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College students create plug-in to battle fake news

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posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 07:04 AM
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What is fake news and how would one define it in such a way that you could identify it logically? That's the question I'm left with after reading this article.

It is a hackathon that took place to find ways to filter fake news. Here is the goal:


That team competed against others to win a challenge from Yale's Poynter Fellowship in Journalism, which asked students to find a way to counter fake news.

The team's software, designed as an extension for Google's Chrome browser, will display a warning screen when someone enters a site known to disseminate fake news. It also will alert a reader if a story shared on social media is fake or biased.

But it does much more than just warn.


My problem is that while it says "find a way to counter fake news", it doesn't say what fake news is. But, there must be some underlying understanding because the winning team makes this statement:


"So let's say there is an article that is very pro-Trump on a topic," An said. "We would then try to give you something more left of center. We can go out and find for you that alternative article."

The extension also collects browsing data and can show a user a graph that indicates whether they have been reading stories from just one side of a political spectrum. It curates a news feed for that user, showing alternative stories to the ones they have been reading.


I see this as an attempt to make sure if you read an article supporting a right-leaning topic (fake or not) you will get an alternate article leaning left (fake or not). In the end, the original goal is not met. I'm going to say that today's journalists and professors are pushing the idea that right means fake.

What inspired me to post this is the last line of the article which reads:

"The solution is not to just tell people if something is fake or not," said Cui. "The solution is to develop a kind of a news auto-immune system."

So there you go! It has nothing to do with fake news. It's all about silencing debate. I am so disappointed in what constitutes journalism these days and why I get more out of ATS than most other sources. At least here, we get a lot of differing opinions.

Let's hear your opinion on this topic!



edit on 12-26-2017 by LogicalGraphitti because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 07:16 AM
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a reply to: LogicalGraphitti




"So let's say there is an article that is very pro-Trump on a topic," An said. "We would then try to give you something more left of center. We can go out and find for you that alternative article."


Wait what?!
That is fake news?

Oh, I get it - by "real news" they mean "something that does not counter or challenge my notions of correctness".

(Seriously, these are the guys that won?)



posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 07:18 AM
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a reply to: DupontDeux
Yup, but I'm betting that's what all the students were told. If not literally then by innuendo.



posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 07:23 AM
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To these people "fake news" is anything not from a liberal news source. Typical.



posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 07:25 AM
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a reply to: LogicalGraphitti

Here's 3 headlines from Fox News and why it is fake news:

1. Trump predicts mandate repeal will kill ObamaCare, spur replacement plan

Thinking about the future is not news. This is just a hook to get better ratings.

2. Trump, Sanders clash on Twitter over new tax law

The law has already passed. Who cares what Sanders thinks.

3. Rosie O'Donnell tells Paul Ryan he's going 'straight to hell'

Speculation about who is going to hell is not news.

Years ago there was a newspaper you could buy in the grocery store called "The National Enquirer". Our news outlets are just the National Enquirer in video form.


edit on 26-12-2017 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 07:28 AM
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originally posted by: IridiumFlareMadness
To these people "fake news" is anything not from a liberal news source. Typical.
Pretty much, thats how conditioned these people are.



posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 07:30 AM
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originally posted by: Arnie123

originally posted by: IridiumFlareMadness
To these people "fake news" is anything not from a liberal news source. Typical.
Pretty much, thats how conditioned these people are.


"these people", hate much?



posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 07:32 AM
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Seems like the worst plugin ever. I fully expect it to be slammed on the review page.



posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 07:35 AM
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originally posted by: IridiumFlareMadness
To these people "fake news" is anything not from a liberal news source. Typical.


You could easily have liberal fake news. "Trump wants to get rid of social security", "Trump want's poor people to die", "Trump want's illegals to suffer". All you need for fake news is some kind hook with 1/2 truth that gets people angry so they click on the click-bait.



posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 07:35 AM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015
a reply to: LogicalGraphitti

Here's 3 headlines from Fox News and why it is fake news:

1. Trump predicts mandate repeal will kill ObamaCare, spur replacement plan

Thinking about the future is not news. This is just a hook to get better ratings.

2. Trump, Sanders clash on Twitter over new tax law

The law has already passed. Who cares what Sanders thinks.

3. Rosie O'Donnell tells Paul Ryan he's going 'straight to hell'

Speculation about who is going to hell is not news.

Years ago there was a newspaper you could buy in the grocery store called "The National Enquirer". Our news outlets are just the National Enquirer in video form.


I didn't say fake news doesn't exist. It surely does but a browser plug-in isn't going to be able to decide. The students have been manipulated into thinking they're doing something productive. Here's another quote from the article:


The plug-in uses existing sentiment analysis technology to analyze any story that might appear in a newsfeed, identifying the major players and any political slant. It then can suggest to the reader other stories on the same topic that have an alternate viewpoint.

The plug-in would probably go nut's parsing ATS.



posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 07:37 AM
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a reply to: dfnj2015



Thinking about the future is not news. This is just a hook to get better ratings.

When the MSM tells us that the new tax bill will increase the national debt by however many trillion dollars.... aren't they doing the same thing?

Factor in that they conveniently forget to remind their audience that the last POTUS increased the debt by 10 trillion dollars.... yeah fake news.

edit on b000000312017-12-26T07:38:06-06:0007America/ChicagoTue, 26 Dec 2017 07:38:06 -0600700000017 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 07:57 AM
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www.w3newspapers.com...

There is also RT, blogs and deep web which are immune to bots and AI.
Maybe the WAN boom and the passing of Halley's Comet wasn't a coincidence?
edit on 26-12-2017 by Cauliflower because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 08:44 AM
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a reply to: dfnj2015


The weather is news, and sometimes the lead story. Weather forecasts are all about speculation and opinion.

Therefore, I would state, that your arguement of speculation and opinion are not news to be incorrect.



posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 08:59 AM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015
a reply to: LogicalGraphitti

Here's 3 headlines from Fox News and why it is fake news:

1. Trump predicts mandate repeal will kill ObamaCare, spur replacement plan

Thinking about the future is not news. This is just a hook to get better ratings.

2. Trump, Sanders clash on Twitter over new tax law

The law has already passed. Who cares what Sanders thinks.

3. Rosie O'Donnell tells Paul Ryan he's going 'straight to hell'

Speculation about who is going to hell is not news.

Years ago there was a newspaper you could buy in the grocery store called "The National Enquirer". Our news outlets are just the National Enquirer in video form.



I see you're struggling with the meaning of the word "fake".

Trump speculating on the future of Omamacare isn't fake. If he had never said any such thing and a news outlet claimed he did anyway... that would be fake news.

Likewise, Trump and Sanders DID clash on Twitter over the tax bill.

Rosie O'Donnell DID tell Paul Ryan that he's going straight to hell.

You may find these things to be less than "newsworthy", but that doesn't make them fake.

You tend to do the same thing with the term "alt-right". It had a very specific meaning when you all first started tossing it around, but now you use it to refer to anything right-wing or conservative.


edit on 26-12-2017 by Bone75 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 09:04 AM
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This is guaranteed not to give a warning on CNN MSNBC etc, it would be used with Soros money to attack for the Left.



posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 09:14 AM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015

Years ago there was a newspaper you could buy in the grocery store called "The National Enquirer". Our news outlets are just the National Enquirer in video form.


Yeah but......if it weren’t for the “heads-up” coming from the National Enquirer, I seriously doubt that Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith would have been anywhere near as successful at catching all those pesky aliens.
edit on 26-12-2017 by Flatfish because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 09:23 AM
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I would think the key would be to develop an algorithm that determines whether a writing is subjective or objective. Objective writing is conveying the facts and observations about something. Subjective writing is conveying personal opinions, and emotional responses about something. For obvious reasons objective report is factual and subjective reporting is fake.



posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 09:25 AM
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originally posted by: butcherguy
a reply to: dfnj2015



Thinking about the future is not news. This is just a hook to get better ratings.

When the MSM tells us that the new tax bill will increase the national debt by however many trillion dollars.... aren't they doing the same thing?


Yes if the bill wasn't scored by the Congresssional Budget Office. The last 2 times we had tax cuts for the rich trickle down economics did not work. Poverty increased and wages were stagnant. I can't disagree with your opinion that THIS time trickle down economics is going to work even though I have no reason to think why it might. But it is certainly possible.

So it is the same if MSM says would increase the national debt just on opinion. But it is NOT the same if MSM is reporting how the CBO scored the bill.


originally posted by: butcherguy
Factor in that they conveniently forget to remind their audience that the last POTUS increased the debt by 10 trillion dollars.... yeah fake news.


Everyone is fully aware the debt increased under Obama. The problem with people like you is you do not understand why. There is no bill signed into law by Obama that caused the debt increase. All the safety net programs automatically increased the debt. All those programs were created by previous presidents. And the debt would not have ballooned if GWB administration did not destroy the economy in 2008 by not regulating sub-prime mortgage because of ideological reasons. Here Greenspan admits his right wing ideology destroyed the economy:



"You had the authority to prevent irresponsible lending practices that led to the subprime mortgage crisis. You were advised to do so by many others," said Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, chairman of the committee. "Do you feel that your ideology pushed you to make decisions that you wish you had not made?"

Mr. Greenspan conceded: "Yes, I've found a flaw. I don't know how significant or permanent it is. But I've been very distressed by that fact."


It's nice to know Greenspan was "distressed".

The economy was losing 8 million jobs per month in 2008. If GWB did not screw up so bad the black guy would never have been president in the first place.

I would argue the debt creating under Obama was not his fault. I would go further and say Obama was the least effective president in my lifetime. He accomplished nothing. The ACA is a joke and a Republican bill. Obama could not even get a single payer healthcare system in place. The Obama presidency was a complete and total failure because it did NOTHING.



posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 09:30 AM
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originally posted by: eManym
I would think the key would be to develop an algorithm that determines whether a writing is subjective or objective. Objective writing is conveying the facts and observations about something. Subjective writing is conveying personal opinions, and emotional responses about something. For obvious reasons objective report is factual and subjective reporting is fake.


I imagine the algorithm would be just based on metadata about the site. The idea that a computer algorithm would be capable of having subjective opinions about subjective opinions is pretty far fetched. Computer programs are pretty stupid and only ever do exactly what they are programmed to do.



posted on Dec, 26 2017 @ 09:38 AM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015

Everyone is fully aware the debt increased under Obama. The problem with people like you is you do not understand why. There is no bill signed into law by Obama that caused the debt increase. All the safety net programs automatically increased the debt. All those programs were created by previous presidents. And the debt would not have ballooned if GWB administration did not destroy the economy in 2008 by not regulating sub-prime mortgage because of ideological reasons.


You're both wrong. The rapid increase in the national debt is the result of our personal debt quadrupling over the last 9 years.



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