PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE: Since 1997 © Copyright (PHNO) http://newsflash.org



PHNO SCIENCE & INFOTECH NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
CLICK TO READ ONLINE HERE
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports)

[BEWARE OF FAKE NEWS ONLINE; RECKLESS & IRRESPONSIBLE RUMOR-MONGERING]

U.S. PIZZERIA ATTACK UNDERSCORES FAKE NEWS DANGERS


DECEMBER 6 -theSTAR ONLINE MALAYSIA NEWS BLOG -Reckless and irresponsible rumour-mongering: A sign at the Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Washingon, DC. An assault rifle-wielding gunman's appearance at a Washington pizzeria that was falsely reported to house a paedophile ring has elevated worries over the unrelenting rise of fake news and malicious gossip on the Internet. — AFP An assault rifle-wielding gunman’s appearance at a Washington pizzeria that was falsely reported to house a paedophile ring has elevated worries over the unrelenting rise of fake news and malicious gossip on the Internet. No one was injured when 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch strode into the Comet Ping Pong restaurant, packed with families on a Sunday afternoon, and fired off a round from his AR-15. Police quickly arrested him, discovering two more weapons, and said he had told them he drove up from North Carolina to personally investigate “Pizza-gate” – the stories that Comet was a centre for child abduction linked to defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and a top advisor. But it raised to a new level the danger of the profusion of false news stories and rumours spread over the Internet and in social media, much of it aimed at fortifying the views of various political and social groups. READ MORE...

ALSO: The plague of fake news is getting worse -- here's how to protect yourself


NOVEMBER 1 -Fake news sites designed to trick you It's time for a new rule on the web: Double, no, triple check before you share. Especially if it seems too good to be true.Why? Look no further than Donald Trump's Twitter account. Trump claimed Sunday morning that "Twitter, Google and Facebook are burying the FBI criminal investigation of Clinton." Not only was there no proof of this, but it was pretty easy to disprove. The FBI email inquiry was at the top of Google News; FBI director James Comey's name was at the top of Facebook's "trending" box; and Twitter's "moments" section had a prominent story about the controversy. READ MORE...

ALSO: Why fake news stories thrive online


NOVEMBER 16 -
BY Judith Donath: Posting fake news stories is a modern form of identity politics, proclaiming an affinity for a particular community To remove the appeal of fake news, people need to value debate and discussion with those who hold opposing views --Judith Donath is a Harvard Berkman Faculty Fellow and formerly director of the MIT Media Lab's Sociable Media Group. She is the author of The Social Machine: Designs for Living Online (MIT Press, 2014). The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers. And while the election has come and gone, fake news stories continue to proliferate on social media. Indeed, they are often shared more than real news is.
Fake news is harmful. Many untrue stories are believed by the people who post them. Sometimes a story that was intended as satire circulates as fact. Others are deliberately deceptive. A report in the Denver Guardian headlined "FBI Agent Behind Clinton Email Leaks Found Dead in Murder-Suicide" was shared widely on Facebook, with comments such as "The Clinton Crime Syndicate has more lies and blood on their hands than any previous gangster in history." This wholly fabricated story appeared on November 5, a few days before the election. (This story, along with the rest of the Denver Guardian, has disappeared in the aftermath of recent scrutiny of fake news. ) As Martin Baron, the executive editor of the Washington Post. said, "If you have a society where people can't agree on basic facts, how do you have a functioning democracy?" How to fix the fake news problem READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE BELOW
OR CLICK HERE TO READ ONLINE

US pizzeria attack underscores fake news dangers


DECEMBER 6 -Reckless and irresponsible rumour-mongering: A sign at the Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Washingon, DC. An assault rifle-wielding gunman's appearance at a Washington pizzeria that was falsely reported to house a paedophile ring has elevated worries over the unrelenting rise of fake news and malicious gossip on the Internet. — AFP

WASHINGTON, DC, DECEMBER 12, 2016 (theSTAR ONLINE MALAYSIA) TECH NEWS Tuesday, 6 December 2016 | MYT 5:14 PM - An assault rifle-wielding gunman’s appearance at a Washington pizzeria that was falsely reported to house a paedophile ring has elevated worries over the unrelenting rise of fake news and malicious gossip on the Internet.

No one was injured when 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch strode into the Comet Ping Pong restaurant, packed with families on a Sunday afternoon, and fired off a round from his AR-15.

Police quickly arrested him, discovering two more weapons, and said he had told them he drove up from North Carolina to personally investigate “Pizza-gate” – the stories that Comet was a centre for child abduction linked to defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and a top advisor.

But it raised to a new level the danger of the profusion of false news stories and rumours spread over the Internet and in social media, much of it aimed at fortifying the views of various political and social groups.

READ MORE...

Welch’s intrusion and the constant online harassment of Comet and neighboring shops sent jitters through the tony Chevy Chase neighbourhood of northwest Washington, where Vice President-elect Mike Pence recently rented a home.

”What happened today demonstrates that promoting false and reckless conspiracy theories comes with consequences,” Comet owner James Alefantis said in a statement on Dec 4.

”I hope that those involved in fanning these flames will take a moment to contemplate what happened here today, and stop promoting these falsehoods right away.”

Welch travelled to the capital even though the false story about Comet had been extensively debunked. It nevertheless survived and spread further on the Internet helped by news-like websites like Infowars, and Facebook posts and Twitter messages by people with huge audiences and significant political connections.

Rejecting the rebuttals about Comet, Infowars, popular with conspiracy theorists and the so-called alt-right ultra-conservative movement, continued to link Comet to child abduction rings, offering no evidence.

Michael G. Flynn, the son of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, named to be powerful national security advisor to President-elect Donald Trump, added support to that story in a tweet Sunday after the incident.


Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

HASHTAG '#PIZZAGATE'

”Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it’ll remain a story,” he said. He also retweeted the comments of others promoting the fake stories about Comet.

The incident raised questions about General Flynn himself. He had not commented publicly on Comet, but in early November he tied Clinton to paedophile rings in a tweet of his own.

”U decide - NYPD Blows Whistle on New Hillary Emails: Money Laundering, Sex Crimes w Children, etc...MUST READ!,” he wrote ahead of the Nov 8 election.


PizzaGate is the latest conspiracy theory to strike Hillary Clinton, with some reports claiming that the failed Democratic presidential candidate is embroiled in a child sex scandal centered on a Washington pizzeria.

On Welch’s Facebook page, he mixed “like” endorsements for a number of conservative Christian groups with similar “likes” for Infowars and its founder Alex Jones.

While fake news stories and deliberately falsified gossip has always been a part of US politics, experts say that the Internet has increased the speed and breadth by which they travel, and appears to make them more indelible.

”The details of what has become known as the‘#PizzaGate’ conspiracy theory do not merit mentioning; the issue itself would be laughable were it not being driven from the fringes to the forefront by prominent figures associated with national security,” said an analysis from the Soufan Group, a private security consultant.

”Even after a real-world near-miss situation, the perpetuation of the conspiracy on a forum such as Twitter – which has clearly shown itself to be immune to facts – magnifies the impossibility of proving baseless allegations to be false.” — AFP


CNN WORLD

The plague of fake news is getting worse -- here's how to protect yourself (CNN) by Brian Stelter @brianstelter November 1, 2016: 7:08 AM ET


Fake news sites designed to trick you

It's time for a new rule on the web: Double, no, triple check before you share.

Especially if it seems too good to be true.

Why? Look no further than Donald Trump's Twitter account. Trump claimed Sunday morning that "Twitter, Google and Facebook are burying the FBI criminal investigation of Clinton."

Not only was there no proof of this, but it was pretty easy to disprove. The FBI email inquiry was at the top of Google News; FBI director James Comey's name was at the top of Facebook's "trending" box; and Twitter's "moments" section had a prominent story about the controversy.

READ MORE...

Nevertheless, Trump's wrong-headed "burying" claim was his most popular tweet of the day. About 25,000 accounts retweeted it and almost 50,000 "liked" it, helping the falsehood spread far and wide.

The rise of social media has had many upsides, but one downside has been the spread of misinformation. Fake news has become a plague on the Web, especially on social networks like Facebook. As I said on Sunday's "Reliable Sources" on CNN, unreliable sources about this election have become too numerous to count.

So that's why I recommended a "triple check before you share" rule.

New web sites designed to trick and mislead people seem to pop up every single day. For their creators, the incentives are clear: more social shares mean more page views mean more ad dollars.

But the B.S. stories hurt the people who read and share them over and over again. Many of these fakes reinforce the views of conservative or liberal voters and insulate them from the truth. The stories prey on people who want to believe the worst about the opposition.

A recent BuzzFeed study of "hyperpartisan Facebook pages" found that these pages "are consistently feeding their millions of followers false or misleading information."



The less truthful the content, the more frequently it was shared -- which does not bode well for the nation's news literacy during a long, bitter election season.

"Right-wing pages were more prone to sharing false or misleading information than left-wing pages," the BuzzFeed reporting team said.

On a few occasions, made-up or highly misleading stories have even snuck into Facebook's "trending" box -- a problem that the company says it is trying to address.

In a few cases, Trump aides and family members have themselves been duped by fake news stories, including a hoax version of ABC News with a story headlined "Donald Trump Protester Speaks Out: 'I Was Paid $3,500 To Protest Trump's Rally.'"

A close look at the web site reveals that it is not, in fact, the actual ABC News. But the site tricked Trump's son Eric Trump in early October. "Finally, the truth comes out," he tweeted, promoting a link to the bogus story.

As soon as I spoke about this on television on Sunday, CNN detractors filled my inbox with messages saying that CNN is the ultimate example of "fake news."

But that's a deliberate attempt to confuse the issue. Whatever faults CNN has, news organizations small and large try very hard to report the truth.

3 buckets:

Fake news sites and Facebook feeds, on the other hand, traffic in misinformation. My sense is that there are three buckets of these sites:

#1, Hoax sites with totally made-up news headlines that try to trick you;

#2, Hyperpartisan sites that aren't lying, per se, but are misleading, because they only share good news about your political party and bad news about the other party;

#3, "Hybrids" that purposely mix a little bit of fact and then a lot of fiction.

These sites aren't going away, so it's up to Internet users to spot fake news and avoid spreading it.



Fact-checking sites like Snopes can help -- they are devoted to ferreting out hoaxes and tricks.

The Sunlight Foundation's Alex Howard tweeted these tips:

•Search the source link on Twitter

•Google it

•Check Snopes

•Consider record of source

Josh Stearns, a longtime media activist who now works at Democracy Fund, said newsrooms also have a role to play.

"Fact checking has taken center stage in this election, but newsrooms need to go beyond fact checking politicians statements and help debunk viral misinformation too," he told me. "At a time when trust in media is at an all time low, journalists should call out these fake news stories and help citizens tell fact from fiction."

Trump's false claim about Google, Facebook and Twitter "burying" bad news about Clinton criticized what he called the "very dishonest media." Ironically, he was using Twitter to blast Twitter.

Trump may have gotten the idea from an inaccurate Zero Hedge blog post alleging a "social media blackout." The blog post contained false information.

I asked the Trump campaign to provide a source for the wild claim, but no one has responded.


CNN TECHNOLOGY (COMMENTARY)

Why fake news stories thrive online By Judith Donath Updated 4:51 PM ET, Sun November 20, 2016



BY Judith Donath: Posting fake news stories is a modern form of identity politics, proclaiming an affinity for a particular community


Judith Donath

To remove the appeal of fake news, people need to value debate and discussion with those who hold opposing views
Judith Donath is a Harvard Berkman Faculty Fellow and formerly director of the MIT Media Lab's Sociable Media Group. She is the author of The Social Machine: Designs for Living Online (MIT Press, 2014). The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers.

And while the election has come and gone, fake news stories continue to proliferate on social media. Indeed, they are often shared more than real news is.

Fake news is harmful.

Many untrue stories are believed by the people who post them. Sometimes a story that was intended as satire circulates as fact. Others are deliberately deceptive. A report in the Denver Guardian headlined "FBI Agent Behind Clinton Email Leaks Found Dead in Murder-Suicide" was shared widely on Facebook, with comments such as "The Clinton Crime Syndicate has more lies and blood on their hands than any previous gangster in history." This wholly fabricated story appeared on November 5, a few days before the election. (This story, along with the rest of the Denver Guardian, has disappeared in the aftermath of recent scrutiny of fake news. ) As Martin Baron, the executive editor of the Washington Post. said, "If you have a society where people can't agree on basic facts, how do you have a functioning democracy?"

How to fix the fake news problem

READ MORE...

Combating the spread of false stories is important but difficult. The obvious solution -- fact-checking -- is ineffective:

Many fake news consumers are suspicious of mainstream media and dismiss as partisan and deceptive any statistics or evidence that counter their beliefs. Worse, as we'll discuss below, demonstrating the factual flaws in a story can actually increase its social value. To discourage the spread of fake news, we need to better understand why sharing these stories is so appealing.

Partisanship is part of it. People like and share news that conforms to their existing beliefs, and fake news stories are often strongly biased. Of course, people also share real news when it agrees with their views. One would think that given a real news story or a fake one, both conforming to one's beliefs, that the real news would be preferable. But fake news thrives online, frequently surpassing real news in its reach.

Recognizing the social function of news sharing is the key to understanding this seeming irrational behavior. In the world of social media, of Facebook and Twitter, news is shared not just to inform or even to persuade. It is used as a marker of identity, a way to proclaim your affinity with a particular community.

Essay: A new age of information warfare

For better or worse, we humans have a fundamental tendency to divide into groups. We bond with our own in-group and set ourselves apart from the others.

Face to face, we signal this social identity in the clothes we wear, the foods we eat and more. But in the online world of information, material markers count for less. Instead, news sharing has become a prominent identity signal: We proclaim our affiliations by posting links to articles that reflect our groups' taste and beliefs.

Legitimate stories can, of course, serve this role. But for the purpose of marking social identity, fake stories can be even more powerful.

Posting any story, real or fake, that conforms to your community's viewpoint bolsters your ties with them. Even if it is false, you have still demonstrated your shared values.

The key is the difference in how outsiders respond to your posting of a fake vs. real news story. If the news is real, outsiders who recognize it as such may disagree with it, but posting it does not reflect badly on you, and it may provide a common ground for argument and discussion.

Here's how to outsmart fake news in your Facebook feed

How to outsmart fake news in your Facebook feed

If, however, the news you post is fake, outsiders are more likely to be outraged. If you stand by it tenaciously, they may call you a fool or a liar. This infuriated response makes posting fake news a convincing signal of your allegiance to your in-group. By demonstrating that you are willing to sacrifice your ties to and your reputation among the outsiders, you prove the authenticity of your commitment.

Furthermore, stoking conflict with outsiders strengthens the in-group's cohesion. This, too, raises the status of the person who posts a hotly contested story, especially when tensions are high.

These dynamics explain why fact checking can be counterproductive. When a story that a community believes is proved fake by outsiders, belief in it becomes an article of faith, a litmus test of one's adherence to that community's idiosyncratic worldview. The two sides will perceive that they have no common ground or understanding of truth, and the story becomes an even more potent signal of identity and catalyst of discord.

This is why when signaling identity is the reason for sharing news, fake news is hard to uproot. It proves the poster's commitment to the community by demonstrating willingness to sacrifice outside relationships.

Recognizing this helps us craft more productive responses:

First,
follow the now-old adage, "Don't feed the trolls." If someone posts a fake story, and you think they have simply been duped, certainly it is useful to point out the error with a more reliable source. Please do graciously. No one likes to be publicly humiliated. Sometimes a private message is better. But if you think the posting is really about proclaiming identity, ignore it. Don't amplify its value by arguing. And if you must say something, here a private message is really better -- you can convey your disapproval without providing the public display of discord that just strengthens their signal.

Second, help promote a culture that reveres veracity. Check your sources before you post anything. Support newspapers and other organizations that do good, reliable reporting. Discourage people in your own community when they promote stories that feel good to you, but are, alas, untrue.

Third, appreciate humor. Like fake news, jokes and satire are markers of identity -- funny to insiders, and often incomprehensible or offensive to outsiders. They may be tasteless, they may be divisive but unlike fake news, they are not an assault on truth.

Information can bring people together or drive them apart.

Sharing false information, or fake news, is divisive. It's about claiming a separate territory, with its own rules and logic.

Sharing true information is, ideally, the opposite. It's about unifying people, not only rallying the ones who agree, but also persuading the ones who do not; it provides a common ground.

Ultimately, to remove the appeal of fake news, people need to value debate and discussion. They need to value reaching across to different communities, to discuss and debate; they need to choose not to build walls against the Other, but to engage and persuade.


GO TO >> HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK

GO TO >> BUSINESS NEWS THIS WEEK

GO TO >> SPORTS BEAT

GO TO > > TRAVEL/LIFESTYLE/FOOD