"It sounds like a huge, flashy number: $2.6 trillion.
That's the headline on a press release today from the environmental activist group 350.org, announcing a report on the growing movement to divest from dirty energy companies: "FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT PLEDGES SURPASS $2.6 TRILLION."
But the report itself told a somewhat different story.
"The past several years have been bruising ones for the credibility of the social sciences. A star social psychologist was caught fabricating data, leading to more than 50 retracted papers. A top journal published a study supporting the existence of ESP. The journal Science pulled a political science paper on the effect of gay canvassers on voters’ behavior – also because of concerns about fake data.
A University of Virginia psychologist decided in 2011 to find out whether such suspect science was a widespread problem. He and his team recruited more than 250 researchers, identified 100 studies that had each been published in one of three leading journals in 2008, and rigorously redid the experiments in close collaboration with the original authors.
Continue reading the main story
Science, Now Under Scrutiny ItselfJUNE 15, 2015
The results are now in: More than 60 of the studies did not hold up"
#crapdetection especially important in sciences - inaccurate or bogus published studies http://t.co/O9fp39Yxu0
"Those millions of Ashley Madison men were paying to hook up with women who appeared to have created profiles and then simply disappeared. Were they cobbled together by bots and bored admins, or just user debris? Whatever the answer, the more I examined those 5.5 million female profiles, the more obvious it became that none of them had ever talked to men on the site, or even used the site at all after creating a profile. Actually, scratch that. As I’ll explain below, there’s a good chance that about 12,000 of the profiles out of millions belonged to actual, real women who were active users of Ashley Madison.
When you look at the evidence, it’s hard to deny that the overwhelming majority of men using Ashley Madison weren’t having affairs. They were paying for a fantasy."
"Wonderful animated primer on the crucial difference between correlation and causation, written by Dan Peterson PhD, narrated by Lauren McCullough, and animated by Jethro Waters."
"Network scientists at Indiana University have developed a new computational method that can leverage any body of knowledge to aid in the complex human task of fact-checking.
In the first use of this method, IU scientists created a simple computational fact-checker that assigns "truth scores" to statements concerning history, geography and entertainment, as well as random statements drawn from the text of Wikipedia, the well-known online encyclopedia.
Computational fact-checking? #crapdetection http://t.co/paLtRkpPDG
"YouTube -- and the ability for people to easily shoot videos from their phones -- has changed the way news outlets report on big events. Now Google wants to help the media find eyewitness videos and make sure they are trustworthy."
Youtube Newswire: verifying news videos #crapdetection http://t.co/BGOf4h5XF7
"The Columbian Chemicals hoax was not some simple prank by a bored sadist. It was a highly coordinated disinformation campaign, involving dozens of fake accounts that posted hundreds of tweets for hours, targeting a list of figures precisely chosen to generate maximum attention. The perpetrators didn’t just doctor screenshots from CNN; they also created fully functional clones of the websites of Louisiana TV stations and newspapers. The YouTube video of the man watching TV had been tailor-made for the project. A Wikipedia page was even created for the Columbian Chemicals disaster, which cited the fake YouTube video. As the virtual assault unfolded, it was complemented by text messages to actual residents in St. Mary Parish. It must have taken a team of programmers and content producers to pull off."
"There is so much fake stuff on the Internet in any given week that we’ve grown tired of debunking it all. Fake Twitter fights. Fake pumpkin-spice products. Amazing viral video? Nope — a Jimmy Kimmel stunt!
So, rather than take down each and every undeservedly viral story that crosses our monitors each week, we’re rounding them all up in a quick, once-a-week Friday debunk of fake photos, misleading headlines and bad studies that you probably shouldn’t share over the weekend.
Ready? Here’s what was fake on the Internet this week:"
"However a new study from the American Press Institute claims that false information on Twitter beats out the attempts to correct it by a factor of 3 to 1. An important caveat to this report, however, is that social media may have a hand in propagating false information but the supposed trustworthy traditional media is often the source for the wrong information in the first place. "
"Anyone who has ever asked me for tips on content verification and debunking of fakes knows one of the first things I always mention is reverse image search. It’s one of the simplest and most powerful tools at your disposal. This week provided another good example of how overlooked it is.
Unrest in Baltimore, like any other dramatic event these days, created a surge of activity on social media. In the age of the selfie and ubiquitous cameras, many people have become compulsive chroniclers of all their activities — sometimes unwisely so.
Reactions ranged from shock and disgust to disbelief and amusement when a series of images started to circulate showing looters proudly displaying their ill-gotten gains. Not all, however, was as it seemed.
Reverse image search: fake "looters" #crapdetection http://t.co/Yn9iEEwv74
"Now that social media sites have your attention, they’d like to have your trust. Today LinkedIn filed a patent for a fact-checking system, in yet another sign that people are simply fed up with the internet’s lies. And social media platforms are trying to do something about it.
The patent, acquired from an inventor outside of LinkedIn, is described as a fact-checking system that compares information with one or more sources. The user is also able to interact with the information and get more context if they need it. Pretty straightforward stuff."
Patent for interactive fact-checker Linked-In just bought http://t.co/FU8lTDB5Tn http://t.co/TkTXeV9wrI
"A friend sent me an infographic from a sketchy “medical degree information website” … and I learned that sometimes, good people pass on bad Internet pages that make money for bad people."
"Figuring out what’s genuine, what’s propaganda. and what’s fake or a hoax is getting harder and harder these days, and we need more and more skeptical spectacles when taking in both texts and images."
"Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R) wants to reform the rules of end-of-life medical care so that more cancer patients can simply flush out their disease using baking soda.
Fiore, who is also CEO of a healthcare company, told listeners to her weekly radio show on Saturday, that she will soon introduce a “terminally ill bill,” to allow more non-FDA-approved treatments for those diagnosed as having terminal illnesses.
As first reported by Jon Ralston, Fiore told listeners: “If you have cancer, which I believe is a fungus, and we can put a pic line into your body and we’re flushing, let’s say, salt water, sodium cardonate [sic], through that line, and flushing out the fungus… "
"The paper, "Computational fact checking from knowledge networks," outlines an approach to BS detection using a shortest-path problem in graph theory. First, a questionable statement is broken apart into three pieces: a subject, predicate, and an object, which might look like this: “Socrates,” “is a,” “person.”"
By the end of 2014, more than 3 billion people will have access to the Internet, which means that they (we) have the power to ask any question at any time and get a multitude of answers within a second. The responsibility for distinguishing between accurate, credible, true information and misinformation or disinformation, however, is no longer vested in trained and vetted experts — editors, publishers, critics, librarians, professors, subject-matter specialists.
Now, the enormity, ubiquity and dubious credibility of the information available to most of the world’s population is requiring each of us to become something of an expert on figuring out when we’re being misled or lied to.
RT @dmlresearchhub: Teaching #CriticalThinking in Age of Digital Credulity http://t.co/6oaUXFaK0b by @hrheingold #digitalliteracy
"On Tuesday, Facebook announced a new feature for its News Feed. Stories that Facebook believes to be untrue will be marked with a warning: Many people on Facebook have reported that this story contains false information.
True to its text, all the information that will trigger this warning comes from users. If you see a story you think is false on your friend’s wall, you can flag it as a bad post and then tell Facebook it’s a hoax. (After the menu below, Facebook will ask you if you want to privately message the poster telling them about the untrue information.)"
"Facebook announced yet another tweak to the algorithm that governs its users’ News Feeds yesterday. The social network has introduced a new tool that allows users to flag a post as “a false news story.” The move follows a few other attempts by the platform to better delineate different types of content. For example, in August, it was reported that the company was experimenting with satire tags meant to help users differentiate between parody and news. They’ve also taken steps to push back against clickbait."
MT @Digidave "What does Facebook’s new tool for fighting fake news mean for real publishers?" http://t.co/6yTGnciJVf #crapdetection
"A national poll, conducted in March for the Associated Press, found that 42 per cent of Americans are “not too” or “not at all” confident that all life on Earth is the product of evolution. Similarly, 51 per cent of people expressed skepticism that the universe started with a “big bang” 13.8 billion years ago, and 36 per cent doubted the Earth has been around for 4.5 billion years.
h/t @kegill 42% of Americans doubt evolution http://t.co/SFm0rnF5NP
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