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In Italian Schools, Reading, Writing and Recognizing Fake News - The New York Times
ROME — After reading the horrors in Dante’s “Inferno,” Italian students will soon turn to the dangers of the digital age. While juggling math assignments, they’ll also tackle work sheets prepared by reporters from the national broadcaster RAI. And separate from the weekly hour of religion, they will receive a list of what amounts to a new set of Ten Commandments.
Among them: Thou shalt not share unverified news; thou shall ask for sources and evidence; thou shall remember that the internet and social networks can be manipulated.
The lessons are part of an extraordinary experiment by the Italian government, in cooperation with leading digital companies including Facebook, to train a generation of students steeped in social media how to recognize fake news and conspiracy theories online.
fake_news  news  factcheck  schools  italy  nytimes  social_media  internet 
3 days ago by rgl7194
Six Features of the Disinformation Age
We are living in a brave new world of disinformation and propaganda, and as long as only its purveyors have the data needed to understand it, the responses we craft will remain inadequate. Because they are also likely to be poorly targeted, they may even end up doing more harm than good.
Concern about the proliferation of disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda has reached the point where many governments are proposing new legislation. But the solutions on offer reflect an inadequate understanding of the problem – and could have negative unintended consequences.
This past June, Germany’s parliament adopted a law that includes a provision for fines of up to €50 million ($59 million) on popular sites like Facebook and YouTube, if they fail to remove “obviously illegal” content, such as hate speech and incitements to violence, within 24 hours. Singapore has announced plans to introduce similar legislation next year to tackle “fake news.”
In July, the US Congress approved sweeping sanctions against Russia, partly in response to its alleged sponsorship of disinformation campaigns aiming to influence US elections. Dialogue between the US Congress and Facebook, Twitter, and Google has intensified in the last few weeks, as clear evidence of campaign-ad purchases by Russian entities has emerged.
propaganda  social_media  fake_news  alt_facts 
8 days ago by rgl7194
What Facebook Did to American Democracy
"“The most serious political problem posed by filter bubbles is that they make it increasingly difficult to have a public argument. As the number of different segments and messages increases, it becomes harder and harder for the campaigns to track who’s saying what to whom,” Pariser wrote. “How does a [political] campaign know what its opponent is saying if ads are only targeted to white Jewish men between 28 and 34 who have expressed a fondness for U2 on Facebook and who donated to Barack Obama’s campaign?”'

The problem of triangulation: policy gimmes become the weapon of tiny minority swing benefits.

" Damn, Facebook owns us. They had taken over media distribution."

"And on top of all that, scholars and industry observers were used to looking at what was happening in articles to understand how information was flowing. Now, by far the most viewed media objects on Facebook, and therefore on the internet, were videos without transcripts or centralized repositories. "

Designing to disincentivise users or abusers who are not driven by cost incentives
facebook  social_media  video  politics  fake_news  alt-right 
8 days ago by diasyrmus
What Facebook Did to American Democracy - The Atlantic
“the very roots of the electoral system—the news people see, the events they think happened, the information they digest—had been destabilized. … The information systems that people use to process news have been rerouted through Facebook, and in the process, mostly broken and hidden from view. … The truth is that while many reporters knew some things that were going on on Facebook, no one knew everything that was going on on Facebook, not even Facebook. And so, during the most significant shift in the technology of politics since the television, the first draft of history is filled with undecipherable whorls and empty pages.”
Atlantic  Alexis_Madrigal  Facebook  news  filter_bubble  algorithms  2017  fake_news  alt-right  advertising  democracy 
8 days ago by Preoccupations
Russia’s New ‘Useful Idiots’?
There are echoes of Soviet times in the way Russia has been courting far-right activists in the West. A new book looks at how and why it does it.
Remember Richard Spencer, the U.S. white supremacist whose “alt-right” followers celebrated Donald Trump’s presidential election victory with a show of Nazi salutes?
Back in 2011, Spencer was appearing in another guise, as an expert on Libya, on Russia’s English-language propaganda channel RT. Deriding the West’s strategy, he accused NATO of siding with the “thugs” who killed the Libyan dictator — and erstwhile Western ally — Muammar Gaddafi.
Given the chaos in Libya since, Spencer’s argument hardly looks controversial now. But that’s not why RT and other Russian state-controlled outlets have been so keen to book him and other Western far-right activists as guests.
For the Kremlin’s information machine, these activists serve a bigger purpose, to help promote the narrative of the West in chaos — and thereby also boost the idea of Russia as the alternative global power.
In effect, they are a new version of the “useful idiots” — the term coined for Western supporters of the early communist regime, whom Lenin, and then later Stalin, happily exploited.
But is Russia’s reach-out to the far right actually effective? And how has the Kremlin cultivated the relationship? “Tango Noir: Russia and the Western Far Right,” a new book by Anton Shekhovtsov, who is a specialist on extremist networks, provides some of the answers.
russia  propaganda  KKK  racism  usa  alt_facts  fake_news  election 
9 days ago by rgl7194
Falschnachrichten setzen Google und Facebook unter Druck
6. Oktober 2017, 17:10 Uhr
Nach dem Massenmord in Las Vegas verbreiteten sich Falschmeldungen und Verschwörungstheorien auf Google, Facebook und Youtube.
Die Unternehmen sehen sich als neutrale Plattformen und wollen keine Verantwortung für Inhalte übernehmen.
Es ist umstritten, inwieweit Google und Facebook Fake News markieren und löschen sollen. Kritiker sehen das Recht auf Meinungsfreiheit in Gefahr.

Von Johannes Kuhn, Miami
facebook  FakeNews  fake_news  Google  YouTube  Buchmesse2017 
15 days ago by amprekord
Here's How YouTube Is Spreading Conspiracy Theories About The Vegas Shooting
And increasing the chances that users stumble down an algorithm-powered conspiracy video rabbit hole.
fake_news 
16 days ago by gwijthoff
The election was rigged, the news is fake, and the deep state is out to get us
Or, How conspiracy theories are (still) for losers!
Conspiracy theories are all about power – who has it and what they are doing with it, particularly when no one is looking. The losing side will inevitably accuse those in power of conspiring. Democrats would be convinced that Trump is involved in a grand conspiracy, no matter what evidence was available.
In the last two years, conspiracy theories have become integral to American political discourse. Politicians have shaped priorities and policy around conspiracy claims, and the mainstream media has been all too happy to highlight conspiracy theories in their coverage. Polls show that Americans hold many conspiracy beliefs in the aftermath of the 2016 election. For example, 50 per cent of Democrats believe that Russia hacked the voting machines despite having no evidence of such. That Americans believe in conspiracy theories is nothing new. That conspiracy theories have become so prominent in our political rhetoric is.
Conspiracy theories have always have found a home in the United States. Colonists burned ‘witches’ at the stake, believing they were conspiring with Satan. Early Americans later separated from the British King partially out of concerns of a conspiracy by the crown. A long conspiracy narrative to document this conspiracy is written into the nation’s Declaration of Independence. The American Constitution’s main feature – separation of powers – is an effort to quell any conspiracy by one branch of government or another.
gov2.0  politics  trump  election  fake_news  conspiracy_theory 
17 days ago by rgl7194

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