Midnight In The Desert — fake news

How to Spot a Fake Video

Posted by K R on

How to Spot a Fake Video

Using an increasingly sophisticated method for making fake videos, or “deepfakes,” video editors can realistically face-swap someone into a video. (As our sister site Gizmodo reports, the technology has been especially popular for making fake celebrity porn.) Deepfakes will soon make it hard to tell when a video of a famous figure is real. To demonstrate, BuzzFeed and director Jordan Peele created a “deepfake” of Barack Obama saying things like “President Trump is a total and complete dipshit.” While this isn’t the most convincing deepfake video, it’s enough to fool some people, especially someone watching a low-res copy on a...

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Fake news travels six times faster than the truth on Twitter

Posted by K R on

Fake news travels six times faster than the truth on Twitter

An analysis of news stories tweeted by three million people between 2006 and 2017 shows that fake news spreads significantly more than the truth on social media. Sinan Aral and his colleagues at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) cross-checked the spread of 126,000 stories on Twitter against a database of stories fact-checked by six independent organisations, including Snopes, Politifact and Factcheck. “What we found was scary,” says Aral. “False news travels farther, faster, deeper and more broadly than the truth in every category of information – many times by an order of magnitude.” Truthful tweets took six times as long...

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What UFO 'Encounters' Can Tell Us About Fake News and Climate Change Denial

Posted by K R on

What UFO 'Encounters' Can Tell Us About Fake News and Climate Change Denial

People often mistake Kate Dorsch for someone who studies aliens. But Dorsch actually studies something else. A doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, she’s been researching UFO reports collected by the U.S. government. The Air Force began compiling these accounts during the early stages of the Cold War as part of a program called Project Blue Book. In 1966, it hired the University of Colorado to further investigate stories of alien “encounters” by ordinary Americans. Project Blue Book ended three years later, and the American Philosophical Society eventually archived part of the project in Philadelphia. Three years ago, Dorsch,...

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NBC Fakes the Drone Show at the Opening Ceremony TV Show

Posted by K R on

NBC Fakes the Drone Show at the Opening Ceremony TV Show

An army of high-flying drones expected to light up the sky at the opening ceremony of the Olympics was grounded, the AP reports. Viewers of NBC's tape-delayed broadcast in the US still saw it, but it was a pre-recorded version from a rehearsal. Intel Corp. was expected to launch 300 drones as part of an extravagant light show, but those plans were scrapped. International Olympic Committee spokesperson Mark Adams said Saturday that the drones were not deployed Friday night because of an "impromptu logistical change." NBC aired a light show, but it was from Intel's launching of 1,280 drones in...

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Cognitive Ability and Vulnerability to Fake News

Posted by K R on

Cognitive Ability and Vulnerability to Fake News

“Fake news” is Donald Trump’s favorite catchphrase. Since the election, it has appeared in some 180 tweets by the President, decrying everything from accusations of sexual assault against him to the Russian collusion investigation to reports that he watches up to eight hours of television a day. Trump may just use “fake news” as a rhetorical device to discredit stories he doesn’t like, but there is evidence that real fake news is a serious problem. As one alarming example, an analysis by the internet media company Buzzfeed revealed that during the final three months of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign,...

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