Fake news is a problem, everybody knows that. When technology helps bad actors spread lies and sow discord, it’s bad for democracy, which relies on citizens making considered judgments at the polls. It’s also a boon to authoritarians, who can stamp out criticism and bury unfavorable news by creating confusion about what’s true and what’s false.
The more interesting question is, what kind of problem is it?…
Two recent data points offer some hope. Last week, we wrote about big social media companies’ decisions to ban the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, the latest sign that the big websites where fake news often spreads are becoming more engaged with the problem. Less well publicized was the fact that DARPA, the Pentagon’s research and development arm, has been making progress in developing tools that can detect so-called “deepfakes,” the ultra-realistic fake audio and video created using artificial intelligence that some people worry could unleash a torrent of politically-motivated fakery.
Part of the problem with fake news is that people tend to believe what they want to believe – technology won’t solve that. But with industry and government both now paying closer attention, maybe, just maybe, technology can make the problem more manageable.
Wonder what might affect the levels of “ignorant” and “gullible” in the United States?
One thought on “FAKE NEWS IS MORE SPAM THAN CYBER”
“On August 27, the official Twitter account of the Russian Embassy in South Africa tweeted a photo of what appears to be actors on a film set. This image accompanied a claim that “English-speaking foreign specialists” had arrived in Syria to stage a chlorine chemical attack in Hama province.” https://www.polygraph.info/a/fact-check-russian-embassy-tweets-misleading-photo-about-syria-/29458058.html “The photo does indeed show a film set, but not “foreign specialists.” In fact, the photo is of the set of Revolution Man, a film produced by Syrian state media. The film’s plot involves a journalist who goes to Syria to take award-winning photos, but, having failed to do so, resorts to staging a chemical attack. In other words, it is a propaganda film which makes the same allegations that the Syrian government and its Russian allies have made after numerous real chemical attacks.” [Polygraph.info is a produced by Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty]