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How to play your part in fighting fake news

One of the scourges of modern connected times is the rise of so-called fake news, a phenomenon that’s invasive and pervasive and a driver of distrust about what you read, see and hear online as well as fear, uncertainty and doubt about the sources that publish it. And not only such reactions upon immediate discovery, but also the unwitting spread of fake news by those who publish, talk about or share such content without knowing it’s false. It’s not new

Royal Courts of Justice

How Twitter Works – a legal opinion

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.

Tim Berners-Lee

Addressing privacy and fake news on the web: Tim Berners-Lee’s call to action

The recent rise and spread of so-called fake news is a topic that’s generating a great deal of opinion on what to do about it. I’ve weighed in, too, in a recent episode of the Small Data Forum podcast. Now, on the 28th anniversary of the founding of the World Wide Web, its creator Tim Berners-Lee offers compelling perspectives on this contemporary phenomenon, outlining three challenges for the web and, as he puts it, what we must do to ensure it

Google Perspective

Commenting: A matter of perspective

One of the great benefits offered by the social web is the open way in which people can connect, not only via the obvious means of social networks but also through engaging in discourse and conversation in the commenting sections of websites, blogs, etc. Open conversation and the sharing of different points of view are foundational activities for many online publications, from mainstream media sites to individual blogs. To many, enabling readers, visitors and communities to comment on articles, reports,

The metamorphosis of Twitter

I remember when blogging first captured the attention and imaginations of early adopters and online adventurers in the early part of this century, not long after the dot-com bubble burst. It was a time of discovery, learning new things and being part of something that was a great equalizer. For the first time, the Average Joe and Joanna could very easily and quickly have an unfiltered open voice on topics that might show up in online search results alongside other

The rise of the cognitive PR machines

Within two years, 20 percent of business content will be authored by machines or “robo writers,” as Gartner puts it in its list of ten predictions of an algorithmic and smart machine-driven world that the analyst firm published last October. It was a topic I used as a focal point in my presentation about PR measurement and how it’s getting smarter partly through automation that captured close attention from the 50+ PR pros in the audience at a CIPR event

Actions and consequences: what will 2016 present?

2015 was a stepping-stone year in the evolution of technology and people’s behaviours, with events that gave us greater insight into actions and consquences. A big one is the thorny matter of balancing the long-held expectation of individual privacy – regarded as a fundamental right in many countries – and freedoms of expression with the requirement of government to safeguard its citizens in today’s world where acts of freely expressing opinion can have dire consequences. Enter plans to enable government

How to solve the ad blocking question

If you run ad blocking software on your computer or mobile device, you’re either preventing the appearance of obtrusive, annoying ads that sometimes block content and add code that slows down the loading of the site you’re visiting, especially on mobile devices; or you’re strangling the revenue lifelines of companies who need to advertise to keep their businesses running, or enable media companies to keep paying for great journalism. That’s pretty much what the current situation looks like, divided into

7/7 perspective 10 years on

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the July 7 terrorist bombings in London in 2005, known as 7/7. On the morning of Thursday, 7 July 2005, four Islamist men detonated four bombs – three in quick succession aboard London Underground trains across the city and, later, a fourth on a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square. As well as the four bombers, 52 civilians were killed and over 700 more were injured in the attacks, the United Kingdom’s worst terrorist incident

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