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Huge MIT Study of ‘Fake News’: Falsehoods Win on Twitter

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.) 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. What does this look like in real life? Related:  FALSE/Misleading InformationMisinformation Social Media LessonDigital Citizenship Curriculum

The Psychology Behind Fake News It’s hard to venture online these days—or switch on any cable network—without coming across a heated discussion over “fake news.” Basic facts and figures, ranging from crowd sizes to poll numbers to whether or not it rained, now appear to be under negotiation. For many media consumers, it can feel as if we are living through an entirely new dystopian era, with each news cycle or press conference sending us further down the rabbit hole. But although the term “fake news” reflects our troubled political moment, the phenomenon is nothing new, and neither is the psychology that explains its persistence. “There’s a tendency for people to say, ‘Well, given the social media channels we have now, these things can spread more quickly and have a greater effect than ever before,” says Adam Waytz, an associate professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School. “There’s an assumption that fake news exacerbates polarization,” Waytz says. The Many Flavors of Truth A Possible Solution

Verify: Was there a blackout in DC during protests? Is there any evidence that the government 'jammed' protesters' phones, stopping them from making calls or posting online? Is there any evidence that the government jammed protesters' phones, stopping them from making calls or protesting online? There is no evidence of this. Peter Newsham- Chief of Police- Metropolitan Police Department Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Black Lives Matter DC Twitter During the third night of demonstrations near the White House, an online rumor claiming that protesters were unable to get cell service or upload content on social media went viral. Under the hashtag, #dcblackout, some claimed that their phones were being "jammed." So we're verifying if there's any evidence that the government jammed protesters phones, stopping them from making calls or posting online? First our Verify researchers contacted DC police. "This appears to be misinformation," a spokesperson for DC police said. Videos and photos continued to upload normally throughout the night.

Inside the Bizarre Misinformation Campaign About a Hoax Blackout in DC Demonstrators in Washington, DC on Sunday.Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters. In the late hours of Sunday and early Monday morning, as Washington, DC, was in the throes of massive protests and police used teargas, rubber bullets, and what appeared to be flashbangs on demonstrators drawn out by the death of George Floyd, something confusing started happening online: the hashtag #DCBlackout started going viral on Twitter, accompanied by similar posts on Facebook and Reddit, claiming that sometime at around 1 am, internet service had gone down throughout the district, blocking people from using the internet or posting what was happening on social media. There is almost no evidence that suggests that this actually happened. A lot of people are asking me about a possible #dcblackout. I was texting during the supposed #dcblackout— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) June 1, 2020

Tech Bro Guru: Inside the Sedona Cult of Bentinho Massaro Written by Be Scofield, M.DivFULL BIO / Author contact: Support my writing: Tip jar “I really feel like he is setting people up for a mass suicide. He talked about ‘The Harvest.’ I always had a weird feeling.” — Former core staff member Bentinho Massaro is crushing the startup game. Bentinho’s first talk on his Youtube channel, “Understanding Life is Impossible” dates back to 2010. Since his first Youtube video, Bentinho has built a massive following. It’s evident that what has “worked” has little to do the specifics of his spiritual ideas. Bentinho’s long game for his business is truly audacious. It’s clear that Bentinho has achieved many of the goals of a new startup: successful branding, passive income, social media reach, great design and platform creation. In this clip Bentinho clearly lays out his plan for his new “heaven on earth” utopia, “My vision is to buy a large piece of land and start a new city with all of you…As with everything I will succeed.” 1.

Can Facebook, or Anybody, Solve the Internet’s Misinformation Problem? “The work you see now from Facebook, Microsoft and others to be more proactive is a trend that is positive — it’s part of the solution, and I would want to see that trend continue,” said Graham Brookie, director of the Digital Forensic Research Lab at the Atlantic Council, a think tank that has been working with Facebook on election-security issues. But Mr. Brookie added: “Is this a solution? A solution, he said, would involve a society-wide reckoning with the problem of the vulnerabilities that the internet has uncovered in democratic society. And even with all that, we may not really get an actual solution. That’s the long game. Consider the most pressing question: How confident should you be that the coming midterm elections will be safe from hacking and propaganda operations online? Facebook and other tech companies are stepping up their efforts to police their sites before the midterms.

'Fiction is outperforming reality': how YouTube's algorithm distorts truth It was one of January’s most viral videos. Logan Paul, a YouTube celebrity, stumbles across a dead man hanging from a tree. The 22-year-old, who is in a Japanese forest famous as a suicide spot, is visibly shocked, then amused. “Dude, his hands are purple,” he says, before turning to his friends and giggling. “You never stand next to a dead guy?” Paul, who has 16 million mostly teen subscribers to his YouTube channel, removed the video from YouTube 24 hours later amid a furious backlash. The next day, I watched a copy of the video on YouTube. The answer was a slew of videos of men mocking distraught teenage fans of Logan Paul, followed by CCTV footage of children stealing things and, a few clicks later, a video of children having their teeth pulled out with bizarre, homemade contraptions. I had cleared my history, deleted my cookies, and opened a private browser to be sure YouTube was not personalising recommendations. Lately, it has also become one of the most controversial.

Twitter Suspends Accounts Posting About DC Blackout For Spreading ‘Misinformation’ Twitter has suspended accounts that it says were falsely claiming there was blackout in Washington during protests over the death of George Floyd on June 1. The social network suspended the accounts after an investigation into the hashtag #dcblackout, a Twitter spokesperson told Bloomberg. The accounts spreading misinformation about a communications failure were removed in line with Twitter’s platform manipulation and spam policy, the spokesperson said. According to the Washington Post the DC blackout hashtag first emerged from an account with just three followers, but it was then retweeted more than 500,000 times. Many citizens suspected a blackout had taken place in order to disrupt the protests, however the claim does indeed seem to be false, according to numerous sources. However, Netblocks, an organization which tracks disruptions and shutdowns, said via Twitter that it had not detected a blackout in Washington, DC.

Discussing the Impacts of Social Media Algorithms Introduction When Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, many people were confused by the purchase. By all definitions, Instagram seemed to be the antithesis of Facebook. What is an algorithm? See the Educator’s Toolbox below for a student worksheet (PDF & DOC) and audio transcript. Discussion Questions Create a list of the social networking apps you use. —Is everything collected into one app or site, like Facebook, or over separate ones? Student Writing Prompt According to Hilary Mason, priority algorithms in social media feeds “…choose to bias the things that you see by what people like you actually do and how they behave.” Ideally writing responses should:—Incorporate evidence from media. Related Resources Algorithms —Dvorsky, George. Instagram —Greenberg, Julia. —Arthur, Rachel. —Brueck, Hilary. Facebook —Bakshy, Eytan, Solomon Messing, and Lada A. —Sunstein, Cass R. —Rhodan, Maya. Twitter —Barrett, Brian. Extension Standards