SNCR research initiative sets out to find solutions to address fake news

Truth

Hardly a day goes by without the topic of fake news becoming a news headline itself especially when it concerns Donald Trump. For most people, fake news is largely seen as a driver of distrust about what you read, see and hear online as well as a creator of fear, uncertainty and doubt about the sources that publish it. Earlier this year Tim Berners-Lee said that misinformation – or ‘fake news’ which is surprising, shocking, or designed to appeal to our biases – can spread like wildfire. And it does. For the past six months and more, it’s a topic that has been an ongoing primary discussion theme in the Small Data Forum podcast I co-host each month with Thomas […]

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SDF podcast 10: Big Data is never a be-all and end-all

Amid congressional hearings and FBI investigations in the US about whether and how Russia interfered with the US Presidential Elections, discussions continue about the efficacy and ethics of micro-targeting voters. In our latest and 10th edition of the SmallDataForum podcast, Neville, Sam and Thomas reflect on the outcome of the recent general elections in the UK. This episode’s show notes were written by Thomas Stoeckle. We agree that, unlike last time, Labour did better than the Conservatives digitally at this election. In combining doorstep campaigning with digital targeting in marginal seats (based on the insights from their proprietary software) and generally being on the ball with issues online, Labour managed to connect the dots more successfully than the Conservatives. This […]

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How to get the media on board to end AVE

Fearless Girl

One of the hurdles along the road of seeing an end to the “advertising value equivalence” (AVE) measurement metric that’s decried by many in the PR and measurement communities is persuading organisations to stop using it. The issue with AVE is well summarised in a white paper published by The Institute for Public Relations in 2003, in which this succinct text appears: We urge you to move away as quickly as possible from statements of the nature, “Our news coverage this quarter was worth $X million in advertising.” Instead, talk about how you achieved your prominence goal, how your coverage gained in prominence over the year, or how you beat out your competitors in terms of the prominence of your […]

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How Twitter Works – a legal opinion

Royal Courts of Justice

Most reasonable people are aware that if you publicly publish something defamatory about someone else that is false, you can be sued for libel. If you lose the legal case, it can be expensive for you in terms of damage to your reputation as well as a financial cost. (Related: the difference between libel and slander in UK law.) And I’d add that most reasonable people are also aware that the same rules on libel apply to all methods of public communication, including online. So, for instance, if you tweet something bad about someone that’s false, they can sue you for libel. Which is precisely what happened in the case of Jack Monroe vs Katie Hopkins, the judgement of which was published on March […]

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How can trust help the #PanamaPapers innocents?

The revelations from the mega-leak of data about the financial shenanigans of the wealthy and powerful, dubbed the #PanamaPapers, continue to roll out globally since the eruption last weekend opened up a Pandora’s Box (what some would call an Aladdin’s Cave) of consequences. At the heart of this scandal is 2.6 terabytes of data representing some 11 million individual documents about the business and financial affairs of clients of the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca stretching from end-2015 back to the mid 1970s (that’s 40 years worth of information). The data was leaked to the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung who shared it with the US-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), who subsequently shared their analysis and reporting with 107 […]

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