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Daily Archives: November 14, 2017

Lateral Reading: Reading Less and Learning More When Evaluating Digital Information

Wineburg, Sam and McGrew, Sarah, Lateral Reading: Reading Less and Learning More When Evaluating Digital Information (October 6, 2017). Stanford History Education Group Working Paper No. 2017-A1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3048994

“The Internet has democratized access to information but in so doing has opened the floodgates to misinformation, fake news, and rank propaganda masquerading as dispassionate analysis. To investigate how people determine the credibility of digital information, we sampled 45 individuals: 10 Ph.D. historians, 10 professional fact checkers, and 25 Stanford University undergraduates. We observed them as they evaluated live websites and searched for information on social and political issues. Historians and students often fell victim to easily manipulated features of websites, such as official-looking logos and domain names. They read vertically, staying within a website to evaluate its reliability. In contrast, fact checkers read laterally, leaving a site after a quick scan and opening up new browser tabs in order to judge the credibility of the original site. Compared to the other groups, fact checkers arrived at more warranted conclusions in a fraction of the time. We contrast insights gleaned from the fact checkers’ practices with common approaches to teaching web credibility.”

Do Facebook and Google have control of their algorithms anymore? A sobering assessment and a warning

Poynter – Melody Kramer: “If you searched Google immediately after the recent mass shooting in Texas for information on the gunman, you would have seen what Justin Hendrix, the head of the NYC Media Lab, called a “misinformation gutter.” A spokesperson for Google later gave a statement to Gizmodo that placed blame squarely on an… Continue Reading

American Press Institute – Time to reinvent social media in newsrooms

“…But as this report will detail, social media teams, on the front lines of both issues, still are largely doing what they’ve done for a decade. A new API survey of 59 U.S. newsrooms conducted for this report shows that posting links to their own content, mostly on Twitter and Facebook, is still by far… Continue Reading

New Google feature to help evaluate publisher content

Google Blog: “As tens of thousands of publishers of all sizes push out content every day, chances are you’ve come across a publication you’re not familiar with or one you wanted to learn more about. To help in this situation, publisher Knowledge Panels on Google will now show the topics the publisher commonly covers, major… Continue Reading

Politico – Police agencies are the most male-dominated part of the federal government

“Despite expanding rapidly over the past two decades, federal law enforcement agencies remain almost as male-dominated as they were during the Clinton administration, according to a new POLITICO survey — the first to assess the gender gap in federal law enforcement in nearly a decade. In 1996, women held about 14 percent of the country’s… Continue Reading

Common Abbreviations and Legal Citation Examples for Selected Federal Government Documents

Via LLSDC Common Abbreviations and Legal Citation Examples for Selected Federal Government Documents: Legislative, Regulatory and Statutory (2017, 6 p. – PDF) [h/t/ Rick McKinney] Continue Reading

Can Congress Limit the President’s Power to Launch Nuclear Weapons?

Do you ever think…I sure am grateful for the experts at CRS who are regularly providing top notch, comprehensive, accurate, timely subject matter specific research on demand to Congress (that is still not available directly to the public). Every week as we are reading (and/or listening to) news pertaining to critical issues that impact our… Continue Reading

New Firefox Quantum is faster, more streamlined, new features

I have used Firefox as my primary browser for many years now, and welcome Quantum’s new design, added speed, and new features that facilitate faster, more efficient browsing and applications integration. Continue Reading

The Secret Correspondence Between Donald Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks

The Atlantic- The transparency organization asked the president’s son for his cooperation—in sharing its work, in contesting the results of the election, and in arranging for Julian Assange to be Australia’s ambassador to the United States. “…The messages, obtained by The Atlantic, were also turned over by Trump Jr.’s lawyers to congressional investigators. They are… Continue Reading

Report – Manipulating Social Media to Undermine Democracy

Freedom House – Freedom of the Net 2017: “Governments around the world have dramatically increased their efforts to manipulate information on social media over the past year. The Chinese and Russian regimes pioneered the use of surreptitious methods to distort online discussions and suppress dissent more than a decade ago, but the practice has since… Continue Reading