Thursday, July 06, 2017

Searching for the next Pied Piperian breakthrough for Fact Czeching

Czech Republic Parliament Passes Constitutional Right to Bear Arms

How to See What the Internet Knows About You (And How to Stop It) New York Times

More co-opting
Fact-checkers at Libération Désintox are understandably peeved that their brand is being used by Macron supporters to spread false information. Earlier this year, "Décodeurs" had been co-opted by the European Commission for a fact-checking blog. (Le Monde has a unit with that name.)

Greens call for Senate inquiry into Medicare breach

‘I want a pony!’ – or the critical difference between user research and market research. Research is not a new phenomenon in government. When you start a new project it is very possible that there is a wheelbarrow-full of previous, relevant research for you to review. Most policy, for example, is evidence based. Similarly when it comes to service delivery, there is often no shortage of research – often in the form of market research. (DTA)

SPIKED: ORWELL’S WAR ON THE ‘SMELLY LITTLE ORTHODOXIES’ OF LEFT AND RIGHT. It’s an interesting review of Robert Colls’ new book,George Orwell: English Rebel, though note this passage:
Setting out his stall, Colls, a professor of Cultural History at De Montfort University, puts his finger on why Orwell despised ideology as a ‘form of abstract knowledge which, in order to support a particular tendency or regime, has to distort the world and usually does so by drawing off, or separating out, ideas from experience. Ideology, in Orwell’s eyes, could never afford to get too close to the lives of the people. The more abstract the idea and the language that that expressed it, the more ideological the work and vice versa’, he writes at the book’s beginning.
‘[Orwell] knew that if he was saying something so abstract that it could not be understood or falsified, then he was not saying anything that mattered’, Colls continues. ‘He staked his reputation on being true to the world as it was, and his great fear of intellectuals stemmed from what he saw as their propensity for abstraction and deracination – abstraction in their thinking and deracination in their lives. Orwell’s politics, therefore, were no more and no less than intense encounters turned into writings he hoped would be truthful and important. Like Gramsci, he believed that telling the truth was a revolutionary act. But without the encounters he had no politics and without the politics he felt he had nothing to say.’
What’s this now about Gramsci and truth? (Though don’t let that stop you from reading the whole thing; it’s a fascinating article.)

TIME for a fake cover tutorial
Donald Trump has a fake TIME cover framed in several of his golf clubs, The Washington Post reported this week. The copy was a pretty cheap job but but here's the creative director of TIME with a guide on how to spot the real stuff.

We have been warned 
An audio recording of something that never happened. A video of a bird that doesn't exist. Machine-learning artists and scientists say the capability to fake audio and video is on the horizon — but the news isn't all bad.

Librarians to the rescue 
It was standing room only for the "Helping library users navigate fake news" session at the American Library Association's annual conference this week.

Five years for fakery?
When living with your own “witlessness” isn’t punishment enough for sharing fake news, this legislator has a plan that could get you thrown in jail.

The dangers of dark jokes
"Something weird happened on the wonk internet last week." Slate looks into the imposter tweets that appeared to come from Vox staffers and finds a very long trail.

Enough with the high-quality information
Using mathematical modeling, researchers have found that information overload can lead people to choose low-quality information, increasing the chances that misinformation will go viral.

10 quick fact-checking links 
(1) Interested in a fact-checking job in France? (2) Fact-checking-as-a-service is going to be a thing, they say.  (3) The teens of Veles are feeling the heat. (4) A guide to help teenagers find their way around statistics — by Chequeado, for UNICEF. (5 ) ICYMI: The day fact-checking took a vacation. Sad. (6) When fake news hits home: The Cracker Barrel that will never be. (7) Who’s got the worst fake news problem? Science and health. (8) This tale about puppy dogs may be one of the most unusual political fact checks ever. (9) Digital disruption is making it really difficult to tell fact from fiction in "the Petri dish" of fake news. (10) The alt-weekly Cleveland Scene fact-checks a man who roams the city making strange claims while wearing a medieval costume.