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Truth Window Vol. 1 No. 1

May, 2019

© 2019 Truth Window

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‘Pizzagate’ Gunman Edgar Maddison Welch Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

College Students vs. Fake News

We Help Students Diversify Their Media Consumption and Consider News Bias

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Page 10-11

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Media Bias Chart

How to Spot Fake News

Truth Window

Believing Fake News Can Have Real Life Consequences

In this Dec. 4, 2016 file photo, Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, of Salisbury, NC, surrenders to police in Washington,D.C. Welch, a man who police said was inspired by false internet rumors dubbed “pizzagate” to fire an assault weapon inside a Washington pizzeria pleaded guilty Friday, March 24, 2017 to two charges. Photo credit: Sathi Soma/AP ▶ Page 02


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Truth Window

WHAT?

“Pizzagate” Gunman Edgar Maddison Welch Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

The North Carolina man who fired a rifle inside a Washington, D.C., pizzeria as he chased down an internet rumor related to Hillary Clinton was sentenced Thursday to four years behind bars. Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, had pleaded guilty in March to two charges stemming from the Dec. 4 incident at the Comet Ping Pong restaurant. Prosecutors say he was self-investigating an online conspiracy theory dubbed “Pizzagate”—that claimed the pizzeria was harboring a child sextrafficking ring with connections to influential Democrats. Washington police and the FBI denied the theories had any substance. Federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said Thursday that even though Welch didn’t harm anyone, his unsound actions “literally left psychological wreckage,” according to The Associated Press. Jackson added that Welch still went ahead with his “ill-conceived plot” when others warned him not to, and that he should have simply contacted law enforcement if he believed the restaurant was engaged in something illicit—instead of driving the more than 4-1/2 hours from his home to the nation’s capital to “rescue” the nonexistent children. Welch apologized for his actions and told the judge that he “cannot undo or change what already happened,” the AP added. Welch’s attorney sought a sentence of 1-1/2 years, while prosecutors asked the judge for as much as 4-1/2 years. He had initially been arraigned on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, carrying a pistol without a license and other crimes. Prosecutors say he was armed with an AR-15 rifle and a .38 caliber handgun during the bizarre episode. Witnesses told police that they heard Welch fire three times inside the restaurant. He surrendered peacefully after finding no evidence of sex trafficking. Source: by Erik Ortiz 07/22/2017 http://www.nbcnews.com

The front door of Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington. Photo credit: Jose Luis Magana/AP

Two Years After #Pizzagate Showed the Dangers of Hateful Conspiracies, They’re Still Rampant on YouTube A year after YouTube’s chief executive promised to curb “problematic” videos, it continues to harbor and even recommend hateful, conspiratorial videos, allowing racists, anti-Semites and proponents of other extremist views to use the platform as an online library for spreading their ideas. YouTube is particularly valuable to users of Gab.ai and 4chan, social media sites that are popular among hate groups but have scant video capacity of their own. Users on these sites link to YouTube more than to any other website, thousands of times a day, according to the recent work of Data and Society and the Network Contagion Research Institute, both of which track the spread of hate speech.

Edgar Maddison Welch Photo credit: Sathi Soma/AP

The platform routinely serves videos espousing neo-Nazi propaganda, phony reports portraying dark-skinned people as violent savages and conspiracy theories claiming that large numbers of leading politicians


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May 2019

False claims live on The recommendation engine for YouTube, which queues up an endless succession of clips once users start watching, recently suggested videos claiming that politicians, celebrities and other elite figures were sexually abusing or consuming the remains of children, often in satanic rituals, according to watchdog group AlgoTransparency. The claims echo and often cite the discredited Pizzagate conspiracy, which two years ago led to a man firing shots into a Northwest Washington pizzeria in search of children he believed were being held as sex slaves by Democratic Party leaders. One recent variation on that theory, which began spreading on YouTube this spring, claimed that Democrat Hillary Clinton and her longtime aide Huma Abedin had sexually assaulted a girl and drank her blood—a conspiracy theory its proponents dubbed “Frazzledrip.” Although some of these clips were removed after first appearing in April and being quickly debunked by fact-checkers, a Washington Post review found that dozens of videos alleging or discussing these false claims remain online and have been viewed millions of times over the past eight months. YouTube’s search box highlighted the videos when people typed in seemingly innocuous terms such as “HRC video” or “Frazzle.” YouTube does not have a policy against falsehoods, but it does remove videos that violate its guidelines against hateful, graphic and violent content directed at minorities and other protected groups. It also seeks to give wide latitude to users who upload videos, out of respect for speech freedoms and the free flow of political discourse. “YouTube is a platform for free speech where anyone can choose to post videos, subject to our Community Guidelines, which we enforce rigorously,” the company said in a statement in response to questions from The Washington Post.

and celebrities molested children. Critics say that even though YouTube removes millions of videos on average each month, it is slow to identify troubling content and, when it does, is too permissive in what it allows to remain. The struggle to control the spread of such content poses ethical and political challenges to YouTube and its embattled parent company, Google, whose chief executive, Sundar Pichai, is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill on Tuesday amid several controversies. Even on the House of Representatives YouTube channel that is due to broadcast the hearing, viewers on Monday could see several videos peddling conspiracy theories recommended by the site’s algorithm. “YouTube is repeatedly used by malign actors, and individuals or groups, promoting very dangerous, disruptive narratives,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). “So whether it is deliberate or simply reckless, YouTube tends to tolerate messaging and narratives that seem to be at the very, very extreme end of the political spectrum, involving hatred, bias and bigotry.” YouTube has focused its cleanup efforts on what chief executive Susan Wojcicki in a blog post last year called “violent extremism.” But she also signaled the urgency of tackling other categories of content that allow “bad actors” to take advantage of the platform, which 1.8 billion people log on to each month. “I’ve also seen up-close that there can be another, more troubling, side of YouTube’s openness. I’ve seen how some bad actors are exploiting our openness to mislead, manipulate, harass or even harm,” Wojcicki wrote. But a large share of videos that researchers and critics regard as hateful don’t necessarily violate YouTube’s policies.

In an attempt to counter the huge volumes of conspiratorial content, the company also has worked to direct users to more-reliable sources, especially after major news events such as mass shootings. But critics say YouTube and Google generally have faced less scrutiny than Twitter and Facebook—which have been blasted for the hate and disinformation that were spread on their platforms during the 2016 election and its aftermath—and, as a result, YouTube has not moved as aggressively as its rivals to address such problems. The Pizzagate shooter reportedly had watched a YouTube video about the conspiracy days before heading to Washington from his home in North Carolina, telling a friend that he was “raiding a pedo ring. . .  The world is too afraid to act and I’m too stubborn not to.” The Network Contagion Research Institute found that Robert Bowers, the man charged in a mass shooting that killed 11 at a Pittsburgh synagogue in October, used his Gab account to link to YouTube videos 71 times. These included neo-Nazi propaganda, clips depicting black people as violent thugs and videos calling Jewish people “satanic.” Data and Society found that 22 percent of Gab users link to videos on YouTube and that people pushing racist and anti-Semitic views—often cloaked in engaging but false conspiracy theories—link to one another’s clips on YouTube, make guest appearances on one another’s online shows and engage in the company’s paid conversation boards known as “super chats.” These tactics, the researchers found, bolster the popularity of the videos and fuel the spread of extremist ideologies. “Sites like Gab rely on YouTube as a media archive for hate and conspiracy content,” said Joan Donovan, a Data and Society researcher. “These videos are often used as ‘evidence’ in debates.” Source: by Craig Timberg, Elizabeth Dwoskin, Tony Romm and Andrew Ba Tran 10/10/2018 http://www.washingtonpost.com


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Truth Window

“Most college students didn’t suspect potential bias in a tweet from an activist group.” — Stanford’s Graduate School of Education

College Students vs. Fake News

adult, will depend on your discretion and your ability to balance truth and confidence with a healthy skepticism. The more knowledge and awareness you bring to your consumption of information and news, the more meaningful that consumption will be. And perhaps more importantly, this knowledge and awareness will protect you from becoming an unwitting mark, a vessel for untruth targeted by those who wish to spread it. Though as a cautionary reality, The Wall Street Journal reports that by age 18, young adults get 88% of their news from Facebook and other social media outlets.

As a student, you are a researcher, which means you’re always digging for leads, foraging for data, borrowing judiciously from great thinkers, writers, world leaders, and journalists to formulate your own understanding of a subject. That understanding amounts to little if you can’t tell who’s giving it to you straight and who’s shoveling fertilizer into your feed.

The burden is on educators and students to command facts effectively. If harmony between two divergent narratives isn’t possible, let academic truth at least be a line of defense against the spread of falsehood.

The Stanford study shows that educators and students have their work cut out for them. Your ability to succeed as a student, and as a functional

Source: by David A. Tomar http://thebestschools.org


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May 15,2015

HOW?

We Help Students Diversify Their Media Consumption and Consider News Bias “About two-thirds (68%) say they prefer to get political news from sources that do not have a political point of view, compared with just 23% who prefer news from sources that share their point of view (23%).” — Pew Research

As media outlets adapt, so does the way that consumers get their news. Advancements in technology have contributed to significant cuts in print newspapers, and news on social media is taking over—especially for college students. According to the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of Americans get some of their news from social media services, and about 70 percent of adults aged 18 to 29 prefer to use mobile devices to get their news. Students need to be wary of where they get their information because as technology advances, it becomes easier for people to fabricate stories, and the information can spread far and wide within seconds. When using social media, anyone can promote, create and share information, even if it is untrue or deceptive. The Cronkite School hosts events that promote news literacy for students, which are also open to the public. For instance, ASU professor Eric Newton discussed why media literacy should be taught in schools and on a separate occasion talked about the impact of fake news. Another event co-hosted by Wallace encouraged modern-day muckrakers. Too often, students base their political opinions on social media posts from authors that have the intent to persuade. Students need to understand the importance of taking stock in news and opinions that have solid and accurate information behind them.

In order for a society to flourish, the public must be informed and active. In the US, citizens are lucky enough to live under the First Amendment, which protects free speech and allows criticism of the government. However, free press does not prevent the spread of misinformation, and different media outlets often contradict, leave information out or lean toward a desired audience. On Jan. 17, President Trump unveiled his “most dishonest and corrupt” news awards. As expected, outlets including CNN and The New York Times, which Trump has criticized multiple times throughout his presidency, earned awards while Fox, a more conservative network, was not mentioned. Students must understand that some media outlets have a bias. Varying media consumption can help prevent the development of misinformed opinions. Reading and watching credible papers and respected networks is the best way to get the most accurate information. At ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, a news literacy program was recently launched to help students learn how to combat fake news. “On the national level, journalism has never been stronger,” Julia Wallace, professor of practice at the Cronkite School, said. “The trick is that there’s a lot of it, and it’s hard to keep up.”

“When you think about organizations that are reputable, accurate, and fair, there are so many that do a good job,” Wallace said. “The New York Times has been fabulous on the sexual harassment story. The Wall Street Journal provided strong content to the recently passed tax bill. Vox explains issues in-depth in a way that truly provides insight.” Wallace also praised the in-depth work by ProPublica and Buzzfeed, saying that reporters at the popular site for young people are “doing some gutsy investigative journalism.” It is extremely important for ASU students to be aware of politics, because the people in charge right now are shaping the world that students will inherit. From tuition and tax adjustments to the rights of immigrants, there are some bills that have the potential to directly impact students. While the majority of reporters and media outlets are trying to do a fair job, there are some that are pushing a personal agenda. If students are wary of the news that they consume and are active in their pursuit of the truth, society as a whole will benefit. Source: by Adrienne Dunn 01/21/2018 http://www.statepress.com


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Truth Window

Media Bias Chart

How Media Quality is Evaluated Element Scores The chart is scored each on a scale of 1-8, which corresponds to the vertical categories on the chart. Sentence Scores Each sentence is rated for both veracity (1 being completely true and 5 being completely false) and expression (1 being a fact statement and 5 being an opinion statement). It is marked under each 1-5 category for each sentence and count how many are in each category.

Left – 42 64

– 30

Most Extreme Left

– 18

Hyper-Partisan Left

–6

Skews Left

npr Los Angeles Times PBS NB Politico BB Axios The New Y BuzzFeed News The Washington Post

56

48

Democracy Now! The Guardian The New Yorker Nation ProPublica The New Republic The Atlantic The Week Slate Quartz Vox VICE News Daily Beast ThinkProgress TPM Mother Jones Mic Vanity Fair The Intercept

Jacobin Current Affairs

40

Quality

Free Speech TV

Truthout Shareblue MSNBC The Huffington Post Washington Monthly

32

TYT Network 24

Second Nexus Second Nexus Alternet 16

Forward Progressive Wonkette

Bipartisan Report Occupy Democrats Palmer Report

8

patribotics 0

Guacamoley!

CNN N&G News and Guts


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May 2019

Comparison The overall bias is scored in comparison to other known articles about the subject. This is a second way (and probably the most important way) we measure bias by omission. Comparison is done in view of other contemporaneous stories about the same topic, and bias can be determined when we know all the possible facts that could reasonably be covered in a story.

Bias Topic Selection and/or Presentation The topic itself, and how it is initially presented in the headline, categorized in one of the seven horizontal categories on the chart (Most Extreme Left, Hyper-Partisan Left, etc.). This is one of the ways to measure bias by omission. Here, we categorize a topic in part by what it means that the source covered this topic as opposed to other available topics covered in other sources.

Source: by Vanessa Otero 2018 http://www.adfontesmedia.com

Sentence Metrics Not every sentence contains instances of bias related to the three types listed here, which are biases based on “political position,” “characterization,” and “terminology.” Sometimes these instances overlap.

Political Bias O

Right 6

18

Neutral

30

Skews Right AP News Reuters C-SPAN

s BC News ABC New

Hyper-Partisan Right

Most Extreme Right

Bloomberg CBS New THE HILL The Christian Science Monitor The Wall Street Journal

BC USA Today York Times theSkimm Market Watch Financial Times The Economist Time OZY

42

Fortune

Forbes Independent Journal Review Business Insider

National Review The Weekly Standard

FP

Newsmax

Reason

The Washington Free Beacon

The Fiscal Times DRUDGE REPORT

Washington Examiner The Washington Times The Daily Signal PJ Media The Federalist

Gaily Mail

New York Post

One America News Network Fox News Daily Wire twitchy The Daily Caller The Blaze

Conservative Tribune Gateway Pundit Breitbart

National Enquirer WND Worldtruth.TV

Infowars


08 News Organizations

Truth Window

To find sources on the chart, you can use the table below. All sources are listed alphabetically with chart coordinates next to them. If you want, you can sort them by coordinates to see how they rank top to bottom and left to right, or vice versa. News Source

Vertical Ranking

Horizontal Ranking

ABC

57

O

AFP

62

0

Al Jazeera US/ Canada News

54

-1

Alternet

18

-23

AP

62

0

Axios

52

-2

BBC

54

-3

Bipartisan Report

13

-27

Bloomberg

58

4

Breitbart

8

34

Business Insider

39

0

BuzzFeed News

51

-15

CBS

57

4

Christian Science

54

6

CNN

32

-6

Conservative Tribune

12

35

CSPAN

59

0

Daily Beast

41

-21

Daily Caller

12

24

Daily Kos

20

-24

Daily Mail

19

13

Daily Signal

30

-15

Daily Wire

16

28

David Wolfe

2

-32

Democracy Now

48

-19

Drudge Report

38

16

Financial Times

48

3

Fiscal Times

39

12

Forbes

44

3

Foreign Policy

45

9

Fortune

46

5

Forward Progressives

15

-25

Fox

20

27

Free Speech TV

37

-25


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May 2019

News Source

Vertical Ranking

Horizontal Ranking

News Source

Vertical Ranking

Horizontal Ranking

Guacamoley

17

-20

Slate

43

-20

Huffington Post

24

-20

Talking Points Memo

41

-13

IJR

41

2

The Advocate

40

-23

InfoWars

1

44

33

28

Intercept

49

-23

The American Conservative

Jacobin

47

-28

The Atlantic

46

-15

LA Times

58

-6

The Blaze

8

27

Marketwatch

50

5

The Economist

48

4

Mic

39

-18

The Federalist

26

27

Mother Jones

40

-24

The Gateway Pundit

12

35

MSNBC

34

-19

The Guardian

48

-6

National Enquirer

6

10

The Hill

54

9

National Review

51

20

The Nation

47

-17

NBC

57

-3

The New Yorker

47

-9

New Republic

46

-19

The Skimm

49

-2

New York Post

20

18

The Week

44

-10

New York Times

52

-5

The Weekly Standard

46

18

News and Guts

31

-15

The Yong Turks

27

-24

News Max

43

-28

Think Process

42

-13

NPR

56

-5

Time

43

-1

OAN

23

28

Truthout

36

-24

Occupy Democrates

9

-30

Twitchy

14

29

OZY

43

0

USA Today

52

0

Palmer Report

8

-34

Vanity Fair

38

-12

Patribotics

1

-40

Vice

42

-10

PBS

57

-5

Vox

42

-16

PJ Media

17

26

Wall Street Journal

53

11

Politico

55

-3

Washington Examiner

35

18

ProPulica

46

-5

41

24

Quartz

44

-5

Washington Free Beacon

Reason

42

18

Washington Monthly

30

-23

RedState

11

29

Washington Post

51

-10

Reuters

62

0

Washington Times

33

20

Second Nexus

23

-23

WND

4

36

ShareBlue

33

-21

Wonkette

12

-34

WorldTruth.Tv

1

20


10

Truth Window

How to Spot Fake News? The creation of fake news continues to generate a lot of discussion and it’s no surprise that post-truth was Oxford English Dictionary’s 2016 Word of the Year. Although many news sources have some inherent bias or political leaning, there are news outlets that are more credible than others.

whether that post your cousin shared on Facebook re: gun violence in America has any merit. Spotting a fake news story Check the domain name. Does it look strange? Those ending unusual domains such as “.com.co” are fake news. Refer to the ‘About Us’ area on a website to see what it says, or refer to the websites above for more information on the story or source. Read multiple news sources to see how (or if) they are reporting on the same story.

Verifying news stories FactCheck.org: monitors the accuracy of U.S. political stories. PolitiFact: verifies political news stories. Snopes: fact-checks Internet rumours and stories. This will determine

Tips for spotting fake news

Consider the source Click away from the story to investigate the site, its mission and its contact info.

Read beyond Headlines can be outrageous in an effort to get clicks. What’s the whole story?

Supporting sources Click on those links. Determine if the info given actually supports the story.

Check the date Reposting old news stories doesn’t mean they’re relevant to current events.

Check the author Do a quick search on the author. Are they credible? Are they real?

Check your biases Consider if your own beliefs could affect your judgement.

Is it a joke? If it is too outlandish, it might be satire. Research the site and author to be sure.

Ask the experts Ask a librarian, or consult a fact-checking site.


11

May 15,2015

Facebook Fake News

U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke once said he would like to throw elderly people and wounded veterans “in the garbage.” In late 2018 and early 2019, U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke emerged as a popular early choice among Democrats considering their party’s potential presidential candidate in 2020. The Texas Congressman gained national prominence during 2018 when he came unexpectedly close to unseating incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and winning what would have been an historically rare Democrat victory in a state-wide election in Texas. As his campaign gained momentum, O’Rourke became the subject of intense nationwide scrutiny and even misinformation, some of which we cataloged previously. At the turn of the year, as focus in political circles shifted to the likely Democratic presidential contenders for 2020, a meme emerged on social media which attributed an inflammatory and highly damaging quotation to O’Rourke: “If I could throw two kinds of people in the garbage it would be the elderly and wounded veterans. When a tool breaks you don’t fix it, you throw it in the damn trash.”

The quotation was fabricated: O’Rourke has never uttered or written the words attributed to him in the meme, nor did he ever express a similar sentiment to the effect that he regarded old people and veterans as nonfunctioning tools which should be discarded. A search of news archives, Congressional records and O’Rourke’s 2018 campaign web site failed to reveal any such remarks (which would have drawn national attention had he made them). On his campaign web site, O’Rourke laid out his policy positions on the two groups in question. Of veterans, he said that “Our veterans should receive the care and dignity they have earned. That begins with ensuring that every veteran can receive access to quality healthcare, timely resolutions to their disability claims and appeals, and sustainable housing.” Of seniors, O’Rourke wrote that “Texas seniors have built the families, communities, and businesses we now enjoy. We owe it to them to honor and protect the commitment we made to care for them through Social Security and Medicare.” Insofar as the statement featured in the meme targeted two groups of people traditionally respected and revered in American society—the elderly and wounded military veterans—the meme appeared to be no more than a malicious piece of misinformation, designed to inflict damage on O’Rourke’s reputation, without any factual basis. Source: by Dan Macgill 01/02/2019 http://www.snopes.com


12

Truth Window

Truth Window Helps You Discern True News from Fake News in the Digital Era.

Truth Window

Truth Window helps young adults tell the difference between true news and fake news in the digital era. We guide you to narrow down your sources and encourage you to receive news from neutral and truthful sources. We help you to find news and information from media sources with minimal partisan bias.

We know it can be confusing when you read news on Facebook, so we also offer a Facebook plug-in that helps you figure out the political bias of news sources and the truth or falsehood of specific stories. We hope discerning the facts and fictions of news stories becomes a key cognitive ability in today’s digital news world.

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Š2019 Linlin Song

Profile for Linlin Song

Truth Window  

Truth Window is a newsletter to introduce news media bias. It includes three parts ---- Students must diversify their media consumption and...

Truth Window  

Truth Window is a newsletter to introduce news media bias. It includes three parts ---- Students must diversify their media consumption and...

Profile for irenesong
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