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We all want to know the truth!


We’ve heard the term ‘fake news’ and seen so many statements about lies being told. What can you believe?

Here is some information to help you sort through the news.

What is Fact Checking?

  • Fact-Checking : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact-checking: Fact-checking is the process of verifying information in non-fictional text in order to determine its veracity and correctness. Fact-checking can be conducted before (ante hoc) or after (post hoc) the text is published or otherwise disseminated. Internal fact-checking is such checking done in-house by the publisher; when the text is analyzed by a third party, the process is called external fact-checking.
  • What is fact-checking and why is it important?: https://coinform.eu/what-is-fact-checking-and-why-is-it-important/
  • The spread of misinformation is inherently human. Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist who won the Nobel prize in economic sciences, introduced the concept of “WYSIATI” (What you see is all there is), meaning that we tend not to look for what we do not see. We rather rely on the information that is directly available to us, without being fully aware of what we do not know. If we just see some elements of a story, we construct the best story we can out of those partial elements. Part of the approach of fact-checking is the awareness of the cognitive biases innate to each of us. While these biases help us navigate everyday life, they can cause us to overlook relevant facts, even when they are clearly presented.
  • The use of facts and storytelling as a tool of political mobilization has been a long-established means to persuade the public of a group consensus.
  • The role of a journalist is to provide daily information: to provide accurate testimony of the political realm. But the reality is more than this information; it includes the availability of information from a variety of sources. We weave these stories into a comprehensive meaning for ourselves.
  • The network effect of social media has broadened the sources of information and thus the construction of our narratives. Social media has also removed a primary filter of journalists as the establishment of truth-teller. Some politicians and opinion makers have seized upon this opportunity as an exercise of power.
  • The political thinker, Hannah Arendt, explained how this manipulation can occur, through the interplay of facts, opinions, and power. So, what is the relationship between facts and opinions? Opinions can be informed by facts, or by the purposeful denial of them if a group consensus compels one so. And nowadays, social media networks present a new and powerful tool to manipulate consent. Herd behavior which occurs when people follow the behavior of others on the assumption that “these many people can’t be wrong”, can make us collectively behave in conformist ways to the point of sanctioning the (truthful) dissenter.
  • Therefore, in recent years, fact-checking has become more prevalent in journalism. This is reflected in the increasing numbers of fact-checking organizations being established internationally. While often considered as a journalistic pursuit aligned to established media outlets, it has also been the focus of work by NGOs, charities, and non-media aligned organizations.
  • As it ever was, fact-checking is no guarantee against a group of people deciding to ignore the evidence of factual truths, but without the effort of fact-checking, we surrender each of our reality to others. Fact-checking emphasizes that we should remain skeptical for our own survival.
  • Read the full article at FactCheckNI

What is FAKE NEWS:

(November 2019)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_news

Fake news, also known as junk newspseudo-newsalternative factsfalse news, or hoax news, is a form of news consisting of deliberate disinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional news media (print and broadcast) or online social media. Digital news has brought back and increased the usage of fake news, or yellow journalism. The news is then often reverberated as misinformation in social media but occasionally finds its way to the mainstream media as well.

Fake news is written and published usually with the intent to mislead in order to damage an agency, entity, or person, and/or gain financially or politically, often using sensationalist, dishonest, or outright fabricated headlines to increase readership. Confirmation bias and social media algorithms like those used on Facebook and Twitter further advance the spread of fake news. Fake news undermines serious media coverage and makes it more difficult for journalists to cover significant news stories. Anonymously-hosted fake news websites lacking known publishers have also been criticized.

During and after his presidential campaign and election, President Donald Trump popularized the term “fake news” in this sense, regardless of the truthfulness of the news, when he used it to describe the negative press coverage of himself. In part, as a result of Trump’s misuse, the term has come under increasing criticism, and in October 2018 the British government decided that it will no longer use the term because it is “a poorly-defined and misleading term that conflates a variety of false information, from genuine error through to foreign interference in democratic processes.”
2019 CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust :
https://www.cigionline.org/internet-survey 2019?utm_source=google_ads&utm_medium=grant&gclid=Cj0KCQjws536BRDTARIsANeUZ5-yppXy4jH3OLgM-9ErO3WwdGKwPoaXKAhScv5wXSHHesGFFhzCGtkaAqdrEALw_wcB

 

  • 86% said they had fallen for fake news at least once, with 44% saying they sometimes or frequently did. Only 14% said they had “never” been duped by fake news.
  • Facebook was the most commonly cited source of fake news, with 77% of Facebook users saying they had personally seen fake news there, followed by 62% of Twitter users and 74% of social media users in general.
  • One-third (35%) pointed to the United States as the country most responsible for the disruptive effect of fake news in their country trailed significantly by Russia (12%) and China (9%). Notably, internet users in Canada (59%), Turkey (59%) and the United States itself (57%) were most likely to say that the United States is most responsible for the disruptive effect of fake news in their own country, while users in Great Britain (40%) and Poland (35%) were most likely to point to Russia, and users in Hong Kong (39%), Japan (38%) and India (29%) were most likely to blame China.
  • A majority of internet users around the globe support all efforts that governments and internet companies could take to combat fake news, from social media and video sharing platforms deleting fake news posts and videos (85%) and accounts (84%) to the adoption of automated approaches to content removal (79%) and government censorship of online content (61%).

How To Recognize A Fake News Story.

9 helpful tips to stop yourself from sharing false information. By Nick Robins-Early. Updated 11/27/2016

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/fake-news-guide-facebook_n_5831c6aae4b058ce7aaba169?section=politics

In order to prevent the spread of fake news, here is a quick guide to spotting it.

  1. Read Past The Headline: One way that fake news gets amplified is that busy readers may not look past the headline or opening paragraph before they decide to share an article. Fake news publishers sometimes exploit this tendency, writing the beginning of a story in a straightforward way before filling in the rest with obviously false information. In other cases, clicking through to the article will reveal that the story really has nothing to do with the headline at all or provides nothing to back it up.
  2. Check What News Outlet Published It: Unfamiliar websites plastered with ads and all-caps headlines should draw immediate skepticism. Googling a site’s name and checking out other articles it posts should also help determine whether it’s trustworthy.  Many fake news sites will outright say that they are satire or don’t contain factual information, but others are made to mimic major news outlets. Check the URL names of pages that look suspect, making sure that it’s not a hoax site that is pretending to be a trusted source.
  3. Check The Publish Date And Time: Another common element in fake news is that old articles or events can resurface and lead people to believe they just happened. Checking the publish time stamp is something readers can quickly do to prevent being misled. Sometimes, however, finding out when an event happened can take a bit more work ― such as when the date of an article is current, but the events described within it are old. Click through links and read carefully to determine when the event described actually happened.
  4. Who Is The Author?: Looking at who wrote the article can reveal a lot of information about the news source. Searching through the author’s previous articles can show whether they are a legitimate journalist or have a history of hoaxes.
  5. Look At What Links And Sources Are Used: A lack of links or sources for claims in an article is an obvious warning sign that the post is likely false. Fake sites may also provide numerous links to sites that appear to back up their claims but are themselves spreading misinformation. Check to see that claims supported by links actually come from reliable sources.
  6. Look Out For Questionable Quotes And Photos: It’s incredibly easy for fake news writers to invent false quotes, even attributing them to major public figures. Be skeptical of shocking or suspicious quotes, and search to see if they have been reported elsewhere. Likewise, it’s easy to take a photo from one event and say it’s from another. Images can also be altered for a certain story. Reverse image searches, either through Google or tools like TinEye, can help you find where an image originated.
  7. Beware Confirmation Bias: People are often drawn to stories that reinforce the way they see the world and how they feel about certain issues. Fake news is no exception, and many of the articles that fall under its umbrella are designed to stir up emotion in readers and prey on their biases. It’s important to check that news stories are based in fact, rather than sharing them because they support one side of an argument or bolster pre-existing political beliefs.
  8. Search If Other News Outlets Are Reporting It: If a story looks suspicious or claims to reveal major news, search to see if other news outlets are also reporting the story. A single article from a suspicious source making a grand claim should be viewed with heavy skepticism. If no reliable news outlets are also reporting the story, then it’s very likely fake.
  9. Think Before You Share: Fake news sites rely on readers to share and engage with their articles in order for them to spread. In extreme cases, these fake articles can balloon out of control and have unintended consequences for those involved in the stories. After fake news stories claimed that Hillary Clinton was sexually abusing children at a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant, the business owner and his employees received death threats and vicious online harassment. The staff is still under attack even though these false claims have been debunked.

How do I Fact Check on my own?

Here are some of the most commonly used websites that will verify the truth of a statement.

Snopes.com

Snopes is the internet’s definitive fact-checking resource. When misinformation obscures the truth and readers don’t know what to trust, Snopes’ fact-checking and original, investigative reporting lights the way to evidence-based and contextualized analysis. We always document our sources so readers are empowered to do independent research and make up their own minds.

Snopes got its start in 1994, investigating urban legends, hoaxes, and folklore. Founder David Mikkelson, later joined by his wife, was published online before most people were connected to the internet. As demand for reliable fact checks grew, so did Snopes. Now it’s the oldest and largest fact-checking site online, widely regarded by journalists, folklorists, and readers as an invaluable research companion.

Snopes.com is an independent publication owned by Snopes Media Group. Explore our FAQ to learn more about us, or consider becoming a Snopes member. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Our Process

Dig Deeper

 

Melissa Zimdars’ LIST Of Fake News Sites

https://www.wbur.org/radioboston/2016/11/21/fake-news-tech

 

On The Media Fake News Handbook

https://www.wnyc.org/story/breaking-news-consumer-handbook-fake-news-edition/

FactCheck.org

Factcheck.org Mission

We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship and to increase public knowledge and understanding. FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The APPC was established by publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state and federal levels.

Factcheck.org Process: Updated August 2020

At FactCheck.org, we follow a process when we select, research, write, edit, and, if necessary, correct our articles.

Topics: Our topics vary slightly depending on the election cycle. In all years, we closely monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by the president and top administration officials, as well as congressional and party leaders. However, we primarily focus on presidential candidates in presidential election years, and on the top Senate races in midterm elections. In off-election years, our primary focus is on the action in Congress.

Selection: When selecting material to write about, we seek to devote an equal amount of time reviewing claims by Republicans and Democrats. We do that by reviewing statements they make in the same venues.

 

Our sources include:

Sunday talk shows. We review transcripts of the Sunday talk shows on the major networks and cable stations. (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News and CNN.)

TV ads. A paid service provides us with TV ads for all federal elections (president, Senate and House). We review most if not all of the TV ads in the presidential campaigns, but limit our review for other federal races to those that are identified by nonpartisan sources as “competitive” – which, for example, were eight Senate races in 2014.

C-SPAN. During presidential election years, we review C-SPAN videos of campaign rallies and events on its campaign page, if transcripts of the events are not available. We also monitor C-SPAN during floor debates on major legislation and committee hearings on major issues.

Presidential remarks. We review virtually all remarks given by the president, including every speech and press conference. The president’s remarks are available on the White House website, and they are emailed to us from the White House press office.

CQ Transcripts and Rev.com. These services provide us with transcripts of network and cable news shows and/or other events, such as speeches, committee hearings and press conferences. We review transcripts that include the remarks of major U.S. politicians, party leaders, candidates and top administration officials on a daily basis. We also monitor comments made by major political figures to the news media, which will lead us to search for transcripts or videos of the remarks.

Campaign and official websites, press releases and similar materials. We monitor what politicians and candidates say on their websites or in social media posts, such as on Facebook and Twitter.

Readers. We answer questions from readers in features we call Ask FactCheck and Ask SciCheck.

Research: We systematically go through transcripts and videos looking for statements based on facts. Once we find a statement that we suspect may be inaccurate or misleading, we will engage – or attempt to engage – with the person or organization that is being fact-checked. The burden is on the person or organization making the claim to provide the evidence to support it.

If the supporting material shows that statement is accurate, we will drop it and move on to something else. Our mission is to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics, so we focus on claims that are false or misleading. If the supporting material does not support the claim or if no evidence is provided, then we will conduct research of our own.

We rely on primary sources of information.

Our sources include: the Library of Congress for congressional testimony; the House Clerk and Senate Secretary’s office for roll call votes; the Bureau of Labor Statistics for employment data; the Securities and Exchange Commission for corporate records; the IRS for tax data; the Bureau of Economic Analysis for economic data; and the Energy Information Administration for energy data – to name a few.

We rely on nonpartisan government agencies for expertise, analyses and reports, including the Congressional Budget Office, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Research Service, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the federal inspectors general.

We also rely on a few respected and trustworthy outside experts, such as the Kaiser Family Foundation on health care data, the Tax Policy Center for tax data and the National Conference of State Legislatures. We also interview experts on other topics as needed – for instance, in researching issues on foreign countries, we would contact experts on those areas. When quoting experts, we disclose relevant biographical information, such as their previous work in government or campaigns — if applicable. Our goal is to use the best evidence.

Editing: After a story is written, it goes through several layers of editing and review:

Line editing. A line editor reviews the story for content. Is context missing? Is the writing clear? Is the word choice accurate?

Copy editing. A copy editor reviews the story for proper style and grammar.

Fact-checking. A fact-checker goes through the storyline by line, word by word, to make sure that every fact is correct and every statement we make and the conclusion we draw is accurate and based on the evidence. All of our stories contain hyperlinks to the source material so that readers can check our facts.

By the time we publish, the story will have been reviewed in most cases by four people who were not involved in the writing and the reporting of that story: a line editor, copy editor, fact-checker and by the director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a former dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

Correction Policy: If any new information comes to light after we publish a story that materially changes that story, we will clarify, correct or update our story and provide a note to readers that explain the change, why it was made and the date it was made. Readers can contact us at editor@factcheck.org to request a correction or clarification.

Our goal, as stated in our mission, is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to serve as a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters, regardless of their party affiliation. We treat conservatives and liberals alike and apply exactly the same standards of accuracy to claims made by both sides.

Poynter’s Tips For Debunking Fake News

November 23, 2015, Alexios Mantzarlis

Paolo Attivissimo, an Italian debunker. Attivissimo’s blog is not how he makes a living – he is a journalist and a translator, among other things – though he does receive micro-donations, which he mostly spends on pizza. With Attivissimo’s help, I compiled a list of tips for DIY debunking for keen amateurs or journalists who haven’t had any training in verification or fact-checking. It is neither exhaustive nor unprecedented. However, as fact-checkers dedicate more time to spreading the practice beyond their sites, it is helpful to do so in practical terms.

  1. First, do no harm: Before you even start debunking, make sure you are not sharing false rumors yourself. Avoid becoming one of the thousands who give credence to a false tweet by retweeting it. Décodeurs published a basic guide following the Paris attacks with suggestions on how to consume news on social media more responsibly.
  2. Use custom searches: If you want to ascertain whether something is true or not, Attivissimo suggests starting with a custom search on Google that only draws from debunking sites and other sources you trust. Filtering the noise of a simple search will help you get to the truth faster. To do this, the structure you search on Google in the following way:
    Word/phrase searched site:debunking1.org OR site:debunking2.com
  3. Learn basic photo-checking: Seriously. If you use Chrome, you are just one right-click away from seeing whether an image already circulated in the past. Even on other browsers, all it takes is dragging and dropping the photo into Google images. If the photo has been around for over a year, then you can be sure it was not taken “tonight in Paris”. Attivissimo also uses Tineye.
  4. Don’t flatter yourself into thinking you’re a fast learner: Attivissimo calls it “syndrome dell’apprendimento facile” (the easy-learning syndrome). This may be one of the most important challenges for the more conscientious users of social media. I have caught myself doing this several times: once you have skimmed through a couple of reliable sources and have the basics covered, you fool yourself into thinking you have come to grips with the subject. You likely have not. As a further step, Attivissimo suggests having a “human search engine;” go-to people that you can consult to double-check your findings. Experts are often keen to set the record straight; you will be surprised how likely they are to respond to a tweet aimed to debunk to online misinformation in their field of expertise.
  5. Find someone on the ground: Someone who is in the location of interest will not do the debunking for you, but s/he can help you with crucial context. You don’t need to be part of a news bureau with a correspondent in place to be able to do this. Twitter doesn’t just spread fakes; it is also a place to create a network of people whose trustworthiness you can evaluate. Do you have a friend in Paris? A journalist whose background you know well? If the answer is no to both of these questions, you can still use Twitter’s geolocation options to find eyewitness media, even as this can be obviously trusted less. Through these channels, you can confirm simple but crucial details such as what the weather is like or whether the Tour Eiffel turns its lights off every night after 1AM. This helps corroborate any evidence you have already found.
  6. Don’t expect to reach everyone: Unlike PicPedant, who has said social media image debunking is “a futile and hopeless endeavor akin to banging one’s head against a brick wall,” Attivissimo is more hopeful. He recognizes that spreading fake information is an actual business for some and that a debunker is fighting an uneven war. Yet he doesn’t see it as a lost cause. “Online, the important thing is that the correct information be somewhere out there. The important thing is that someone who wants to find the truth can find it”.

What Are Confirmation Bias Examples?

https://www.reference.com/world-view/confirmation-bias-examples-e5b35f7295d7f5bd

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 28, 2020 10:45:35 PM

Confirmation bias is especially prevalent with established beliefs and emotionally significant issues. Examples of confirmation bias are found in news reports, academic research and interpersonal relations. For example, a journalist demonstrates confirmation bias when she interviews only those experts who support her story’s angle. A student writing a research paper illustrates confirmation bias when he only references resources in line with his thesis, and he excludes any contradictory evidence. In personal relationships, people tend to see those aspects of a loved one’s personality that support preconceptions, such as when a mother cannot see any flaws in her child’s behavior or a lover is blind to a partner’s faults.

Confirmation bias is the tendency for people to selectively search for and consider information that confirms already held beliefs. People also tend to reject evidence that contradicts their opinions.

Confirmation bias manifests in three ways. One is the biased search for information, where someone favors evidence that is supportive regardless of its validity. Another manifestation of confirmation bias appears in biased interpretation of evidence according to whether it agrees or disagrees with existing hypotheses held. A third form of confirmation bias is seen in biased memory when someone selectively recalls information that reinforces his or her expectations.