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The extraordinary phenomenon of fake news spread by Facebook and other social media during the 2016 presidential election has been largely portrayed as a lucky break for Donald Trump.

By that reckoning, entrepreneurial Macedonian teenagers, opportunists in Tbilisiand California millennials have exploited social media algorithms in order to make money — only incidentally leading to the viral proliferation of mostly anti-Clinton and anti-Obama hoaxes and conspiracy theories that thrilled many Trump supporters. The Washington Post published a shoddy report on Thursday alleging that Russian state-sponsored propagandists were seeking to promote Trump through fabricated stories for their own reasons, independent of the candidate himself.

Floyd Brown invented the Reagan-era Willie Horton lie, helped create the Citizens United group, and now owns Liftable Media, including sites like Conservative Tribune (50th most-trafficked site in the USA) and Western Journalism (81st), whence came fake news stories like the lie that Obama had altered the White House logo to include a white flag of surrender (the logo change came from GWB’s White House);

Gilad Lotan — our favorite fake-news sleuthing data-scientist — writes about the problem of not-quite-fake news, which is much more pernicious than mere lies: it’s news that uses attention-shaping, one-sided “news” accounts that divide their readers into their own “constructed realities.”

Three quarters of fact-checkers who responded to the survey consider themselves journalists, and 40 per cent say they are activists

Clickbait, fake news and the power of feeling

Fake news has dominated post-election headlines, and important questions have been asked: Would Hillary have won had almost a million people not read that Pope Francis had endorsed Trump? (Probably not). Did Facebook take enough action to prevent fak..
Reuters journalists are encouraged to ‘think graphically’ and experiment with new formats and technologies to build on their reporting

As rumblings of a fake news problem turned into chatter, and then a crescendo, Mark Zuckerberg backed away slowly, insisting the company he founded, Facebook, didn’t have a problem. Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes. The hoaxes that do exist are not limited to one partisan view, or even to politics. Overall, this makes it extremely unlikely hoaxes changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other. He obviously has better, or smarter, friends than I do. As we continue…

Oxford Dictionaries recently chose “post-truth” as its international word of the year. The spread of fake news on Facebook helped propel Donald Trump to victory. And mainstream news organizations are grappling with questions about balance and calling out political candidates’ lies.

Journalists should use verification techniques and tools to spot fake news websites or authentic materials used in the wrong context
The tool aggregates data from multiple sources and metrics such as engagement time and video views to score articles from 0 to 30
Dutch mobile journalist Geertje Algera explains why she has moved from using traditional cameras to reporting with her iPhone
‘We want to constantly question, experiment, and test different elements within a story, so we are always trying to test one question or assumption to see if we can learn from that’
A lack of quotes and links and a slightly altered domain name of a well-known news outlet can raise a red flag about the story you’re reading
Check out this advice to help you create captivating data stories

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