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Alternative facts: fake news and disinformation in a post-truth age

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Alternative facts: fake news and disinformation in a post-truth age

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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.

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.

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Alternative facts: fake news and disinformation in a post-truth age

  1. 1. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  2. 2. Mihaela Gruia mihaela@researchretold.com Rich Ashby rich@dotkumo.com #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  3. 3. What we’ll talk about today… Fake news definition Types of disinformation Effects of disinformation Government report Protecting against disinformation #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  4. 4. Why did you come today? #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  5. 5. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19 What we’ll start with… Fake news definition Types of disinformation Effects of disinformation Government report Protecting against disinformation
  6. 6. Rapid fire round: What is the first word that springs to mind when you think of fake news? #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  7. 7. What is fake news? #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  8. 8. 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.” Source: publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmcumeds/1791/1791.pdf #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  9. 9. 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’. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  10. 10. menti.com Code: 11 18 2 Before we continue... how confident do you feel in spotting fake news? #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  11. 11. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19 What we’ll talk about next… Fake news definition Types of disinformation Effects of disinformation Government report Protecting against disinformation
  12. 12. Eight types of disinformation #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  13. 13. 1. Fabricated content #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  14. 14. Source: summit.news/2019/04/15/notre-dame-cathedral-in-paris-on-fire-worker-claims-it-was-deliberately-started/ #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  15. 15. 2. Manipulated content #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  16. 16. Source: www.linkedin.com/pulse/man-tries-hug-wild-lion-you-wont-believe-what-happens-dharmarajan/ Source: archive.attn.com/stories/8357/mcdonalds-admitted-worker-benefits-good-for-business #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  17. 17. 3. Imposter content #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  18. 18. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  19. 19. 4. Misleading content #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  20. 20. Source: https://www.msnbc.com/velshi-ruhle/watch/trump-claims-that-wind-turbines-cause-cancer-they-do-not-1471097923543 #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  21. 21. “(We are) unaware of any credible evidence linking the noise from windmills to cancer.” AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  22. 22. 5. False context or connection #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  23. 23. Source: www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/chicago-mayor-trump-free-zone-rahm-emanuel- daca-dreamers-programme-us-president-sanctuary-city-a7931646.html #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  24. 24. 6. Satire or parody #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  25. 25. Source: www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/berlin-to-send-back-thousands-of-british-hipsters-20170119120532 Source: www.theonion.com/national-geographic-increases-ideological-diversity-b-1832592053 #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  26. 26. 7. Micro-targeted messaging #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  27. 27. BeLeave Facebook ads #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  28. 28. Vote Leave Facebook ads #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  29. 29. 8. Distortion of images #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  30. 30. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ54GDm1eL0 Monkeypaw Productions and BuzzFeed #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  31. 31. Real or fake? #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  32. 32. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  33. 33. FAKE Source: Getty #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  34. 34. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  35. 35. TRUE Source: www.euroweeklynews.com/2016/11/10/spanish-government-attempts-to-ban-memes/#.XMbbmBNKjOQ #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  36. 36. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  37. 37. FAKE Source: thispersondoesnotexist.com #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  38. 38. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  39. 39. TRUE Source: www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-25760132 #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  40. 40. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  41. 41. FAKE Source: worldnewsdailyreport.com #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  42. 42. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19 What we’ll talk about next… Fake news definition Types of disinformation Effects of disinformation Government report Protecting against disinformation
  43. 43. Source: www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/113222/Adults-Media-Use-and-Attitudes-Report-2018.pdf Spotting information online #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  44. 44. Three effects of disinformation with real-world impact #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  45. 45. 1. Major health crises #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  46. 46. A discredited Lancet paper on risks of MMR led to rise of anti-vaccination movement. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  47. 47. Measles outbreaks are now much more common and potentially life threatening. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  48. 48. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  49. 49. “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 Source: www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-47699791 #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  50. 50. 2. Conspiracy theories #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  51. 51. Fringe theories #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  52. 52. #PizzaGate #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  53. 53. QAnon #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  54. 54. Infowars #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  55. 55. Conspiracy theories can have implications on research funding and climate change. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  56. 56. 3. Political manipulation #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  57. 57. EU Referendum #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  58. 58. Source: TED https://www.ted.com/talks/carole_cadwalladr_facebook_s_role_in_brexit_and_the_threat_to_democracy #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  59. 59. US election 2019 Source: www.vox.com/2018/12/12/18137927/michael-cohen-trump-tweet-clinton-jail #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  60. 60. Indian election 2019 #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  61. 61. Thoughts and discussion 10 minutes #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  62. 62. Three wider effects of disinformation on our society #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  63. 63. Political extremism and populism #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  64. 64. Lack of trust in political institutions #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  65. 65. Civil unrest and disorder #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  66. 66. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19 What we’ll talk about next… Fake news definition Types of disinformation Effects of disinformation Government report Protecting against disinformation
  67. 67. What is this Government report on fake news? #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  68. 68. Published on 14 February 2019 Government official enquiry into disinformation 111 pages Available online #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  69. 69. Three main themes of the report #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  70. 70. 1. Individuals’ privacy rights #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  71. 71. 2. Influence over political choices #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  72. 72. 3. Interference in elections (focus on EU Referendum) #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  73. 73. 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 #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  74. 74. Social media apps: platform or publisher? #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  75. 75. Platform PublisherOR #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  76. 76. Platform Tech companies don’t control or moderate the content. Simply a conduit for content and information. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  77. 77. Publisher Tech companies take a level of responsibility. Use moderators to decide what content can be published. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  78. 78. Platform Publisher Hybrid "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 #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  79. 79. “Technology needs to be regulated. There are now too many examples where the no rails have resulted in a great damage to society.” TIM COOK Apple CEO #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  80. 80. 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 #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  81. 81. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19 Finally, we will cover... Fake news definition Types of disinformation Effects of disinformation Government report Protecting against disinformation
  82. 82. How can we fight disinformation? 5 practical ways You will receive a handout when you leave :) #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  83. 83. Provenance Are you looking at an original piece of content? Source Who created this piece of content? Date When was this piece of content captured? Location Where was this piece of content captured? Motivation Why was this piece of content captured? 1. Disinformation checklist Source: firstdraftnews.org #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  84. 84. Provenance DateSource Location Motivation Let’s see this in practice #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  85. 85. Source: www.facebook.com/ads/library/ 2. Facebook Ad Library #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  86. 86. 3. Reverse image search Source: bit.ly/ReverseImageSearch #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  87. 87. 4. Full Fact Source: fullfact.org #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  88. 88. 5. Free one hour online course #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19 Source: firstdraftnews.org
  89. 89. Meet up in June! #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  90. 90. #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19 menti.com Code: 11 18 2 After all that... how confident do you feel in spotting fake news now?
  91. 91. Final thoughts and discussion 10 minutes #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19
  92. 92. Thank you and we hope to see you in June! Mihaela Gruia mihaela@researchretold.com Rich Ashby rich@dotkumo.com #FakeNewsLeeds #LeedsDigi19

Editor's Notes

  • Add photo add logos
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  • To make this live as if typingt
  • 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
  • source
  • Although the rally did take place on that date. The photos were actually from fans celebrating Liverpool FC winning the Champions League.
  • https://www.euroweeklynews.com/2016/11/10/spanish-government-attempts-to-ban-memes/#.XMgDbJNKiqA
  • 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...
  • https://www.quora.com/How-do-Twitter-and-Facebook-moderate-content
    https://wersm.com/how-does-facebook-moderate-content-infographic/
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