Wisdom, Truth and Falsehoods: are we in Plato’s Cave? - EU vs DISINFORMATION
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Looking at disinformation "from a technological angle ignores that disinformation is an idea", so "we asked what the greatest thinkers in the history of philosophy would make of disinformation".Starting with Plato, writing when Athens was socially and politically turbulent, caused by a new invention: writing and reading. Plato…

Conspiracy fantasy
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Cory focusing not on the content of conspiracy theories, but "the significance of those beliefs", as we rarely go beyond dismissing "irrational people as having irrational beliefs... a mistake. The stories we tell one another are a kind of Ouija board... " telling us not about reality, but revealing "our internal, unspoken…

Why People Fall For Conspiracy Theories | FiveThirtyEight

"There are traits that likely prime people to be more prone to holding these beliefs", and you may not be so different. Nice use of interactive games to find out.people with jumping-to-conclusions bias "more likely to endorse conspiracy beliefs ... also correlated with harboring delusions."people with "illusory pattern per…

Evaluating contradictory foreign interference allegations in the 2020 U.S. election | by @DFRLab | DFRLab | Oct, 2020 | Medium
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DFRLab’s Foreign Interference Attribution Tracker (FIAT) database (see Interference2020.org) "captures allegations of foreign #us2020 interference... and assesses their credibility, bias, evidence, transparency, and impact".80 allegations were catalogued: a "sharp increase from 2016... vary widely in their evidence and objectivity, …

QAnon goes European – POLITICO
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Q really seems to act like a virus, finding and exploiting vulnerabilities in each new host is discovers: Germany's far-right groups were the first, and now France's Yellow Jackets, Italy's anti-vaxxers and UK's Brexiteers. Why? Trump's role is at the heart of the Q narrative. Answer (according to Politico): COVID19. "…

Domestic v. foreign disinformation: A question of timing (US2020 Disinformation news, ed. 4)
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There are two possible reasons why we are not talking as much about foreign interference. Both could be true. Only one is good news.

YouTube Toughens its Rules Around Dangerous Conspiracy Theories, with a Focus on QAnon Content | Social Media Today
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A few days after Facebook, Youtube bans "content that targets an individual or group with conspiracy theories that have been used to justify real-world violence... such as QAnon or Pizzagate", although they may except "news coverage on these issues or content discussing them without targeting individuals or protected groups".&q;…

Facebook Banned Holocaust Denial. What Took Them So Long? | Time
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Facebook's now explicitly banning "any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust, after years of allowing people to deny that the genocide occurred", reversing their longtime stance of not trying to define truth.According to "Facebook’s former head of global elections integrity for political ads ... [Zuckerberg] still seems…

Facebook and Twitter struggle to crack down on QAnon - Vox
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“It’s so easy to feel you’re special or in on something.” - James Wolfe, 45, who was "introduced [to Qanon] by a friend to the idea in late 2017... [when he] was recently unemployed and recovering from a serious physical injury", and quickly "started spending as much as eight hours a day" before recovering "from QAnon aft…

A Theory About Conspiracy Theories
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"psychologists tried to get a handle on the personality types that might be prone to outlandish beliefs" as over a third of Americans believe the Chinese "engineered the coronavirus as a weapon", and around half "firmly believe at least one discredited conspiracy theory... conspiracy theories are playing a bigger role in p…

QAnon shows that the age of alternative facts will not end with Trump - Columbia Journalism Review
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With more than a dozen congressional candidates appearing on ballots in November, Qanon is mainstream. While it looks like a lot of other conspiracy theories, this research provides a fascinating look at how the conspiracy's "Bakers" co-create their knowledgescape."QAnon doesn’t simply offer readers insider insight into current…

Facebook completely bans QAnon and labels it a ‘militarized social movement’ - The Verge
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All forms of content related to QAnon are banned, excepting posts from individual profiles, "even if they contain no violent content" - a significant update of Facebook's anti-Q August sweep - effectively treating it as an “identified Militarized Social Movement... no different than an extremist militia group, but not quite on the l…

A crease in Biden's shirt spawns a debate conspiracy theory - CNN
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Short video, filmed at a Trump rally, on two major disinfo trends: the Joe Biden earpiece, and Q.The "smoking gun" video - flagged false by factcheckers - "shared more than 22,000 times and viewed 800,000 times by Thursday night... one of the most widespread false narratives his team had handled this year"... another video &quo;…

Study Finds ‘Single Largest Driver’ of Coronavirus Misinformation: Trump - The New York Times
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Cornell analyzed 38 million English-language articles about the pandemic found that President Trump was the largest driver of the “infodemic.”...Of 11 different narratives ID'd, "miracle cures" - including Trump's anti-malarial drugs, UV and disinfectants - accounted for more than the other 10 combined.Keep it in perspective: a…

FACT CHECK: 6 Claims From The 1st Presidential Debate | Check Your Fact
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factchecking the six topics covered in the first debate: “the Trump and Biden Records, the Supreme Court, Covid-19, the Economy, Race and Violence in our Cities and the Integrity of the Election.”Trump:misleading: 1correct: 1incorrect: 1Biden:correct: 2misleading: 1

What Is QAnon, the Viral Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theory? - The New York Times
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once a fringe phenomenon ... gone mainstream... trying to attach themselves to other activist causes ... poses a potential domestic terror threat... Last week ... avowed QAnon supporter ... won a Republican primary ... Mr. Trump called her a “future Republican star.”... here are some basic things you should know...umbrella term ... conspiracy…

Your Q Anon Exit Briefing
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This is a piece for people who have been part of the Q Anon movement... beginning to get tired ... starting to get skeptical... Q mostly stopped making specific predictions after a series of embarrassing failures... demanding that we all Trust the Plan and stop asking why Q is always wrong... There’s a reason you got scammed... why did you keep be…

What Is QAnon: Explaining the Internet Conspiracy Theory That Showed Up at a Trump Rally - The New York Times
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Q claims to be a government insider exposing an entrenched, international bureaucracy that is secretly plotting all sorts of nefarious schemes against the Trump ... military or intelligence background ... various, but connecting, conspiracy theories... Trump ... battling a cabal of anti-American saboteurs ... overarching goals ... not clear... “…

Science Denial, Explained by Psychologists | Elemental
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Covid-19 case numbers are now spiking in many counties across West Texas ... [but] resolve of ... skeptics appears to be stiffening... the denial of facts is often rooted in identity and belonging, not in ignorance ...people who deny science ... trying to uphold membership in ... a political or religious affiliation or some other group ... a commu…

Why it’s as hard to escape an echo chamber as it is to flee a cult | Aeon Essays
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echo chambers and epistemic bubbles... systematically exclude sources of information... exaggerate their members’ confidence in their beliefs... work in entirely different ways... epistemic bubble is when you don’t hear people from the other side. An echo chamber is what happens when you don’t trust people from the other side...‘epistemic bubble’ …

People who believe COVID-19 conspiracies have these 7 traits
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seven distinctive traits of conspiratorial thinking. “Plandemic” offers textbook examples of them all...belief system is internally contradictory ... overwhelmingly suspicious toward the official account ... no limit to the nefarious intent ....may occasionally abandon specific ideas when they become untenable. But ... not overall conclusion that …

These disinformation researchers saw the coronavirus 'infodemic' coming
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For a handful of disinformation researchers, the information crisis that has unfolded around the coronavirus pandemic seemed inevitable... get a sense of what we should be watching for and what the internet might look like after the virus has passed...Joan Donovan... coined "strategic silence," editorial discretion ... notion that users…

‘Conspiracy bingo’: Transatlantic extremists seize on the pandemic – POLITICO
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coronavirus i... global rallying cry for ... white supremacists and anti-vaxxers in the U.S. to fascist and anti-refugee groups across Europe ... far-right populists on both continents ... using the outbreak to push their political agenda ...barrage of false messages [risk] ... feeding ... “infodemic” that makes it hard to separate fact from ficti…

Want to Find a Misinformed Public? Facebook’s Already Done It
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While vowing to police COVID-19 misinformation on its platform, Facebook let advertisers target users interested in“pseudoscience” ...The Markup paid to advertise a post targeting people interested in pseudoscience... ad was approved by Facebook. ... boosted a post targeting people interested in pseudoscience on Instagram... ad was approved in min…

The Geographical Journal - Wiley Online Library
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geoengineering technologies are hypothetical... to be used ‘in case of emergency’ ... should radical emissions cuts fail... Running concurrently... ‘chemtrails’ ... interchangeably with the term geoengineering... belief that the persistent contrails left by aeroplanes provide evidence that a secret programme of large‐scale weather and climate modi…

Pro-Trump media launch attacks on student survivors of Florida school shooting
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a similar kind of rumor kept showing up... after each of the man-made crisis events — a conspiracy theory or 'alternative narrative' ... claimed it either didn't happen or that it was perpetrated by someone other than the current suspects... the role that botnets play in disseminating alternative narratives ... What's different about the Parkland …

How Twitter Bots and Trump Fans Made #ReleaseTheMemo Go Viral - POLITICO Magazine
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The vote marked the culmination of a targeted, 11-day information operation that was amplified by computational propaganda techniques and aimed to change both public perceptions and the behavior of American lawmakers...Computational propaganda... the use of [ICTs] to manipulate perceptions, affect cognition, and influence behavior”... #releaset…

Information Wars: A Window into the Alternative Media Ecosystem
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For every man-made crisis event... we found evidence of alternative narratives, often shared by some of the same accounts and connected to some of the same online sites. These rumors had different “signatures” from other types of rumors... rose more slowly, and then they lingered, ebbing and flowing ... sustained participation by a set group of Tw…

The Backfire Effect: The Psychology of Why We Have a Hard Time Changing Our Minds – Brain Pickings
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When someone tries to correct you... it backfires and strengthens those misconceptions ... the backfire effect makes you less skeptical of those things that allow you to continue seeing your beliefs and attitudes as true and proper... exerting effort dealing with the cognitive dissonance produced by conflicting evidence, we actually end up buildin…

Social Network Algorithms Are Distorting Reality By Boosting Conspiracy Theories | Co.Exist | ideas + impact
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The filter bubble... has evolved. Algorithms, network effects, and zero-cost publishing are enabling crackpot theories to go viral... impacting the decisions of policy makers and shaping public opinion, whether they are verified or not... Facebook's news feed ... tailored just to us ... to keep us interested and happy... drives engagement and mor…

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