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What is “news”?/ “Fake news” is not “fake” says Harvard expert

In Media on 11/04/2018 at 10:25 am

There’s a lot of chatter (Local academics propogate fake news?) and some thought both here and abroad on what is “fake” in “fake news”.

But very little thought it seems is given to “news” because there seems to be a belief implication that “news” is good: a idea that is shared here by the PAP and sheep, the talk cock, sing song, tell lies anti-PAP cybernuts, and anti-PAP activists (Chinese helicopters like Terry Xu, the ang moh tua kees etc)

But what if news is really nothing but BS to sell ads?

“News,” Crouch said, “is that which makes its consumer self-important, angry, or sufficiently whatever the hell to turn to page twelve, and, turning, encounter the ad for the carpet sale.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-43645567 where the BBC Arts editor, Will Gompertz, reviews David Mamet’s latest novel, a thriller: Chicago.

The bit just before this is as enlightening

What do you think they’re paying us for?” Crouch [the news editor] had said.

“Man bites dog,” Mike had said.

“Bullshit.” Crouch said. “Man bites dog is too interesting to be news.”

“Then what is news?” Mike said.

David Mamet’s latest novel, a thriller: Chicago

But let’s get serious and consider the views of Harvard’s Claire Wardle who says that “much of the debated content is not fake, but used out of context or manipulated, while polluted information also extends beyond news”.

She says

Calling the term “fake news” woefully inadequate in capturing the complexity of the
scourge currently afflicting the world, Harvard expert Claire Wardle suggested that this “information disorder” should be grouped into seven categories that range from satire, manipulated content, to fabricated content.

Such information disorder, while not defined as “black and white”, can also be categorised according to its level of truthfulness and intention to cause harm, said Dr Wardle, an expert in user-generated content, in her written representation to the Select Committee studying deliberate online falsehoods here.

Her submission was part of the 167 written representations accepted and published on the committee’s website on Monday (Apr 09).

(First few paras of an article from an article from the constructive, nation-building digital free sheet of MediaCorp entitled

‘Fake news’ is far more complex; problem of information disorder goes beyond US and social media: Expert

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/fake-news-far-more-complex-problem-information-disorder-goes-beyond-us-and-social-media)

Here’s more from her from said article (Pls read it, it’s good)

Dr Wardle, an executive director of First Draft – a non-profit organisation that is focused on experimental projects to fight disinformation – is also a research fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center for Media,Politics and Public Policy. She had previously testified at a United Kingdom committee hearing on fake news and misinformation in February.

In her written representation to Singapore’s Select Committee, Dr Wardle said much of the debated content is not fake, but used out of context or manipulated, while polluted information also extends beyond news.

Elaborating on the seven types of information disorder, she said that the least problematic of them is satire or parody, when people often fail to realise the content they are reading is satire.

The next one is a false connection, such as when headlines, visuals or captions do not support the article’s content. This is followed by misleading content and false context, where genuine content is taken out of its original context and circulated. The others are: imposter content and manipulated content, where genuine information is manipulated to deceive others. The last category is fabricated content.

These types of information disorder can also be categorised into misinformation, disinformation and malinformation, said Dr Wardle. Content that is false but not intended to cause harm will fall under misinformation, while the same type of content which is intended to cause harm will be considered disinformation. Truthful information that is aimed at causing harm is malinformation.

The authorities can consider the different elements that make up the information disorder, she said. For instance, they can consider who are the agents and their motivations for creating misleading or inaccurate information, as well as the type of messages being distributed. They should also take into account how the messages can be interpreted differently, depending on the source of the message, and how it ties in with the readers’ existing beliefs, among other things.

Another suggestion was also to provide additional investment and training opopportunities to strengthen “non-partisan media”. This comes as newsroom resources shrink, which results in fewer editors catching honest mistakes, or fewer journalists being trained to verify content sources on social media, for instance.

Funding and coordination of an international research agenda for monitoring the scale and impact of disinformation was another idea put forward by the researcher, a prominent expert on online falsehoods whose views are often sought after by international media.

Dr Wardle noted that current debates on this issue have been “focused disproportionately” on the United States, political disinformation, Facebook newsfeeds and Twitter bots.

“In fact, this problem of information disorder is global, and includes powerful disinformation related to science, health, religion and ethnicity. In certain places it is leading to protests and violence, and people are losing their lives because of decisions based on inaccurate information.”

 

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  1. I must be naïve … thought that fake news is whatever that makes the incumbent power upset & threatens the status quo.

    Once upon a time, a spherical earth and revolving around the sun was considered fake news. Galileo was shown what he’d look like after being de-skinned alive & force fed his own balls & intestines, and he quickly said that he was mistaken.

    E pur si muove LOL!!!


  2. this is a real photo of three real people in a HK street; they happen to look like three famous guys

    this is trump himself not someone else made up to look like him, taken for a people magazine interview

    this is LKY himself, with WP guys including angela oon and yaw shing leong, at an istana garden party

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