Tags: fact checking*

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  1. Negli anni Settanta furono, insieme ai radicali, tra le più accese sostenitrici della legalizzazione dell’aborto. E oggi le attiviste dell’Unione donne italiane chiamano alla mobilitazione di piazza, al grido «La 194 non si tocca ». Così dal 22 al 26 maggio, nei giorni in cui – 40 anni fa – la legge entrò in vigore, le sedi territoriali dell’Udi sono incoraggiate a mobilitarsi perché le donne «pretendono la piena applicazione della legge su tutto il territorio nazionale». Nel mirino dell’Udi non c’è, come un osservatore assai ingenuo potrebbe ipotizzare, soprattutto la Tutela sociale della maternità (prima parte della legge), questa sì largamente disattesa, bensì principalmente la questione dell’obiezione di coscienza. Strano come un diritto costituzionalmente fondato possa essere trasformato in un intralcio, anche a costo di alimentare falsi miti quando non autentiche mistificazioni. Abbiamo cercato di 'smontare' alcuni luoghi comuni, basandoci sugli ultimi dati ufficiali del Ministero della Salute (Relazione sull’attuazione della legge 194, relativa ai dati del 2016, presentata il 22 dicembre 2017), con l’aiuto «tecnico» del vicepresidente della Federazione dei medici italiani (Fnomceo), il veneziano Giovanni Leoni.
    https://www.avvenire.it/famiglia-e-vi...ine/lobiezione-minaccia-laborto-falso
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2018-05-17)
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  2. In general, Donald Trump is notoriously uninterested in policy details. It has long been obvious, for example, that he never bothered to find out what his one major legislative victory, the 2017 tax cut, actually did. Similarly, it’s pretty clear that he had no idea what was actually in the Iran agreement he just repudiated.

    Let me be upfront here: There’s something fundamentally obscene about this spectacle. Here we have a man who inherited great wealth, then built a business career largely around duping the gullible — whether they were naïve investors in his business ventures left holding the bag when those ventures went bankrupt, or students who wasted time and money on worthless degrees from Trump University. Yet he’s determined to snatch food from the mouths of the truly desperate, because he’s sure that somehow or other they’re getting away with something, having it too easy.

    But however petty Trump’s motives, this is a big deal from the other side. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that new work requirements plus other restrictions proposed by House Republicans would end up denying or reducing nutritional aid to around two million people, mostly in families with children.
    In each case, it was about ego rather than substance: scoring a “win,” undoing his predecessor’s achievement.

    But there are some policy issues he really does care about. By all accounts, he really hates the idea of people receiving “welfare,” by which he means any government program that helps people with low income, and he wants to eliminate such programs wherever possible.

    Most recently, he has reportedly threatened to veto the upcoming farm bill unless it imposes stringent new work requirements on recipients of SNAP — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, still commonly referred to as food stamps.

    The thing is, it’s not just Trump: Conservative hatred for food stamps is pervasive. What’s behind it?

    The more respectable, supposedly intellectual side of conservative opinion portrays food stamps as reducing incentives by making life too pleasant for the poor. As Paul Ryan put it, SNAP and other programs create a “hammock” that “lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency.”
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    But this is a problem that exists only in the right’s imagination. Able-bodied SNAP recipients who should be working but aren’t are very hard to find: A vast majority of the program’s beneficiaries either are working — but at unstable jobs that pay low wages — or are children, elderly, disabled or essential family caregivers.

    Oh, and there’s strong evidence that children in low-income families that receive food stamps become more productive and healthier adults, which means that the program is actually good for long-run economic growth.

    some of the biggest victims of Trump’s obsession with cutting “welfare” will be the very people who put him in office.

    In the end, I don’t believe there’s any policy justification for the attack on food stamps: It’s not about the incentives, and it’s not about the money. And even the racial animus that traditionally underlies attacks on U.S. social programs has receded partially into the background.

    No, this is about petty cruelty turned into a principle of government. It’s about privileged people who look at the less fortunate and don’t think, “There but for the grace of God go I”; they just see a bunch of losers. They don’t want to help the less fortunate; in fact, they get angry at the very idea of public aid that makes those losers a bit less miserable.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/10/op...gion&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region
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  3. “For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

    Facebook also addresses when other people use your “IP content:

    “When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture).”
    https://www.quora.com/Is-it-legal-for...wn-commercial-use-without-my-approval
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  4. We can’t will the world to be different to how it is, even if we wrap it in a sacred flag and call it the ‘will of the people’. Responsible and competent political leadership consists not of concealing complex realities but of explaining them. That isn’t elitism. Elitism is pretending to the public that the simplicities are true whilst, behind the scenes, knowing and acting differently. Whether out of contempt for the ability of ‘the people’ to understand complexity, or fear of those who pronounce that ‘the will of the people’ is to ignore it, this is precisely the basis on which Britain is currently governed. The obvious danger of this is that it will further corrode trust, further toxify political culture, and further increase the demand for simple solutions to complex problems
    https://vip.politicsmeanspolitics.com...n-simple-ideas-meet-complex-realities
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  5. One in five Nigerian adults were suffering from long-term depression, a major daily said, and that it underlies rising suicide in the country.

    It attributed this statistic to the World Bank’s behavioural sciences unit. In a public brief, the unit had said the results of a depression scale had shown that “22% of Nigerians were chronically depressed”.

    Experts told Africa Check that the scale does not provide a diagnosis of depression but only measures symptoms. To be certain, a mental health professional would need to make a clinical diagnosis.

    The World Bank unit has since revised its brief, saying that 22% of Nigerian heads of households displayed “depressive symptoms”.
    http://bhekisisa.org/article/2018-04-...ally-suffer-from-long-term-depression
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2018-04-23)
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  6. I asked Douglas, the University of Kent professor, whether conspiracy theories about climate change will proliferate as evidence of it becomes more and more difficult to ignore.

    “People will strongly hold onto their beliefs even in the face of contradictory evidence, so it’s difficult to imagine conspiracy theorizing decreasing,” Douglas wrote to me. “But I’m not sure if it would increase.”

    Lewandowsky, the University of Bristol professor, says that there’s evidence of a way to “inoculate” against conspiracy theories, and that’s instilling a sense of control.

    “For example, even just saying: ‘We’ve already started to tackle the problem, but we need to increase our efforts even more.’ That is a more empowering message than, ‘It’s so big, it’s horrendous, and we haven’t even started solving it.’ If I tell you that, that’s very demotivating! That’s a tough ask!

    “I think if people know what to do about climate change, and they feel they can do this without hurting too much, chances are they’re less skeptical, less in denial of the problem.”

    To get back to Wolf: As Sarah Ditum pointed out in The New Statesman in 2014, The Beauty Myth was actually exposing a conspiracy — the patriarchy! — but that was one turned out to be real. And it’s yielded a healthy movement of women (and some men) who work to counteract the damaging forces of sexist advertising and media.

    I felt a fair amount of guilt even writing this article. Our ecosystems are certainly changing, which elicits a real, documented sense of loss. And I get the sense, poring through endless documentations of cloud-streaked sky in the chemtrail community, that the people obsessed with the patterns of clouds are mourning a change they do not control. I don’t want to ridicule anyone who fears the same things I do — that the world is changing, and I can’t control it, and it only seems to be getting worse. I do wish they were better informed, a desire that will surely bring the fires of the cloud-seeding truther community down upon the inbox.

    More than anything, I hope that a young woman like a teen me, who sees Naomi Wolf as a source of truth and authority, will not find herself waist-deep in the climate conspiracy theory internet and think: “Wow, there’s really nothing I can do about this.”
    https://grist.org/article/the-real-fear-behind-climate-conspiracy-theories
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  7. “Nessuno può valutare con esattezza l’efficacia di un qualsiasi tipo di strategia politica, e in più le tecniche proposte da Cambridge Analytica non sono ancora state testate empiricamente”. In accordo con quanto riportato da Hersh, Baldwin Philippi afferma che ad oggi i dati più sicuri su cui basare una campagna elettorale sono reperibili dai censimenti e, dunque, il mito della “psicografica” sarebbe principalmente un’esca per i clienti.

    Rasmus Kleis Nielsen nota che, essendo Cambridge Analytica una compagnia privata for-profit, sia assurdo trattare dichiarazioni fatte nei loro interessi economici come evidenze dell’efficacia del metodo. Nielsen aggiunge che diverse forme di micro-targeting possono essere utili per le campagne elettorali, ma gli effetti non dovrebbero essere sovrastimati. “Non è una pallottola d’argento e non è un fattore decisivo nel risultato elettorale”. Nielsen fa riferimento ad una delle prime teorie della comunicazione massmediatica, conosciuta come teoria dell’ago ipodermico o del proiettile invisibile. Tali modelli, sviluppati durante i regimi totalitari, suggerivano che un certo messaggio raggiungesse la mente di un ricevente a discapito della sua consapevolezza, influenzandone il comportamento. La teoria è stata negli anni notevolmente revisionata e oggi la comunicazione è concepita come un processo polisemantico per cui il ricevente può interpretare in diversi modi un messaggio, anche se progettato scientificamente dal mittente. Come spiega Felix Salmon su Medium, "se un messaggio mirato vuole spingere Enrica Rossi ad astenersi, non significa che Enrica interpreti il messaggio per quello che è il suo obiettivo (o comprenderlo e riconoscerlo del tutto - come suggerisce Russell Neuman, siamo sorprendentemente buoni a ignorare la pubblicità e la propaganda). Se anche Cambridge Analytica fosse stata efficace, come sosteneva, nel rivolgersi a individui specifici con contenuti cuciti su misura, ciò non significa che abbia avuto alcun effetto significativo".
    https://www.valigiablu.it/cambridge-a...ytica-facebook-elezioni-manipolazione
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  8. I’m not convinced that we’ve even begun to think about the unintended consequences of our good — let alone naive — intentions

    When we ask students to challenge their sacred cows but don’t give them a new framework through which to make sense of the world, others are often there to do it for us.

    For the last year, I’ve been struggling with media literacy. I have a deep level of respect for the primary goal. As Renee Hobbs has written, media literacy is the “active inquiry and critical thinking about the messages we receive and create.” The field talks about the development of competencies or skills to help people analyze, evaluate, and even create media. Media literacy is imagined to be empowering, enabling individuals to have agency and giving them the tools to help create a democratic society. But fundamentally, it is a form of critical thinking that asks people to doubt what they see. And that makes me nervous.

    Most media literacy proponents tell me that media literacy doesn’t exist in schools. And it’s true that the ideal version that they’re aiming for definitely doesn’t. But I spent a decade in and out of all sorts of schools in the US, where I quickly learned that a perverted version of media literacy does already exist. Students are asked to distinguish between CNN and Fox. Or to identify bias in a news story. When tech is involved, it often comes in the form of “don’t trust Wikipedia; use Google.” We might collectively dismiss these practices as not-media-literacy, but these activities are often couched in those terms.

    I’m painfully aware of this, in part because media literacy is regularly proposed as the “solution” to the so-called “fake news” problem. I hear this from funders and journalists, social media companies and elected officials. My colleagues Monica Bulger and Patrick Davison just released a report on media literacy in light of “fake news” given the gaps in current conversations. I don’t know what version of media literacy they’re imagining but I’m pretty certain it’s not the CNN vs Fox News version. Yet, when I drill in, they often argue for the need to combat propaganda, to get students to ask where the money is coming from, to ask who is writing the stories for what purposes, to know how to fact-check, etcetera. And when I push them further, I often hear decidedly liberal narratives. They talk about the Mercers or about InfoWars or about the Russians. They mock “alternative facts.” While I identify as a progressive, I am deeply concerned by how people understand these different conservative phenomena and what they see media literacy as solving.

    I get that many progressive communities are panicked about conservative media, but we live in a polarized society and I worry about how people judge those they don’t understand or respect. It also seems to me that the narrow version of media literacy that I hear as the “solution” is supposed to magically solve our political divide. It won’t. More importantly, as I’m watching social media and news media get weaponized, I’m deeply concerned that the well-intended interventions I hear people propose will backfire, because I’m fairly certain that the crass versions of critical thinking already have.

    media literacy is the “active inquiry and critical thinking about the messages we receive and create.” The field talks about the development of competencies or skills to help people analyze, evaluate, and even create media. Media literacy is imagined to be empowering, enabling individuals to have agency and giving them the tools to help create a democratic society. But fundamentally, it is a form of critical thinking that asks people to doubt what they see. And that makes me nervous.

    Most media literacy proponents tell me that media literacy doesn’t exist in schools. And it’s true that the ideal version that they’re aiming for definitely doesn’t. But I spent a decade in and out of all sorts of schools in the US, where I quickly learned that a perverted version of media literacy does already exist. Students are asked to distinguish between CNN and Fox. Or to identify bias in a news story. When tech is involved, it often comes in the form of “don’t trust Wikipedia; use Google.” We might collectively dismiss these practices as not-media-literacy, but these activities are often couched in those terms.

    I’m painfully aware of this, in part because media literacy is regularly proposed as the “solution” to the so-called “fake news” problem. I hear this from funders and journalists, social media companies and elected officials. My colleagues Monica Bulger and Patrick Davison just released a report on media literacy in light of “fake news” given the gaps in current conversations. I don’t know what version of media literacy they’re imagining but I’m pretty certain it’s not the CNN vs Fox News version. Yet, when I drill in, they often argue for the need to combat propaganda, to get students to ask where the money is coming from, to ask who is writing the stories for what purposes, to know how to fact-check, etcetera. And when I push them further, I often hear decidedly liberal narratives. They talk about the Mercers or about InfoWars or about the Russians. They mock “alternative facts.” While I identify as a progressive, I am deeply concerned by how people understand these different conservative phenomena and what they see media literacy as solving.

    I get that many progressive communities are panicked about conservative media, but we live in a polarized society and I worry about how people judge those they don’t understand or respect. It also seems to me that the narrow version of media literacy that I hear as the “solution” is supposed to magically solve our political divide. It won’t. More importantly, as I’m watching social media and news media get weaponized, I’m deeply concerned that the well-intended interventions I hear people propose will backfire, because I’m fairly certain that the crass versions of critical thinking already have.


    Right now, the conversation around fact-checking has already devolved to suggest that there’s only one truth. And we have to recognize that there are plenty of students who are taught that there’s only one legitimate way of knowing, one accepted worldview. This is particularly dicey at the collegiate level, where us professors have been taught nothing about how to teach across epistemologies.


    We live in a world now where we equate free speech with the right to be amplified. Does everyone have the right to be amplified? Social media gave us that infrastructure under the false imagination that if we were all gathered in one place, we’d find common ground and eliminate conflict. We’ve seen this logic before. After World War II, the world thought that connecting the globe through financial interdependence would prevent World War III. It’s not clear that this logic will hold.

    Many people, especially young people, turn to online communities to make sense of the world around them. They want to ask uncomfortable questions, interrogate assumptions, and poke holes at things they’ve heard. Welcome to youth. There are some questions that are unacceptable to ask in public and they’ve learned that. But in many online fora, no question or intellectual exploration is seen as unacceptable. To restrict the freedom of thought is to censor. And so all sorts of communities have popped up for people to explore questions of race and gender and other topics in the most extreme ways possible. And these communities have become slippery. Are those taking on such hateful views real? Or are they being ironic?
    https://points.datasociety.net/you-th...nt-media-literacy-do-you-7cad6af18ec2
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  9. Right now, it’s Bitcoin. But in the past we’ve had dotcom stocks, the 1929 crash, 19th-century railways and the South Sea Bubble of 1720. All these were compared by contemporaries to “tulip mania”, the Dutch financial craze for tulip bulbs in the 1630s. Bitcoin, according some sceptics, is “tulip mania 2.0”.

    Why this lasting fixation on tulip mania? It certainly makes an exciting story, one that has become a byword for insanity in the markets. The same aspects of it are constantly repeated, whether by casual tweeters or in widely read economics textbooks by luminaries such as John Kenneth Galbraith.

    Tulip mania was irrational, the story goes. Tulip mania was a frenzy. Everyone in the Netherlands was involved, from chimney-sweeps to aristocrats. The same tulip bulb, or rather tulip future, was traded sometimes 10 times a day. No one wanted the bulbs, only the profits – it was a phenomenon of pure greed. Tulips were sold for crazy prices – the price of houses – and fortunes were won and lost. It was the foolishness of newcomers to the market that set off the crash in February 1637. Desperate bankrupts threw themselves in canals. The government finally stepped in and ceased the trade, but not before the economy of Holland was ruined.

    Yes, it makes an exciting story. The trouble is, most of it is untrue.
    https://theconversation.com/tulip-man...inancial-bubble-is-mostly-wrong-91413
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  10. Il problema “vero” non sono le bufale o la post verità, ma le persone, i cittadini, il loro essere facilmente condizionabili…la loro eterodirezione e “predisposizione” – socialmente e culturalmente “costruita” attraverso l’educazione e i processi di socializzazione – al conformismo e/o alla “sudditanza per abitudine culturale”, come avrebbe detto Étienne de La Boétie.

    Il problema è e continua ad essere lo stesso: si discute tanto, con sempre maggiore frequenza e insistenza e si pongono tutte le questioni, inerenti la rivoluzione digitale e la società della condivisione (1996), l’informazione e la condivisione/distribuzione delle informazioni e delle conoscenze, in termini di gestione dell’emergenza attraverso “strumenti” e “applicazioni” più o meno sofisticati e complessi (algoritmi, piattaforme etc.) – oltre che di leggi e codici deontologici, linee guida, manifesti – che devono orientare, guidare, indirizzare il lettore, l’ascoltatore, il telespettatore, l’internauta, il cittadino ma anche il giornalista e/o il comunicatore. Con un approccio che è a metà tra il determinismo tecnologico e il positivismo giuridico. Ebbene, al contrario di quanto discusso, attuato e praticato (tutte condizioni necessarie ma non sufficienti), bisognerebbe ripartire proprio da quei fattori considerati, al di là dei proclami e degli slogan, meno importanti e decisivi: dall’educazione e formazione critica della Persona anche nel suo ruolo di lettore, ascoltatore, telespettatore, navigatore, ma soprattutto di “cittadino” che non è soltanto “consumatore” (logica e strategia di lungo periodo).
    https://www.agendadigitale.eu/cultura...e-lo-stato-di-salute-delle-democrazie
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