Presentation slide deck by Mihaela Gruia (CEO and Founder, Research Retold) and Rich Ashby (Founder Dotkumo). Taken from a Leeds Digital Festival event held on Wednesday 1 May 2019 at the Natwest Entrepreneur Accelerator in Leeds.
Celebrity death hoaxes are fairly frequent on social media. In this example featuring Brad Pitt anyone clicking the link was taken to a page where their Facebook account details were harvested as a phishing scam.World events such as the recent Notre Dame fire are often capitalised upon by political extremists. In the case of this completely false story, an Islamist terror cell was blamed.
Clickbait and sensationalist headlines often mislead us into clicking on articles that bear little relation to the headline. The lion story focuses on conservation efforts, whereas the McDonald’s story relates to employee benefits.
Imposter ads typically feature public figures or celebrities who ‘endorse’ specific products. This has been a major issue in the financial sector, with Martin Lewis taking Facebook to court over hundreds of ads featuring his image to promote fraudulent schemes. These types of ads often lift the look and feel of trusted sources (eg the BBC and CNN websites) to give them legitimacy. A careful look at the BBC example reveals the banner text is actually in the wrong typeface.
Populism in politics has led to a reliance on soundbites, often at the expense of facts. In this recent speech President Trump makes unsubstantiated claims that turbines cause cancer, and damage wild bird populations.
Fake news isn’t restricted to tabloids or dubious websites. This headline of this article from The Independent misrepresents and sensationalises the story.
Satirical websites are very popular, with the Daily Mash representing a spoof of UK tabloids, and US based The Onion regularly featuring humorous and often fairly plausible stories.
These are all Facebook targeted ads that ran in the lead up to the EU Referendum. Tonally they are presenting economic arguments, and focusing on planned immigration. Notice the use of the NHS funding that was prominent in the campaign.
Vote Leave used more emotive tactics. Including repeating inaccurate information about banning kettles and phasing out three pin plugs. The football ad is interesting, as it implies some kind of contest of lottery. This actually harvested user data and contravened the Facebook terms of service. Other ads stoked public fears and misunderstandings about immigration, and also played to concerns about public funding for flood defences.
DeepFake technology now makes it very simple to manipulate video content. Using a combination of AI deep learning and machine learning, convincing videos can be created that mirror speech patterns and mannerisms. This example by US film director Jordan Peele demonstrates the dangers.
Cards under seats
Although the rally did take place on that date. The photos were actually from fans celebrating Liverpool FC winning the Champions League.
This relates to a proposal by the Spanish Government to restrict memes that may defame an individual.
All of these images were generated in realtime using AI and a generative algorithm. The developer of the tool wanted to highlight the dangers of this technology.
add a screenshot of an article of this story
This story is actually true, and due to a lapse in security training.
Although the hacker story sounds plausible it is taken from the World News Daily Report. A satirical fake news website that openly posts outlandish stories under the slogan Where Facts Don’t Matter.
Eg Women with 65 cats trains them to steal from her neighbours.
We all believe we’re not easily gamed. Yet, Ofcom’s Media use and attitudes research demonstrates people can’t spot fake news. We’re all more confused than ever.
Warnings about medication are also prevalent. This Facebook post was widely shared, and claims paracetamol causes a rare virus. The P / 500 refers to Paracetamol with a standard adult dosage of 500mg.
Flat earth and climate change denials are both very popular online. Whereas once they would have been the preserve of photocopied leaflets given out, social media provides global reach for bizarre and non evidence based theories. Some estimates suggest that 6% of the US population believe that the earth is flat.
A conspiracy theory fuelled by alt-right figures to discredit the Hillary Clinton election campaign. It alleged that key members of the Democratic party were involved in a child trafficking ring run from a Washington DC pizza shop. Although the evidence was thoroughly debunked, individuals were threatened with physical violence and premises were attacked by arsonists.
A bizarre and complex theory claiming that a rogue CIA agent is regularly posting cryptic messages to Reddit and other online websites to fight a deep-state conspiracy against Donald Trump. QAnon includes some of the Pizza Gate accusations. One of the key advocates of this theory Michael “Lionel” Lebron was given a photo opportunity with President Trump in the Oval Office.
Infowars has promoted conspiracy theories across social media for over a decade. Although its founder Alex Jones has been banned from all the major social media platforms, Infowars still retains a very active following. The most infamous recent claim was that the Sandy Hook school shooting was staged by crisis actors. Jones is currently being sued for defamation by parents of the victims.
The EU Referendum is still the subject of debate and investigation over the use of disinformation and data harvesting. Cambridge Analytica used Facebook data without permission to deliver hyper targeted partisan content to voters. Facebook were given a record fine by the Information Commissioner, and Cambridge Analytica ceased trading.
Carole Cadwalladr is the journalist who broke the Cambridge Analytica story. Here she challenges the tech giants and social media companies to tackle disinformation on their platforms.
The US Election was bitterly contested, and featured vast amounts of disinformation. From intelligence dossiers through to targeted online harassment of individuals, this was the most acrimonious election to date.
The Indian Election has been seen coordinated disinformation campaigns using Facebook and WhatsApp affecting hundreds of millions of voters.
reiterate this is how we met and that conversation formed the basis of this event
Info should include who is paying for the ads which organisations are sponsoring the ad who is being targeted by the ads Later on we will show you a tool that gets close to this...
A key debate in the report we want to draw your attention to...
Fake news definition
“The deliberate creation and sharing of false
or manipulated information that is intended to
deceive and mislead audiences, either for the
purposes of causing harm, or for political, personal
or financial gain.”
What fake news is not
Content that a reader might dislike or disagree with.
US President Donald Trump has described certain
media outlets as ‘The Fake News Media’ and being
‘the true enemy of the people’.
Code: 11 18 2
Before we continue...
how confident do you feel
in spotting fake news?
What we’ll talk about next…
Eight types of disinformation
“I don't like it that bad science is pushed to
parents - I don't like quackery - I want them to
know the truth that vaccines are very safe
and have been used for decades.”
PROFESSOR DAME SALLY DAVIES
Chief Medical Officer for England
US election 2019
Indian election 2019
Thoughts and discussion
Three wider effects
of disinformation on
Political extremism and populism
Lack of trust in political institutions
Civil unrest and disorder
What we’ll talk about next…
What is this
report on fake news?
Published on 14 February 2019
Government official enquiry into
Three main themes
of the report
1. Individuals’ privacy rights
2. Influence over political choices
3. Interference in elections
(focus on EU Referendum)
Political advertising should be publicly
accessible in a searchable repository so
that the public can understand the
behaviour of advertisers.
Source: Page 61, publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmcumeds/1791/1791.pdf
Social media apps:
platform or publisher?
Tech companies don’t control
or moderate the content.
Simply a conduit for content
Tech companies take a level of
Use moderators to decide what
content can be published.
"They have this very strange,
powerful, hybrid identity as
media companies that do not
create any of the content but
must accept some responsibility
for promulgating it."
Frank Sesno, School of Media and Public Affairs
at the George Washington University
“Technology needs to be regulated. There are
now too many examples where the no rails
have resulted in a great damage to society.”
Source: Jack Dorsey, CEO Twitter, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-03/twitter-s-dorsey-adds-his-voice-to-support-of-regulation-in-tech
Finally, we will cover...
How can we fight
5 practical ways
You will receive a handout when you leave :)
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Date When was this piece of content captured?
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Motivation Why was this piece of content captured?
1. Disinformation checklist
Let’s see this in
2. Facebook Ad Library