Ukrainian crisis and the "digital responsibility" of fake news

Ukrainian crisis and the "digital responsibility" of fake news

The World Economic Forum raises the alarm on the growing disinformation due to propaganda on social media, today's… “conscience of the world”

A tank painted blue and yellow in the livery of the Ukrainian flag
A tank painted blue and yellow in the livery of the Ukrainian flag

The media also come into play in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, which by now has all the characteristics of an asymmetrical war: fought on land-sea-sky, but also on social networks, today's "conscience of the world".
The topic is dealt with by the very recent study "Let's unmask the false news that alters reality on the Ukrainian crisis", in which the World Economic Forum (WEF), a center for socio-economic studies based in the Canton of Geneva, takes up the considerations of Professor Paula Dootson and colleagues TJ Thomson and Daniel Angus, professors at Australia's Queensland University of Technology.
In the conflict triggered by Russia, experts warn, media disinformation takes place mainly via social media.
Archival images are often proposed as breaking news, current affairs of the day, by portals of dubious reputation, and then inevitably taken up by the various Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.

Conspiracy, fake news and xenophobia: dangerous digital mix

The "fake news" or "fake news" has achieved a significant escalation with the digital transformation and to the extent that social networks have taken on the role of being the "conscience of the world"
The "fake news" or "false news" has achieved a significant escalation with the digital transformation and to the extent that social networks have taken charge of being the "conscience of the world"

Visual content has a greater capacity for deception

For example, in recent days TikTok has posted, but immediately removed, old footage of aerial exercises, passing them off as Soviet forays into the Ukrainian skies.
It is precisely the visual contents, the scholars recall, which today easily manage to deceive the public.
Furthermore, at least in the Western world, it is certain that at the basis of disinformation activities we find not only political interests but also and above all economic reasons, given that tabloid news is the main attractor of advertisements.
Already in 2018, the experts point out, the authoritative periodical "Digital Journalism", commenting on the Donald Trump election, signaled that the coexistence of misleading advertising and truthful advertising is counterproductive, albeit from a strictly commercial perspective, because in comparison it is always this last to lose.
But what are the reasons behind false journalistic information, fake news?
“Disinformation Pathologies”recall the academics of the Queensland University of Technology recalling a research by UNESCO, the UN agency that protects education, culture and science, “they disorient, alter and exacerbate social dialogue, sow discord, and in addition polarize and exasperate the tone of confrontation. This is typical of countries torn apart by irreversible socio-economic disparities, and now hostage to propaganda".

Photogallery, the cartoons that exorcise the fears of the web

How to defend yourself from propaganda, political as well as economic?

How can the public recognize and defend against these pathologies?
For archive images passed off as news items, which is the most common form of disinformation, experts invite users to look for the same photo on different portals: it is often commented on and referred to totally unrelated circumstances.
Another expedient, used at the time by the Soviet media, is to reproduce archival images, for example of destroyed vehicles, passing them off as breaking news.
The public can also be fooled by altering the prospect of a recovery.
With the most basic photographic retouching applications, a crowd of people today can be minimized by a close-up shot; which would not happen, for example, with a bird's-eye view.
In defense of correct information, numerous organizations of investigative journalists are active, who regularly refute the reports proposed by the Russian media precisely on the subject of the Ukrainian conflict.
The aim of these consortia is to invite viewers to a critical analysis of the visual contributions, rather than surrender to simple logical analysis.

The future of social media between opportunities and dangers…

The so-called "alternative media" constituted in their time an alternative to mainstream information
The so-called "alternative media" constituted in their time an alternative to mainstream information

An alliance between investigative journalism and… Artificial Intelligence

Social media research departments also use artificial intelligence (AI) in their efforts to counter biased propaganda and then visually bookmark the unreliability of certain news with banners.
And here we are at the point: the single individual, reader, viewer or internet user who is, in practice “What should you pay attention to”?
Given that even in the world of information it is always mandatory to verify facts beyond appearances, scholars invite you to exercise due skepticism.
First of all, it is necessary to check the metadata, the genetic code that makes every single photo traceable in a hidden form.
In the case of images posted by Facebook or Twitter, which in their platforms erase the digital DNA of the visual contributions, it is enough to search for the same image on different sites; or check it on the links of reliable journalistic consortia such as Agence France Presse (AFP), or perhaps even using Google Images.
Also, look for errors in the shots. Control the angle of shadows, perspective, even the time on a clock.
For example: the Russian media recently published a photo of an important government meeting held in the Kremlin.
Two top executives were present, resumed side by side.
Revealing detail: everyone's clock showed a completely different time from his colleague.
Finally, if all this were still not enough to discover fake news, the public just has to go back to the basic rule of journalism: ask yourself about who-what-where-when-why, and above all how news was born.

What to do if Google ranks the wrong page on your site?

Searching for weather forecasts on Google in the English language
Searching for weather forecasts on Google in the English language

Google's “20 questions” as… a “stress test” of the truth of the facts

Even in these investigations, human intelligence can team up with artificial intelligence, or use the "20 question" questionnaire prepared by the Mountain View company and placed publicly and free of charge on Google Drive, a sort of stress-test with the twenty questions to ask in case of suspicion.
Be that as it may, scholars conclude, the public and insiders should always refrain from trusting unknown portals.
It takes very little, as we have just seen, to intercept the disinformation proposed in the reports on the Ukrainian conflict, and not only in those.
It is a peaceful and silent battle that we can all win.

Many hours on Instagram yes, but they are "unimportant"

The "fake news" or "fake news" has achieved a significant escalation with the digital transformation and to the extent that social networks have taken on the role of being the "conscience of the world"
The "fake news" or "false news" has achieved a significant escalation with the digital transformation and to the extent that social networks have taken charge of being the "conscience of the world"