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  • Showing only topics with the tag "fake news". Back to normal view
    1. This is something I was thinking about. When I read about the end of the second world war, the thing which surprises me the most is how easily the German population accepted that their government...

      This is something I was thinking about. When I read about the end of the second world war, the thing which surprises me the most is how easily the German population accepted that their government really committed such atrocities (Yes, I used Holocaust in the title, but I mean any genocide commited).

      I was wondering how it might go down in our current culture with the emergence of Fake News and alternative "facts"; our post-fact culture. Would they more readily dismiss it as a photoshopped image? Would the impact be mitigated by the meme-ification of genocide?

      (To a mod: The title should say « more or less »)

      11 votes
    2. I had an interesting conversation with my housemate last night, which opened my eyes to just how easily fake news gets into ordinary people's minds. We were discussing an episode of 'The Orville'...

      I had an interesting conversation with my housemate last night, which opened my eyes to just how easily fake news gets into ordinary people's minds.

      We were discussing an episode of 'The Orville' we had just watched, and conversation shifted topics (as it does), and we ended up talking about free speech and political correctness - and he told me, quite matter-of-factly, that at least one local school had removed all books which referred to "boys" or "girls" from its library, and that other schools wanted to ban children from referring to themselves as "boys" or "girls". This was part of a politically correct drive to remove all references to gender, so that noone is "male" or "female".

      My housemate is not a raving lunatic. He's not a rabid fascist or alt-right person. He's just an ordinary Aussie guy, going about his ordinary life, with no malice to anyone.

      But his extended family watches certain TV channels and reads certain newspapers, and he had picked up this little nugget of knowledge from a TV show one of them was watching.

      We discussed the matter, and I told him that what he had just said is fake news. I explained that I didn't think he was wrong, but that his sources were wrong. He wouldn't believe me - to the point where he demanded that we go to a computer and double-check it.

      It didn't take me long to find both the newspaper articles and television segments spreading this fake news, and the other sources debunking it (because I knew what I was looking for). It turns out that some ivory-tower academics had done a study which showed that making little girls play with "hyper-feminised toys like Barbies" was reinforcing certain sexist stereotypes, and maybe that should be changed. That was it. But certain newspapers (owned by a certain media tycoon) had twisted this into a scare story involving evil teachers who were coming to steal your children's identities by stopping them from being boys and girls and removing everything that said "boys" and "girls" from libraries - and other news outlets had picked up this story and run with it, adding their own touches as it bounced from one outlet to another.

      As soon as I showed him the debunking sources, he accepted them. He got a bit defensive, and deflected blame on to his family and the news - but he believed the truth when I showed it to him. He's not stupid or malicious, just misinformed. I agreed with him that it wasn't his fault. As he said, most normal people aren't like me, reading deep into the news and double-checking what they say. Most people just read the paper or watch the TV and accept what they're told.

      Fake news is so easy to spread. Most people don't question their news sources. If a newspaper or newsreader tells them something, they believe it because it's coming from a supposedly reliable source.

      32 votes
    3. One of the main issues with news on social media is the spread of fake or false news. This happens on every platform that allows sharing news. If Tildes continues to gain popularity, this will...

      One of the main issues with news on social media is the spread of fake or false news. This happens on every platform that allows sharing news. If Tildes continues to gain popularity, this will likely happen on Tildes. I had an Idea: what if tildes had a group of fact checkers that check to see if the news is truthful, and block posts that link to untrustworthy new sites? could be like a 3 strikes thing, where if a new source has 3 articles posted that have misinformation, they would be blocked (the post also removed).

      This is just an idea, feel free to highlight any issues with it.

      10 votes
    4. Hi there! First things first, I just want to say thank you for the invite, but more importantly, thank you for taking the time to create this platform. I, as I imagine most people on here, have a...

      Hi there!

      First things first, I just want to say thank you for the invite, but more importantly, thank you for taking the time to create this platform. I, as I imagine most people on here, have a love-hate relationship with reddit. Clearly the site has had a tremendous impact, in many ways positive, but with many things structurally and fundamentally holding it back. I've been a subscriber to /r/RedditAlternatives/ for a while, and there have been very few sites that have compelled me to learn more and actively take part in them, and yours is of course one of them. I just got done reading all of the articles on your docs page and was very pleased - "finally", I thought, someone who's taken into account all of the articles on the internet that have been written about designing and building communities, from both a social and technical perspective, and put it into practice. You've addressed many issues that are often ignored by the platforms themselves and done it in a brilliant way so as to ensure that our voices are heard first and foremost, and I think that's just awesome.

      Okay, now that all the praise is out of the way... :P

      I did notice something that was not addressed in the docs pages, so I'll be blunt and simply ask: how do you plan to address the filter bubble, or rather, do you plan to address it at all? Maximizing user freedom regarding which communities you want to see content from seems obvious, but that inevitably ends up with users being stuck in their own bubble. reddit already has an infamous reputation of being an echo chamber, and gives users tools to make it an even bigger echo chamber. A long time ago, there was a commonly held belief that the internet would bring us closer together because it would force us to expand our worldviews and interact with people as people, not knowing where they're from or who they are (the "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog" saying about anonymity). As reddit moves more and more toward becoming a social network like Facebook and less like the pseudonymous and anonymous internet discussion forums of old, this problem has only gotten worse, to the point of having real-world political and social consequences (especially with the increasing deluge of so-called "fake news"). I'd really like to hear your take on it.

      I do have other concerns, namely: scalability, and the stance on free speech. The donation model has worked well for Wikipedia, but, well, they're Wikipedia. They're an incredibly important resource and people have clearly valued their resource so as to have sustained their model, mass donation drives with Jimbo Wales' face plastered all over the site notwithstanding. If tildes becomes the Wikipedia of internet discussion platforms, I am sure many people will find it valuable enough to donate to, though I am still not sold on how sustainable it really is.

      The stance on free speech in the announcement blog post also has me concerned. As you mentioned, it is a difficult topic; that much is clear. I am mostly just curious as to where the lines are drawn in regards to how "threats, harassment, and hate speech" are defined. With an absolutist position like "we are 100% pro-free speech", things are very clear and simple, whereas any other position, I believe, comes down to the whim of the moderators/admins. Certainly most people will generally follow the golden rule and abide by basic common sense and decency (i.e. "don't be a dick"), but when discussions get heated I think it's important to not have a reasonable fear that you're going to get permabanned because you hurt someone's feelings (just as an example).

      All these issues aside, I am very excited about the development of tildes and hope you & the community can come up with excellent technical and social solutions to these difficult problems.

      Thanks for taking the time to read this!

      (p.s. apologies for not posting this in the daily discussion topic, thought it warranted its own topic)

      edit: formatting

      26 votes