Editor’s note: The first three chapters of a remarkable new document, A Field Guide to Fake News, are being released at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia. The guide, the work of a team of scholars, explores new and more subtle ways of looking at the fake news phenomenon — and, through it, how our lives are mediated in an age of data, platforms and algorithms. Below, three of its coauthors summarize some of what they’ve found; don’t forget to check out the full document.
Google is upping the ante in its battle against fake news and false information on the web by introducing fact checks from third parties in its search and news results. That information, supplied by the likes of PolitiFact and Snopes, will show up in cards with a ‘Fact Check’ tag when you use the company’s search engine or look up news. As the company noted in a blog post, “the snippet will display information on the claim, who made the claim, and the fact check of that particular claim.” Google first added fact checks to search back in October 2016…
Critics say the bill would limit free speech, and on Wednesday, Andrus Ansip, European Commission VP for the digital single market, told European Parliament (echoing remarks he’d made previously), “We have to believe in the common sense of our people. Fake news is bad, but a Ministry of Truth is even worse…We need to address the spread of fake news by improving media literacy and critical thinking.” At least in the U.S., the audience for fact checks has become somewhat partisan; research here last year found that Democrats view fact-checking more favorably than Republicans. “At a time of no trust in the media, why would the voter trust the [fact-checker] over the politician he or she supported?” Alexios Mantzarlis, director of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, asked recently at a fact-checking summit in D.C.
In 2014, the Associated Press began automating some of its coverage of corporate earnings reports. Instead of having humans cover the basic finance stories, the AP, working with the firm Automated Insights, was able to use algorithms to speed up the process and free up human reporters to pursue more complex stories.
In Oct 2017, the European Data Journalism Network – EDJNet will start producing, sharing and publishing data-driven content on European affairs across Europe and beyond
In the wake of November’s election, the concept of the filter bubble is often discussed as if it’s a uniquely American reflection of a left/right that other countries are somehow immune to.
Not so. In Sweden, concerns about the country’s own potential political filter bubbles helped give birth to Filterbubblan (translation: “The Filter Bubble”), an online tool that gives users a side-by-side, real-time view of the political conversations happening among the country’s political parties. On the left are the liberal parties (represented by red and green); green and blue represent the center parties; and on the right are the more conservative discussions (blue and a darker blue). With a swipe, users can navigate from one feed to the next, simplifying the process of reading about how a topic is discussed in different political circles.