Social media campaign takes on COVID vaccine hesitancy

Aims to help people find credible information online

Social media campaign takes on COVID vaccine hesitancyThe problem with combatting the misinformation swirling around COVID-19 is, according to University of Alberta health law professor Timothy Caulfield, that all fronts the fight takes place on are of equal importance. “For a long time there has been this tolerance of pseudoscience and misinformation,” said Caulfield. “But there are recent studies that show once people believe…

#ScienceUpFirst turning the tide on COVID-19 misinformation online

“Misinformation is a dire, imminent threat to the lives of all Canadians"

#ScienceUpFirst turning the tide on COVID-19 misinformation onlineHow do you respond to a deluge of COVID fake news on social media? If you ask Timothy Caulfield, he would say fight back with a tsunami of irrefutable science. That’s just what he and other notable influencers are doing with a new social media campaign called #ScienceUpFirst. So far, it seems to be working, with…

Truth, lies and the insidious rise of “misinformation”

In a world where disagreement is misinformation, can debate even exist?

Truth, lies and the insidious rise of “misinformation”Before 2016, ‘misinformation’ was just another word in the dictionary. As soon as it became clear that Donald Trump’s straight-shooting presidential campaign was serious, and that he would likely become the Republican nominee, ‘misinformation’ became a strategy. Anything that left Trump’s mouth that media pundits or Democrats considered distasteful, or even just phrased in a…

To protect democracy, we must protect local media

Our 21st-century reliance on tech giants to supply us with information has resulted in fake news, clickbait and polarized societies

To protect democracy, we must protect local mediaIt’s not news to say that our consumption of media has changed dramatically in the 21st century. Perhaps it’s time to take a step back and look objectively at the impact of these changes and begin thinking about how our media can be improved. For most of the 20th century, the media was controlled by…

Just the facts? Don’t count on fact-checkers

A closer look at almost every fact-checking organization shows a great deal of politics and vested interests involved

Just the facts? Don’t count on fact-checkersFact-checking takes us past the spin and straight to the truth. Or maybe not. A closer look at almost every fact-checking organization shows a great deal of politics and vested interests involved. Years ago, I went to Snopes.com whenever someone sent me an email thread I wasn’t sure about. I even recommended to others that…

A KGB guide to subverting the press to your agenda

The methods of a former KGB operative remain applicable in the modern era, leading to disinformation and outright lies

A KGB guide to subverting the press to your agenda“I cannot but wonder why are people pushing for socialism and communism?” an elderly friend wrote on Facebook. “Are they that misinformed and believing it?” If we concede the answer is “Yes,” the next question is “Why?” The late Yuri Bezmenov, a former KGB operative with the RIA Novosti press agency, had some answers. One…

Fake news? Every era had its perpetrators

Early newspapers were often more interested in expressing the opinions of the owners than the facts

Fake news? Every era had its perpetratorsFake news is a popular term these days. It’s hard to imagine why. Much more inflammatory and even manufactured ‘news’ has been with us all through history. Pamphleteers of the French and American revolutions may be the most famous. Among the best was Thomas Paine. But the average person with an axe to grind and…

Racist cop shows, biased news fuel public fears of crime

Portrayals of violent crime in pop culture and media are skewing people's perception of how likely it is to happen to them, says U of A expert

Racist cop shows, biased news fuel public fears of crimeU.S. President Donald Trump tweeted recently that defunding the police would “be good for Robbers & Rapists.” Last week, after signing his tepid executive order on policing, he proffered that “without police, there is chaos.” The reality, however, is that violent crime – the kind that people often think of when rationalizing the need for a…

Could BBC subscription reform work at CBC?

Once a subscription model is implemented, BBC will only survive if it produces content people actually want to watch

Could BBC subscription reform work at CBC?In February, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said the government had “no intention” of imposing licensing requirements on news organisations and will not “try to regulate new content.” The clarification came after Guilbeault told CTV’s Evan Solomon precisely the opposite. During an episode of Question Period, he explained how Canadian news media organisations should be…

How far should we go to stop the social media chaos?

Maybe the problem isn’t the mischief-makers who are planting claims. Maybe it’s the social media themselves that are the problem

How far should we go to stop the social media chaos?Did you know that the Covid-19 virus was created by the emergence of 5G networks? I know this information may come as a bit of a shock to you, but it’s from a doctor in the U.S., so, you know, we have to take it seriously. Dr. Thomas Cowan claimed in a video released on…
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