Combating Fake News Online

Combating Fake News Online


SOLEDAD: A NORTH CAROLINA MAN OPENED FIRE INSIDE THE PIZZA RESTAURANT HERE IN WASHINGTON, D.C., THIS WEEK. WHY? WELL HE TOLD INVESTIGATORS HE , WANTED TO CHECK OUT WHAT ENDED UP BEING A SO-CALLED FAKE NEWS STORY. THE STORY, IF YOU CAN CALL IT THAT, ACCUSED HILLARY CLINTON AND HER CAMPAIGN CHIEF OF RUNNING A CHILD SEX RING OUT OF A POPULAR PIZZA RESTAURANT, COMET PING PONG. FORTUNATELY, NOBODY WAS HURT IN THE SHOOTING, BUT THE INCIDENT DOES POINT TO THE REAL LIFE DANGERS OF ONLINE FAKE NEWS. ACCORDING TO PEW, 62% OF ALL ADULTS IN THE U.S. GET THEI NEWS IN SOME FASHION FROM SOCIAL MEDIA. AND AN ANALYSIS BY BUZZFEED FOUND THAT FAKE NEWS HEADLINES FOOL AMERICAN ADULTS 75% OF THE TIME CRAIG SILVERMAN IS THE EDITOR OF BUZZFEED CANADA SAW THIS COMING. HE HAS BEEN STUDYING THE VERACITY OF ONLINE NEWS FOR THE PAST DECADE. HE IS IN TORONTO TODAY. NICE TO TALK TO YOU. WHAT TIPPED YOU OFF 10 YEARS AGO THAT THIS WOULD EVENTUALLY BECOME A THING, FAKE NEWS? CRAIG: ONE OF THE THINGS I WAS PAYING TO 10 YEARS AGO IS ACTUALLY REAL NEWS, MAINSTREAM MEDIA, AND LOOKING AT THE LACK OF DISCUSSION AROUND ACCURACY AND THE LACK OF DISCUSSION AROUND FACT-CHECKING. THAT WAS BACK IN 2004. I STARTED WRITING ABOUT IT AND RESEARCHING IT AND LOOKING AT THE LEVEL OF ACCURACY OF MAIN STREAM MEDIA. BUT AS SOCIAL MEDIA REALLY TOOK OFF AND I STARTED TO SEE RUMORS AND MISINFORMATION START TO GET TREMENDOUS VELOCITY AND HUGE DISTRIBUTION, I STARTED TO SHIFT AROUND 2010 OR SO AND STARTED LOOKING AT THAT ELEMENT AND LOOKING AT THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND A FEW YEARS AGO DID A PROJECT SPECIFICALLY ABOUT MISINFORMATION ONLIN SOLEDAD: SO 62%, THE FIGURE THAT I JUST GAVE OUT, WHO GET SOME OF THEIR NEWS IN SOME WAY FROM SOCIAL MEDIA. IT IS NOW A CULTURAL SHIFT, SO HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY CLAMP DOWN ON FAKE NEWS WHEN SO MANY PEOPLE ARE ACCESSING SOCIAL MEDIA, WHICH REALLY THE WAY IT IS GETTING AROUND? CRAIG: THAT IS IT. I MEAN THIS IS A FUNDAMENTAL , CHANGE IN HOW PEOPLE ARE GETTING INFORMATION AND CONSUMING INFORMATION. WE DON’T WANT PEOPLE TO TURN OFF AND SENSOR EVERYTHING — AND CENSOR EVERYTHING. AND WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA HAS DONE IS DEMOCRATIZE MEDIA. WHAT I MEAN IS THAT ANYBODY CAN PUBLISH, WHETHER YOU TWEET SOMETHING, POST ON FACEBOOK, START A BLOG, AND ON AND ON AND ON. IT IS A FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT UNIVERSE. THERE IS A LACK OF CONTROL WITH THAT, AND THAT’S NOT NECESSARILY A BAD THING. THIS IS FREE SPEECH, BUT IT INTRODUCES NEW CONSEQUENCES AND SPREAD OF RUMORS, AND MISINFORMATION IS ONE OF THOSE. AND WE SAW, IN PARTICULAR AROUND THE ELECTION HUGE AMOUNTS OF , FALSE STORIES THAT WERE GETTING A LOT OF TRACTION ON FACEBOOK. SOLEDAD: THE TOP 20 FAKE STORES — STORIES WERE GETTING FAR MORE ENGAGEMENT THAN THE TOP 20 REAL NEWS STORIES FROM SOME OF THE BIGGEST NAMES IN NEWS. HOW DO YOU POSSIBLY MANAGE SOMETHING LIKE THAT IF IT IS REALLY DRIVEN, ULTIMATELY BY , ALGORITHMS? CRAIG: ON FACEBOOK, IT LEARNS WHAT YOU DO AND WHAT YOU LIKE AND THEIR GOAL IS TO FEED YOU , MORE OF THAT BECAUSE IT GETS YOU TO SPEND MORE TIME ON FACEBOOK. THE ALGORITHMS END UP SENDING YOU MORE OF THE STUFF THAT CONFIRMS MORE OF WHAT YOU BELIEVE AND THINK. SOLEDAD: YOU CAN’T EXPECT THE USER END, LIKE MY AUNT SILVIA, TO SAY “OH, I’M NOT GOING TO FORWARD THIS STORY” BECAUSE I DEEM IT TO BE FAKE. WE KNOW MOST PEOPLE CAN’T TELL FAKE FROM REAL. CRAIG: WHEN YOU OPEN UP FACEBOOK AND LOOK AT YOUR NEWS FEED, ALL OF THE LINKS PEOPLE ARE SHARING LOOK THE SAME. YOU DON’T SEE LOGOS. YOU HAVE TO GO BELOW THE IMAGE AND HEADLINE TO SEE WHERE IT CAME FROM, AND MOST PEOPLE DON’T DO THAT. SOLEDAD: IT’S NOT THAT PEOPLE LIKE A MORE FACTUAL STORY THAN ONE THAT ACTUALLY CONFIRMS THE CONSPIRACY THEORY THAT THEY BELIEVE. PLUS, YOU HAVE THE PRESIDENT-ELECT ELEVATING FAKE NEWS, RIGHT? I MEAN, THAT’S PROBLEMATIC AND DIFFERENT. CRAIG: THAT’S UNPRECEDENTED. THE FACT THAT TRUMP WILL TWEET THINGS THAT ARE UNTRUE. FOR EXAMPLE, THERE WAS A FAKE NEWS STORY THAT A PROTESTER HAD BEEN PAID $3500 TO PROTEST TRUMP. THAT’S FROM A COMPLETELY FA WEBSITE CREATED BY A GUY WHO JUST CREATES HOAXES ALL DAY LONG TO MAKE MONEY. BUT THAT WAS TWEETED OUT BY TWO OF HIS CAMPAIGN MANAGERS, ONE OF HIS SONS, ALSO. WHEN YOU HAVE PEOPLE AT THAT LEVEL OF INFLUENCE PUSHING THAT MISINFORMATION OUT THERE, WHETHER KNOWINGLY AND UNKNOWINGLY, THAT GIVES IT AN ADDED LAYER OF CREDIBILITY. SOLEDAD: WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE SOLUTIONS? CRAIG: THE FIRST STEP IS PURELY FAKE SITES, NOT THINGS THAT ARE PARTISAN AND SLANTED, BUT PURELY FAKE SITES SHOULD BE LABELED OR FIND SOME WAY TO CLEARLY COMMUNICATE THAT TO PEOPLE ON FACEBOOK. THE OTHER PIECE YOU MENTIONED IS EDUCATION. I THINK THERE IS A ROLE FOR BUT I ALSO RECOGNIZE THAT THIS IS A MASSIVE UNDERTAKING. I MEAN WE’RE TALKING ABOUT , HAVING TO INTRODUCE SOME FORM OF MEDIA LITERACY BROADLY IN HIGH SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITIES AND MAYBE EVEN EARLIER AND THAT’S

5 Replies to “Combating Fake News Online

  1. HILLARY INVENTED FAKE NEW'S W/BENGHAZI VIDEO! OBAMA & CLINTON CHASED ALL THOSE PEOPLE FROM THE MIDDLE EAST TO EUROPE AND THE USA-&—-THE WORLD IS ON FIRE, GIVE THAT UNDESERVED PIECE PRIZE BACK YOU FOOL OBAMA!

  2. It just goes to show that most Americans DO NOT want to put the work in to finding out the truth about ANYTHING… It's (ORSON WELLES) WAR OF THE WORLDS Broadcast on Halloween 1938 All over again… Which doesn't say much for the American People who ACTUALLY BELIEVE INTERNET NEWS Without checking Its Sources…

    It's just plain laughable…

  3. Solidad – I can't find "Matter of Fact" in my TV Guide. What channel is it on? Also, you should talk to your lighting folks – you used to be pretty, but now look like a "dragon-lady". Or, maybe, abandon the HD format. I think you look better at 144p.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *