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JRN 450 - Solutions

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JRN 450 - Solutions

  1. 1. JRN 450 – Solutions Rich Hanley Associate Professor
  2. 2. Solutions • Solutions to disinformation generally fall into four buckets. • Media Literacy • Content Moderation • Prebunking • Truth Sandwiches
  3. 3. Solutions • Each solution, however, is flawed and to date has yet to work with a promising degree of efficacy.
  4. 4. Solutions • Media literacy • Teaching people to think critically about the content they consume as news. • Hard to do because of cognitive biases that send people to news that they agree with already. • People don’t like scolds. • Usually comes down to the New York Times is good, Fox News is bad.
  5. 5. Solutions • Content moderation • At the scale of social media apps such as Twitter and Facebook, a combination of human intervention and artificial intelligence must be deployed to detect disinformation. • That means both the human element and AI must have a context for determining the “truth” from disinformation without presenting a bias toward or against any particular perspective. • The leads to the questions about who determines what is fact or not. • The facts are open to interpretation based on how one frames information based on experience, knowledge and gut instinct. • Science, for example, has been wrong in the past. How do we know it’s right in one case or another.
  6. 6. Solutions • Content moderation • In addition, human content moderators have been “captured” by disinformation and will not remove content that they have come to believe. • Take Facebook moderators, for example. Hundreds have bought into far right beliefs after reading thousands of posts over the course of a given month. • There is also a lot of churn in employment.
  7. 7. Solutions • Truth Sandwiches • Journalists are, rightly or wrongly, held to standards that require balance in stories by seeking opinions of people on each side of a matter. • Disinformation operators know that the opportunity to smuggle their message into mainstream media exists when journalists seek the other side of an issue such as vaccines. • By journalistic conventions, the other side’s message is spread. • Journalists have developed what’s called a truth sandwich to defeat that while maintaining fidelity to conventions of the craft. • The truth sandwich consists of a paragraph asserting that the quote that follows does not reflect reality. The quote is then presented, followed by a third paragraph that restates the interpretation that the quote is factually incorrect.
  8. 8. Solutions • Conclusion • Each defense against disinformation is flawed in some way. • The answer, however, is not to try to be perfect. • In the disinformation world, perfect is the enemy of good. • Try to devise a solution that is good enough to contain disinformation and at least give the truth the opportunity to undermine it.

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