Tag: misinformation (page 1 of 2)

Audrey Watters on the technology of wellness and mis/disinformation

Audrey Watters is turning her large brain to the topic of “wellness” and, in this first article, talks about mis/disinformation. This is obviously front of mind for me given my involvement in user research for the Zappa project from Bonfire.

In February 2014, I happened to catch a couple of venture capitalists complaining about journalism on Twitter. (Honestly, you could probably pick any month or year and find the same.) “When you know about a situation, you often realize journalists don’t know that much,” one tweeted. “When you don’t know anything, you assume they’re right.” Another VC responded, “there’s a name for this and I think Murray Gell-Mann came up with it but I’m sick today and too lazy to search for it.” A journalist helpfully weighed in: “Michael Crichton called it the ”Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect,” providing a link to a blog with an excerpt in which Crichton explains the concept.

Source: The Technology of Wellness, Part 1: What I Don’t Know | Hack Education

You cannot ‘solve’ online misinformation

Matt Baer, who founded the excellent platform write.as, weighs in on misinformation and disinformation.

This is something I’m interested in anyway given my background in digital literacies, but especially at the moment because of the user research I’m doing around the Zappa project.

Seems to me that a space made up of humans is always going to have (very human) lying and deception, and the spread of misinformation in the form of simply not having all the facts straight. It’s a fact of life, and one you can never totally design or regulate out of existence.

I think the closest “solution” to misinformation (incidental) and disinformation (intentional) online is always going to be a widespread understanding that, as a user, you should be inherently skeptical of what you see and hear digitally.


As long as human interactions are mediated by a screen (or goggles in the coming “metaverse”), there will be a certain loss of truth, social clues, and context in our interactions — clues that otherwise help us determine “truthiness” of information and trustworthiness of actors. There will also be a constant chance for middlemen to meddle in the medium, for better or worse, especially as we get farther from controlling the infrastructure ourselves.

Source: “Solving” Misinformation | Matt

AI-generated misinformation is getting more believable, even by experts

I’ve been using thispersondoesnotexist.com for projects recently and, honestly, I wouldn’t be able to tell that most of the faces it generates every time you hit refresh aren’t real people.

For every positive use of this kind of technology, there are of course negatives. Misinformation and disinformation is everywhere. This example shows how even experts in critical fields such as cybersecurity, public safety, and medicine can be fooled, too.

If you use such social media websites as Facebook and Twitter, you may have come across posts flagged with warnings about misinformation. So far, most misinformation—flagged and unflagged—has been aimed at the general public. Imagine the possibility of misinformation—information that is false or misleading—in scientific and technical fields like cybersecurity, public safety, and medicine.There is growing concern about misinformation spreading in these critical fields as a result of common biases and practices in publishing scientific literature, even in peer-reviewed research papers. As a graduate student and as faculty members doing research in cybersecurity, we studied a new avenue of misinformation in the scientific community. We found that it’s possible for artificial intelligence systems to generate false information in critical fields like medicine and defense that is convincing enough to fool experts.

Source: False, AI-generated cybersecurity news was able to fool experts | Fast Company