Beware: tools for creating fake news (Virtual Skeptics)

Virtual Skeptics logoOn Virtual Skeptics this week I talked about the flip side of this website’s normal topic – tools to create misinformation instead of tools to debunk it. Of course any tool designed to work with real information can be used to distort as well.

We saw that this week when a news hoax was perpetrated via CNN’s “iReport” site – a place for citizens to submit journalism.  It was a poorly written prediction of apocalypse for the year 2041 which credible sources like Phil Plait quickly debunked. Many sites including Doubtful News chided CNN for taking 22 hours to notice and take down the bogus story.

But there are also online tools designed specifically for creating hoaxes like this. They are usually intended for playing pranks on friends and the like. A new one emerged this week, which was my topic on Virtual Skeptics. Since my segment is very short (just over 6 minutes) I thought I would go ahead and embed it here so you can see what was discussed.  Video and supporting links after the jump…

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The Ninjutsu of the Internet-Savvy Skeptic at #SkepTech

Last week I gave a presentation at Skep-Tech in Minneapolis. It was a first-year conference put on by the student groups from three different universities in the area. They chose to focus it on technology and skepticism – which is right up my alley. So of course I was excited to speak.

I chose to focus on how skeptics need to cultivate specialized skills and learn new tools in our battle against irrationality on the world wide web. I decided to use the concept of a ninja as my metaphor. The video has already been posted and you can watch below.

After the jump you can see the slides that I presented and a list of links to tools and websites that I mentioned in the talk.

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#TAM2012 Video: Skeptic Crowdsourcing Workshop

The James Randi Educational Foundation has posted video from the workshop I hosted at The Amazing Meeting (#TAM2012) last July.  Here it is:

 

Useful links from the workshop were previously posted.

You can also watch and read my plenary address (which covers some closely related topics) here on the blog. Other posts about TAM2012 are here as well.

Thank you to Derek Colanduno of Skepticality and Shane Greenup of RBUTR, both of whom you will see here presenting sections of the workshop.

This year’s Amazing Meeting 2013 will be held July 11 – 14, 2013 in Las Vegas.

Virtual Skeptics webcast #5 – September 12, 2012

The third episode of Virtual Skeptics was recorded on Sepbember 12, 2012. You can watch it below.

The panel:

New episodes webcast live every Wednesday with the recorded version available immediately thereafter.

Links mentioned in the show after the jump…

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Virtual Skeptics webcast – September 5, 2012

The third episode of Virtual Skeptics was on September 5, 2012:

The panel:

New episodes webcast live every Wednesday at 8 PM EDT (Midnight GMT), with the recorded version available immediately thereafter.

Links mentioned in the show after the jump…

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LIVE Video from Dragon*Con 2012 Skeptics track (Skeptrack)

During Dragon*Con in Atlanta from Friday August 31st through Monday September 3rd, 2012, you should see Skeptic programming here:

Thank you to Mark Ditsler of Abrupt Media for the huge amount of work he does to make this happen. You can also view it and text chat with other viewers over on the UStream.tv site here. If you are not in US Eastern time note that Atlanta is at GMT-4 when you see times on the screen.

Consult the Skeptrack schedule on Lanyrd for the full list of events. You’ll be able to see me on these two events, both on Monday:

Attracting a Mix: Skeptics and Believers
Monday 10:00am EDT (aka 7:00am PDT or Monday 14:00 GMT)

SCHEDULE ADDITION (Not in the paper program)!
How You Can Make the Internet More Skeptical With One Mouse Click
Monday 1:00pm EDT (aka 10:00am PDT or 17:00 GMT)

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Virtual Skeptics webcast – August 29, 2012

The third episode of Virtual Skeptics was recorded August 29, 2012, you can watch it here:

The panel:

New episodes webcast live every Wednesday at 8 PM EDT (Midnight GMT), with the recorded version available immediately thereafter.

Links mentioned in the show after the jump…

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