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Huge MIT Study of ‘Fake News’: Falsehoods Win on Twitter. Ultimately, they found about 126,000 tweets, which, together, had been retweeted more than 4.5 million times. Some linked to “fake” stories hosted on other websites. Some started rumors themselves, either in the text of a tweet or in an attached image. (The team used a special program that could search for words contained within static tweet images.) And some contained true information or linked to it elsewhere. Then they ran a series of analyses, comparing the popularity of the fake rumors with the popularity of the real news.

Speaking from MIT this week, Vosoughi gave me an example: There are lots of ways for a tweet to get 10,000 retweets, he said. Meanwhile, someone without many followers sends Tweet B. Tweet A and Tweet B both have the same size audience, but Tweet B has more “depth,” to use Vosoughi’s term. Here’s the thing: Fake news dominates according to both metrics. These results proved robust even when they were checked by humans, not bots. How journalists could be more constructive – and boost audiences | Media Network. Rob Wijnberg, founder of De Correspondent, recently asked me to imagine my marriage was like the relationship between a news anchor and one of their viewers.

“Okay, so imagine that your husband talks to you like he did when he was presenting the evening news – and you are his audience on the other side of the screen.” They can write to him, post on his Facebook page, tweet him, Instagram him – but even that would not guarantee that he’s read what they have to say. If they are lucky someone else will spot their message and tape it to the front of his screen. Rob and I laughed out loud. The analogy was too absurd. “Not a happy marriage,” Rob said.

I had travelled to Amsterdam to share my work on constructive journalism with De Correspondent’s editorial staff. Constructive journalism also encourages mediation in political debates, especially around election time. Scholars and researchers have known for some time what makes stories engaging. Counterarguments Are Critical to Debunking Misinformation – Association for Psychological Science. It’s no use simply telling people they have their facts wrong. To be more effective at correcting misinformation in news accounts and intentionally misleading “fake news,” you need to provide a detailed counter-message with new information – and get your audience to help develop a new narrative.

Those are some takeaways from an extensive new meta-analysis of debunking studies published in the journal Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The analysis, the first conducted with this collection of debunking data, finds that a detailed counter-message is better at persuading people to change their minds than merely labeling misinformation as wrong. But even after a detailed debunking, misinformation still can be hard to eliminate, the study finds. “The effect of misinformation is very strong,” said co-author Dolores Albarracín, professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The authors also included Christopher R. Media bias is real, finds UCLA political scientist. While the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal is conservative, the newspaper's news pages are liberal, even more liberal than the New York Times. The Drudge Report may have a right-wing reputation, but it leans left. Coverage by public television and radio is conservative compared to the rest of the mainstream media. Meanwhile, almost all major media outlets tilt to the left. These are just a few of the surprising findings from a UCLA-led study, which is believed to be the first successful attempt at objectively quantifying bias in a range of media outlets and ranking them accordingly. "I suspected that many media outlets would tilt to the left because surveys have shown that reporters tend to vote more Democrat than Republican," said Tim Groseclose, a UCLA political scientist and the study's lead author. "But I was surprised at just how pronounced the distinctions are.

" Groseclose and Milyo based their research on a standard gauge of a lawmaker's support for liberal causes. Skeptical Questions Everyone Should Ask. Because I am an activist skeptic I am often asked specific questions about how to be a better skeptic. This is obviously a complex question, and I view skepticism (like all knowledge) as a journey not a destination. I am still trying to work out how to be a better skeptic.

One recent question, however, took a great approach to the issue of practical skepticism – what questions should a skeptic ask themselves when confronted with a news item? Here is my process: 1 – How plausible is the claim? This is admittedly a tricky question that requires a lot of judgment. I say “can be” because it does not have to be. If a news item claims that astronomers have found an interesting new exoplanet, I can accept this claim as long as I have a decent reference, preferably the primary reference. The quality and amount of evidence has to be in proportion to the claim, which means you need to have some sense of how plausible the claim is. 2 – What is the source?

3 – What is the consensus? Conclusion. The Conspiracy Theory Detector. This past September 23 a Canadian 9/11 "truther" confronted me after a talk I gave at the University of Lethbridge. He turned out to be a professor there who had one of his students filming the “confrontation.” By early the next morning the video was online, complete with music, graphics, cutaways and edits apparently intended to make me appear deceptive (search YouTube for “Michael Shermer, Anthony J. Hall”). “You, sir, are not skeptical on that subject—you are gullible,” Hall raged. "We can see that the official conspiracy theory is discredited....It is very clear that the official story is a disgrace, and people who go along with it like you and who mix it in with this whole Martian/alien thing is discrediting and a shame and a disgrace to the economy and to the university.

" [sic]* Hall teaches globalization studies and believes that 9/11 is just one in a long line of conspiratorial actions by those in power to suppress liberties and control the world. 'Blacklisting' of Right-Wing Stories More Proof that Facebook 'Rules the News' Revelations that Facebook may have regularly "blacklisted" conservative stories from the platform's "trending" news section was met with outrage on Monday from journalists across the political spectrum who found the company's alleged abuse of power "disturbing" and potentially dangerous.

After speaking with several former "news curators," Gizmodo technology editor Michael Nunez reported Monday that the social media platform routinely censored stories "about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users. " The contracted employees also said they were "instructed to artificially 'inject' selected stories into the trending news module, even if they weren’t popular enough to warrant inclusion—or in some cases weren’t trending at all," and were specifically asked to exclude "news about Facebook itself in the trending module.

" He continued: Most of the information we spread online is quantifiably “bullshit” In his well-known essay On Bullshit, Harry Frankfurt defines bullshit as speech that is designed to impress but lacks a direct concern for the truth. Under such a definition, a large portion of what we read online today is likely to be bullshit. Some types of bullshit are political in nature, such as the misleading claim that only 16 mass shootings took place under President Bush’s tenure, compared to a whopping 162 under President Obama. Such claims are valued for their persuasiveness in making a point, rather than for their connection to reality. Other bullshit, such as clickbait, is motivated by the commercial mandates of the digital age, in which companies endlessly chase more page views, likes, followers, subscribers and customers. Still more bullshit springs from vanity and hunger for attention. The internet has ushered in the Age of Bullshit. Yet despite the prevalence of bullshit, it has only sparingly been discussed from an academic perspective.

The_world_is_not_falling_apart_the_trend_lines_reveal_an_increasingly_peaceful. Photo by Gokhan Sahin/Getty Images It’s a good time to be a pessimist. ISIS, Crimea, Donetsk, Gaza, Burma, Ebola, school shootings, campus rapes, wife-beating athletes, lethal cops—who can avoid the feeling that things fall apart, the center cannot hold? Last year Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before a Senate committee that the world is “more dangerous than it has ever been.” This past fall, Michael Ignatieff wrote of “the tectonic plates of a world order that are being pushed apart by the volcanic upward pressure of violence and hatred.” Two months ago, the New York Times columnist Roger Cohen lamented, “Many people I talk to, and not only over dinner, have never previously felt so uneasy about the state of the world. … The search is on for someone to dispel foreboding and embody, again, the hope of the world.”

As troubling as the recent headlines have been, these lamentations need a second look. We also have to avoid being fooled by randomness. War. Top Think Tanks Cited by the U.S. Media Changes: A Shifting Bias? | Suite101.com. According to the progressive media watchdog, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), there is a distinct bias in the U.S. media. More right-wing think tanks are cited than left-wing think tanks.

More recently however, centrist organizations with little or no political bias have been referenced more than either the right or the left. What factors contribute to this trend and what does it say about American media and society? Top Think Tanks Cited in 2005 A study released in 2005 by FAIR shows that there was a heavy bias in favor of conservative think tanks. Citations were counted from 2003 to 2004 to determine the top twenty-five think tanks cited by the U.S. media. Right-wing organizations were used more as expert sources of information than left-leaning ones. Half of all the citations were from right-wing think tanks, sixteen percent were from liberal organizations.

The top ten most cited think tanks and their political orientations for 2005 are: Top Think Tanks Cited in 2009 References. American News Media--Liberal or Conservative Bias? The Swarm Of The Right: Myth Of The Liberal Media. Echoing a common conservative claim, CBS correspondent Bernard Goldberg wrote a 1996 Wall Street Journal column arguing that mainstream news media are biased against right-wing sources. His evidence of a liberal bias: Network colleague Eric Engberg once labeled the Heritage Foundation as "conservative" but failed to identify another Washington-based think tank, the Brookings Institution, as "liberal.

" Goldberg's allegation inspired a series of studies about how the media use think tanks. Since 1996, I have conducted four surveys of think tanks for the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) and Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), the national media-watch group. Our findings have consistently refuted conventional wisdom, showing that major media are much more likely to turn to conservative than to progressive sources. First, let's dispense with Goldberg's example. Engberg accurately described the Heritage Foundation as conservative, a label the organization proudly acknowledges. Pew Finds Extreme Conservative Bias In Media. A study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism finds that, in the past five months, the American main stream media has given Pres. Obama the most unremittingly negative press of any of the presidential candidates by a wide margin, while giving Republican candidates extremely positive press coverage.

Liberal Media Bias -- You’ve probably heard it used to describe the American main stream media hundreds, if not thousands of times. One of the most often made claims of the right-wing messaging machine is that the mainstream media are composed almost entirely of liberals who work in concert to promote progressive viewpoints and elect Democrats, while portraying conservative viewpoints, Republicans, and the Tea Party AstroTurf movement with contempt. Liberal Media Bias is a useful red herring, in that it fires up the faithful conservative base and provides a convenient scapegoat for when the American public rejects conservative policies and/or politicians. Former fellows at conservative think tanks issued flawed UCLA-led study on media's "liberal bias. News outlets including CNN cited a study of several major media outlets by a UCLA political scientist and a University of Missouri-Columbia economist purporting to "show a strong liberal bias.

" But the study employed a measure of "bias" so problematic that its findings are next to useless, and the authors -- both former fellows at conservative think tanks cited in the study to illustrate liberal bias -- seem unaware of the substantial scholarly work that exists on the topic. In recent days, news outlets including CNN cited a study of several major media outlets, "A Measure of Media Bias" (pdf) by political scientist Timothy J. Groseclose of UCLA and economist Jeffrey D. Milyo of the University of Missouri-Columbia, purporting to demonstrate that America's news content has "a strong liberal bias. " Study riddled with flaws As a simplified example, imagine that there were only two think tanks, and suppose that the New York Times cited the first think tank twice as often as the second.

A Measure of Media Bias. A Measure of Media Bias Tim Groseclose Department of Political Science Jeff Milyo Department of Economics December 2004 We are grateful for the research assistance by Aviva Aminova, Jose Bustos, Anya Byers, Evan Davidson, Kristina Doan, Wesley Hussey, David Lee, Pauline Mena, Orges Obeqiri, Byrne Offut, Matt Patterson, David Primo, Darryl Reeves, Susie Rieniets, Tom Rosholt, Michael Uy, Diane Valos, Michael Visconti, Margaret Vo, Rachel Ward, and Andrew Wright.

In this paper we estimate (Americans for Democratic Action) scores for major media outlets such as the New York Times, USA Today, Fox News’ Special Report, and all three network television news shows. “The editors in killed the story. Do the major media outlets in the have a liberal bias? Few studies provide an objective measure of the slant of news, and none has provided a way to link such a measure to ideological measures of other political actors.

Our results show a strong liberal bias. Some Previous Studies of Media Bias Data. How to Detect Bias in the News | Handout. 5 Ways to Spot a B.S. Political Story in Under 10 Seconds. An election year is a shit blizzard. Every place you go for news online -- whether it's portal sites like Reddit, or aggregators like Google News or Yahoo! News or RealClearPolitics, or goddamned clips from late night talk shows -- they're all about to get buried under a brown storm of bullshit inflammatory headlines desperate for your click. This turdstorm of pointless click-bait filler is a problem for anyone who wants to be an informed voter. To learn anything useful, you need to be able to sort through all of the garbage to find the actual information and insight. So let me just tell you right now that you can safely ignore any story if ... #5.

Basically, It's ... A politician accidentally misspoke in a way that made him or her look silly, and the opponents are pouncing on it. If you're new to following politics, trust me when I say you will grow to absolutely hate the word "gaffe. " RealClearPolitics.com Getty"YOU'VE RUINED ME, OLD MAN! " GettyScrew baseball. Hey, that reminds me. . #4. Taking conspiracy theories seriously | Need to Know. Study: Belief in Free-Market Economics Linked to Distrust of Science. Data Mining Reveals How Conspiracy Theories Emerge on Facebook. How People Consume Conspiracy Theories on Facebook. 10 Search Engines to Explore the Invisible Web. Find In-Depth Articles on Google with a URL Trick. B.S. Detection for Digital Content. How to Conduct Scientific Research On the Internet (Without Getting Duped)

For scientific information. Chomsky warns of media distortion. Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator. Nick Davies: Our media have become mass producers of distortion. Gingrich and Santorum: The Boys Who Cried Fox. Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA and the 'pathetic' American media | Media. Glenn Greenwald and NY Times' Bill Keller Do Battle Over the Hidden Bias in Corporate News. Six Corporations That Control Almost Everything We Watch, Hear And Read.

These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America. Facts On Media In America: Did You Know? Congress Can No Longer Ignore Corporate Control of the Media. Occupy Movement Media Success: Staying on Frame. Media Get Bored With Occupy—and Inequality. The Corporate Media's Attempt to Kill the Occupy Movement. Rebecca Solnit, Why the Media Loves the Violence of Protesters and Not of Banks. Center for Media and Democracy | Publishers of PR Watch. Poll Finds Fox News Is Worse Than No News at All - News. Fox Shut Out of Canada Because of a Law Against Lying During Newscasts « Say It Ain't So Already. What are newspapers for? - The Plum Line. Glenn Beck Tries To Vilify Wall Street Protests, Fails To Disclose His Coordination With Bank Lobbyists And Oil Barons.