New York Intelligencer: Five Signs a Viral Story Is Fake. “The benefit to stories like these popping up so frequently is that they become easier to spot. Once you know the formula, it’s hard to read past a tweet or two before checking out, knowing full well what you’re reading is just fiction. And not particularly nuanced fiction at that. Here’s a checklist for what you should be keeping an eye out for.”
As you might remember I watch a lot of YouTube. (No worries about political stuff, though Self Sufficient Me might have radicalized me to plant collards in raised garden beds.) Over the weekend, I saw TED-Ed’s video This one weird trick will help you spot clickbait . It’s just over five and a half minutes long and looks at different ways to spot problems with stories based on medical research. It’s simple but well-presented and got my husband and I into a good conversation about headlines and news stories. Recommended.
Quartz: This Bengaluru techie is helping solve real-world mysteries on Reddit. “The Reddit Bureau of Investigation is one of Reddit’s 1.2 million subreddits, with 113,000 members. It is a cohort of anonymous, amateur online detectives—or ‘crowdsourcing investigators’ as Cherian describes his ilk—who use their sleuthing skills and online investigative tools to help solve ‘real-world problems’ like hit-and-run cases, mysteries and missing items.”
Engadget: A parent’s guide to raising a good digital citizen. “Being a good digital citizen means being a responsible one: educating yourself and your kids about the digital world, participating in it in positive ways, questioning it and using technology as a tool to make the world a bit brighter (and not in some post-apocalyptic-neon-shroom-cloud way). How do kids learn digital citizenship? The same way they learn how to be good citizens: They watch good role models, and they practice. As a mom, I try to be one of those role models and give them opportunities to practice, with, admittedly, a pretty tight leash.”
Nieman Lab: It’s not me, it’s you: Our Facebook fears are mostly about all those other gullible types. “A number of prominent figures have called for some sort of regulation of Facebook — including one of the company’s co-founders and a venture capitalist who was one of Facebook’s early backers. Much of the criticism of Facebook relates to how the company’s algorithms target users with advertising, and the “echo chambers” that can show users ideologically slanted content. Despite the public criticism, the company has continued to post record profits. And billions of people — including more than two-thirds of American adults — continue to use the unregulated version of Facebook that exists now.”
Poynter: 3 steps to determine whether a medical study is newsworthy. “Recently, Journalist’s Resource attended Health Journalism 2019, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ), in Baltimore, Maryland. One of the sessions we attended, titled ‘Begin Mastering Medical Studies,’ offered pointers for deciding which research is worth covering. This tip sheet summarizes key points made by during the session by Tara Haelle, an independent health journalist and AHCJ topic leader for medical studies.”
CNN: Finland is winning the war on fake news. What it’s learned may be crucial to Western democracy. “Finland has faced down Kremlin-backed propaganda campaigns ever since it declared independence from Russia 101 years ago. But in 2014, after Moscow annexed Crimea and backed rebels in eastern Ukraine, it became obvious that the battlefield had shifted: information warfare was moving online.”