In his keynote at a PLA Convention a few years ago, Pew’s Director of Internet and Technology research Lee Rainie talked about the trust the public places in libraries, and the value people see in having librarians as part of their social networks. We are seen as lifelong learners and gatekeepers of facts, so we’re the ones who comment on their social media posts with links to Snopes.com and other fact-checking sources. (I think of it as the modern “shush.”)
“Trustworthiness” is increasingly a desirable brand trait, and the social media platforms that bear much of the responsibility for the easy spread of misinformation are starting to step up. Several announcements were made this week of new initiatives to fight the influence (and real-world harm) of “fake news.”
- YouTube to fight fake news with links to real news and context [Ars Technica] “When users search for videos about a big event or a breaking news story, a snippet of a published article from a third-party news source will appear at the top of the search results. Users can click the link to the full article to get more details on the story, and YouTube will remind users that the story may be ‘still developing’ before it displays the video search results.”
- WhatsApp now labels forwarded messages to fight fake news in India [Engadget] “It’s gotten so bad that false accusations of child trafficking and organ harvesting have riled folks into mob violence that’s killed 12 people.”
- Twitter is sweeping out fake accounts like never before, putting user growth at risk [Washington Post] “Twitter’s growing campaign against bots and trolls — coming despite the risk to the company’s user growth — is part of the continuing fallout from Russia’s disinformation offensive during the 2016 presidential campaign.”
- Fake News: Could A New Online Rating System Help Fight Misinformation? [Forbes] “The source rating tool was effective across the political spectrum and helped people identify accurate and inaccurate information: people were more likely to see news stories with a green trust cue as accurate, and those with a red cue as inaccurate.”
From the Ohio Web Library:
- DiLascio-Martinuk, Tracey M. “Fake News: Overview.” Points of View: Fake News, Nov. 2017, p. 1.
- Burkhardt, Joanna M. “Chapter 1: History of Fake News.” Library Technology Reports, vol. 53, no. 8, Nov/Dec2017, p. 5.
- Klein, David O. and Joshua R. Wueller. “Fake News: A Legal Perspective.” Journal of Internet Law, vol. 20, no. 10, Apr. 2017, pp. 1-13.