Why Facts Matter to the American Idea

About the Author:

Kate Krontiris

Kate Krontiris

Kate Krontiris leads the Innovations in Governance practice at Reboot, a social impact consultancy rooted in design-thinking practices. She is also pursuing graduate degrees in public policy and management at the Harvard Kennedy School and the MIT Sloan School of Management.

The Atlantic magazine is an American institution.  It was founded in 1857 in an attempt to define and create a distinctly American voice; to project an American stance, to promote something that might be called the “American Idea.”  The magazine gave prominence to the voices of the Abolitionists, and since then, has been on the cutting edge of what is important in our national life (and in the lives of other nations).  Its authors have included Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, and Martin Luther King. Continue reading

Information Forensics: Five Case Studies on How to Verify Crowdsourced Information from Social Media

About the Author:

Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier (PhD) is the Director of Crisis Mapping at Ushahidi and the co-Founder of the Crisis Mappers Network.

My 20+ page study on verifying crowdsourced information is now publicly available here as a PDF and here as an open Google Doc for comments. I very much welcome constructive feedback from iRevolution readers so I can improve the piece before it gets published in an edited book next year. Continue reading

Can We Make Fact as Convenient as Fiction?

About the Author:

Matt Stempeck

Matt Stempeck

Matt Stempeck is a researcher at the Center for Civic Media at MIT Media Lab. He's building LazyTruth with the help of two friends (and all-around geniuses), Justin Nowell and Stefan Fox.

tl;dr: We’re building an inbox widget that surfaces vetted information when you receive an email forward full of political myths, urban rumors, or security threats. It’s called LazyTruth. Continue reading

On Truthiness and Trust: Teens, Trust, and ICT’s

About the Author:

Denise E. Agosto

Denise E. Agosto

Associate Professor in the College of Information Science & Technology at Drexel University

Related to the concept of “truthiness” is the concept of “trust” — trust in information, trust in information outlets, trust in people as information providers.  In my research with teens and their use of information communication technologies (ICT’s) for personal communication and interaction, I have noticed a fascinating trend among U.S. teens: the increasing judgment of the trust value of specific types of information technologies.  This assignment of trust judgments to individual technologies can perhaps best be seen in the widespread teen perception of cell phones as being highly trustworthy for receiving and sending information, and landline phones as being highly untrustworthy. Continue reading

Infographic: What News Sources Do People Trust?

About the Author:

Craig Newmark

Craig Newmark

Craig Newmark is an Internet entrepreneur best known for being the founder of the Craigslist.

Folks, as you may know, I’ve been doing a lot of work with good orgs who are doing factchecking work, and voter protection. As the nation gears up for the general election in November, and news outlets increasingly cover campaign stops and primary results, my craigconnects team asked the polling firm Lincoln Park Strategies to survey likely voters to find out the real deal about what they look for in a news outlet, the trustworthiness of news outlets, and their opinion about the effect of social media on news quality. Check out the infographic to see the survey results. Continue reading

Ask a Good Question

About the Author:

Micah L. Sifry

Micah L. Sifry

Micah L. Sifry is the editorial director of Personal Democracy Media and techPresident.com; senior technology adviser to the Sunlight Foundation; and the Murrow Visiting Lecturer at the Shorenstein Center of the Harvard Kennedy School this spring.

If the media is the immune system of democracy, as Craig Newmark likes to say, then the act of asking questions of the powerful might be thought of as the mitochondria, the energy source that powers the immune system. A good question is one that presents its recipient with a problem that must be resolved. It may raise uncomfortable facts, or highlight a contradiction, or merely demand that its subject explain him or herself on a topic they have avoided or would prefer to not address. Good questions insist on accountability, and good questioners insist on real answers, not obfuscations. Continue reading

So, Who Signs Your Paycheck?

About the Author:

John Dunbar

John Dunbar

John Dunbar is Managing Editor for financial and political news at the Center for Public Integrity.

I’ve been a reporter and/or editor for a couple of decades now, mostly investigating government and industry. I am accustomed to getting spun – or lied to. It’s part of the job. Continue reading

Misinformation and Propaganda in Cyberspace

About the Author:

Panagiotis "Takis" Metaxas

Panagiotis "Takis" Metaxas

Panagiotis "Takis" Metaxas is a Professor of Computer Science and Founder of the Media Arts and Sciences Program at Wellesley College.

Since the early days of the discipline, computer scientists have always been interested in developing environments that exhibit well-understood and predictable behavior. If a computer system were to behave unpredictably, then we would look into the specifications and we would, in theory, be able to detect what went wrong, fix it, and move on.  Continue reading