Cake
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    • It sure seems like this will still be gamed by the bad actors.

      I remember a lot of domains that looked "familiar" that showed up in the feed but actually were just closely named to other legitimate sites. Those sites are happy to have 10 million visitors come just once.

    • I heard about what Facebook was doing and immediate red flags went up. People can use a source regularly but that has nothing to do with whether or not it's trustworthy. Alex Jones has a big audience for example but that doesn't make his stuff trustworthy. So the question becomes if people use and recognize plenty of untrustworthy sites would this still reduce the number of fake news problems? Maybe but the bigger unintended problem may result if people get an increased sense of assurance that these are trusted sources when in fact it may be terrible. I think teaching people that there are plenty of untrustworthy sites out there and especially teaching them how to evaluate information would be an important step in the right direction. Thanks in large part to Trump and people like Alex Jones, people are questioning generally reliable news sources and turning instead to terrible sources. As you've suggested, people trust sites or articles that promote views that are consistent with their beliefs. Get people to understand that a news source that leans towards one political party or another isn't necessarily fake news but just looks at things from a different perspective. I see no easy solutions to this problem.

      The future is likely to see businesses develop that vet news and social media articles and put their stamp of approval on them. If people trust the vetting company or pass on the work to someone else who is 'reliable' (at least to them) then we can get some measure of reliability confidence. We could get a rating score between vetting companies. Let's say for example CNN, MSN, Fox News, NBC all said a news source was reliable then we could trust it with a high level of confidence. Let's say Fox said it was fact and none of the other sources said it was, then we could say there's a reasonable chance it's true but has a right wing lean to it. If Breitbart said it's true but Fox didn't then what? Our whole belief system is so tied up with truth that it's hard to even define truth at times. I think this needs to be downloaded to companies that check accuracy for us. Sort of like good old fashioned journalism. How can this be done on the cheap though? Seems getting people to give their own opinion is cheap but...will always be problematic. How do you deal with people who have a political leaning who say stuff is fake just because they don't like how it reflects on what they believe in even if they think the news is likely to be true? Hilary Clinton ran a child abuse ring? What keeps you from simply using your vote to influence opinion? Sorry I have no good answers to this very challenging problem.

    • I usually first ask myself if a story sounds sensational or not. That's step number one. Secondly, I check to see who is reporting the story and whether or not their story appears to be well sourced. If the story is being reported by a credible news agency like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, etc. I tend to believe the veractiy of the reporting. If some obscure website that I haven't heard of is reporting something, I won't believe it's reporting unless a more credible, well-established news organziation is reporting it as well.

    • Critical thinking can eliminate a lot of sources, especially if one keeps up with current news. Does the source use unnamed sources too often? Does the story "make sense?" Which political figures does the source follow...which will tell one if they are "left leaning," or "right leaning." If they use about an equal number from both sides of the political spectrum, they may be more balanced than other sources. Do they use a lot of hyperbole, or words that are designed to trigger emotion? If so, they are not likely objective. Reading about the authors of written pieces, getting their biographical information so one knows their background - also helps to understand their perspective and whether or not they are really experts in the field about which they are writing.

      I simply "don't do" politics on Facebook. With 2 pages, I use one for family and personal friends - and the other professionally. Politics don't have a place with either group - there is too much room for misinterpretation, so I simply "hide" political messages from my feed. And when listening to sources on television media, I listen carefully to their wording. If I'm skeptical, I'll look it up on-line. I take nothing at face value when it comes to news.