Disinformation has always been a problem, but modern technology has made it easier than ever to spread false statements, stories and lies around the internet. Journalists are, of course, aware of this problem, but the pressure of separating the truth from lies can be very difficult when trying to nab a scoop under deadline pressure.
In this article by Patrick Butler at IJNet, reporters are given four pieces of advice for fighting disinformation and for avoiding accidentally sharing it themselves, from Joan Donovan, the project lead on media manipulation at Data & Society.
She emphasises the importance of understanding how trolls act and think, and why they might want to spread false news, from the tactic of 'keyword squatting', registering social media accounts to mimic or impersonate those affiliated with progressive movements, to 'capturing the narrative', where trolls try to “bait journalists into telling an easy story".
Free daily newsletter
- Tip: Check out this advice to make sure you are prepared for the next viral hoax
- Tip: Teaching journalism? Bookmark this advice for teaching news writing online
- Tip: Check out this advice for getting your profile noticed on Instagram
- Tip: Take note of this advice when verifying videos on social media
- Tip: Advice for working with collaborative data journalism projects