Phys.org: Fact checkers outperform historians when evaluating online information

Phys.org: Fact checkers outperform historians when evaluating online information. “How do expert researchers go about assessing the credibility of information on the internet? Not as skillfully as you might guess – and those who are most effective use a tactic that others tend to overlook, according to scholars at Stanford Graduate School of Education. A new report released recently by the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) shows how three different groups of “expert” readers – fact checkers, historians and Stanford undergraduates – fared when tasked with evaluating information online.”

First Draft: First Draft launches its online verification training course

First Draft: First Draft launches its online verification training course. “In this course, we teach you the steps involved in verifying the eyewitness media, fabricated websites, visual memes and manipulated videos that emerge on social media. The course is designed so that anyone can take the course from start to finish online, or educators can take elements and integrate into existing classroom teaching. For newsroom training managers, we hope the you can encourage your staff to take the course online, or you can take individual videos and tutorials and use during brown-bag lunches. We provide relevant and topical examples — from events such as Hurricane Irma and the conflict in Syria — to show how these skills and techniques are put into practice.”

Google Serves Fake News Ads in an Unlikely Place: Fact-Checking Sites (New York Times)

New York Times: Google Serves Fake News Ads in an Unlikely Place: Fact-Checking Sites. “The headlines are eye-catching. Melania Trump is leaving the White House! Home renovation cable star Joanna Gaines has abandoned her HGTV show and husband Chip Gaines! Televangelist Joel Osteen is leaving his wife! None of the stories were true. Yet as recently as late last week, they were being promoted with prominent ads served by Google on PolitiFact and Snopes, fact-checking sites created precisely to dispel such falsehoods.”

Ubergizmo: Bing Fact Check Labels Now Visible In Search Results

Ubergizmo: Bing Fact Check Labels Now Visible In Search Results. “To combat the surge in fake news, Google started adding fact check findings to search and news results earlier this year. It started working with fact checking organizations like PolitiFact and Snopes for this purpose. Bing is now doing something similar. Microsoft’s search engine will now display a fact check label in search results to help users find fact checking information on news and webpages within search results.”

Vox: Snopes, the internet’s foremost fact-checking website, may die in a messy legal battle

Vox: Snopes, the internet’s foremost fact-checking website, may die in a messy legal battle. “Launched in 1994, Snopes is the internet’s most thorough and reliable site dedicated to debunking hoaxes, myths, and fake news. It’s so trustworthy that last year, when Facebook began enlisting fact-checking organizations to help it weed out fake news stories from its news feeds, Snopes was one of the five entities entrusted with the task, along with the Associated Press and other news outlets. But now Snopes’s future is very much in doubt.” Best overview of the whole Snopes debacle I’ve seen.

Poynter: A new fact-checking coalition is launching in Japan

Poynter: A new fact-checking coalition is launching in Japan. “Unlike in neighboring South Korea, where ‘fact check’ has become a widely recognized buzzword, in Japan the word calls to mind something foreign. Claims by public figures and in news reports often go unchecked across the country. A group of academics, journalists and nonprofit organizations wants to change that.”

Phys.org: Study suggests people less likely to fact check news when in company of other people

Phys.org: Study suggests people less likely to fact check news when in company of other people. “In practice, it should be easy to avoid falling prey to fake news—upon reading something that may not sound right, all a person has to do is type a few words and run a Google search. But people do not always behave in logical ways. In this new effort, the research trio sought to better understand fact checking by conducting eight experiments designed to determine under which circumstances people are more or less likely to fact check a news article they have just read. The researchers enlisted the assistance of 200 people, all near 36 years old. In the experiments, the volunteers were asked to read a news article and then to perform some tasks related to their feelings regarding the accuracy of the article.”

BBC Creating a “Reality Check” Team

The BBC is creating its own “Reality Check” team for checking fake news and misinformation on social media. “The BBC already has a series known as Reality Check, and the plan is to expand this into a permanent feature that will be used to fact-check stories that appear on Facebook and other social media.”

Jon Udell: A toolkit for fact checkers

Jon Udell: A toolkit for fact checkers . “Mike Caulfield’s Digital Polarization Initiative (DigiPo) is a template for a course that will lead students through exercises to analyze and fact-check news stories. The pedagogical approach Mike describes here is evolving; in parallel I’ve been evolving a toolkit to help students research and organize the raw materials of the analyses they’ll be asked to produce. Annotation is a key component of the toolkit. I’ve been working to integrate it into the fact-checking workflow in ways that complement the use of other tools.”

Digiday: 5 new automated fact-checking projects underway

Digiday: 5 new automated fact-checking projects underway. “The spread of fake news online has come to light as a serious problem in the aftermath of the U.S. election. And while fact checking has been integral to quality newsrooms since, well, forever, automated fact checking hasn’t. Today, the sheer volume of sources from which information is spread makes verification a strain on newsroom resources. That’s why there are a myriad of projects underway aimed at automating the process. Time is of the essence, with a raft of national elections set across Europe in 2017. Here’s a look at five automated fact-checking projects:”

Forbes: The Daily Mail Snopes Story And Fact Checking The Fact Checkers

There is a truly disturbing story in Forbes about Snopes and its response or non-response to a salacious story in the Daily Mail. I feel gross enough linking to the Forbes story; I will not link to the Daily Mail story (you should be able to find it easily enough if you want to read it.) I am linking to it because Facebook is touting Snopes as a cornerstone of its anti-fake-news policy. From the Forbes story: “When I asked for comment on the specific detailed criteria Snopes uses to screen its applicants and decide who to hire as a fact checker, surprisingly David demurred, saying only that the site looks for applicants across all fields and skills. He specifically did not provide any detail of any kind regarding the screening process and how Snopes evaluates potential hires. David also did not respond to further emails asking whether, as part […]

Wired: Facebook Finally Gets Real About Fighting Fake News

Wired: Facebook Finally Gets Real About Fighting Fake News. “Facebook’s strategy combines crowdsourcing similar to how Facebook polices mature content, reliance on third-party fact checkers, and financial disincentives for fake news hucksters. Each aspect of the rollout has its strengths, but also invites a few questions.” Don’t see anything here about fighting obviously fake, scammy ads on Facebook.