Content and source evaluation: the most important thing you do in any search for information

For more information, see — Evaluation Algorithms: what are they? What can they do? The Facebook whistleblower says its algorithms are dangerous. Here’s why. (Karen Hao, MIT Technology Review, October 5, 2021) How and why does false information spread online? (sources) Do you think that you don’t need to look out for misleading or false information when searching for academic sources? Think again. See —…

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Online extremism: the dangers and the psychology

**for the most current version of this bibliography, see — https://sciencebibliographies.strategian.com/online-extremism-the-dangers-and-the-psychology/ Online extremism–through social media and other channels–is real and is very dangerous. The events of January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere in the United States show that plainly. We must all be better, more critical users of social media–if you choose to use social media. The overriding motivation of Facebook, Twitter, Google,…

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How and why does false information spread online?

How does false information/”fake news” spread through social media and web sites? And, why does it? We are told–frequently–by legitimate, trusted sources and the very people and organizations who create disinformation that a significant proportion of what we view is fake and has been deliberately created to sow discord and distrust, to make us not believe and to tear us apart. So, do we trust…

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Technology will not protect us from human weakness–and can make it worse

“When we think about misinformation … we tend to focus on the presence of bad information — but really we should be focusing on the presence of doubt.” “A platform like YouTube or Facebook can claim to be building a “marketplace of ideas” by algorithmically presenting, say, a story about a new vaccine alongside a story claiming vaccines are dangerous. But what it is really…

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Oscar Wilde quote

Revisiting: Understand the context of information important to you; reduce the fear and anxiety

Knowledge brings understanding; understanding reduces fear and anxiety.  Understand the value of the information that is important to your life; use that understanding to make your own decisions.  Do not let others make important decisions for you! To gain understanding, to reduce fear use these guidelines — Seek information, not affirmation: are you looking just to find people who agree with you?  Be honest with…

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Updated: Chatbots — propaganda is being taught how to speak

Bots–“simple computer scripts–were originally designed to automate repetitive tasks … sparing humans hours of tedium.”  But, bots “can also be used to operate large numbers of fake [social media] accounts, which makes them ideal for manipulating people.” As became evident after the 2016 election in the United States and from many other examples, not only do bot-operated fake social media accounts “broadcast extremist viewpoints,” but…

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