After a rocky reception, Le Monde’s Décodex is almost a year into fighting intox (fake news) in France

On Wednesday, when Donald Trump retweeted three unverified anti-Muslim videos from the leader of a British far-right extremist group, Le Monde was on the case: It posted a debunk of the videos, with context and background. These quick debunks are just one part of how Le Monde is getting fact-checks out to its readers. It started developing Décodex, a suite of public-facing fact-checking tools, two years ago, and launched it in January as part of Les Décodeurs, the fact-checking section of its website The response to the new project, coming out amidst the controversial French presidential election campaign, was…not warm. “We had lots of critics — we were called the cops, the police, stuff like that,” said Samuel Laurent, deputy editor of Le Monde and head of Les Décodeurs. “We survived, and now more people are using it and thinking it was a good idea, and understand
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At this EU-supported online outlet for young Europeans, its readers are also its writers and translators

Twenty-four official languages are spoken in the European Union. Cafébabel dreams of a being a place that unites many of them. Its articles — most of which are available to read in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Polish, plus sometimes even more languages where relevant — inhabit a Europe where young Italians might care about a climate policy issue in Portugal, young Spaniards might be interested in an up-and-coming artist from Switzerland, and all young Europeans might care about the future protections of whistleblowers on a continental level. (Not Nigel Farage’s Europe, in other words.) Self-styled as an online “participatory” magazine, Cafébabel publishes stories about the intersection of life and culture and politics in six languages, powered mostly by communities of volunteer, unpaid writers, translators, photographers, and videographers across cities in Europe, and edited by a small central staff fluent in multiple languages in its Paris headquarters. (Though
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“Checking Twitter…while being rushed into a bunker”: Considering fake news and nuclear war

Coming soon: The Disinformation Action Lab. Part of a group of Knight grants announced last week: The Data & Society Research Institute is getting $250,000 to launch the Disinformation Action Lab, which will “use research to explore issues such as: how fake news narratives propagate; how to detect coordinated social media campaigns; and how to limit adversaries who are deliberately spreading misinformation. To understand where online manipulation is headed, it will analyze the technology and tactics being used by players at the international and domestic level.” It continues the work of Data & Society’s Media Manipulation initiative (one of whose reports I covered here). The details of the Disinformation Action Lab — including who will be hired to lead it — are still being worked out, said Sam Hinds García, Data & Society’s director of communications. The publication of the May report “opened the door for Continue reading "“Checking Twitter…while being rushed into a bunker”: Considering fake news and nuclear war"

The future of news (and far beyond), according to Scandinavian media giant Schibsted’s latest trends report

‘Tis the season for trend reports. The Scandinavian media giant Schibsted’s annual trends report — part predictions, part survey research, part self-promotion — is out today, free for anyone interested. The report features essays on everything from the promise and pitfalls of artificial intelligence to sustainability to the future of bicycles as a consistent mode of transportation, as well as a survey of millennials in France, Spain, and Sweden on their concerns about their digital footprint. (It’s also a useful document to browse in case you’re wondering what a 7,000-employee media company considers the most important new focus areas for its business in the coming years.) Here are a few interesting points from the report to note. — Svenska Dagbladet, Schibsted’s Stockholm-based daily newspaper, is designing a ratings system for the relative newsworthiness of each piece of news it publishes. An algorithm, trained on that data, is helping Continue reading "The future of news (and far beyond), according to Scandinavian media giant Schibsted’s latest trends report"

The scale of misinformation online is global. First Draft is pushing for more collaboration — and more research — as an antidote

We live in a world where a man from North Carolina was inspired to drive to a D.C. pizza shop with an assault-style rifle to investigate what he believed to be a child sex ring that ultimately linked back to Hillary Clinton, based on a conspiracy theory It’s a world where hoaxes that lead to real-life tragedies spread at an exponential pace from person to person on messaging apps like WhatsApp, and the platforms themselves by design can’t know the content of what’s being spread within these closed networks. It’s a world where, since coming into office, the president of the United States has thrown out the term “fake news” hundreds of times to refer to an array of non-Fox News news organizations and reports he doesn’t like. Current news coverage has been overwhelmingly focused on the intentionally-faked-news-articles aspect of the online news and information ecosystem. It’s been focused
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Hack the Radio, a French startup, aims to liberate podcasts by streaming audio from a chatbot

People who subscribe to dozens of podcasts may forget that there is indeed a podcast learning curve. For people who’ve never listened to podcasts before, the technology may feel like enough of a hurdle to to induce them to skip them all together. Meanwhile, those who do subscribe to a lot of podcasts know how long that list of unheard episodes can get, coming to seem as unmanageable as an overflowing email inbox. The French startup Hack the Radio tries to tackle both these problems. On the one hand, it hopes to make podcast listening less intimidating for newbies. (Sixty-one percent of French people have never listened to a podcast, according to research done for Audible earlier this year. The figure is similar in the United States, where 60 percent of people ages 12 and older have never listened to a podcast.) On the other hand, it aims to Continue reading "Hack the Radio, a French startup, aims to liberate podcasts by streaming audio from a chatbot"