Techdirt: Impossibility Of Content Moderation: Scientist Debunking Vaccine Myths Gets A YouTube Strike For Medical Misinfo

Techdirt: Impossibility Of Content Moderation: Scientist Debunking Vaccine Myths Gets A YouTube Strike For Medical Misinfo. “This involves a scientist who streams on YouTube as Scientist Mel, and tries to educate people about science, including debunking bad science takes. This included a recent two hour episode debunking anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers. The video does look at a bunch of ridiculous conspiracy theories and scientific claptrap and nonsense… and then debunks it. But, YouTube dinged her channel for misinformation.”

Poynter: Lessons learned from a year covering fact-checking

Poynter: Lessons learned from a year covering fact-checking. “I wrote in my parting email to the verified signatories of the IFCN’s Code of Principles that their work is a sisyphean task. You debunk a falsehood about something like chemical spraying helicopters in Italy only to see it pop up again in Ireland or France. Some of the details have changed, but the structure remains the same, and worse yet the repetition of the falsehood makes it easier for people to believe. Add to that the political and financial benefits of spreading malignant falsehoods, combined with the scapegoating of fact-checking organizations for technology companies’ content moderation decisions, and you’ve got a profession that requires a healthy dose of self-care and mental health days.”

Bad News: Selling the Story of Disinformation (Harper’s Magazine)

Harper’s Magazine: Bad News: Selling the Story of Disinformation. I spent the first half of this article wondering if the writer was ever going to get to a point. Then about halfway through everything snaps into place and he starts hitting threes from downtown, including this bit that made me shout hallelujah: “‘Misinformation’ and ‘disinformation’ are used casually and interchangeably to refer to an enormous range of content, ranging from well-worn scams to viral news aggregation; from foreign-intelligence operations to trolling; from opposition research to harassment. In their crudest use, the terms are simply jargon for ‘things I disagree with.’ Attempts to define ‘disinformation’ broadly enough as to rinse it of political perspective or ideology leave us in territory so abstract as to be absurd.”

Poynter: PolitiFact partners with Arizona State University, expands footprint in the heart of the nation’s capital

Poynter: PolitiFact partners with Arizona State University, expands footprint in the heart of the nation’s capital. “The Poynter Institute’s PolitiFact will move its offices to Arizona State University’s campus in the heart of Washington, D.C., in a unique collaboration that will expand training in fact-checking journalism, create a new website to fact-check Arizona politicians, and grow Poynter’s teaching footprint in the nation’s capital.”

BuzzFeed News: The Cofounder Of The Fact-Checking Site Snopes Was Writing Plagiarized Articles Under A Fake Name

BuzzFeed News: The Cofounder Of The Fact-Checking Site Snopes Was Writing Plagiarized Articles Under A Fake Name. “David Mikkelson, the cofounder of the fact-checking website Snopes, has long presented himself as the arbiter of truth online, a bulwark in the fight against rumors and fake news. But he has been lying to the site’s tens of millions of readers: A BuzzFeed News investigation has found that between 2015 and 2019, Mikkelson wrote and published dozens of articles containing material plagiarized from news outlets such as the Guardian and the LA Times.”

Washington Post: These self-described trolls tackle climate disinformation on social media with wit and memes

Washington Post: These self-described trolls tackle climate disinformation on social media with wit and memes. “Most days, when Mary Heglar wakes up, the first thing she does is reach for her phone in search of a fight. Armed with her Twitter handle and ‘deep reserves of anger,’ ​the 37-year-old climate essayist and podcaster haunts the feeds of fossil fuel companies, harnessing memes and the native language of the Internet to engage her particular brand of climate activism against the flow of misinformation in the digital ether.”

Poynter: IFCN launches working group to address harassment against fact-checkers

Poynter: IFCN launches working group to address harassment against fact-checkers. “The International Fact-Checking Network, a global coalition of fact-checkers, has been monitoring the increasing number of harassment cases against its more than 120 verified signatory organizations operating in 62 countries. Incidents of harassment, ranging from online attacks to in-person threats, often lead to stress among the staff of these organizations beyond the norms of standard journalistic criticism. This effect is particularly pronounced in countries where the freedom of press and expression is systematically challenged.”

Poynter: The lessons of Squash, the first automated fact-checking platform

Poynter: The lessons of Squash, the first automated fact-checking platform. “Today, Squash (our code name for the project, chosen because it is a nutritious vegetable and a good metaphor for stopping falsehoods) has been a remarkable success. It displays fact checks seconds after politicians utter a claim and it largely does what those readers wanted in 2007. But Squash also makes lots of mistakes.”

Mashable: The AI-powered fact checker that investigates QAnon influencers shares its secret weapon

Mashable: The AI-powered fact checker that investigates QAnon influencers shares its secret weapon. “Founded in 2017 by CEO Lyric Jain, [Logically] combines its AI tech with human fact-checking experts in order to uncover, track, archive, and debunk conspiracy theories ranging from QAnon to misinformation about COVID-19. The company already has a few public-facing products, such as mobile apps and web browser extensions to help users navigate online misinformation they may come across throughout their everyday internet use.”

MisinfoCon: An introduction to Propwatch — the world’s first visual database of propaganda techniques

MisinfoCon: An introduction to Propwatch — the world’s first visual database of propaganda techniques. “Propwatch uses its pioneering web platform to initiate the inoculation process. Our unique platform catalogs and cross-references embedded video segments, so visitors… can see propaganda techniques being executed in real-time, and not only learn to identify the techniques, but to understand how and why they work.”

10,300 documented falsehoods in 12 months: the CoronaVirusFacts Alliance enters its second year (Poynter)

Poynter: 10,300 documented falsehoods in 12 months: the CoronaVirusFacts Alliance enters its second year. “The alliance is the largest fact-checking collaboration in history, and its database currently holds more than 10,300 fact-checks about the pandemic. In 12 months, 260,000 unique visitors viewed the Alliance’s landing page on the Poynter Institute website a total of 345,000 times. That’s nearly 1,000 pageviews a day.”

NBC News: Twitter launches ‘Birdwatch,’ a forum to combat misinformation

NBC News: Twitter launches ‘Birdwatch,’ a forum to combat misinformation. “The new system allows users to discuss and provide context to tweets they believe are misleading or false. The project, titled Birdwatch, is a standalone section of Twitter that will at first only be available to a small set of users, largely on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority will not be provided to high-profile people or traditional fact-checkers, but users will have to use an account tied to a real phone number and email address.”

Poynter: What to expect from fact-checking in 2021

Poynter: What to expect from fact-checking in 2021. “2020 has likely been the most chaotic year in the 21st century and certainly an overwhelming one for fact-checkers. The coronavirus pandemic not only shook the world in an unprecedented way, but it also redesigned how fact-checkers work, how we learn from one another and, most importantly, how we collaborate not only locally but globally.”