Table of Contents

TitleAuthor
Thank You!Berkman
Truthiness Video ClipsBerkman
Doing Something About Truthiness in Politics and NewsCraig Newmark
Three Social TheoremsPanagiotis "Takis" Metaxas
Seeing the World Through Truth-Colored GlassesJim Fingal
Truthicon in the MediaBerkman
Truthiness as Probability: Moving Beyond the True or False Dichotomy when Verifying Social MediaPatrick Meier
Truthy Research: From the Day 2 Hackathon at the Truthiness ConferenceAaron Shaw
Values Ads: A Way to Reframe Contested Facts for Unreceptive Audiences, and to Reach them OnlineJ. Nathan Matias and Chris Mooney
Hacking for Truth, Whatever That is: Ideas to Fight MisinformationAndrew Phelps
Motivation and TruthinessNatalie (Talia) Jomini Stroud
Let’s Combine Forces and Build a Credibility APIMatt Stempeck
Propaganda in Bahrain, SyriaJillian C. York
Interventions for Institutions: Filters, Intermediaries, and PoliciesBerkman
Interventions for IndividualsBerkman
Reflection and SynthesisBerkman
Facts Are Boring [podcast]Daniel Jones
New Genres of Political InformationMuzammil M. Hussain, PhC
Corporatocracy & Manufacturing ConsentPrathima Manohar
Tweets, TV & PoliticsWilliam Powers
Biases Abound: We Can’t Handle (or Don’t Want) the Truth / Inflection PointBerkman
Elusive Objectivity: Finding the Truth is HardBerkman
New Media 360Berkman
A Morning of Provocation: Defining the Dimensions of the ProblemBerkman
Portraying SourcesJudith Donath
A Tale of Three RumorsGilad Lotan
Moving Towards Algorithmic CorroborationNicholas Diakopoulos
Why Facts Matter to the American IdeaKate Krontiris
Okay, what are we going to do about it?Craig Newmark
Information Forensics: Five Case Studies on How to Verify Crowdsourced Information from Social MediaPatrick Meier
Can We Make Fact as Convenient as Fiction?Matt Stempeck
On Truthiness and Trust: Teens, Trust, and ICT’sDenise E. Agosto
Infographic: What News Sources Do People Trust?Craig Newmark
When the News Comes from Political TweetbotsEni Mustafaraj
Ask a Good QuestionMicah L. Sifry
I’m Not a Real Activist, But I Play One on the InternetTim Hwang
So, Who Signs Your Paycheck?John Dunbar
Misinformation and Propaganda in CyberspacePanagiotis "Takis" Metaxas
About Truthiness in Digital MediaBerkman

Portraying Sources

About the Author:

Judith Donath

Judith Donath

Judith Donath synthesizes knowledge from fields such as urban design, evolutionary biology and cognitive science to build innovative interfaces for on-line communities and virtual identities. A Harvard Berkman Faculty Fellow and formerly director of the Sociable Media Group at MIT Media Lab, she is known internationally for her writing on identity, interface design, and social communication.

To assess the truth(iness) of a message, one of the most useful pieces of information is who is the source? Is it someone you trust? Distrust? Never heard of? What personal stake does the messenger have in persuading you? The claim that taking mystery tablet X will give you a glowing complexion and concentration to match is most trustworthy when told to you by your close friend (who gains from doing you a favor), and least when told by a tablet X salesperson (who gains commission on your purchase and loses nothing from your disappointment with the product) or your practical joker colleague (who gains if you have an unfortunate reaction). Continue reading

A Tale of Three Rumors

About the Author:

Gilad Lotan

Gilad Lotan

Gilad Lotan is the VP of R&D for SocialFlow, a New York based startup that develops technology that optimizes content for social media channels.

The more we use social media, the more seasoned we become at assessing the trustworthiness of information that we come across. With rumors constantly flying around, famous celebrities are often mistaken to be dead, while every little move Apple makes triggers an onslaught of buzz around new product features.

This post details three rumors, each with its own path, source, evolution and outcome. One makes it far, cascading through networks of users, fans and followers who decide to amplify and pass on the message, another makes it far but is found to be false, while the third quickly dies. What can we learn from their differences? How can we improve our ability to recognize a false piece of information in realtime? Continue reading

Moving Towards Algorithmic Corroboration

About the Author:

Nicholas Diakopoulos

Nicholas Diakopoulos

Nicholas Diakopoulos is an independent researcher and consultant in New York City.

One of the methods that truth seekers like journalists or social scientists often employ is corroboration. If we find two (or more) independent sources that reinforce each other, and that are credible, we gain confidence in the truth-value of a claim. Independence is key, since political, monetary, legal, or other connections can taint or at least place contingencies on the value of corroborated information. Continue reading

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

When the News Comes from Political Tweetbots

About the Author:

Eni Mustafaraj

Eni Mustafaraj

Norma Wilentz Hess fellow of Computer Science at Wellesley College

In July 2010, the blogger Andrew Breitbart wrote a long blog post with a short video excerpt from a speech by Shirley Sherrod. The post went viral and Ms. Sherrod was forced to resign from her U.S. Department of Agriculture position. Afterwards, it was revealed that the excerpt was taken out of context and the accusations were false, but, alas, the damage was done. I’m recalling this story, because in a previous post in this blog, Tim Hwang raised the following issue in the context of astroturfing campaigns:

A deeper problem is one of assigning responsibility – even when revealed, one common issue is the difficulty of figuring out who exactly launched these campaigns in the first place. 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

About Truthiness in Digital Media

As the networked media environment increasingly permeates private and public life, driven in part by the rapid and extensive travels of news, information and commentary, our systems for identifying and responding to misinformation and propaganda are failing us, creating serious risk to everything from personal and financial health, to fundamental democratic processes and governance.  In this age when many would argue that news and information have become key ingredients of broad social progress, our supply is tainted.  Continue reading