BIG READ April 2023 Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky: Analyzing News: Misinformation

Analyzing News: Avoid Mis/Dis/MalIinformation

As you read current events on social media, be aware that videos and images can be misleading and posted as propaganda. There are different types of biased news

1. Misinformation- false, but not created or shared with the intention to cause harm.

2. Disinformation-deliberately created to mislead, harm, or manipulate a person, social group, organization, or country.

3 Malinformation- based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.

4. DeepFakes --Use of video software to create events that never happened or distort a person's statements for propaganda purposes or discredit public figures for political gain.

According to MIT Technology Review, "The fast-paced online coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine followed a pattern that’s become familiar in other recent crises that have unfolded around the world. Photos, videos, and other information are posted and reshared across platforms much faster than they can be verified. The result is that falsehoods are mistaken for truth and amplified, even by well-intentioned people. This can help bad actors to terrorize innocent civilians or advance disturbing ideologies, causing real harm."

"Disinformation has been a prominent and explicit part of the Russian government’s campaign to justify the invasion. Russia falsely claimed that Ukrainian forces in Donbas, a city in the southeastern part of the country that harbors a large number of pro-Russian separatists, were planning violent attacks, engaging in antagonistic shelling, and committing genocide. Fake videos of those nonexistent attacks became part of a domestic propaganda campaign. Meanwhile, even people who are not part of such government campaigns may intentionally share bad, misleading, or false information about the invasion to promote ideological narratives, or simply to harvest clicks, with little care about the harm they’re causing. In other cases, honest mistakes made amid the fog of war take off and go viral."

"Already, bad information about the Russian invasion has found large audiences on platforms fundamentally designed to promote content that gets engagement. On TikTok, a 2016 video of a training exercise was repurposed to create the false impression that Russian soldiers were parachuting into Ukraine; it was viewed millions of times. A mistranslation of a statement that circulated widely on Twitter, and was shared by journalists, falsely stated that fighting near Chernobyl had disturbed a nuclear waste site (the original statement actually warned that fighting might disturb nuclear waste). Harmful propaganda and misinformation are often inadvertently amplified as people face the firehose of breaking news and interact with viral posts about a terrible event. This guide is for those who want to avoid helping bad actors." 

Read the article for advice on analyzing news, avoiding spreading misinformation, and sharing reliable news. Emily Reed's freely available Fake News and Misinformation Workshop has in-depth coverage of this issue and is highly recommended. 

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