Does your Google News change based on whether you’re conservative or liberal?

How much do algorithms encourage echo chambers? We know that the information people receive can be very different depending on the terms they Google — and that can lead to fears about people with different political leanings receiving very different news. A small study that will be published in Computers in Human Behavior, however, provides some reassuring news. Efrat Nechushtai (Columbia) and Seth Lewis (University of Oregon) asked 168 people with different political backgrounds to search Google News for articles about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In this instance, at least, there was “a very high degree of homogeneity and concentration in the news recommendations:
— The top recommendations were consistently identical for conservatives and liberals
— 41 publishers (99.9 percent of recommendations) reached both conservatives and liberals
— On average, 69 percent of all recommendations were to five news organizations
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We can write about Twitter, we can stay on Twitter, but we can’t expect anything from Twitter

The growing stream of reporting on and data about fake news, misinformation, partisan content, and news literacy is hard to keep up with. This weekly roundup offers the highlights of what you might have missed.

Are you still having fun? Brief recap of why Alex Jones and Infowars are bad and gross. Infowars is a conspiracy-theory-driven website that publishes many fake stories and also sells a ton of overpriced and ineffective nutritional supplements. (It has also, over the years, ripped off thousands of pieces of content not just from Russia Today but also from mainstream news organizations like The Washington Post, The New York Times, BuzzFeed, and CNN.) Some of the conspiracy theories that Jones has propagated on the site and his daily radio show: That the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax (Sandy Hook parents are suing Jones for claiming that their murdered children were crisis actors); that Continue reading "We can write about Twitter, we can stay on Twitter, but we can’t expect anything from Twitter"

Newseum Starts Selling MAGA Hats, ‘Fake News’ Merch, Drawing Outrage: ‘Disturbing’

In an arguably-counterintuitive business decision, the Newseum has apparently reacted to President Donald Trump‘s attacks on the media by incorporating them into their gift shop merchandise. The Newseum is one of the most well-known non-profit museums in Washington D.C., with exhibits focused on the historic evolution of the media and the importance of free speech. The museum incorporates its pro-First Amendment statements into most of their wares, though they’ve also been selling Make America Great Again hats and similar paraphernalia for some time, as a reflection of Donald Trump‘s rise to the presidency. As it were, if you go onto the Newseum’s online store, you might notice that they’re selling “You Are Very Fake News” shirts. As most political observers know, Trump frequently uses the term “fake news” to demean and delegitimize critical reporting on his administration. Poynter’s Daniel Funke reached out to the Newseum with
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Fox Panel Outraged Over Media’s Battles With Trump: ‘It Feels Like a Whiny Slap Fight’

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As President Donald Trump struggled to clarify daughter Ivanka‘s rejection of his “enemy of the people” label for the media, one Fox News panelist said she was simply tired of the fighting. Olympic Media Managing Editor Katie Frates felt there was blame to be shared by both the White House and the press for their rocky relationship, which turned sour long before the election. “The media has done a lot wrong,” she said during a Thursday discussion with host Trish Regan. “The president has also handled things very poorly continuously through the election and through his first year of the presidency.” While Frates said she agreed with Ivanka’s disapproval of Trump’s signature phrase, she also felt the media was at fault. “At the same time, the media is not pulling any punches either,” she added. “Sometimes it feels like a whiny slap fight between the two and Continue reading "Fox Panel Outraged Over Media’s Battles With Trump: ‘It Feels Like a Whiny Slap Fight’"

Trump Weighs in on Ivanka’s Rebuke of His Anti-Media Rhetoric: ‘Fake News’ is ‘Enemy of the People

On Thursday, President Donald Trump responded to First Daughter Ivanka Trump‘s breaking with his previous “media is the enemy of the people” claims and saying the media is not the enemy of the people. Asked by Axios at an event in Washington, Ms. Trump said this: “I’ve certainly received my fair share of reporting on me personally that I know not to be fully accurate, so I have some sensitivity around why people have concerns and gripe, especially when they’re sort of targeted…But no, I do not feel that the media is the enemy of the people.” Ms. Trump’s words were the fodder for a conflict between CNN’s Jim Acosta and White House press secretary earlier today. In addition,  Trump tweeted out this siding with his daughter and adding, “It is the FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the Continue reading "Trump Weighs in on Ivanka’s Rebuke of His Anti-Media Rhetoric: ‘Fake News’ is ‘Enemy of the People"

Sarah Sanders Doubles Down on Weird Lie About Osama Bin Laden’s Phone in the 1990s

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is standing by the bogus story she cited yesterday when she lambasted the media for not being more conscientious about their reporting. When Sanders lectured the media about reporting responsibly during her latest press briefing, she invoked an old story about U.S. surveillance capabilities that supposedly caused Osama Bin Laden to stop using a bugged satellite phone. As Daily Mail‘s David Martosko and others pointed out yesterday, that story was debunked a long time ago. Later in the day, Sanders doubled down on the story’s veracity while attacking CNN’s fact-checking.

Morning Joe Blasts Sarah Sanders Post-Trump Rally Press Briefing: ‘Pure Conspiracy, Pizzagate Nonsense’

On Thursday, Morning Joe started off with the Robert Mueller investigation and Donald Trump‘s tweets about it that caused a firestorm on Wednesday. To open the show, they showed clips of Sarah Sanders saying in her press briefing on Wednesday that the president was just venting his opinion by tweet and not really making any suggestion, followed by a clip of former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer saying that Trump tweets are official public statements. Joe Scarborough then, in the clipped portion above, brought up another moment from the briefing, when Sanders, in response to questions about how Trump and his supporters at rallies treat the press, told an apocryphal tale about reporters undermining the search for Osama bin Laden. “Then speaking of fake news, you have Sarah Huckabee Sanders pushing a lie,” he said. “The fake news about some report on Osama bin Laden and how the press
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