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Fake News, Real Concerns: What
Can Librarians Do to Improve
Information Literacy in the Age of
the Social Media Noise Machine?
Donald A. Barclay
University of California, Merced Library
Who am I?
• Library Career
• University of California, Merced
• New Mexico State University, University of Houston, Texas Medical
Center
• Past Lives
• Boise State University—Taught Freshman Comp. & American Lit.
• U.S. Forest Service—Firefighter
• Education
• U. C. Berkeley—M.A., M.L.I.S.
• Boise State University—B.A.
Donald A. Barclay
Who are you?
• School Librarian
• Public Librarian
• Academic Librarian
• Teacher
• Ninja Warrior
• Other
In 2016, the phrase “fake news”
appeared in the headline of 58 articles
published in The New York Times.
How many times did that happen in 2015?
Fake
News
Is fake news the moral
panic de jour?
• How many people actually believe fake news and how much of it do
they believe?
• Did fake news sway the election?
Hunt Allcott and Matthew Gentzkow, “Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election,” Journal
of Economic Perspectives 31, no. 2 (2017): 211–36,
https://www.aeaweb.org/full_issue.php?doi=10.1257/jep.31.2#page=213.
• Are people really trapped in fake news echo chambers?
William H. Dutton, “Fake News, Echo Chambers and Filter Bubbles: Underresearched and
Overhyped,” The Conversation, May 2017, http://theconversation.com/fake-news-echo-chambers-
and-filter-bubbles-underresearched-and-overhyped-76688%0D.
Fake News:
Creating Context
Challenges of the
Information Age
• Amount of information.
• Speed/low cost at which information can
created, reproduced, and delivered.
• Ease with which information can be altered.
Lying
Mercenary fake news
ASTOUNDING
NEWS!
BY EXPRESS VIA NORFOLK!
———————
THE
ATLANTIC CROSSED
IN
THREE DAYS!
———————
SIGNAL TRIUMPH
OF
MR. MONCK MASON’S
FLYING
MACHINE!!!
———————
Arrival at Sullivan’s Island, near Charlestown, S. C., of Mr.
Mason, Mr. Robert Holland, Mr. Henson, Mr. Harrison
Ainsworth, and four others, in the
STEERING BALLOON
“VICTORIA,”
AFTER A PASSAGE OF
SEVENTY-FIVE HOURS
FROM LAND TO LAND.
———————
FULL PARTICULARS
OF THE
VOYAGE!!!
April 13, 1844
ASTOUNDING
NEWS!
BY EXPRESS VIA NORFOLK!
———————
THE
ATLANTIC CROSSED
IN
THREE DAYS!
———————
SIGNAL TRIUMPH
OF
MR. MONCK MASON’S
FLYING
MACHINE!!!
———————
Arrival at Sullivan’s Island, near Charlestown, S. C., of Mr. Mason,
Mr. Robert Holland, Mr. Henson, Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, and four others, in the
STEERING BALLOON
“VICTORIA,”
AFTER A PASSAGE OF
SEVENTY-FIVE HOURS
FROM LAND TO LAND.
———————
FULL PARTICULARS
OF THE
VOYAGE!!!
Propaganda
Mercenary? Propaganda? Both?
Humor
Alteration
• Lying
• Mercenary News
• Propaganda
• Humor
• Alteration
Coping with fake news is an
information literacy issue.
What percentage of the students/patrons you
teach/assist badly overestimate their ability to
evaluate information?
A. 80% to 100%
B. 60% to 79%
C. 40% to 59%
D. Less than 40%
Kruger, Justin, and David Dunning. “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in
Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments.” Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology 77, no. 6 (1999): 1121–34.
Do People Overestimate Their Information Literacy Skills? A
Systematic Review of Empirical Evidence on the Dunning- Kruger
Effect
Khalid Mahmood, University of the Punjab
This systematic review has analyzed 53 English language studies that assessed and compared
peoples’ self-reported and demonstrated information literacy (IL) skills. The objective was to
collect empirical evidence on the existence of Dunning-Kruger Effect in the area of
information literacy. The findings clearly show that this theory works in this area. It is
concluded that there is no calibration in peoples’ perceived and actual IL skills; in most cases
low-performers overestimate their skills in self-assessments. The findings have theoretical and
practical implications for librarians and IL educators.
Mahmood, Khalid. “Do People Overestimate Their Information Literacy Skills? A Systematic
Review of Empirical Evidence on the Dunning-Kruger Effect.” Communications in Information
Literacy 10, no. 2 (2016): 199.
Fake News:
Practical Approaches
Fact Checking
The tools are silos
Who watches the watchmen?
The tricks
• Logical fallacies
• Appeals to emotion
• Us versus them
• Correlation versus
causation
• Misuse of statistics
• Propaganda
• Fake expertise
• No or unreliable
citations
• Misattribution
• Misusing historical facts
• Selective facts
• Altering information
College Rankings
• Lazy
• Snowflakes
• Participation trophies
• Killing Applebee’s
Millennials:
What Makes a Good Classroom
Example of Fake News?
• Relevant to students.
• Not necessarily a hot-button
topic.
• More credible and less-credible
sources weighing in.
Moon Landing Never Happened
Should librarians avoid hot-
button issues when teaching
about fake news?
• Yes
• No
• Undecided
Address the
emotional component
Anger
Trolling
Fear
Joy
Smug
Confirmation Bias
• Rate of new information being produced
• Continuous news culture (speed over quality)
• Ease of duplication and transmission
• More channels of incoming information
• Ever-increasing amounts of historical information to
dig through
• Contradictions and inaccuracies in available
information
• A low signal-to-noise ratio
• No method for comparing and processing different
kinds of information
• Information unrelated or lacking context
Information Overload
Disrupting the Curriculum:
Deep Critical Thinking
• Authority Is Constructed and Contextua
• Information Creation as a Process
• Information Has Value
• Research as Inquiry
• Scholarship as Conversation
• Searching as Strategic Exploration
• Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
• Information Creation as a Process
• Information Has Value
• Research as Inquiry
• Scholarship as Conversation
• Searching as Strategic Exploration
Framework for Information Literacy for
Higher Education
Credibility and applicability of most information is not an either/or proposition.
“Through these collaborations, there is opportunity to
discuss information literacy not as just a set of mechanical
skills but rather as a discipline with core concepts and dispositions.”
“Apprenticing Researchers: Exploring Upper-Division Students’ Information Literacy Competencies,
Challenges, Dispositions and Development.” Work in progress by Sara L. Davidson Squibb and Anne Zanzucchi.
Evaluating information is a risk proposition
Low risk High risk
• Facebook flagging fake news stories.
• EBay founder commits $100 million to combat 'fake news’
• Google fact-check labels
• Will it ever be enough?
Are getting any help?
• Evaluating information needs to be taught
across the curriculum.
• Evaluating information needs to start early.
• Teach learners to think about information both
rationally and emotionally.
• Library associations and schools must make
teaching students to evaluate information a
priority.
Pushing back against fake news
An alternative history
Actual examples of pro-
smoking memes.
N.B.: Not actual examples of fake news. Created by Donald Barclay for this presentation.
N.B.: Not actual examples of fake news. Created by Donald Barclay for this presentation.
Five false conclusions contained in
the Surgeon General’s report.
You’ll be amazed. . . .
Have you seen the ten reasons why
cigarettes cannot possibly cause cancer?
Smoke out the facts. . . .
N.B.: Not an actual example of fake news. Created by Donald Barclay for this presentation.
P.H.S. Scientists Caught Admitting Cancer-Smoking Link Is a Hoax
2,345,324 views
N.B.: Not an actual example of fake news. Created by Donald Barclay for this presentation.
Have you completed research on the so-called “link”
between smoking and cancer and want to publish in a
TRUSTED HIGH-IMPACT JOURNAL?!!!
Good news for authors!
The Journal of Tobacco and Science
is looking for papers.
Submit multiple articles and get up to 50% off author publication charges.
Subsidies covering up to 125% of author publication
charges are available for qualifying articles.
N.B.: Not an actual example of fake news. Created by Donald Barclay for this presentation.
N.B.: Not an actual example of fake news. Created by Donald Barclay for this presentation.
Non-alternative history
Following the US Surgeon General’s report of
January 1964, Howard Cullman, a Philip Morris
director, dismissed the findings:
“We don’t accept the idea that there
are harmful agents in tobacco.”
Donald A. Barclay
University of California, Merced Library
dbarclay@ucmerced.edu

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Fake News, Real Concerns: Developing Information-Literate Students (December 2018)

  • 1. Fake News, Real Concerns: What Can Librarians Do to Improve Information Literacy in the Age of the Social Media Noise Machine? Donald A. Barclay University of California, Merced Library
  • 2. Who am I? • Library Career • University of California, Merced • New Mexico State University, University of Houston, Texas Medical Center • Past Lives • Boise State University—Taught Freshman Comp. & American Lit. • U.S. Forest Service—Firefighter • Education • U. C. Berkeley—M.A., M.L.I.S. • Boise State University—B.A. Donald A. Barclay
  • 3. Who are you? • School Librarian • Public Librarian • Academic Librarian • Teacher • Ninja Warrior • Other
  • 4. In 2016, the phrase “fake news” appeared in the headline of 58 articles published in The New York Times. How many times did that happen in 2015?
  • 5.
  • 7. Is fake news the moral panic de jour? • How many people actually believe fake news and how much of it do they believe? • Did fake news sway the election? Hunt Allcott and Matthew Gentzkow, “Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 31, no. 2 (2017): 211–36, https://www.aeaweb.org/full_issue.php?doi=10.1257/jep.31.2#page=213. • Are people really trapped in fake news echo chambers? William H. Dutton, “Fake News, Echo Chambers and Filter Bubbles: Underresearched and Overhyped,” The Conversation, May 2017, http://theconversation.com/fake-news-echo-chambers- and-filter-bubbles-underresearched-and-overhyped-76688%0D.
  • 8.
  • 10.
  • 11.
  • 12. Challenges of the Information Age • Amount of information. • Speed/low cost at which information can created, reproduced, and delivered. • Ease with which information can be altered.
  • 13.
  • 14.
  • 15.
  • 16. Lying
  • 18. ASTOUNDING NEWS! BY EXPRESS VIA NORFOLK! ——————— THE ATLANTIC CROSSED IN THREE DAYS! ——————— SIGNAL TRIUMPH OF MR. MONCK MASON’S FLYING MACHINE!!! ——————— Arrival at Sullivan’s Island, near Charlestown, S. C., of Mr. Mason, Mr. Robert Holland, Mr. Henson, Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, and four others, in the STEERING BALLOON “VICTORIA,” AFTER A PASSAGE OF SEVENTY-FIVE HOURS FROM LAND TO LAND. ——————— FULL PARTICULARS OF THE VOYAGE!!! April 13, 1844
  • 19. ASTOUNDING NEWS! BY EXPRESS VIA NORFOLK! ——————— THE ATLANTIC CROSSED IN THREE DAYS! ——————— SIGNAL TRIUMPH OF MR. MONCK MASON’S FLYING MACHINE!!! ——————— Arrival at Sullivan’s Island, near Charlestown, S. C., of Mr. Mason, Mr. Robert Holland, Mr. Henson, Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, and four others, in the STEERING BALLOON “VICTORIA,” AFTER A PASSAGE OF SEVENTY-FIVE HOURS FROM LAND TO LAND. ——————— FULL PARTICULARS OF THE VOYAGE!!!
  • 20.
  • 21.
  • 22.
  • 23.
  • 24.
  • 25.
  • 27.
  • 28.
  • 29.
  • 30.
  • 32. Humor
  • 33.
  • 34.
  • 35.
  • 36.
  • 38.
  • 39.
  • 40.
  • 41.
  • 42. • Lying • Mercenary News • Propaganda • Humor • Alteration
  • 43. Coping with fake news is an information literacy issue.
  • 44. What percentage of the students/patrons you teach/assist badly overestimate their ability to evaluate information? A. 80% to 100% B. 60% to 79% C. 40% to 59% D. Less than 40%
  • 45. Kruger, Justin, and David Dunning. “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 77, no. 6 (1999): 1121–34.
  • 46. Do People Overestimate Their Information Literacy Skills? A Systematic Review of Empirical Evidence on the Dunning- Kruger Effect Khalid Mahmood, University of the Punjab This systematic review has analyzed 53 English language studies that assessed and compared peoples’ self-reported and demonstrated information literacy (IL) skills. The objective was to collect empirical evidence on the existence of Dunning-Kruger Effect in the area of information literacy. The findings clearly show that this theory works in this area. It is concluded that there is no calibration in peoples’ perceived and actual IL skills; in most cases low-performers overestimate their skills in self-assessments. The findings have theoretical and practical implications for librarians and IL educators. Mahmood, Khalid. “Do People Overestimate Their Information Literacy Skills? A Systematic Review of Empirical Evidence on the Dunning-Kruger Effect.” Communications in Information Literacy 10, no. 2 (2016): 199.
  • 48.
  • 50.
  • 51.
  • 52.
  • 53.
  • 54.
  • 55. The tools are silos
  • 56. Who watches the watchmen?
  • 57. The tricks • Logical fallacies • Appeals to emotion • Us versus them • Correlation versus causation • Misuse of statistics • Propaganda • Fake expertise • No or unreliable citations • Misattribution • Misusing historical facts • Selective facts • Altering information
  • 59. • Lazy • Snowflakes • Participation trophies • Killing Applebee’s Millennials:
  • 60.
  • 61.
  • 62.
  • 63.
  • 64. What Makes a Good Classroom Example of Fake News? • Relevant to students. • Not necessarily a hot-button topic. • More credible and less-credible sources weighing in.
  • 65. Moon Landing Never Happened
  • 66. Should librarians avoid hot- button issues when teaching about fake news? • Yes • No • Undecided
  • 68. Anger
  • 70. Fear
  • 71. Joy
  • 72. Smug
  • 73.
  • 75. • Rate of new information being produced • Continuous news culture (speed over quality) • Ease of duplication and transmission • More channels of incoming information • Ever-increasing amounts of historical information to dig through • Contradictions and inaccuracies in available information • A low signal-to-noise ratio • No method for comparing and processing different kinds of information • Information unrelated or lacking context Information Overload
  • 76.
  • 77. Disrupting the Curriculum: Deep Critical Thinking
  • 78.
  • 79. • Authority Is Constructed and Contextua • Information Creation as a Process • Information Has Value • Research as Inquiry • Scholarship as Conversation • Searching as Strategic Exploration
  • 80. • Authority Is Constructed and Contextual • Information Creation as a Process • Information Has Value • Research as Inquiry • Scholarship as Conversation • Searching as Strategic Exploration Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education Credibility and applicability of most information is not an either/or proposition.
  • 81. “Through these collaborations, there is opportunity to discuss information literacy not as just a set of mechanical skills but rather as a discipline with core concepts and dispositions.” “Apprenticing Researchers: Exploring Upper-Division Students’ Information Literacy Competencies, Challenges, Dispositions and Development.” Work in progress by Sara L. Davidson Squibb and Anne Zanzucchi.
  • 82.
  • 83.
  • 84. Evaluating information is a risk proposition
  • 85.
  • 86.
  • 88.
  • 89. • Facebook flagging fake news stories. • EBay founder commits $100 million to combat 'fake news’ • Google fact-check labels • Will it ever be enough? Are getting any help?
  • 90.
  • 91. • Evaluating information needs to be taught across the curriculum. • Evaluating information needs to start early. • Teach learners to think about information both rationally and emotionally. • Library associations and schools must make teaching students to evaluate information a priority. Pushing back against fake news
  • 93.
  • 94.
  • 95. Actual examples of pro- smoking memes.
  • 96. N.B.: Not actual examples of fake news. Created by Donald Barclay for this presentation.
  • 97. N.B.: Not actual examples of fake news. Created by Donald Barclay for this presentation.
  • 98. Five false conclusions contained in the Surgeon General’s report. You’ll be amazed. . . . Have you seen the ten reasons why cigarettes cannot possibly cause cancer? Smoke out the facts. . . . N.B.: Not an actual example of fake news. Created by Donald Barclay for this presentation.
  • 99. P.H.S. Scientists Caught Admitting Cancer-Smoking Link Is a Hoax 2,345,324 views N.B.: Not an actual example of fake news. Created by Donald Barclay for this presentation.
  • 100.
  • 101. Have you completed research on the so-called “link” between smoking and cancer and want to publish in a TRUSTED HIGH-IMPACT JOURNAL?!!! Good news for authors! The Journal of Tobacco and Science is looking for papers. Submit multiple articles and get up to 50% off author publication charges. Subsidies covering up to 125% of author publication charges are available for qualifying articles. N.B.: Not an actual example of fake news. Created by Donald Barclay for this presentation.
  • 102. N.B.: Not an actual example of fake news. Created by Donald Barclay for this presentation.
  • 103.
  • 105. Following the US Surgeon General’s report of January 1964, Howard Cullman, a Philip Morris director, dismissed the findings: “We don’t accept the idea that there are harmful agents in tobacco.”
  • 106.
  • 107.
  • 108. Donald A. Barclay University of California, Merced Library dbarclay@ucmerced.edu

Hinweis der Redaktion

  1. One time.
  2. PBS, Salon, Newsweek. Book to be published by Roman Littlefield—finish this summer and out this fall for people to, you know, buy. Personal collections. Or libraries.
  3. Before you can distribute widely, you need multiple copies—reproduction.
  4. Or distributed yourself to where your audience was gathered.
  5. KFXD Wayne Cornills
  6. . . . fake news is really just the latest name for the ancient art of lying. Since the dawn of language, humans have used lies for many purposes: deflecting blame, persuading, winning arguments, exerting dominance. Lying can even be used as a form of entertainment, as evidenced by the many forms of comedy—tall tales, pranks, absurdist humor—that depend on the bending or breaking of the truth. To lie is, in essence, to supply others with misinformation.
  7. April 13, 1844 in the New York Sun.
  8. see-ek-la Frederick Burr Opper
  9. Yellow journalism. Spanish-American war. Xenophobia. WWI—exaggerated atrocities. Red scare. Vietnam.
  10. Fake news isn’t written for political purposes. Clickbait. Humor. Profit.
  11. At the start of the 20th century, the per capita annual consumption in the USA was 54 cigarettes (with less than 0.5% of the population smoking more than 100 cigarettes per year), and consumption there peaked at 4,259 per capita in 1965.
  12. Behistun Inscription, describing conquests of Darius the Great in Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian languages. These reliefs and texts are engraved in a cliff on Mount Behistun (present Kermanshah Province, Iran). C. 515 B.C.E. Propaganda: Serves a political purpose. It has a political purpose behind it, usually harmful.
  13. Mixes some truth with a heavy dose of falsehood.
  14. Propaganda is in the eye of the beholder? Is this propaganda. It is in the eye of the beholder—Stormfront is not propaganda to skinheads.
  15. Teenagers in Veles, Macedonia.
  16. Satire and parody. 1729.
  17. Humorous fake news. Sometimes taken for fact. 2. China's People's Daily Cites Kim Jong-un as Sexiest Man Alive. Bangladesh Newspaper Reports Neil Armstrong Conspiracy. http://abcnews.go.com/International/times-people-fooled-onion/story?id=31444478
  18. Mean spirited. Hurtful. What if this was a parody of the A.M.E. Church.
  19. Faking documents, artwork, etc. is old. Cottingley, near Bradford in England, 1917. Capra photo. OJ.
  20. Adobe VoCo. 20 minutes of a person’s voice allows you to put words in that person’s mouth just by typing on a keyboard. Adobe claims they will make it impossible to use this for nefarious purposes. Keegan-Michael Key. Jordan Peel. Zeyu Jin. Lyndon Johnson admitting, in his own voice. . . textbook publishers.
  21. Professional baseball players catch fly balls. Cited @ 3,500 times.
  22. We know the rules.
  23. Snopes Politifact Poynter
  24. urban legends. 1995.
  25. Tampa Bay Times. 2007.
  26. Tools are silos.
  27. Tools that purport to guard against fake news could just as easily promote it.
  28. Photoshopping. Audio fakes. Deepfakes.
  29. We emphasize rationality. The cold logic of evaluation. Fake news is about emotion.
  30. Crisis.
  31. Everything is a crisis. War. Battle.
  32. Glurge.
  33. Personal Example
  34. Personal Example
  35. Wicked problem
  36. Google of truth
  37. Just because an article is in a predatory journal doesn’t mean it’s a bad article. H-index.
  38. The credibility of information falls on a continuum. Earth is flat versus E=MC2. Boiling point of water.
  39. Information overload. How much research should you do, and how sure of your information sources do you need to be before you ate either one of these treats? Cost grades, cost dollars, cost social status.
  40. Great Wave at Kanagawa
  41. A form of fake news.
  42. On Saturday, January 11, 1964, Luther L. Terry, M.D., Surgeon General of the United States, released Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee of the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service.
  43. Saturday—stock markets and Sunday papers. Press putting out their cigarettes. But what would have happened today?
  44. Even before anyone has had time to read the entire report, Smoking and Health is being mocked as a nanny-government affront to individual liberty. Memes, Tweets, and FaceBook posts lead the attack:
  45. Not real. I created these.
  46. Compared to prohibition—create new Al Capone’s.
  47. Then there are the clickbait stories.
  48. Within a few weeks, pro-smoking activists are promoting a heavily edited attack video in which U.S. Public Health Service staff appear to admit that the Surgeon General’s report is based on fake science and that the connection between smoking and cancer is a complete fabrication. Even though the video is thoroughly discredited, it receives over 500,000 views on YouTube while generating tens of thousands of disparaging comments from outraged smokers.
  49. Soon, ostensibly scientific articles reporting results that contradict the conclusions of Smoking and Health begin to appear in “predatory journals”—nominally scientific, online-only journals that will publish almost anything in exchange for payment. While at first glance these articles appear to be legitimate, they are not based on genuine scientific research and their findings are either exaggerated or simply made up. Many suspect that Big Tobacco is secretly funding both the wave of fake-scientific articles as well as a good part of the social-media churn slamming the Surgeon General’s report. Some accuse Big Tobacco of using machine-generated Tweets and FaceBook posts to make the opposition to Smoking and Health seem more widespread than it actually is.
  50. Not real. I created this. Fairness and balance.
  51. Because 1964 is an election year, both houses of Congress respond to the growing digital uproar by holding hearings. During testimony, Representatives and Senators from tobacco-growing states, as well as their colleagues who receive campaign financing from Big Tobacco, are especially hostile to the Surgeon General and the team of medical advisors who contributed to Smoking and Health. Sensing an opportunity, presidential candidate Barry Goldwater repeatedly denounces the link between cancer and smoking as a communist-inspired hoax. With an eye on the opinion polls, President Lyndon Johnson distances his administration from the Surgeon General’s report, choosing instead to expend his political capital on addressing the growing crisis in Vietnam and shepherding civil rights legislation through the House and Senate. After all the uproar, Smoking and Health is filed away and forgotten. Across the country and around the world, cigarette smokers cough sighs of relief.
  52. Full disclosure: Barry Goldwater was a committed non-smoker. President Lyndon B. Johnson was an on-again, off-again smoker.
  53. This is a real quotation. Big tobacco did everything they could to discredit legitimate scientific research. They waged an all out fake-news, fake-science war against real science.
  54. . . . and they lost. 42% in 1965 (the peak year for smoking) to 18% in 2014.