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Reflection & Synthesis on Truthiness

I’d like to clus­ter my thoughts and struc­ture them into four cat­e­gories. One is what I will call foun­da­tion­al issues. Second, a few words and obser­va­tions regard­ing meth­ods. Third, a few areas of appli­ca­tion that we touched upon this morn­ing, and maybe also high­light­ing one or two that we haven’t talked so much about but that I think are increas­ing­ly impor­tant. And then final­ly also as a segue to the fol­low­ing ses­sions, a few words about poten­tial points of inter­ven­tion.

Ethan Zuckerman on Truthiness

When you’re look­ing at some­thing as big as these ques­tions of ver­i­fi­a­bil­i­ty, truth, truthi­ness, dis­in­for­ma­tion, so on and so forth, I find myself now try­ing to pick apart the ques­tions we talked about this morn­ing from the per­spec­tive of tractabil­i­ty. So let me use that to sort of frame a cou­ple of the con­ver­sa­tions we’ve had and then a cou­ple of things that haven’t come up, and then see if I can sort of push us for­ward a lit­tle bit into where we go this after­noon.

Inflection Point on Truthiness

Well I believe there is a truth we share. I think it’s our sense of jus­tice. I think of the great Paul Newman depic­tion in The Verdict, his clos­ing argu­ment when he speaks to the jury and says, You are the law. I believe there is jus­tice in our hearts.” So the truth, the ver­dict. Vera dic­tos, speak the truth. That’s what juries are told to do.

Biases Abound

I’ve expe­ri­enced first hand the chal­lenges of try­ing to cor­rect mis­in­for­ma­tion, and in part my aca­d­e­m­ic research builds on that expe­ri­ence and tries under­stand why it was that so much of what we did at Spinsanity antag­o­nized even those peo­ple who were inter­est­ed enough to go to a fact-checking web site.

The Science of Why We Deny Science and Reality

What is it about our brains that makes facts so chal­leng­ing, so odd and threat­en­ing? Why do we some­times dou­ble down on false beliefs? And maybe why do some of us do it more than oth­ers?

Kai Wright on Elusive Objectivity

I actu­al­ly come at this with a set of ques­tions for folks here. Because before we get to the action ques­tion I have ques­tions about the broad­er prob­lem, right. So when we’re talk­ing about truth and truthi­ness and in media, I think we first have to ask whose truth mat­ters, and what are its bound­aries.

Tim Hwang on New Media 360

We iden­ti­fied a group of users on Twitter and we said as a cod­ing chal­lenge, like social bat­tle­bots, write a bot that will embed itself in this net­work and we will score you based on how well these bots are able to achieve some kind of social change, either in the pat­tern of con­nec­tions between peo­ple or in the things that peo­ple talk about.

Filippo Menczer on Truthy Tweeting

I’m here to tell you lit­tle bit about a few exam­ples of truthy memes that we’ve uncov­ered with the sys­tem that we have online. It’s a web site where we track memes com­ing out of Twitter and we try to see if we could spot some sig­na­tures based on the net­works of who retweets what, basi­cal­ly, and who men­tions whom.

Melanie Sloan on New Media 360

As Executive Director of each of these orga­ni­za­tions what Mr. Berman does is he con­tracts with his own pub­lic rela­tions firm, Berman and Company. And all of the staff of Berman and Company then serve as the staff of these dif­fer­ent orga­ni­za­tions, and they will often have very dif­fer­ent titles in all of these dif­fer­ent orga­ni­za­tions but it’s the same group of about four peo­ple.

Money, Power, and the Networked Public Sphere

Bill Keller ends his sto­ry in the end in The New York Times Magazine as, If Assange were an under­stat­ed pro­fes­so­r­i­al type rather than a char­ac­ter from a miss­ing Stieg Larsson nov­el, and if WikiLeaks were not suf­fused with such glib antipa­thy toward the US, would the reac­tion to the leaks be quite so fero­cious?”

Good ques­tion. Who’s respon­si­ble? Half an arti­cle before, Keller says, I came to think of Julian Assange as a char­ac­ter from a Stieg Larsson movie.

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