Wednesday, October 25, 2017

More political faux-checking

AWU vows to challenge raids
The Australian Workers’ Union has vowed to challenge federal police warrants in court after its headquarters were raided in Melbourne and Sydney.
Federal officers stormed the buildings yesterday in support of an investigation into donations the union made to activist group GetUp! while Bill Shorten was boss.
They reportedly acted on information documents key to the investigation were being “concealed or destroyed”.
AWU’s national secretary, Daniel Walton, said the raids were “an extraordinary abuse of police resources” and were part of a smear campaign to attack Mr Shorten.
.. AWU heads to court after AFP raids as part of Get Up probe

Michaelia Cash admits staffer told media about federal police raids on AWU offices; Labor calls for her head

AFP Brisbane officers raided by police: 'Number of items seized' (sic)

THE ABC Brisbane offices have been raided by police over cabinet documents leaked to journalists. 25, 20177:13pm.

How people approach facts and Information

Census Data Seminars

Spyware apps that can track your every move

  Will the JFK files put the conspiracy theories to bed?

John Brogden appointed interim CEO for Landcom

More political faux-checking

Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right? In a sign of the growing appeal of the term "fact-checking," Czech prime ministerial candidate Andrej Babiš launched a website aping an existing fact-checking outfit's name. Unsurprisingly, its "fact checks" cast Babiš in a positive light. But will it make a difference?

Quote of the week
"Historians and students often fell victim to easily manipulated features of websites, such as official-looking logos and domain names. ...Compared to the other groups, fact checkers arrived at more warranted conclusions in a fraction of the time.”  —  From a study by Stanford University’s Sam Wineburg and Sarah McGrew

Fact-checking is everywhere, but nowhere
There's been no shortage of fact-checking over the past year. But poor promotion and a lack of consistent labels by some outlets meant this reporting quickly disappears, Mark Stencel and Rebecca Iannucci of the Duke Reporters' Lab report for Poynter.

Museum of misinformation
An exhibit about fake news is now part of the Newseum's offerings in Washington, D.C. It focuses on misinformation that circulated during the U.S. presidential campaign in 2016, and offers visitors some tips to spot and stop fake news. (Photo credit: Jonathan Thompson/Newseum)

Some fact-checking fun
On the Late Show, comedian Stephen Colbert has a few things to say about  President Trump's laments regarding the “disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write.” ... Full Frontal travels to Finland to figure out why they're better at fact-checking than everyone else.

Who's messing with the fact-checkers?
Those ubiquitous ads for fake news about HGTV shows, Melania Trump and other topics have been popping up on PolitiFact and Snopes. Removing them is tricky and means a loss in revenue. The fact-checking project of the (Poynter-owned) Tampa Bay Times was also reportedly hacked last week, so that it secretly mined cryptocurrency in users' browsers. The malicious software was removed from its website after a few hours.

Are 'predatory journals' fooling you?
Africa Check explains the problem of predatory academic journals, how to identify them, and how you can avoid being duped.

Fact-checking on wheels in Mexico
The recent earthquake in Mexico had one resident riding around on her motorcycle to verify — or not — information reported on social media. She was part of a citizen “digital brigade” working to debunk rumors.

Fact, the brew
PolitiFact's community outreach efforts seem to be going particularly well in West Virginia.

Alex Preston "The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro – review: 'Game of Thrones with a conscience'"
The Buried Giant is Game of Thrones with a conscience, The Sword in the Stone for the age of the trauma industry, a beautiful, heartbreaking book about the duty to remember and the urge to forget."

News from the Facebook front
Facebook's "neutrality" means that it fosters a platform "where people can knowingly misinform each other." ...The kids of South Park confront Mark  Zuckerberg about allowing lying "on your platform."  ...Bloomberg tells Facebook how to prepare for the next election, including more innovative ways to identify hoaxes. ...Facebook responds to the Atlantic's "What Facebook Did to American Democracy" with a promise of more attention to the "integrity of information."

New election, new fakery in Kenya
Fake news is getting more sophisticated a week before Kenyans are set to go back to the polls. PesaCheck reports that one site sent a bogus opinion poll showing the incumbent president leading his opponent.

12 quick fact-checking links
(1) Can ombudsmen help in the fight against fake news? (2) An Indiana congressman wants to license and fingerprint the “fake news” mainstream media. (3) This is how Snapchat avoids getting into fake news trouble. (4) Here are some suggestions for fighting fake news without trampling free speech. (5) Michelle Ye Hee Lee is leaving The Washington Post Fact Checker to report for the paper's political investigations team. (6) Meedan's Check program has a tool that could help surface viral hoaxes on WhatsApp. (7) Are “advertising-dependent newsrooms” reluctant to fact-check big corporations? (8) FP says a  "news consumers’ movement" might be the solution to fake news. (9) That video of a little girl suffering the consequences of a screen door on a windy day was not related to Ophelia. (10) BuzzFeed is sorry but that washed coyote story was also a fake. (11) A call for papers on misinformation and disinformation, with an ironic deadline. (12) Fighting fake news, now part of the curriculum of Italian schools. (H/T Flavia Mi)

via AlexiosJane and Daniel

And why the White House won't admit it: How a Florida photographer discovered John Kelly's falsehood
To understand this moment — our politics, media, Donald Trump, the shaky status of facts, you name it — download a nine-minute video from the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale and maybe stick it into a time capsule.

You know of the video but probably didn't look at it (which is part of the ultimate problem). It shows that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly totally misrepresented what Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson actually said at the 2015 opening of a new FBI building in her South Florida district. After bashing Wilson for listening in to a conversation between Trump and the widow of a solider killed in Niger, Kelly claimed Wilson bragged about getting the money for the building.

Assistant managing editor David Schutz concedes that the paper doesn't really cover national news as such but looks for local angles if warranted. In this case, senior staff photographer Taimy Alvarez, a 19-year veteran and a pack rat, was reminded by a friend (who was scouring the internet after Kelly's remarks) that Alvarez had actually covered the April 10, 2015, FBI event.

She shoots with a Nikon DSLR 8001 and saves, captions and files everything into digital folders and onto a hard  drive. It wasn't until she found her file that she realized she had done more than just a so-called "spray" or "B-roll" and had video of the whole shebang. The FBI was refusing to disclose its own tape and none of the local TV stations had aired anything, so she had a scoop.

Leaving nothing to chance, she posted the whole raw video. No voiceover. They couldn't be criticized for dubious editing. 

Power plant sale 'incompetent or worse'

Vales Point power station privatisation put before auditor-general