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

May 02, 15

"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:"

May 01, 15

"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. "

May 01, 15

"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

Apr 22, 15

"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

Mar 09, 15

"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."

Mar 04, 15

"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."

Mar 02, 15

"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… "

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."

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