Someone in my Twitterverse retweeted a Washington Post article on the fake news problem that’s been going around.
Google’s top news link for “final election results” goes to a fake news site with false numbershttps://t.co/tlYX4eJWTq
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 14, 2016
I see this as a real-life information literacy issue. People of the librarian ilk, like myself, teach that we should ask questions of information sources, like “Who put this out there, and why?” and try to avoid accepting things as accurate or true just because they’re what we want to believe. Here we have a case where a questionable (at best) source is putting out easily-debunked misinformation, and Google’s algorithms put it up at the top of the heap. So not only should we question 70news, we should question what Google is doing as well.
Mike Caulfield has been on this issue and has looked at the magnitude of it. It’s interesting that sites with no history or reputation gain so much traction on social media so quickly. The rankings of the amateurs and the professionals has been inverted. I wonder how that brush fire starts. It seems like far more people would be paying attention to NYT than 70news. How does the latter get all the shares?
Scott Leslie pointed out that Facebook is aware of the problem and afraid to address it, although it should be noted that this information comes from unidentified sources.
But my favorite response to all this came from Kevin Hodgson, one of the many stars in the #ds106 constellation, who made a website remix about it.
Fake News about Fake News https://t.co/aEY8e5wIxt #clmooc
— KevinHodgson (@dogtrax) November 14, 2016
The people have spoken. ds106 FTW! We could all be doing this – writing our own reality, being our own little Bob Rosses: “It’s your world. Make it what you want.” Because when times get tough, the tough make art.