True vs False

True

Article: Nothing seemed to treat their depression. Then they tried ketamine.

Investigate the Source:

The Washington Post is one of the most famous media sources in our country. They have certified authors who write their stories, and all of their research can be traced. I looked back on their articles to see the legitimacy of them. The are often a used source in sub-articles also.

Find Trusted Coverage & trace claims:

They have quotes and direct links to major organizations like the FDA and National Center on Health. The article cites its sources and mentions dates, everyone involved, and the history of the research.

False

Article: Trojan Name New Ultra-Thin Skin Condom after Donald Trump

Investigate the Source:

The Nation Report wrote this article. Known for being often fake news, weighing left on the political side. In the footing of the header, it says “America’s Shittiest Independence News Source”. I found on many different source checking sites that this one in particular, could not be trusted.

Find Trusted Coverage & trace claims:

There is no source from Trojan itself talking about this “release” of condoms. No original story or any sources that can be cited.

Propagandists gonna’ propagandize…

Liar McLieface:

Stop!

Political speech is about changing people. I like me just fine thanks. Now if they want to question the premise of my beliefs, I’m all for that argument. But that knife cuts both ways, and political speech is not a full duplex system of communication, nor does it operate from a persistent base of reason. Which is what make the phrase: “political science” an oxymoron. In short, regarding “politics” as an honorable trade is self evidently an indication of corruption. Which is fine too. We are all hypocrites from time to time. Prosthelitizing to the contrary typically being contra-indicating. So no I wouldn’t trust this source, and I would trust it even less if I agreed with it.

Investigate!

According to wikipedia: the Gateway Pundit is a fake news site. Politifact gives it a 59% false rating. Reading it comes off as gradeschool fingerpointing. So the mark-one-eyeball, and an ounce of empathy is generally all that is needed here, but we have gone the distance for the sake of propriety.

Find Trusted Coverage?

I generally regard anything that holds itself out as “coverage” to be untrusted. But if I can find the full event, well that allows me to size things up for myself. I see nothing different about the Presidents exit than what I’ve seen from many other presidential speeches. The exit is uneventful, and apparently there is some communication to persons in the wings as he is exiting. This may suggest being “lost”, but that conclusion takes quite a lot of assumption to make that leap.

Trace

As for the joke. Yes he said it. Yes it does make one cringe. Searching for “Biden” and “Don’t Jump” reveals that this is a standard joke he uses at a lot of speeches. Such as a para-olympics event and a speech to the 82nd airborn. And yes, it is a cringe fest both other times. But the guy has been in politics for decades, so some things probably stick with him that maybe shouldn’t.

So this part of the article actually true. But I don’t care. Frankly I like the fact that he says some knuckleheaded stuff sometimes. The guy never made any promises about being superhuman.

Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light. –George Washington

Stop!

An article in the Huffington post asserts that teens can’t tell the difference between real and fake news. Generally I would regard the title alone as enough to avoid reading the article. Main stream news talking about itself is typically self agrandizing, which is a filter pattern unto itself. However I have read a few well cited articled from the Huffington Post before (and others just as debased), but on the whole the Huffington Post cites sources more often in my experience.

Investigate

The Huffington Post (HP) is regarded as a a liberal leaning newspaper based on mediabiasfactcheck. Similar web gives it a only readership of 1.M per month, which is not that high compared to some other content providers.

I baselined mediafactcheck by checking the Washington Post against the Washington Times, which were predictably mischaracterized. Strangely HP was regarded as more liberal that the Washington Post. Which is really funny considering they are both conservative newspapers. (It isn’t who you preach at, it is who you preaching for) The HP is owned by Verizon, and the Washington Post hasn’t been liberal since the Beez took it over. So both are typical corporate ganda’ rags separated by various degrees of factual ambivalence.

Find Trusted Coverage

For me this is this is virtually impossible in this case. I regard truth as state. (as in stateful) which makes it an exceedingly rare thing to actually observe. It also means that I have to care quite a bit to persue it because the associated time allocation can be severe.

In this case what I really must say is that I don’t have a solid enough understanding of psychology to know what I don’t know. So even if I read the whole scientific paper, the odds of me intepreting it correctly would be a crapshoot. Which is cool; I like reading things way over my head. But: “It is the mark of an educated mind that it can consider something without adopting it” –Aristotle.

So no, I wouldn’t trust any coverage until I had enough puzzle pieces to at least identify a few edges. Which seems to be a rare view.

Trace

One thing I found a little interesting is the “article impact” header on the journal that published the original paper. This is a little suspect to me. This suggests a regard for distribution metrics over peer review.

The majority of the Bibliography references seem to be focused on creating metrics for consumer trust and belief. I have a personal bias about this subject that states (more or less) than if you are that obsessed about figuring out how to make somebody believe you, then you probably aught to suffer some for good measure. It is like politics. Wanting the job is a pretty good indicator you shouldn’t have it. Now maybe there is some raw science that may have some future use, but that was also true of the Manhattan Project.

Fake or Facts?

The internet is home to all sorts of news. Some real… many fake. How do you know which is real and what’s false? The SIFT method can help with that. Follow these steps to determine if your news article is true or not.

The SIFT Method

  • Stop
  • Investigate the source
  • Find other coverage
  • Trace claims

Fake

One person says one thing, another person disagrees… how do you know what is real? I have used the SIFT method to dig deeper and confirm that this is in fact an example of a fake news article regarding Illinois new law. I found other articles that have confirmed that this is in fact a false claim.

Stop

I stopped to take a look at the article as a whole. I made sure not to share it with anybody until I found out if it is a factual article or not. I later found out that it is in fact fake news.

Investigate the Source

I further investigated the source that shared this article – The Natural News. According to the Natural News Wikipedia description, this article is likely to be false as it is found from an unreliable, fake news source. Therefore, The Natural News is not a reliable source.

Find Other Coverage

After, I investigated the source itself, I dove deeper into looking at other articles that are sharing the same, or similar information. I found other articles that have discussed the new Illinois law, however, more reliable sources are further explaining the new law. The Natural News does not explain the law in the way that it truly is. There are other more reliable articles that have different claims.

Trace Claims

The claims that this topic is making have been proven to be false by an article from Snopes on the Illinois safe t law. These types of articles can be debunked by other more reliable fact checking sources.

Facts

Using my knowledge of the SIFT method, I have been able to confirm that the following source is reliable and that this is an example of a factual article discussing Twitter’s new deal with Elon Musk. The BBC has been found to be a very reliable source and I was able to successfully find the same story on other websites.

Stop

Before sharing this article, it is very important to use the SIFT method in order to decide whether it is providing factual information or not.

Investigate the Source

The BBC news is a very reliable source. Wikipedia’s description of the BBC explains that it is a large broadcasting source in the UK that has a very high budge. The size and budget of a company can help us determine if that source is reliable.

Find Other Coverage

It was very easy to find other websites discussing Twitter’s new deal with Elon Musk. A few sources that has similar information include, but are not limited to, The Washington Post, Forbes, and CNN. These are all known reliable sources.

Trace Claims

This article claims that Twitter has made a $44 billion deal with Elon Musk, which is a true claim that is being made by other news sites and articles.

Spotting Fake News: Why Was Mike Tyson Recently Spotted Using a Wheelchair and Cane to Get Around?

News articles perpetuating false narratives are rampant on the internet, so it is important for users to be able to recognize what news is true. Beloved boxer Mike Tyson has recently been spotted using a wheelchair and cane to get around, so what is the real reason for that? After locating two different articles, we can come to a conclusion of the truth using the SIFT method: Stop,  Investigate the Source, Find Trusted Coverage, and Trace Claims.

(Left Image): Mike Tyson being rolled in a wheelchair by person in vest while at the airport.
(Right Image): Mike Tyson taking selfie with a fan while seated in a wheelchair and holding a cane.
Mike Tyson, Age 56, Spotted in a Wheelchair at The Airport

False Claims

Article one comes from NewsPunch.com, and it claims Mike Tyson’s current condition is due to being fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine.

Stop:

Before believing this article, it is important to not share it around before you fully trust the information, so it’s time to investigate the source.

Investigate the Source:

A quick scroll through the website this article was published on shows the viewer that it is a news outlet that is littered in conspiracies. It had flashy titles to grab attention with outrageous claims, and after checking several of these other articles, it becomes obvious that it is a news source with a conservative bias.

Find Trusted Coverage:

Upon googling “newspunch” a wikipedia article pops up, and this wikipedia article sites Newspunch.com as a fake news website notorious for pushing anti-vaccination hoaxes. I found trusted coverage on TheShadowLeauge.com about the true cause of Tyson’s condition, in short, Tyson’s is suffering from sciatica, not a COVID-19 vaccine, which is sited under “The Truth” section of this blog.

Trace Claims:

Throughout the article, there is no real source being sited that indicated Tyson’s condition is due to his vaccination status, and the only evidence they are pulling from, is that Tyson was reluctant to get vaccinated from a video clip 30 seconds long. It was from an interview catching up with Tyson from a couple years ago, it is in no way recent enough to be good enough proof for NewsPunch’s claims.

The Truth

When Tyson was spotted in a wheelchair, this was big news, so several other news sources reported that his condition was not due to a COVID-19 vaccine and that it was actually sciatica. Amongst these several news sources reporting on Tyson’s condition, I found TheShadowLeauge.com’s article on the boxers health.

Stop:

Although I initially trusted this source, it must be treated like an untrustworthy source first and foremost to double check that it is actually reliable. So just as before for the previous article, it is important to stop before spreading this information.

Investigate the Source:

There were many sources confirming this information, but I chose to use TheShadowLeauge.com’s article, because it is exclusively a sports update website. There are no typical news biases to deal with on this website as it is primarily news updates, so I chose this over other news sources to avoid any bias. I found no problematic reports of hoaxes or conspiracies.

Find Trusted Coverage:

This website, like many others, sited Tyson’s sciatica as the primary reason as to why he was having issues walking, and by researching what causes this issue on a reliable medical source and by looking through actual long-term side effects caused by the COVID-19 vaccine on the CDC’s website, it is evident that there is no correlation between Mike Tyson being vaccinated and his back pain.

Trace Claims:

According to the CDC, there have been listings of nerve damage as a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine, but according to Mayo Clinic, sciatica is caused by bone spurs and other spinal problems which pinch nerves, and bone spurs have never been listed as a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine. Finally, In TheShadowleauge.com‘s article, they use a video clip of Mike Tyson explaining it himself as to why he was in the wheelchair, which Newspunch.com, did not do. This video clip, unlike NewsPunch’s was recent.

Find something false, find something true.

Fake source:

The Internet is a confusing space to navigate. One example attached, Fake news on solar use.

SIFT METHOD

Stop:

Use a moment to stop and review at the article is this first step. Look through the article to find indication that it is a false claim, for example in this article it states below the title that it is, America’s shittiest news source.”

Investigate:

A quick Google search on the internet will show results that this page and article will indicate that this article belongs to a site called, ”National Report” a satirical web news page.

Find Better Coverage:

Here attached is an example of a credible source Real information on solar energy. This site has clear history, contact information, and reliable sources. A secondary google search gives important information on the organization.

Trace Claims:

This example is misleading as it can be shard as an article on social media, tracing claims can be helpful to find the truth. you can trace many facts on solar energy specifically.

True Source:

Real information on solar energy.

Stop:

Looking at different elements such as the, “.gov”

Investigation:

A google search determines that this page has adequate funding, budget, and a reliable source.

Find Better Coverage:

Other scholarly sources reference this page, and agree with the information.

Trace Claims:

Claims are actuate from this article from further research.

More Resources on The SIFT Method.

All about the SIFT method; Check,Please!

Est Veritas?

Discerning truth online is an increasingly tricky task because fake news websites are becoming more sophisticated and users are becoming lazier. The SIFT method provides an effective way to fact check articles you find on the internet. Let’s use the example of a true and false article to illustrate how SIFT works.

The Side of Truth

I came across an article about how a Chinese Harvard student decided to stop learning English. The article explains how Tatala, a 24 year old student studying at Harvard, had recently submitted a video for an English assignment in which she resolves to stop trying to learn the English language because she feels that it is not necessary for her to have an impact on the world and it hinders her confidence when trying to do so. Did this really happen?

Stop and Investigate the Source

This article was written by Rebecca Moon and published by Nextshark, an Asian American news source that focuses on culture, entertainment and politics. Moon cited the image in her article as being from Bilibili, which is where the original video of Tatala is posted. Nextshark is not a news network itself, but a streamlined platform for other networks and creative platforms. Bilibili is a video sharing platform that was founded in 2009, and functions exactly like Youtube, the difference being that Bilibili is based in Shanghai, China. Thus, investigating the source reveals the original video itself, and its home on Bilibili and Nextshark, which are both platforms for creative content.

Find Other Coverage

This story is addressed by What’s on Weibo, another platform for Chinese memes and trends, and also Today Online, a Singapore based news provider and media broadcaster. Both of these articles tell the same story that Moon tells, with varying levels of detail, which provides more evidence that it is a true story.

Trace Claims

As mentioned above, tracing the claim that Moon makes from her Nextshark platform leads to the original video on Bilibili, and I can say having watched the original video that Moon’s report is accurate.

The Side of Falsity

The same process can be used to discern which articles on the internet are false. The Onion recently published an article about how Queen Elizabeth II actually shot herself while hiding in a bunker because she didn’t want to face a trial.

Stop and Investigate the Source

Searching up “The Onion” reveals it to be a satirical news website, so it is clear that this article is a joke.

Find Other Coverage

A quick google confirms that the Queen actually died peacefully, probably from natural causes. There is nothing to support the idea that there was any kind of siege, trial or suicide.

Trace Claims

Tracing the claims from The Onion only leads to dead ends, while BBC reports that she died peacefully, along with CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post all report that she died of old age.

Who is the Internet for?

The internet is open to everyone and is for everyone, regardless of who that person may be. Even those who may not have personal access to a device that works with the internet could go to a place such as a library in order to use the internet.

This image displays a man sitting at his desk. He is happily looking at his desktop computer. There are small bubbles above the computer showing what the internet can be used for such as music, games, messaging, etc.

Openness

Why?

What it means to create something that is “open” is it has the ability to take in contributions from people anywhere and at any time. For instance, people that contribute to the internet’s data help in its improvement and advances. The benefits of leaving a project open are that you can get more data and assistance without even asking for it. There’s a constant flow of information to help the system.

How?

How the internet is open is in the way it can connect people through various mediums such as social media, links, webpages, etc. People can share media with each other using the internet making it open.

Accessibility

Why?

Making something “accessible” means that everyone is able to use a product or media with ease. You would want to make something accessible due to moral, legal, and business reasons.

How?

How you make the internet more accessible is by using closed captioning, larger fonts, breaking up text into subsections, using hyperlinks, having a text-to-speech reader, etc. There are many different tools nowadays to ensure that electronic media is able to be consumed by anyone regardless of disability.

Additional Resources

One resource I recommend to learn more about how to be accessible online is this article by Interaction Design Foundation titled “3 Reasons Why Accessible Design Is Good for All.”

Who is the Internet For?

Simple, anyone who wants to use it!

Mount Elbert in Colorado is the highest peak in the whole state.
Mt. Elbert in Colorado, USA.

Openness

Why?

The Internet is a world of almost infinite knowledge, with most of it being incredibly useful to our society. It should always be available to anyone who wants to access it. Our world today is growing more technology dependent by the second, it is almost necessary to live.

How?

By making sure that our right to the internet is never stripped from us. This can be done by continuing our use of the internet and proving its worth being open to us all. Also, keeping up on current mandates and protesting any boundaries being set up.

Accessibility

Why?

It is most optimal to be able to access the internet wherever you are in the world. This is the exact reason we have wifi and such massive coverage all over. The internet can be useful at anytime, so making sure you can get to it anytime, is major.

How?

By continuing to up speeds across the globe and creating different forms of technology that can access the internet. This being for anyone who needs it, a simple smart phone can access the internet as much as this laptop can. While being much easier to transport.

Other Information

Here is an article on how important internet openness and access were during COVID-19.

Who Is The Internet For?

The internet is for whomever!

A log bench is pictured here, in warm color tones.
Log Bench in Ohio – photo taken by Tayin Rivera-Dorazio

Openness

Why?

The internet is open for almost anyone to use. Computers are available at local libraries and, once you’ve established a connection, a browser is all it takes to have access to as much of the web as the computer can handle. Openness spurns creativity and it allows everyone to get in on the action and transaction and creation through the internet.

Open source code and open resources, ones that are freely available, exist to allow others to proliferate what they know. This can come in many forms, such as forums for how to troubleshoot a computer issue, reading customer reviews of products and services, and YouTube videos that show you how to fix a car issue.

How?

Making your resources more open can help people find solutions to a problem you’ve encountered. It can foster collaborations across international lines. You could educate people who will be the people you innovate with in the future, and it can make a better internet for the future. This could be through informational videos, GitHub, or even articles on a platform like Medium.

Brad Frost’s advice on openness from his TEDxTalk is: “Work Hard. Don’t Be An Asshole. Share What You Know.” With that advice in mind we can keep the internet an open place for anyone and everyone.

Accessibility

Why?

Accessibility keeps the internet open for anybody, regardless of disability. This can open the doors for more people to access your content, and can even make it easier for people without disabilities to engage with your content. Things like increasing your font size may have people with visual disabilities in mind, but could just make your work easier for anyone to read, and having alternative text for blind internet users could also help those who are less visually impaired or don’t understand the context of the image. Research shows that accessible websites have more engagement. Twitter itself has adopted a lot of accessibility options like alt text that allow for image descriptions, and is one of the most popular social media platforms, and continues to grow internationally.

How?

There are many resources for making your websites accessible, such as W3C, or using header-identified text blocks, or even image descriptions like mentioned earlier. Following ADA guidelines can also help with making an accessible platform and accessible materials, as well as following the guidelines of major companies and other website design philosophies that incorporate accessibility.

What is the Importance of “Openness” and “Accessibility” on the Internet?

The internet is a platform that anybody with a cellphone or a computer can access, so it is vital that all users are able to have an equally good experience, especially as we move further into the digital world.

Hands holding a tablet while scrolling through images with a computer in the background.
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Openness

Why?

Openness is an important part of the internet because it’s a way for users of different backgrounds to share their knowledge on whatever niche subjects they have a lot of information on. Another user with no knowledge on a certain topic may need quick access for research or personal purposes, so by having openness on the internet, there is an infinite surplus of information at any users fingertips.

How?

A great way to create open content is by utilizing a media based sharing website/application that is easy to get on to and use. A great example that has millions of visitors every day is YouTube, which is a free video content creation website that can be visited even without an account. It has all kinds of informational content on it that can be easily located with just a few key search terms in the search bar.

Accessibility

Why?

Accessible content is increasingly important as more and more diverse users gain access to the internet. Many people have issues that affect certain abilities that makes them unable to enjoy content the same as other people, such as: visual, auditory, and physical impairments, alongside many learning disabilities. It is morally correct to make content for people no matter what problems they may have, but regardless of that, typically when businesses make their content more user-friendly, its beneficial for everyone.

How?

There are a couple of tools to keep in mind when making a website more accessible, such as closed captions on videos, subtitles on TV shows and movies, text to speech applications for websites, and alternative text on images.

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