37 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2019
    1. There are three major web searchable archives in the U.S.: Google’s Historical Newspapers: news.google.com/newspapers Newspapers.com: newspapers.com Newsbank’s Newspaper Archive: newspaperarchive.com

      Useful tool.

    1. Promoted tweets aren’t necessarily untrue, but they should be treated the way one would treat a commercial.

      Good advice. Here the agenda of the organization is definitely of primary concern.

    1. To avoid confirmation bias in searches: Avoid asking questions that imply a certain answer. If I ask “Did the Holocaust happen?,” for example, I am implying that it is likely that the Holocaust was faked. If you want information on the Holocaust, sometimes it’s better just to start with a simple noun search, e.g. “Holocaust,” and read summaries that show how we know what happened. Avoid using terms that imply a certain answer. As an example, if you query “Women 72 cents on the dollar” you’ll likely get articles that tell you women make 72 cents on the dollar. But is you search for “Women 80 cents on the dollar” you’ll get articles that say women make 80 cents on the dollar. Searching for general articles on the “wage gap”  might be a better choice. Avoid culturally loaded terms. As an example, the term “black-on-white crime” is term used by white supremacist groups, but is not a term generally used by sociologists. As such, if you put that term into the Google search bar, you are going to get some sites that will carry the perspective of white supremacist sites, and be lousy sources of serious sociological analysis. Plan to reformulate. Think carefully about what constitutes an authoritative source before you search. Once you search you’ll find you have an irrepressible urge to click into the top results. If you can, think of what sorts of sources and information you would like to see in the results before you search. If you don’t see those in the results, fight the impulse to click on forward, and reformulate your search. Scan results for better terms. Maybe your first question about whether the holocaust happened turned up a lousy result set in general but did pop up a Wikipedia article on Holocaust denialism. Use that term to make a better search for what you actually want to know.

      Good tips to consider when searching.

    1. the Google panel (“one true answer”)

      I bet asking Alexa (or Google Home) questions can often return these suspicious answers also.

    2. Google‘s panels, however, are oblivious to this kind of complexity and present a simple numerical answer where no simple answer actually exists.

      Maybe this answer is a little oversimplified, but I feel like most people who will be asking that question will be looking for the answer that Google gives, asking about the "original" 12 apostles listed in the canonical gospels.

    1.  Internet Archive‘s TV News Archive

      Another good resource. Someone should do this for online videos that aren't just news too. It would be great to be able to search for videos based on the words they contain. I guess that songs, movies, and TV shows are already available though, so maybe it wouldn't be as useful as I think.

    1. The Wayback Machine doesn’t archive every page, but they do archive an awful lot of them. Whether a page is archived will often depend on if a page was heavily linked to in the past, or if it was published by a site that the Wayback Machine tracks. In the case of the White House, of course, both these things are true and we have a near perfect history of the site.

      That's pretty awesome! I've never heard of this before.

    1. newspapers of record

      I wonder if I could somehow apply this to my yearbook students... Make it important for us to be a publication "of record".

    2. it is certainly the case that high profile failings such as these have eroded faith in the press more generally, and, for some, created the impression that there really is no difference between the New York Times, the Springfield Herald, and your neighbor’s political Facebook page.

      I've certainly been eroded. It's interesting that this happens on a national level too, and not just individually.

    1. Again, we cannot stress enough: you should read things by people with political agendas. It’s an important part of your news diet.

      I suppose this is probably true, but it's important to view anything by someone with an agenda (everyone?) with that discerning filter in place and not necessarily take it at face value.

    2. Bias is about how people see things; agenda is about what the news source is set up to do.

      This is a good distinction. I usually lump these together in my mind I think, even though they shouldn't be.

    1. I think I might need some teaching/training/research into the different kinds of biases. I know I've headed down that rabbit-hole before and gotten all turned around, but maybe I'd be more ready to differentiate between them now...

    1. there is a strong consensus that alcohol consumption predicts cancer.

      Oh NO! Now I have to give up that nightly glass of wine!

    1. As such, studies that are consistent with previous research are often more trustworthy than those that have surprising or unexpected results. This runs counter to the narrative promoted by the press: “news,” after all, favors what is new and different.

      And this is why it's difficult to trust news. It seems to me that the writing is always trying to be engaging more than it is trying to be factual.

    1. At the bottom of each result we see how many times each article he is associated with is cited.

      Ah, and here's the answer to my earlier question: "How do we know how many times someone has cited this article?"

    1. We take as our premise that information is abundant and time is scarce. As such, it’s better to err on the side of moving onto the next article than to invest time in an article that displays warning signs regarding either expertise or accuracy.

      Absolutely! I can't agree with this statement emphatically enough.

    1. If a peer-reviewed journal has a large following of experts, that provides even more eyes on the article, and more chances to spot flaws.

      Yeah, I can accept this for the moment. It makes sense that a larger pool of experts reviewing a publication the more reliable it should be. But, how do we determine "expertise" and what says that the experts won't have the similar biases to each other and thereby create bias in the articles/publications as a whole? Above, large professional media groups NY Times, WS Journal and USA Today are all cited as having some bias, so what's to stop a bias happening in a peer-reviewed publication?

    2. the trustworthy publications are the ones saying things that are correct, and we define “correct” as what we believe to be true. A moment’s reflection will show the flaw in this way of thinking.

      Not sure I agree with this... I guess all the author is trying to say is that we are more inclined to see truth in something if we already support it, rather than if we need convincing, and I guess I can go there for the sake of this page.

      If people are so concerned with universal truth, maybe they shouldn't be searching for it on the internet.

    1. They also look at pages linking to the site, not just pages coming from it.

      I'm not sure how to do that...but maybe it will tell us in the next few pages.

    1. in a sea of spin and fakery

      Ugh, this is exactly the problem. I pretty much always discount internet news because I assume it's biased and attempting to be inflammatory in order to promote itself. (Actually, I suppose this is how I feel about all news, so I suppose it's good to have this ability to at least somewhat check internet news, where I really have no recourse to verify print or traditional broadcast news.

    1. So we have questions.

      Me too! Logically, this picture doesn't add up. The Google reverse image search is a cool function that I didn't even know existed until this class. It's so easy to use most of these fact-checking tools, but I've been ignorant of their existence until now!

    1. So that’s it. It’s part of a parking revenge meme that dates back at least four years, and was popularized by Reddit. This particular one was shot by Matthew Mills in Biddeford, Maine, who was not the one who circled the carts. And it became viral through the reshare provided by a local Maine news station.

      While this is all good information about how to find out the truth of the photo/news, in this particular instance (and many others like it) I feel like it doesn't really matter who actually did this or whether it was Portland, OR or Portland, ME because its supposed to be a funny universal commentary on parking revenge, which is "true" everywhere.

    1. This is good internet citizenship. Articles on the web that repurpose other information or artifacts should state their sources, and, if appropriate, link to them. This matters to creators, because they deserve credit for their work. But it also matters to readers who need to check the credibility of the original sources.

      I like the idea that source citing is important for readers as well as content creators.

    1. the New York Times only pays the Associated Press to show them on the site for a few weeks.

      Huh. I'm a little familiar with the idea of syndication in print news, but I guess I never thought about the fact that the AP articles would only be "leased" for a certain amount of time on the website.

    1. After you’ve ranked the websites, answer these questions: Did the ranking surprise you at all? What do you think the quantity of sponsored content indicates about a website? How does this change your perspective on these websites’ reliability? Why would some websites have more sponsored content than others?
      1. After doing the first one and counting 127, I decided that I didn't want to take the time to go through all of them. I am surprised a little at the actual volume of ads, although that one seems even more outrageous than usual and was probably picked because of it.
      2. Quantity of ads probably indicates the number of deals the company producing the site can make with commercial enterprises, which in turn will be influenced by the popularity of the site (data on number of visits, clicks, etc...)
      3. Having SO MANY ads on a site makes me question the impartiality of a news site. How can news be unbiased if it is funded by commercial interests.
      4. See the answer for question 2.
    2. http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/10/politics/russia-dossier-update/index.html

      I count 127 individual ad links on this one, not including the "CNN underscored" links (those were lumped in with other CNN stories I considered legit, but seemed pretty strongly associated with some commercial aspect like Amazon Prime Day).

    1. It’s what we call “reporting on reporting.” There’s no point in evaluating the Blaze’s page.

      This makes such logical sense, but I feel like people often fail to act on it because they aren't interested enough to take the time to "go upstream."

    1. If you can find a claim expressed in a Wikipedia article, you can almost always follow the footnote on the claim to a reliable source.

      I haven't used this very much, but the few times I have it has proven invaluable.

    2. Wikipedia is broadly misunderstood by faculty and students alike. While Wikipedia must be approached with caution, especially with articles that are covering contentious subjects or evolving events, it is often the best source to get a consensus viewpoint on a subject. Because the Wikipedia community has strict rules about sourcing facts to reliable sources, and because authors must adopt a neutral point of view, its articles are often the best available introduction to a subject on the web.

      Yeah, it really feels like Wikipedia is the web-embodiment of the idea that individually we are pretty naive and ignorant, but collectively we can be savvy and intelligent.

    1. Politifact Factcheck.org Washington Post Fact Checker Snopes Truth be Told NPR Fact-Check Lie Detector (Univision, Spanish language) Hoax Slayer

      Nice! I'll be bookmarking these...

    1. try these moves in sequence

      That's refreshingly simple. I am so used to hearing strategies organized like this that say "Start anywhere and if it doesn't work, try one of the other options" but without giving any particular order.

    1. Much web literacy I’ve seen either asks students to look at web pages and think about them, or teaches them to publish and produce things on the web.

      True, true. And I'm probably as guilty as any teacher in this, especially of the second part...