Category Archives: Using Deception

Using The “L” Word

Using the “L” word: Daniel Dale explains that a lie is a false statement made intentionally.

“If we journalists are going to present ourselves as arbiters of truth, we have to stick to what we know is true,” he writes. “And that means not calling something a lie when we don’t have a reasonable certainty that Trump’s intention is deception.”

Advertisements

Hate Groups Manipulate Media

Hate groups manipulate media: Whitney Phillips warns that journalists covering hate groups unwittingly spread their hateful ideology and other false and misleading narratives “with news coverage itself harnessed to fuel hate, confusion and discord.”

 

Ethics Of Talking Machines

Ethics of talking machines: Drew Harwell writes that Google’s artificial intelligence assistant sounds almost exactly like a human.

It’s a convenience for phone-shy people, “but it is also raising thorny questions about the ethics of using a machine to copy a person’s voice, carry out commands — and potentially deceive the unsuspecting listener on the other side.”

Guarding Against Deepfakes

Guarding against deepfakes: Nicholas Diakopoulos writes that a media synthesis algorithm generates convincing but fake video.

“Dire as the case may be, it could offer a great comeback opportunity for mainstream media,” writes Diakopoulos. Trained journalists can act as validators and assessors of mediated reality the public can trust.

 

Domain Ad Fraud Spoofing

Domain spoofing remains a big source of ad fraud, writes Michael Tiffany.

“Cybercriminals use malware and other means to send bid requests to the RTB ecosystem that look like they come from browsers visiting major publishers,” he writes. “These spoofed bid requests attract real bids and make real money.” Ads.txt is a simple solution.

 

New Poll: Trust In Media Weakens

 

New poll: Trust in media weakens.

“Large majorities of the American public believe that traditional media outlets engage in reporting fake news and that outside sources are actively trying to plant fake stories in the mainstream media,” reports the Monmouth University poll. Editiorial decisions are called “fake news.”

NewsGuard Fights Fake News

 

By Casey Bukro

NewsGuard Technologies is recruiting veteran journalists to fight fake news by color-coding 7,500 news and information websites and video channels in the United States green, yellow and red.

A red rating goes to purveyors of consistently and intentionally false information or propaganda.

Now in the process of recruiting and training qualified journalists to be NewsGuard analysts, the enterprise, based in New York and Chicago, will begin operating in time for the mid-term elections in November.

The 7,500 news sources targeted account for 98 percent of the news articles read and shared in the English language online in the United States. After launching in the U.S., NewsGuard will expand to serve billions of people globally who get news online.

“Our goal is to help solve this (fake news) problem now by using human beings – trained, experienced journalists – who will operate under a transparent, accountable process to apply basic common sense to a growing scourge that clearly cannot be solved by algorithms,” said co-founder Steven Brill, longtime journalist and media entrepreneur.

The founders raised $6 million to launch NewsGuard.

In addition to color-coding websites or online publications, NewsGuard plans to issue Nutrition Labels that will explain the history of the site, what it attempts to cover, who owns it and who edits it. The labels also will reveal financing, notable awards or mistakes, whether the publisher upholds transparency standards or repeatedly is found at fault.

Two NewsGuard analysts will independently review and rate each site or online publication. One will draft the Nutrition Label and the other will edit it. The public can access these reviews to see why publishers got the green, yellow or red ratings.

Any disagreement between the two analysts is resolved by NewGuard’s senior editorial officers, including Brill, cofounder Gordon Crovitz, former Wall Street Journal publisher, James Warren, former Chicago Tribune managing editor and Eric Effron, former Legal Times editor and publisher.

Warren is NewsGuard’s executive editor and Effron is managing editor.

The lead investor in NewsGuard, among 18 investors, is Publicis Groupe, based in Paris. It is a French multinational advertising and public relations company, and the oldest and one of the largest marketing and communications companies in the world, by revenue.

Unplugging From The Internet

Unplugging from the internet, a questionable experiment: Dan Mitchell questions the accuracy of a New York Times columnist’s claim that he went offline, dispensing avuncular advice to his readers about the benefits of slowing down one’s news consumption.

“But he didn’t really unplug from social media at all,” writes Mitchell.

Shunning Hacked Emails

The case for shunning hacked emails: Nathaniel Zelinsky calls for a “responsible journalism pledge” to prevent Russian from meddling in U.S. elections.

“Most reporters distance themselves from questions about the origin of information, so long as it remains verifiable, while tech companies tend to believe no one should restrict access to information on the internet,” he writes. “But at this particularly dangerous point in our nation’s history, reporters and Facebook alike just might be willing to embrace a new ethical obligation out of a sense of civic duty.”