A question we get asked a lot about our four moves curriculum is whether it sticks. Can a two or three week intervention really change people’s approach online to information permanently? Remember, we don’t do traditional news literacy. We don’t do traditional media literacy. We don’t teach people about newspapers, communications theory, or any of … Continue reading Does It Stick?
Author’s note: Back in early 2017 I introduced the “four moves”, a set of strategies that students could use on the web instead of checklist approaches such as CRAAP and incoherent lists of tips. The moves were based on my own experience teaching civic digital literacy and some emerging research from Sam Wineburg and others. … Continue reading SIFT (The Four Moves)
Found some disinfo on TikTok today (which had apparently been shared on Facebook as well). It’s a video that goes through a variety of completely bogus claims — there are plastic shards in rice that show up when put in a hot pan, harmful magnetic gunk in your baby formula, poisonous washing powder in your … Continue reading TikTok’s Current Disinformation of Choice Is Fake Hacks and Pranks
There’s a video going around that purportedly shows Nancy Pelosi drunk or unwell, answering a question about Trump in a slow and slurred way. It turns out that it is slowed down, and that the original video shows her quite engaged and articulate. Two things about this. The first is that our four moves (SIFT) … Continue reading Pelosi and Doubling-Tracking
I have so much writing backlogged I need to get a few quick hits out to clear the logjam. Here’s a good example of a statistical false frame that’s visual enough for a slide. It says “Washington Post” on the bottom there, but of course the Washington Post version lacks the “presidential term” markers. When … Continue reading Using Changes in Framing to Figure Out Where to Focus Attention
The Four Moves have undergone some tweaking since I first introduced them in early 2017. The language has shifted, been refined. We’ve come to see that lateral reading is more of a principle underlying at least two of the moves (maybe three). We’ve removed a reference to “go upstream” which was a bit geeky. All … Continue reading Introducing SIFT, a Four Moves Acronym
Sam prides himself on questioning conventional wisdom and subjecting claims to intellectual scrutiny. For kids today, that means Googling stuff. One might think these searches would turn up a variety of perspectives, including at least a few compelling counterarguments. One would be wrong. The Google searches flooded his developing brain with endless bias-confirming “proof” to … Continue reading The Curation/Search Radicalization Spiral
If you want to see how data voids are utilized by extremists, here’s a good example. Last night a prominent conservative organization tweeted this image: You see the beach ball, right? It asks you to Google the “Kalergi Plan”. What’s that? It’s an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that has its roots in “the ‘white genocide’ and … Continue reading Data Voids and the Google This Ploy: Kalergi Plan
There’s a story going around right now about a “reporter” who was following people shorting Tesla stock and allegedly approaching them for information. I won’t go into the whole Elon vs. the Short Sellers history, you don’t need it. Let’s just say that posing as a reporter can be used for ill in a variety … Continue reading Network Heuristics
Short update on the Check, Please project. We’re about halfway into the coding hours on this which is a bit scary. We still have some expert hours from TS Waterman at the end to solve the hard problems but right now we’re solving the easy ones. A couple weeks ago we put out a prototype. … Continue reading Update on Check, Please!
We’re still teaching history using only print texts even as kids are being historicized online by Holocaust deniers and Lost-Causers. We’re teaching science in an era when online anti-vaxxers gain traction by using scientific language to deceive and intimidate. Sam Wineburg, The internet is sowing mass confusion. We must rethink how we teach kids every subject. Couple … Continue reading Web Literacy Across the Curriculum
OK, maybe you’re just here for the video. I would be. Watch the demo of Check Please, and then continue downpage for the theory of change behind it. Watched it? OK, here’s the backstory. Last November we won an award from RTI International and the Rita Allen Foundation to work on a “fact-checking tutorial generator” … Continue reading Educating the Influencers: The “Check, Please!” Prototype
There’s a lot of things that set our approach at the Digital Polarization Initiative apart from most previous initiatives. But the biggest thing is this: we start from the environment in which students are most likely to practice online literacy skills, and in that environment attention is the scarcity. The idea that scarce attention forms the … Continue reading Attention Is the Scarcity
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that there are two documentaries out on the doomed Fyre Festival. You should watch both: the event — both its dynamics and the personalities associated with it — will give you disturbing insights into our current moment. And if you teach students about disinformation I’d … Continue reading The Fyre Festival and the Trumpet of Amplification
So today a group known for pranks circulated an imposter site that posed as the Washington Post, announcing President Trump’s resignation on a post-dated paper. It’s not this hard for hoaxers to do this – any one can come up with a confusingly similar url to a popular site, grab some HTML and make a … Continue reading Smoking out the Washington Post imposter in a dozen seconds or less
As I was reading An Xiao Mina’s recent (and excellent) piece for Nieman Lab, and it reminded me that I had not yet written here about why I’ve increasingly been talking about reputation as a core part of online digital literacy. Trust, yes, consensus, yes. But I keep coming back to this idea of reputation. … Continue reading Why Reputation?
It’s 2018, and I’ve still not found anything that helps me think as clearly as federated wiki. At the same time, running a web server of your own is still, in 2018, a royal pain. Recently a series of credit card breaches forced a series of changes in my credit card number (two breaches in … Continue reading Some Notes On Installing Federated Wiki On Windows
A quick follow-on to my last post — it’s worth mentioning that “conspiracy theorist” is also a much older term than many realize. A few years ago, in fact, a story was going around the forums that the term was either invented by the CIA or at least made an undesirable moniker by them. Again, … Continue reading “Conspiracy Theorists” in 1934 and 1961
Was reading the new Oxford collection on conspiracy theory (quite an impressive collection, can be bought here) and noted that one of the articles dated the term conspiracy theory back to the 1870s. It’s not central to the author’s argument, but it’s not trivial either. The author sees the term as coming out of crime, … Continue reading The first use of the term “conspiracy theory” is much earlier — and more interesting — than historians have thought.
I wrote a thing for Neiman’s year-end journalism predictions yesterday that I’m quite excited about. Hopefully will be out soon. (Look at me, a typical writer — submitting something 48 hours late and then hoping it gets published early). In the article I finally publish this term I’ve been throwing around in some private conversations … Continue reading The Homeostatic Fallacy and Misinformation Literacy