OPINION MAKING ON THE INTERNET
IS IT REAL OR A FAKE?
More and more false reports and fake images are spread
via the Internet. This can be dangerous if it influences your opinion. That is
why it is important to be able to differentiate true stories from fake ones.
The interactive learning module “Opinion Making on the Internet” will help
you to do this.
Learn how opinion making works. Delve into the world
of fake news and learn how to identify it. You will be surprised how hard that can be sometimes.
THE MANY FACETS OF OPINION MAKING
Opinion making has many
different faces. Phenomena such as fake news, social bots and fake images are
omnipresent. In this module you will learn how complex online opinion making
YOU ARE, WHAT YOU LIKE
Imagine Facebook could judge you better than your
closest friends and relatives. What may sound like science fiction has already
become reality. With just a few “innocent” mouse clicks you can
make accurate statements about yourself and your personality. These are then
used to display content on the Internet and in social media that fits you and
your opinion. This is also known as a filter bubble or opinion bubble. As a
result, what you see is a distorted view of reality. So be careful before you
form an opinion. The
“Apply Magic Sauce” tool from Cambridge
University analyzes your digital footprints and derives statements about your
personality from them. Take the Test.
FACT OR FAKE?
WHAT IS FAKE NEWS?
“Fake news plur. <Engl.> (false, often
sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting)”.
(Collins Dictionary, 2017)
Fake news is no more than false information. However, in many cases, it is difficult to distinguish real news from fake news. That is why fake news is often classified as true and then spread further. This is particularly easy to do in social media by sharing contributions. Often you can not even find the source of the fake news in social media. The mere fact that a message is often shared on social networks does not mean it is true.
Is it real or a fake?FLAMINGO HARRY – A KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR
Northern Germany. A miracle happened at a zoo in Lower
Tilmann, a ten-month-old baby, climbed out of his
stroller unnoticed by his parents near the flamingo enclosure and plunged into
the enclosure pond. Tilmann could only be saved by the rapid intervention of
the brave flamingo Harry. Harry grabbed the baby with his beak and carried him
back to land. “Without Harry, Tilmann would have drowned”, sobbed Mrs. M.,
Tilmann’s mother. “Harry’s reaction was simply amazing”, said the local zoo
director, who is planning on rewarding his new feathered hero with an extra
portion of fish.
You decide: Fact or fake?
Is it real or a fake?GENETICALLY MODIFIED GLOW-IN-THE-DARK PLANT HELPS YOU SAVE ENERGY
Cambridge, USA. Researchers of the famous Massachusetts
Institute of Technology have recently succeeded in breeding the first
genetically modified plant that glows in the dark. At the first glance, the
crop that goes by the name
seems like something that would
grow on radioactive ground. However, the plant glows solely with the help of
natural substances. This innovation could soon even replace common street
lights and thus help advance an energy revolution.
You decide: Fact or fake?
FACT GLOW-IN-THE-DARK PLANT
Is it real or a fake?TWILIGHT NOVELS TO BE RE-FILMED
Los Angeles. Fans across the world are going to go
crazy! The popular novels from the
series, which revolve
around the beautiful Bella and her vampire Edward, are going to be filmed –
The production company Summit Entertainment announced
yesterday in Los Angeles that they expect the success of the old films to
continue with the new ones. “The series still has a lot to offer”, stated a
member of the production staff. “We are not planning on pursuing any new paths
artistically, but financially, there is still a lot to get out of it.” It
should be interesting to see what the new films have in store for us. It is
however, already certain that none of the old actors will be involved in the
new films. On the one hand, the above-mentioned financial reasons (Robert
Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are sought-after stars) are likely to play a
role, and on the other hand, new faces are intended to lure fans back into the
cinemas. It is not yet clear when the new films will be released.
You decide: Fact or fake?
CREATING FAKE NEWS
On the website www.react365.com you can see for yourself how easy it is to
create fake news. Write a headline for your news report and choose the
appropriate cover photo. Your fake news will be created in no time at all.
EARNING MONEY WITH FAKE NEWS
The game “Fake it to make it” proves that you can earn
a lot of money with fake news. The goal is to build up your own business and
generate the highest possible profits by generating fake news. Play the
game and become a fake news author. Learn how the fake news business
CAN PHOTOS LIE?
Take a look at these vacation greetings. What do you see? Is it real? Or could it all be a lie?
All you need is a photo from a vacation catalog to
simulate a trip on social media.
A NEW CAR?
Take a look at this photo. What do you see? Has a
social media user posted a picture of his or her new car?
A NEW CAR?
Depending on the angle a photo is taken from you can
turn a toy car into a brand new real car.
THE “MAJORITY ILLUSION”
Social media can influence our opinions. Kristina
Lerman from the University of Southern California proved this in a study. The
red and white balls on the wooden board represent different opinions. The white
balls represent the opinion of the majority. However, they do not communicate
much with the other balls. The red balls do, though. They represent a rather
rare opinion, but they communicate a lot. As a result, the white balls
often come into contact with the red balls and thus, with their opinion. It appears
to them as if the red balls’ opinion is the majority opinion. Experts refer to
this as the so-called “majority illusion”. Lerman's study also showed that the
white balls often end up sharing the opinion of the red balls.
ELECTORAL VICTORY BY WAY OF MAJORITY ILLUSION
It is no secret that political election campaigns are influenced to a large extent by opinion polls in social media. This is sometimes done by so-called social robots, in short: social bots. They simulate human behavioral patterns in social networks. Social bots are programs that pursue a specific goal, such as political propaganda. With the appropriate programming, social bots can quickly communicate a rare opinion so often that the illusion of a majority emerges causing people to share the rare opinion.
RECOGNIZING SOCIAL BOTS
With the help of just a few characteristics you can easily recognize social bots. You can find further information on the following slide.
GOOD BOT – BAD BOT
A bot is neither good nor bad. Many bots provide very useful services, for example chat bots that provide automated customer service solutions (such as those offered by renowned mail-order companies). Most bots work according to the same principle. They collect data and then store it. As soon as a user speaks to the bot, it searches for suitable answers in its data memory. Since many people use bots, the bot collects more and more data. This is similar to intensive training for a bot.
PROTECTION AGAINST BOTS
Surely you know the situation: You create an account
on a website. All of a sudden, a picture appears with the request: Please mark
all of the fields with cars in them. But why?
Questions such as solving a simple math problem, typing a specific letter and number code into an image, or clicking on certain picture elements are used to identify you as a real person. Tests such as this are referred to as Captcha (= “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”). This means that you have to prove that you are human – compared to an artificial intelligence. For humans, these tasks are usually relatively easy to perform, whereas for bots they are almost impossible. Since sometimes even humans may have difficulty reading the captcha or they are often too difficult to read, audio functions are provided as captcha as well.
FORM YOUR OWN OPINION!
Now you know, that news on the internet should be treated with caution. In this module among other things you became acquainted with criteria and tools to verify people and news.
You can download further information here!