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On Our Radar: Myths About Juneteenth's Origins, an AP News Policy Change, and More

Megan Healey Megan Healey
21st June 2021
On Our Radar: Myths About Juneteenth's Origins, an AP News Policy Change, and More

Note: The views and opinions expressed in blog/editorial posts are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the views or opinions of Misbar.

The conversation surrounding misinformation, fake news, and fact-checking is constantly evolving. As changing technology changes the way we take in information, new cultural and ethical considerations arise. Here is our weekly round-up of recent readings, podcasts, and other media that addresses the latest issues in fact-checking.

What We’re Reading:

Popular belief says that Juneteenth commemorates the day that enslaved African Americans in Texas were finally told that slavery had been outlawed two years before. Historians point to numerous accounts that say this is inaccurate: Enslaved people knew they were free, but, as the article states, slaveholders continued to enforce bondage through violence and brute force. 

The Associated Press announced it would stop publishing the names of people charged with minor crimes, based on the understanding that these stories endure on the internet. This makes it hard for people to move on with their lives, regardless of a guilty or innocent verdict.

The BBC has compiled the most highly circulated misleading claims regarding Ethiopia’s upcoming parliamentary elections.

Squash is a new program that fact-checks statements on live television. It’s making strides, but it still has a long way to go.

One reporter asked six people to log their news consumption over the course of one day, to understand their habits. All six participants shared a similar degree of distrust towards the news, but they all interpreted the same stories differently.

A common solution to keep people from sharing fake news is to use “nudges” or subtle signals to remind people to be vigilant about what they’re reading. A recent study suggests that the problem with fake news isn’t only that people aren’t paying enough attention or thinking critically enough, but that there are other reasons, such as political motivations. 

What We’re Listening To:

Radio Television Ireland has released a new four-part podcast on issues of misinformation. They interview numerous experts on media literacy about how to talk to friends about conspiracy theories, and why the infodemic matters.

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