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rumor 662753

 

A Rumor is often viewed as "an unverified account or explanation of events circulating from person to person and pertaining to an object, event, or issue in public concern". However, a review of the research on rumor conducted by Pendleton in 1998 found that research across sociology, psychology, and communication studies had widely varying definitions of rumor. Thus, rumor is a concept that lacks a particular definition in the social sciences. But most theories agree that rumor involves some kind of a statement whose veracity is not quickly or ever confirmed. In addition, some scholars have identified rumor as a subset of propoaganda, the latter another notoriously difficult concept to define. A pioneer of propaganda studies, Harold Lasswell defined propaganda in 1927 as referring "solely to the control of opinion by significant symbols, or, to speak more concretely and less accurately, by stories, rumors, reports, pictures, and other forms of social communication" (1927). Rumors are also often discussed with regard to "misinformation" and "disinformation" (the former often seen as simply false and the latter seen as deliberately false, though usually from a government source given to the media or a foreign government). Rumors thus have often been viewed as particular forms of other communication concepts.


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 Related Article: "Conspiracy Theories and the Spread of Rumors"

A Rumor to be Effective Requires Three Main Ingredients:

  • To be juicy and newsy to get attention
  • To be difficult to confirm it’s veracity
  • To travel fast mouth to ear to mouth

 

As part of a case study at the University Anahuac in Mexico City, where I attended the School of Mass Communications as an undergraduate in the 1970's , we had to create a "Rumor" and measure its’ effectiveness while also analyzing the impact rumors may have in our community and how fast they spread as truth. After long deliberations, our team decided to start a "juicy rumor":

 

blond cartoon rape in stall

"A Girl from our Own School of Communications Had Just Being Raped At The University Bathroom."

 

The Rumor Included the Three Major Objectives we had Studied:

 

  •  Make the news: and that it did! The story was aired by all major Nightly News on television that evening.
  •  Difficult to confirm its veracity: it spread like wild fire without confirming the source. Everyone in the community heard about it but didn’t know who said it!
  • Travel Fast: It was a “Mouth Opener” and we reached a “risk point”.  Everyone wanted to know who the victim was and people started speculating about: who the girl was; her family and background;  who was responsible for the rape?  was she guilty for encouraging the guy?  All sorts of rumors and gossip started flowing. The story reached a point of ‘dangerously’ becoming a major source of gossip. Possibly damaging the school’s reputation and attracting the interest of Paparazzi's  from all over.
  • The next morning we had to issue an official notice from school to all news media that the story was false.  The new information did not get as much and fast coverage as the original rumor we spread. 

 We don’t recommend starting rumors, so: Don’t Do It.  But, if you have a story to share with COFL.CO contact us.   Please send your stories at:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">

 

Spotting Fake News in the Internet


 Fake News x

 

An Extremely Helpful List of Fake and Misleading News Sites to Watch Out For:

By: Madison Malone Kircher (NYMAG.com)

 

As Facebook and now Google face scrutiny for promoting fake news stories, Melissa Zimdars, a communication and media professor from Merrimack College in Massachusetts, has compiled a handy list of websites you should think twice about trusting. “Below is a list of fake, false, regularly misleading, and otherwise questionable ‘news’ organizations that are commonly shared on Facebook and other social media sites,” Zimdars explains. “Many of these websites rely on ‘outrage’ by using distorted headlines and decontextualized or dubious information in order to generate likes, shares, and profits.” 

 

  • Be warned: Zimdars’s list is expansive in scope, and stretches beyond the bootleg sites (many of them headquartered in Macedonia) that write fake news for the sole reason of selling advertisements. Right-wing sources and conspiracy theorists like Breitbart and Infowars appear alongside pure (but often misinterpreted) satire like the Onion and The New Yorker’s Borowitz Report. “Not all of these sources are always or inherently problematic, but I’m including them because they should be considered in conjunction with other news/info sources due to their tendency to rely on clickbait headlines,” Zimdars notes. You should read it closely, feel free to disagree, and, in the spirit of media literacy, do your own research.

 

Some helpful tips for spotting fake news:

• Watch out if known/reputable news sites are not also reporting on the story. Sometimes lack of coverage is the result of corporate media bias and other factors, but there should typically be more than one source reporting on a topic or event.

• Odd domain names generally equal odd and rarely truthful news. 

• If the story makes you REALLY ANGRY it’s probably a good idea to keep reading about the topic via other sources to make sure the story you read wasn’t purposefully trying to make you angry (with potentially misleading or false information) in order to generate shares and ad revenue.

 

False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical “News” Sources:

Some of contents of this educational resource/google document, specifically the list of potential false, misleading, clickbait-y, and/or satirical news sources, have been removed in order for it to be transferred to and expanded on in a more permanent, dynamic, and collaborative home. This page will reflect updates as they become available.

 fake news stamp

Tips for analyzing news sources:

  • Avoid websites that end in “lo” ex: Newslo. These sites take pieces of accurate information and then packaging that information with other false or misleading “facts” (sometimes for the purposes of satire or comedy).
  • Watch out for websites that end in “.com.co” as they are often fake versions of real news sources
  • Watch out if known/reputable news sites are not also reporting on the story. Sometimes lack of coverage is the result of corporate media bias and other factors, but there should typically be more than one source reporting on a topic or event.
  • Odd domain names generally equal odd and rarely truthful news.
  • Lack of author attribution may, but not always, signify that the news story is suspect and requires verification.
  • Some news organizations are also letting bloggers post under the banner of particular news brands; however, many of these posts do not go through the same editing process (ex: BuzzFeed Community Posts, Kinja blogs, Forbes blogs).
  • Check the “About Us” tab on websites or look up the website on Snopes or Wikipedia for more information about the source.
  • Bad web design and use of ALL CAPS can also be a sign that the source you’re looking at should be verified and/or read in conjunction with other sources.
  • If the story makes you REALLY ANGRY it’s probably a good idea to keep reading about the topic via other sources to make sure the story you read wasn’t purposefully trying to make you angry (with potentially misleading or false information) in order to generate shares and ad revenue.
  • If the website you’re reading encourages you to DOX individuals, it’s unlikely to be a legitimate source of news.
  • It’s always best to read multiple sources of information to get a variety of viewpoints and media frames. Some sources not yet included in this list (although their practices at times may qualify them for addition), such as The Daily Kos, The Huffington Post, and Fox News, vacillate between providing important, legitimate, problematic, and/or hyperbolic news coverage, requiring readers and viewers to verify and contextualize information with other sources.

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If in doubt of a story you read, www.Factcheck.org is an important tool to determine the veracity of the story and the source.  Factcheck.org is an non for profit internet site sponsored by the Annenberg School of Communications of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia  and describe it the following way:

 

I cant separe fake news

 

"Fake news is nothing new. But bogus stories can reach more people more quickly via social media than what good old-fashioned viral emails could accomplish in years past.Concern about the phenomenon led Facebook and Google to announce that they’ll crack down on fake news sites, restricting their ability to garner ad revenue. Perhaps that could dissipate the amount of malarkey online, though news consumers themselves are the best defense against the spread of misinformation. Not all of the misinformation being passed along online is complete fiction, though some of it is.

logo snopes large

 

Snopes.com has been exposing false viral claims since the mid 1990s, whether that’s fabricated messages, distortions containing bits of truth and everything in between. Founder David Mikkelson warned in a Nov. 17 article not to lump everything into the “fake news” category. “The fictions and fabrications that comprise fake news are but a subset of the larger bad news phenomenon, which also encompasses many forms of shoddy, unresearched, error-filled, and deliberately misleading reporting that do a disservice to everyone,” he wrote. A lot of these viral claims aren’t “news” at all, but fiction, satire and efforts to fool readers into thinking they’re for real.

 

fake news fishy

 

Factcheck.org has long encouraged readers to be skeptical of viral claims, and make good use of the delete key when a chain email hits their inboxes. In December 2007, we launched our Ask FactCheck feature, where we answer readers’ questions, the vast majority of which concern viral emails, social media memes and the like. Our first story was about a made-up email that claimed then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wanted to put a “windfall” tax on all stock profits of 100 percent and give the money to, the email claimed, “the 12 Million Illegal Immigrants and other unemployed minorities.” We called it “a malicious fabrication” — that’s “fake news” in today’s parlance. In 2008, they tried to get readers to rid their inboxes of this kind of garbage. "We described a list of red flags — we called them Key Characteristics of Bogusness — that were clear tip-offs that a chain email wasn’t legitimate".

 

Among them: an anonymous author; excessive exclamation points, capital letters and misspellings; entreaties that “This is NOT a hoax!”; and links to sourcing that does not support or completely contradicts the claims being made. Those all still hold true, but fake stories — as in, completely made-up “news” — has grown more sophisticated, often presented on a site designed to look (sort of) like a legitimate news organization. Still, we find it’s easy to figure out what’s real and what’s imaginary if you’re armed with some critical thinking and fact-checking tools of the trade.

 

Here’s Factcheck.org's Advice on How to Spot a Fake:

 

Consider the Source: In recent months, we’ve fact-checked fake news from abcnews.com.co (not the actual URL for ABC News), WTOE 5 News (whose “about” page says it’s “a fantasy news website”), and the Boston Tribune (whose “contact us” page lists only a gmail address). Earlier this year, we debunked the claim that the Obamas were buying a vacation home in Dubai, a made-up missive that came from WhatDoesItMean.com, which describes itself as “One Of The Top Ranked Websites In The World for New World Order, Conspiracy Theories and Alternative News” and further says on its site that most of what it publishes is fiction. Clearly, some of these sites do provide a “fantasy news” or satire warning, like WTOE 5, which published the bogus headline, “Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President, Releases Statement.” Others aren’t so upfront, like the Boston Tribune, which doesn’t provide any information on its mission, staff members or physical location — further signs that maybe this site isn’t a legitimate news organization. The site, in fact, changed its name from Associated Media Coverage, after its work had been debunked by fact-checking organizations.

 

Snopes.com, which has been writing about viral claims and online rumors since the mid-1990s, maintains a list of known fake news websites, several of which have emerged in the past two years.

 

Read Beyond the Headline: If a provocative headline drew your attention, read a little further before you decide to pass along the shocking information. Even in legitimate news stories, the headline doesn’t always tell the whole story. But fake news, particularly efforts to be satirical, can include several revealing signs in the text. That abcnews.com.co story that we checked, headlined “Obama Signs Executive Order Banning The Pledge Of Allegiance In Schools Nationwide,” went on to quote “Fappy the Anti-Masturbation Dolphin.” We have to assume that the many readers who asked us whether this viral rumor was true hadn’t read the full story.

 

Check the Author: Another tell-tale sign of a fake story is often the byline. The pledge of allegiance story on abcnews.com.co was supposedly written by “Jimmy Rustling.” Who is he? Well, his author page claims he is a “doctor” who won “fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes.” Pretty impressive, if true. But it’s not. No one by the name of “Rustling” has won a Pulitzer or Peabody award. The photo accompanying Rustling’s bio is also displayed on another bogus story on a different site, but this time under the byline “Darius Rubics.” The Dubai story was written by “Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers.” The Pope Francis story has no byline at all.

What’s the support? Many times these bogus stories will cite official — or official-sounding — sources, but once you look into it, the source doesn’t back up the claim. For instance, the Boston Tribune site wrongly claimed that President Obama’s mother-in-law was going to get a lifetime government pension for having babysat her granddaughters in the White House, citing “the Civil Service Retirement Act” and providing a link. But the link to a government benefits website doesn’t support the claim at all. The banning-the-pledge story cites the number of an actual executive order — you can look it up. It doesn’t have anything to do with the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Another viral claim we checked a year ago was a graphic purporting to show crime statistics on the percentage of whites killed by blacks and other murder statistics by race. Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump retweeted it, telling Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly that it came “from sources that are very credible.” But almost every figure in the image was wrong — FBI crime data is publicly available — and the supposed source given for the data, “Crime Statistics Bureau – San Francisco,” doesn’t exist. Recently, we’ve received several questions about a fake news story on the admittedly satirical site Nevada County Scooper, which wrote that Vice President-elect Mike Pence, in a “surprise announcement,” credited gay conversion therapy for saving his marriage. Clearly such a “surprise announcement” would garner media coverage beyond a website you’ve never heard of. In fact, if you Google this, the first link that comes up is a Snopes.com article revealing that this is fake news.

 

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Check the date: Some false stories aren’t completely fake, but rather distortions of real events. These mendacious claims can take a legitimate news story and twist what it says — or even claim that something that happened long ago is related to current events. Since Trump was elected president, we’ve received many inquiries from readers wanting to know whether Ford had moved car production from Mexico to Ohio, because of Trump’s election. Readers cited various blog items that quoted from and linked to a CNN Money article titled “Ford shifts truck production from Mexico to Ohio.” But that story is from August 2015, clearly not evidence of Ford making any move due to the outcome of the election. (A reminder again to check the support for these claims.) One deceptive website didn’t credit CNN, but instead took CNN’s 2015 story and slapped a new headline and publication date on it, claiming, “Since Donald Trump Won The Presidency... Ford Shifts Truck Production From Mexico To Ohio.” Not only is that a bogus headline, but the deception involves copyright infringement. If this Ford story sounds familiar, that’s because the CNN article has been distorted before.

 

ford world headquarters

Ford World Headquarters, Dearborn Michigan, USA

 

In October 2015, Trump wrongly boasted that Ford had changed its plans to build new plants in Mexico, and instead would build a plant in Ohio. Trump took credit for Ford’s alleged change of heart and tweeted a link to a story on a blog called Prntly.com, which cited the CNN Money story. But Ford hadn’t changed its plans at all, and Trump deserved no credit. In fact, the CNN article was about the transfer of some pickup assembly work from Mexico to Ohio, a move that was announced by Ford in March 2014. The plans for new plants in Mexico were still on, Ford said. “Ford has not spoken with Mr. Trump, nor have we made any changes to our plans,” Ford said in a statement. Is this some kind of joke? Remember, there is such thing as satire. Normally, it’s clearly labeled as such, and sometimes it’s even funny. Andy Borowitz has been writing a satirical news column, the Borowitz Report, since 2001, and it has appeared in the New Yorker since 2012. But not everyone gets the jokes. We’ve fielded several questions on whether Borowitz’s work is true.

X Facts

Among the headlines their readers have flagged: “Putin Appears with Trump in Flurry of Swing-State Rallies” and “Trump Threatens to Skip Remaining Debates If Hillary Is There.” When we told readers these were satirical columns, some indicated that they suspected the details were far-fetched but wanted to be sure. And then there’s the more debatable forms of satire, designed to pull one over on the reader. That “Fappy the Anti-Masturbation Dolphin” story? That’s the work of online hoaxer Paul Horner, whose “greatest coup,” as described by the Washington Post in 2014, was when Fox News mentioned, as fact, a fake piece titled, “Obama uses own money to open Muslim museum amid government shutdown.” Horner told the Post after the election that he was concerned his hoaxes aimed at Trump supporters may have helped the campaign.

 

Fake News cartoon

The posts by Horner and others — whether termed satire or simply “fake news” — are designed to encourage clicks, and generate money for the creator through ad revenue. Horner told the Washington Post he makes a living off his posts. Asked why his material gets so many views, Horner responded, “They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything anymore.” Check your biases. We know this is difficult. Confirmation bias leads people to put more stock in information that confirms their beliefs and discount information that doesn’t. But the next time you’re automatically appalled at some Facebook post concerning, say, a politician you oppose, take a moment to check it out.

 

FAKE NEWS     phone fake news

 

Try this Simple Test:

 What other stories have been posted to the “news” website that is the source of the story that just popped up in your Facebook feed? You may be predisposed to believe that Obama bought a house in Dubai, but how about a story on the same site that carries this headline: “Antarctica ‘Guardians’ Retaliate Against America With Massive New Zealand Earthquake.” That, too, was written by the prolific “Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers.”

 

myths facts

 

We’re encouraged by some of the responses we get from readers, who — like the ones uncertain of Borowitz’s columns — express doubt in the outrageous, and just want to be sure their skepticism is justified. But we are equally discouraged when we see debunked claims gain new life.

We’ve seen the resurgence of a fake quote from Donald Trump since the election — a viral image that circulated last year claims Trump told People magazine in 1998: “If I were to run, I’d run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.” We found no such quote in People‘s archives from 1998, or any other year. And a public relations representative for the magazine confirmed that. People‘s Julie Farin told us in an email last year: “We combed through every Trump story in our archive. We couldn’t find anything remotely like this quote –and no interview at all in 1998.”

Comedian Amy Schumer may have contributed to the revival of this fake meme. She put it on Instagram, adding at the end of a lengthy message, “Yes this quote is fake but it doesn’t matter.”

 

Pants on fire    politifact false

 

Consult the Experts. We know you’re busy, and some of this debunking takes time. But we get paid to do this kind of work. Between FactCheck.org, Snopes.com, the Washington Post Fact Checker and PolitiFact.com, it’s likely at least one has already fact-checked the latest viral claim to pop up in your news feed.

 

facebook working with Fact Checkers to weed fake news

Facebook Working with Fact Checkers to Weed Out Fake News

 

FactCheck.org was among a network of independent fact-checkers who signed an open letter to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg suggesting that Facebook “start an open conversation on the principles that could underpin a more accurate news ecosystem on its News Feed.” We hope that conversation happens, but news readers themselves remain the first line of defense against fake news. On our Viral Spiral page, we list some of the claims we get asked about the most; all of our Ask FactChecks can be found here. And if you encounter a new claim you’d like us to investigate, email the fact check editor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.." target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Comments   

0 #1 Social Media Fireisland@aol.com 2016-11-19 17:57
Make sure to check your sources before you conclude that a rumor is real. Too many fake news running around this days.
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