Stanford University: Stanford scholars are helping journalists do investigative journalism through data. “A team of Stanford University scholars are launching a data-driven initiative to help journalists find stories at a lower cost, to support local newsrooms explore public interest issues and fight against misinformation.”
Reuters: Google latest to withdraw from Saudi conference. “Pressure has mounted on Saudi Arabia since prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, Washington Post columnist and critic of Saudi policies, went missing. He was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Google said in a statement that Google Cloud Chief Executive Diane Greene would not attend the Future Investment Initiative Summit scheduled to be held in Riyadh starting Oct. 23.”
Columbia University: Fighting Fake News Before It Was Trendy: TC’s Institute for Propaganda Analysis. “Global tensions are simmering. Ethnic minorities are being persecuted. Propaganda and fake news stories are filling the headlines. How to sort fact from faction? It sounds familiar, but the year was 1937. At Teachers College, a new organization called the Institute for Propaganda – bankrolled by the department store magnate and philanthropist Edward Filene – has set up shop under Clyde Miller, a former reporter for The Cleveland Plain Dealer. As reported in The Columbia Journalism Review, for the next decade, IPA’s seven-member staff devoted its efforts to analyzing propaganda and misinformation in the news, publishing newsletters, and educating schoolchildren to be more tolerant of racial, religious, and ethnic differences.”
Bellingcat: From Memes to Infowars: How 75 Fascist Activists Were “Red-Pilled”. “The vast majority of domestic terror attacks in the U.S. are carried out by white supremacist organizations. Atomwaffen, a neo-Nazi death squad with five killings to their name, is probably the deadliest fascist group to have arisen since 2016. One member of Atomwaffen, Vasillios Pistolis, was an active duty U.S. marine when he marched at the first Unite the Right rally. Pistolis also posted regularly on a series of fascist and white supremacist Discord servers, prior to and after joining Atomwaffen. The media collective Unicorn Riot has archived hundreds of thousands of posts from these Discord servers. Their database includes dozens of conversations where fascists discuss how they were converted to their extremist beliefs. In an effort to understand that process, Bellingcat collected ‘red-pilling’ stories from seventy-five fascist activists. The analysis is below, details on the activists we studied can be found here.” Disturbing content, to say the least.
Columbia Journalism Review: Do journalists pay too much attention to Twitter?. “Journalists often say they spend too much time on Twitter, and wind up devoting more time than they should to stories that come to them via tweets. Should Twitter play such an oversized role in what the media chooses to cover and how they cover it? A new study attempts to get at whether journalists ascribe too much importance to Twitter.”
Poynter: The lifespan of a failed celebrity death hoax . “Establish a credible enough Twitter presence. Post a hoax with the goal of tricking the media into covering it. Come out as a hoaxer. Rinse and repeat. That’s a classic strategy used by some misinformers on Twitter. And BuzzFeed News’ Jane Lytvynenko elucidated it step by step in a thread on Tuesday.”
New York Times: Made and Distributed in the U.S.A.: Online Disinformation. “Politics has always involved shadings of the truth via whisper campaigns, direct-mail operations and negative ads bordering on untrue. What is different this time is how domestic sites are emulating the Russian strategy of 2016 by aggressively creating networks of Facebook pages and accounts — many of them fake — that make it appear as if the ideas they are promoting enjoy widespread popularity, researchers said. The activity is also happening on Twitter, they said.”