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Howard Rheingold's Library tagged crap_detection   View Popular, Search in Google

Jan 26, 15

"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.”"

Aug 21, 14

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 by @hrheingold #digitalliteracy

Jan 22, 15

"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.)"

Jan 21, 15

"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?" #crapdetection

Jan 21, 15

"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

Jan 15, 15

World leaders marching with demonstrators from another angle.

Dec 20, 14

"The TV personality who describes himself as “America’s doctor” has been widely delivering medical advice with zero scientific basis, according to a new study.

About half of recommendations from Dr. Mehmet Oz have “no evidence” or are flat-out contradictory to medical research, according to a study published by the British Medical Journal this week."

Nov 19, 14

RT @EthanZ: Wellesley researchers find ways to distinguish true and false rumors on Twitter:

Oct 13, 14

"The search engine giant is testing a new feature that urges people Googling illnesses or symptoms to jump on a video call with a medical professional."

Nov 12, 11

A task of primary importance for social networkusers is to decide whose updates to subscribe to in order tomaximize the relevance, credibility, and quality of the informationreceived. To address this problem, we conducted an experimentdesigned to measure the extent to which different factors in onlinesocial networks affect both explicit and implicit judgments ofcredibility. The results of the study indicate that both the topicalcontent of information sources and social network structureaffect source credibility. Based on these results, we designed anovel method of automatically identifying and ranking socialnetwork users according to their relevance and expertise fora given topic. We performed empirical studies to compare avariety of alternative ranking algorithms and a proprietaryservice provided by a commercial website specifically designedfor the same purpose. Our findings show a great potential forautomatically identifying and ranking credible users for anygiven topic.
[download] Finding Credible Information Sources in SocNets
Based on Content & Social Structure - best paper award

May 18, 14

"Mr. Nossiter’s first impulse, though, was a good one. And although this instance has not turned out to be a cautionary tale, it does raise questions about authenticating video images — and the difficulty of doing so — in today’s relentless, 24-hour news cycle. I explored these questions with journalists inside and outside The Times this past week.

The word that came up over and over in these half-dozen interviews was “verification.”


May 10, 14

Correlations that definitely demonstrate how correlation does not equal causation

May 06, 14

"According to, the tool is called BotOrNot, and it looks over more than a thousand features from a Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s social network, including their Twitter posts and other information. The tool provides the analysis in real time and assigns a probability on whether or not a particular Twitter account is being run by a bot.

Interestingly enough, the U.S. military and the National Science Foundation funded the research for developing the tool because they recognize that higher amounts of information flow have not only changed the way people communication, but also changed the way incorrect information spreads."

Apr 29, 14

"The chart appears to scale 6 million to about one-third of the Obama administration's original goal for sign-ups through the federal and state health-insurance exchanges — 7.066 million. Fox News on Tuesday issued a correction on the chart (see update below for more).

A proper scale would probably look something more like this:"

Apr 20, 14

"On any given day we're lied to from 10 to 200 times, and the clues to detect those lie can be subtle and counter-intuitive. Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, shows the manners and "hotspots" used by those trained to recognize deception — and she argues honesty is a value worth preserving.


Apr 08, 14

"Here's what's Bullshit on the Internet This Week"

Apr 03, 14

This Tumblr debunks faked videos and photos
visual crap detection @hoaxoffame debunks online video hoaxes

Mar 26, 14

"Robert Proctor is one of the world's leading experts in agnotology, a neologism signifying the study of the cultural production of ignorance."
Beyond crap detection: the study of the cultural production of ignorance

Mar 25, 14

"One feature that makes the Chilean case stand out among the military regimes that held much of Latin America in their grip during the last third of the 20th century is the role of the media – and in particular El Mercurio and its subsidiaries – in consciously promoting a perceived state of war, both before and after the coup which brought General Augusto Pinochet to power. The planting of exaggerated or invented reports on foreign infiltration, unsubstantiated warnings about scarcity of basic goods (which became a self-fulfilling prophecy as a result of panic buying) or false revelations of sinister leftist plots was, by most historical accounts, a major factor in both justifying and provoking a military coup in a country previously famed for its strong democratic traditions."

Mar 24, 14

"There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. The probability that a research claim is true may depend on study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and, importantly, the ratio of true to no relationships among the relationships probed in each scientific field. In this framework, a research finding is less likely to be true when the studies conducted in a field are smaller; when effect sizes are smaller; when there is a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships; where there is greater flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes; when there is greater financial and other interest and prejudice; and when more teams are involved in a scientific field in chase of statistical significance. Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias. In this essay, I discuss the implications of these problems for the conduct and interpretation of research."

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