 months ago, but it is now seen as one of the greatest threats to democracy, free debate and the Western order. As well as being a favourite term of Donald Trump, it was also named 2017's word of the year, raising tensions between nations, and may lead to regulation of social media. And yet, nobody can agree on what it is, how much of a problem it is, and what to do about it. The origins of fake news Governments and powerful individuals have used information as a weapon for millennia, to boost their support and quash dissidence. Octavian famously used a campaign of disinformation to aid his victory over Marc Anthony in the final war of the Roman... To continue reading this article Start your free trial of Premium Access all Premium articles Subscriber-only events Cancel any time Free for 30 days then only £2 per week Try Premium Access one Premium article per week … [Read more...] about Fake news: What exactly is it – and how can you spot it?
Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, is launching a crowd-funded news service to help combat fake news. The internet entrepreneur has created Wikitribune, a news initiative which says it will see professional journalists and community contributors produce "fact-checked, global news stories". The new site will be free to use, but also accept donations from monthly "supporters" who will then be able to suggest topics to be covered - while the site also says it will publish full transcripts of interviews where possible as part of transparency plans. "Wikitribune is news by the people and for the people," Mr Wales said. "This will be the first time that professional journalists and citizen journalists will work side-by-side as equals writing stories as they happen, editing them live as they develop and at all times backed by a community checking and re-checking all facts." Prominent web news sources including Google and social media sites such as Facebook have been heavily … [Read more...] about Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales launching Wikitribune service to combat fake news
A fake news video game is being launched today which is said to "vaccinate" players against misinformation. Developed by Cambridge University scientists, players take on the role of fake news producers and score points by winning followers for their conspiracy theories and angry tweets. Research has shown that exposing people to propaganda tactics can psychologically "inoculate" them against the influence of real fake news. The free game is intended to combat a growing epidemic of misinformation said to be sweeping across social media and online news outlets. Dr Sander van der Linden, director of Cambridge University's Social Decision-Making Laboratory, said: "A biological vaccine administers a small dose of the disease to build immunity. Similarly, inoculation theory suggests that exposure to a weak or demystified version of an argument makes it easier to refute when confronted with more persuasive claims. "If you know what it is like to walk in the … [Read more...] about Honestly, fake news is now an online game