Fact checking and fast news

Wearing my hat as a director of FactCheckNI and participating in a recent lunchtime webinar organised by ResponseSource, I commented that while social media are used to spread misinformation and disinformation, these platforms also give access to a “huge, big brain” of “experts who do actually know some of those numbers or do know what happened” who can pick holes in arguments and claims.

Stephen NOLAN: Enhancing democratic debate in the era of fake news?

Stephen NOLAN: Enhancing democratic debate in the era of fake news? by Allan LEONARD 26 February 2019 As part of their engagement programme, Queen’s University Belfast hosted a lecture by radio and television personality, Stephen Nolan, who was introduced by Ryan Feeney. Much of Nolan’s lecture was an autobiography of how he has developed his career in journalism and working for the BBC. His views on the topics in the lecture title — “Enhancing the Democratic Debate in the Era …

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You have to admire the Russians. They are the ultimate internet trolls…

Seems Theresa May is getting annoyed at Russian meddling in Western politics. From the BBC: Senior Russian politicians have dismissed accusations by Theresa May that Moscow has meddled in elections and carried out cyber-espionage. On Monday night, Mrs May accused Moscow of “planting fake stories” to “sow discord in the West”. She said Vladimir Putin’s government was trying to “undermine free societies”. The Russians hit back with: #UK Prime Minister @theresa_may on @Russia: “We know what you are doing”. We …

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When journalistic confidence marginalises “the more basic and important obligation not to deceive”…

Michael Foley is professor emeritus of journalism at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). Writing in the Irish Times he picks up on an interesting angle arising out of Mr Justice Peter Charleton’s opening remarks at the Disclosures Tribunal: At the opening of the Garda whistleblower tribunal, the tribunal chairman Mr Justice Peter Charleton, said he wanted to know if the media was being “used as an instrument for the dissemination of lies”. For most people his remarks are perfectly reasonable, …

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Fake News and the Assembly Elections

How does the saying go – fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me!    If one positive thing emerged from the 2016 US Presidential Election, it’s the focus on the phenomenon of the influence of Fake News on the electoral process.  It’s difficult to assess the level of impact but we’ve heard that #fakenews is already out scoring real news in terms of attracting clicks and the UK MPs believe that democracy itself is under threat. …

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Ofcom will regulate the BBC, but who verifies the ‘news’ on Facebook?

Donald Trump becomes US President on Friday amid allegations that fake news stories about his rival Hilliary Clinton helped to sway voters. So it is interesting to note that UK regulator Ofcom is taking on the role of regulating the BBC not any of the new digital media giants. One would have thought that the BBC is well regulated with rigorous editorial guidelines already well- established within the organisation. Perhaps Ofcom should be thinking about regulation of the corporations which …

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Fake news didn’t make Trump president – there is just as much junk on the left as the right

As the world reacts to the news that Donald Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States, the role of social media in general and Facebook in particular has come under close scrutiny for the role it plays in disseminating news and opinion.  Social media is used as a news source by 62% of US adults, and Facebook is by far the most widely used social network, used by over two thirds of the adult population. From …

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