The President trumps ‘Fake News’

Literacy, Literacy and more Literacy

Growing our online network is an extremely important method in increasing our possibilities and abilities. The smaller it is, so will your opportunities to learn, socialise, professionalise etc. Part of growing our networks is done by understanding and learning the following literacy’s something many argue should be considered a right.

about
Farrell 2018, created using Canva

The Good Followed by The Bad

Although all three of these forms of literacy provide us with a massive amounts of possibilities, they are obstructed by the three negative I mention in the graphic above.

Firstly; Echo Chambers.

What are Echo Chambers?

Farrell 2018 Created using PowToon.

I have to admit, although I had never recognised it, I can attribute it to affecting a lot of significant events in my networking. For example, recently Brexit massively affected the United Kingdom, when using data literacy it would be very easy to see a large amount of my network would have been ‘remain’ whereas those in older generations would be largely ‘leave’ voters.

So an important point would be how do we trust people on the internet?

Secondly; Filter Bubbles

Filter bubbles are machine learning algorithms that selects information based on our previous searches. For example, how Facebook ‘decides which news Facebook users may be more inclined to read’. 

For more explanations on how Filter Bubbles are affecting our Media literacy, see these two videos:

https://player.vimeo.com/external/204434503.hd.mp4?s=487a0ae10dd4dda22d2728594730aad71a7f1e06&profile_id=174

Thirdly; Fake News

trump-2546104_1920
Un-copyrighted picture provided by https://pixabay.com/en/trump-president-usa-america-flag-2546104/

Made Popular by President Donald Trump, fake news is a factually incorrect report.

Fake news can be done through a varieties of methods;

Headlines called clickbait are deliberately exaggerated,

Bots that create fake news stories in order to swing political events.

And importantly misleading data used to show something off that is not particularly true, for example here is an article that changes misleading data:

 

Word Count: 303

References:

The most misleading charts of 2015, fixed

https://www.datapine.com/blog/misleading-data-visualization-examples/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/close-encounters/201407/can-you-really-trust-the-people-you-meet-online

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41812369

Filter bubbles are a serious problem with news, says Bill Gates

https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/projects/machine-learning/

https://www.horizon.ac.uk/project/unbias-emancipating-users-against-algorithmic-biases-for-a-trusted-digital-economy/

https://casma.wp.horizon.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Internet-On-Our-Own-Terms.pdf

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-network-age/4/steps/303353

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15 thoughts on “The President trumps ‘Fake News’

  1. Hi Nathaniel,

    I enjoyed reading your infra graphic, there was a lot of useful information on it. I also thought the video you created provided a really good explanation of echo chambers. I am interested to hear whether you feel you find yourself in a filter bubble or not? I think I have been guilty in the past for taking information at face value on my twitter page. I do however find myself disagreeing with a lot of what people say on my social media, but then again that is good as it is exposure to different viewpoints. Eli Pariser (2011) believed it it’s important to actively look for contrasting viewpoints in order to prevent filter bubbles.

    Thanks,
    Will

    Word Count: 119
    References:
    Pariser, E. (2011): Beware online “filter bubbles”- YouTube

    Like

    1. Hey Will,

      Thank you for your nice comment, I felt that using the info graphics and videos to the extent I did this week was the only possible way of getting anywhere near the amount of detail needed to understand the topic in the tiny word count, however next week I definitely want to increase the range and amount of graphics I use.
      To answer your question, I am most definitely in a Filter Bubble. However, I was completely unaware of it, until now. Fake News and Echo Chambers, don’t present as much a problem to me, as I believe that I can generally suss out a untrustworthy news article very fast, and the people who I associate with on social media is generally the same as offline. However, Filter Bubbles, due to how unaware of them you are, could be potentially very damaging.
      So I have looked into how I can remove myself from a ‘filter bubble’ and I found this article: http://guides.library.illinois.edu/c.php?g=348478&p=2347795
      Something that I would definitely consider doing, however when I think of older generations such as my parents, I don’t believe they would be as willing to do it due to the amount of hassle, and how unaware of how filter bubbles could be affecting their internet browsing and opinions.
      My question to you, is how could we try to persuade and educate older generations to remove themselves from a filter bubble?

      Nathaniel

      Like

      1. Hiya, I completely agree regarding the older generations actually. I think its a good question you ask, and believe that by encouraging them to broaden the types of searches or sites they are looking on to get different views, just like you might in real life, they will be getter a more well rounded opinion. Again however, I do see this being more hassle for lots of older people as you say.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Nathaniel,

    Great use of infographics!

    You mentioned the use of clickbait to provide fake news. How can users become aware that these links are not real? Are there any means of identifying fake information consistently for all users? In this article, the survey conducted found that 46% of older children found it difficult to identify authenticity of news articles (https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/older-children-wise-to-fake-news-regulator-ofcom-finds-a3704536.html). Perhaps education should not stop at just ICT skills, but identifying online risks? Also, this would minimise digital differences!

    What other influences do you think fake news has, aside from political impacts? I feel that fake health information is concerning, as it can induce fear and panic to individuals. https://www.wired.com/story/when-whatsapps-fake-news-problem-threatens-public-health/ shows how powerful social media is when it comes to spreading fake news!

    Chloe

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    1. Hey Chloe,

      Thank you very much for your nice comment. The point you make about children being affected by Fake News is a very good one, and not one I originally thought one. Previously when I thought about people who were being affected by fake news it was the older generation who were being persuaded by very far right news articles, such as in the very recent US Presidential election and Brexit.
      So I did a bit of research on how it affects children, and found this article: https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/read-this/how-to-spot-fake-news-an-experts-guide-for-young-people/ which also discusses how young children were unable to identify fake news.
      It gives some tips on how children can identify fake news, and suggests that more education be made on internet tools such as ‘search engines’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/0/22562913
      However, looking back I believe that within my secondary education IT lessons, this was something that was discussed. Although, it was never discussed in relevance to ‘fake news’ possibly something that could be identified in to the syllabus to protect children from the possible ‘dangers’ of the internet. Included on this could be a discussion on relatively new styles of online bullying called ‘flaming’ https://nobullying.com/what-is-flaming/ and ‘trolling’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14898564. To what extent do you believe kids are aware of these already?

      Nathaniel

      Like

      1. Hi Nathaniel,

        Thanks for replying!

        The research on how fake news can impact children is interesting, as we do not realise how learning can impact future online activity! The tips provided are useful. I hope parents can educate their children, so they are aware of the dangers online.

        Flaming is a term I have not heard before, but I realised I have come across these users online, especially in gaming and chat rooms. I remember ‘chain mails’, and I actually sent them to people back when I was a naive year 7! I was unaware that the information was fake, and listened to my peers. From this perspective, I do not think children understand fake news. I believe this should be emphasised in primary learning. Digital literacy is just as important as English and numerical literacy (https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2017/oct/17/fake-news-improved-critical-literacy-skills-teaching-young-people), do you agree?

        Chloe

        Like

      2. Hey Chloe,

        Wow, when I first came across flaming, I never thought of it in my own perspective and possible examples of how I experienced it as a kid.
        When you mentioned Chain Mail I laughed because what a blast from the past! I’m sure I was partial to forwarding chain mail on my MSN account in year 7!
        After discussing this with you I completely agree as it has opened my eyes to dangers of the internet!

        Nathaniel

        Like

  3. Hi Nathaniel,

    I really enjoyed your blog post about media literacy. I especially enjoyed the Ted talk on filter bubbles. As he says in the video we once had human gatekeepers with most media platforms, then when the internet came we had more of a balance. However, we now have algorithmic gatekeepers, leaving us in filter bubbles. You said you can attribute it to affecting your networking such as during the time of Brexit.

    Do you think you will be more cautious next time? Do you think filter bubbles are beneficial or damaging?

    I found an article that I thought you might be interested in:
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/22/social-media-election-facebook-filter-bubbles

    Like

    1. Hey Tewsdae,
      Thank you very much for your nice comment, I also found the ted talk especially interesting, as you suddenly realise how potentially little control you have over your political opinions.
      So I guess the answer to your question would be that I do find filter bubbles to be especially ‘damaging’. Where as not so much with Echo Chambers and Fake News, the reason being that I believe in regard to Echo Chambers the people who I communicate with on social media is generally who I communicate with offline, and in regards to Fake News, I generally believe that I am able to spot an untrustworthy article and stay in a relatively safe zone of medias I can trust.
      The reason I believe filter bubbles are so damaging is how completely unaware of them you are. As mentioned, during Brexit I would of been completely unaware of the affects it had on me, so in the future I definitely will be cautious of how it may affect my opinions.
      Because of your question I began to research what I could do to prevent it from affecting me in the future and I found this article:
      http://guides.library.illinois.edu/c.php?g=348478&p=2347795
      However, when thinking about an older generation such as my parents, not only would they be completely unaware of filter bubbles, but would probably be unwilling to go through the steps due to the amount of hassle, how do you think we could get them to consider the importance of filter bubbles?

      Like

  4. Hey Nathaniel,

    Thank you for your reply!

    I agree with you, especially about being unaware of the filter bubble. I think with other media forms such as television or newspapers, people have an idea of which ones are more left or right wing. However, with the internet it’s harder to know if you’re in a bubble! I think you raised a good point about parents and others who might not want to go through the hassle. I think with heavier promotion and awareness about media literacy perhaps more people would be more willing to think about the effects. As noted in the article you shared I think something as simple as switching to a different search engine such as DuckDuckGo.com would really help!

    Like

    1. Hey Tewsdae,

      You make an excellent point about the TV. Your comment on how a heavier promotion and awareness about media literacy got me thinking, and I completely agree that it would be necessary to have some serious funding behind it, but it is so important it warrants the funding! Maybe it should be put in to education system? https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/read-this/how-to-spot-fake-news-an-experts-guide-for-young-people/

      Looking forward to reading your blog next week!
      Nathaniel

      Like

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