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Cornell University

Fake News, Propaganda, and Misinformation: Learning to Critically Evaluate Media Sources.

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." --Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Newsweek, 25 August 1986, p. 27.

Search Engine and Social Media Bias Affect What You See

Social media and web search engine algorithms are deliberately opaque. Algorithms often reinforce our existing biases. Unlike media stories, how these online tools distribute fake news is not open to scrutiny. In this opinion article from the New York Times, "How to Monitor Fake News," Tom Wheeler suggests a way to open up social media algorithms to public scrutiny without compromising individual privacy.


This video from the Southern Poverty Law Center shows how the Google searching algorithm effectively narrowed the perspective of Dylann Roof because he searched for white supremacy information. In this example, other points of view were not represented because the Google search results privileged hate sites.

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