Tag Archive for news

Getting garbage news out of the Facebook feed

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Apparently people are getting fed up with fake news stories in their Facebook feeds. My question is, what will be left if the fake stories disappear? I kid. This is a great idea. I hope they still with it. But I suspect that “fake news” is a bit more complicated than they suggest. News Feed…

BBC gave cranks too much air time (Any is too much)

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Is “false balance” on the way out? We’d all like to think so. BBC staff told to stop inviting cranks on to science programmes. BBC journalists are being sent on courses to stop them inviting so many cranks onto programmes to air ‘marginal views’ The BBC Trust on Thursday published a progress report into the…

Doubtful News’ “Beyond Doubtful” list of no-go-to sources

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The purpose of Doubtful News is to expose questionable claims in stories you find on the internet. Mostly we deal with major news outlets because those are the stories that people will search on to find additional information. We get those searchers who then can see some science-based, rational takes on paranormal, anomalies and alternative…

Did NASA fund controversial study? Not really. Click-bait? A bit.

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A study regarding “the end of civilization” was picked up by many major news outlets who emphasized involvement of NASA. NASA has seen fit to issue a clarifying response to this association. NASA Clarifies Role in New Civilization-Collapse Study | Space.com. NASA officials released this statement on the study today (March 20): “A soon-to-be published…

CNN becoming a tabloid

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USA Today has an opinion piece on CNN’s coverage of the Malaysian airplane mystery. They report that BuzzFeed found that “during one stretch on March 12, CNN spent 256 out of 271 broadcast minutes on the plane.” Overcoverage? Yes. There were plenty of other things going on in the world. Plenty. But, as the piece…

Cryptozoology News — It’s fake

Character from the game My Singing Monsters. It's fictional.

Attention everyone (I’m going to brandish my clue stick and hit you with it today). Cryptozoology has a terrible reputation for hoaxing, exaggeration and rampant speculation. There are also many fictional news outlets that mimic real sites. The site “Cryptozoology News” is at least in most instances, a “poe” site. Cryptozoologic stories about monsters, etc are…

Media magic: Recycled stories float to the surface to ride a new wave

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Today, a tipster sent me this story dated Jan 9, 2014: Student expelled for casting a spell | firstcoastnews.com. Outrageous, right? Indeed. Great story! Except this EXACT story is from the year 2000. You can spot clues in the piece (which quotes the YEAR) even if you don’t remember the made-for-TV movie in 2006 about it.…

Not new Knockout Game is media hype

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I’ve been watching this brew for the last two weeks, waiting for an expose on whether this is actually happening or media hype. Today, many news outlets are finally reporting it as “hype”, not a sudden epidemic. Guess What? The ‘Knockout Game’ Is America’s Latest Phony Panic. Have teenagers adopted a new game of random…

Misinformation in the news continues to prosper because no one complains

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Whatcha gonna do? Journalists can’t help but chase sensational stories. Media manipulator Ryan Holiday explains why – The Next Web. The demands of online journalism, where page views reign supreme and the time between starting an article and pressing publish is increasingly restricted, has triggered all sorts of unprecedented and questionable journalistic behavior. Indeed. This…

The power of Twitter: Dow plunged from false tweet

AP account hacked. This is a fake tweet.

THIS is scary. Twitter is the new grapevine. There are renewed calls for Twitter to add some correcting features after this week. Stocks Plunge, Quickly Recover, on Fake Tweet – MoneyBeat – WSJ. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged within minutes early this afternoon, after somebody hacked an AP Twitter account and posted a bogus…

Cracked.com reminds us how to spot BS

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One of Cracked.com‘s feature articles today list the main reasons why our website, Doubtful News, exists and shows you how to spot a bad news story right off the bat. 5 Easy Ways to Spot a B.S. News Story on the Internet. The 5 reasons listed are: * It’s World-Changing News from Some Obscure Website…

Doubtful News favorite stories of 2012

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It’s that time of year where you see list after list of the BEST this or that. Well, these weren’t necessary the best but they were our favorite stories of the year here at Doubtful News. We posted around 2000 stories so it was a lot to dig through. But, your two editors picked out…

Fox News IQ study hoax exposed

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“Researchers at The Intelligence Institute, a conservative non-profit group, tested 5,000 people using a series of tests that measure everything from cognitive aptitude to common sense and found that people who identified themselves as Fox News viewers and ‘conservative’ had, on average, significantly lower intelligent quotients.” *BUUZZZ* Wrong. Did you fall for this? I did…

Pretty Riduculous PRoblems with PR Newswire

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Often you can find ridiculous “news” stories on actual news websites that are simply press release reprinted word for word. The Sacremento Bee does this and here is an example: Companies Increasingly Seeking Paranormal Advice to Help Inspire Employees, Says Dr. Robert Fahey ‘Tis the season to be jolly. Business owners want to grow business.…

Reining in the flood of false news

From The Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/10/instasnopes-sorting-the-real-sandy-photos-from-the-fakes/264243/)

Loved this piece so much. It’s what we try to do here at Doubtful News and The Atlantic succeeded for a specific moment. If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Subvert ‘Em: Countering Misinformation on the Viral Web This is more like a story so it doesn’t lend itself to snippets. I suggest you read the entire…

Twitter troll added to panic during Hurricane Sandy

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As we referenced, there was SO much doubtful news on the internet on Monday night as New York was slammed by Sandy. The person at the origin of many false rumors has been called on the carpet for his actions. Spreader of False Storm Rumors Gets Outed, Shamed by Internet A good deal of the…

Tragedy caused by paranoia and politics

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Does media fear-mongering add to the difficulty for people to cope with reality? Does it cause them to overreact? Virginia man kills family and himself over fear Obama would be re-elected | The Raw Story. A Virginia man allegedly killed himself and his family earlier this week in part because he was upset by the…

Side-by-side arguments do not persuade, but entrench those with firm positions

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This is nothing we didn’t already suspect but many news outlets still think this works. ‘Balanced’ News Reports May Only Inflame – NYTimes.com. Liberals viewing MSNBC or reading left-of-center blogs may well end up embracing liberal talking points even more firmly; conservative fans of Fox News may well react in similar fashion on the right.…

Breaking bad: CNN and Fox’s epic fail

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Here was some doubtful news that warns you not to trust breaking news so much. ‘Mandate struck down’: ‘Dewey Defeats Truman’ moment for CNN, Fox News The Supreme Court upheld the individual insurance mandate of President Obama’s “Affordable Health Care Act” in a 5-4 decision on Thursday, sending cable news and Twitter into a frenzy.…

Website allows you to easily hijack news websites

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NewsJack launches to let you remix, edit news websites | Poynter.. [T]hanks to a new website launching today by two people at the MIT Media Lab, you can create your own spoof version of the Times or any other news website in a matter of minutes. No Photoshop skills required. No army of volunteers needed.…

News disclaimer: It’s not journalism, it’s theater

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A popular episode of This American Life radio show about factory conditions at the Apple manufacturer Foxconn in China has been retracted. The story raises signficant questions regarding the ethics of journalism and the importance of the message over the facts. This American Life Retracts Mike Daisey’s Piece On Foxconn For “Significant Fabrications” “We’ve learned…

News Brief from the week of February 19, 2012 [MP3]

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http://doubtfulnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Doubtful-News-brief02192012.mp3 Here are last week’s news highlights in a 6:30 minute rundown – all the best, worst and most ridiculous news stories we hosted. Yes, yes. I’ve ordered a new mic….