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TED 2018: Ukrainian journalist fights fake news

Olga Yurkova on TED stageImage copyright
Jason Redmond/TED

Image caption

Olga Yurkova based StopFake

An impressive communicate in regards to the want to do extra to counter fake news has opened the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) 2018 convention in Vancouver.

Journalist Olga Yurkova described a false tale by which the Ukrainian military had supposedly “crucified” a three-year-old kid.

The tale, reported by way of Russian state media, got here from a lady claiming to be a refugee.

“The only problem was that the story was not true,” defined Ms Yurkova.

That – and tales adore it – led her to co-found StopFake, a fact-checking site set as much as counter Russian propaganda in Ukraine.

The refugee, Galyna Pyshnyak, was once in reality the spouse of a pro-Russian militant.

The crucifixion by no means came about or even the positioning of the development was once made up.

“The story claimed that the army had rounded up the locals in Lenin Square in the city of Seovyansk, but that square did not exist.”

The tale now not best fooled numerous other people in each Ukraine and Russia but additionally led immediately to other people “taking up arms”, Ms Yurkova claimed.

She advised the TED target audience that fake news represented a risk “to democracy and society”.

“Ukraine has been subject to Russian propaganda for four years and now fake news is happening all over the world,” she advised the TED target audience.

“People no longer know what is real and what is fake and a lot of people have stopped believing anything at all. This is even more dangerous.”

StopFake was once introduced in 2014, particularly to maintain fake news in Ukraine.

It has since advanced into an advanced fact-checking organisation protecting media assets in 11 languages.

To date, it has printed greater than 1,000 deceptive news pieces in Ukraine and taught greater than 10,000 other people how you can spot an identical tales all over the world.

Ms Yurkova introduced some easy recommendation for any person fearful about how you can distinguish reality from fiction.

“If the story is too emotional, too dramatic, it is likely it is not true. The truth is often boring,” she mentioned.

“Do your research, look at other sites. Google names and addresses. Society depends on trust and it is up to all of us to find a way to rebuild it.”

Russian interference

The factor of fake news has grow to be a speaking level because it emerged that Russian bot accounts – lots of which were traced to the Internet Research Agency in St Petersburg – had planted fake tales on-line.

In February, 13 Russians have been charged with interfering in the USA 2016 election, together with folks primarily based on the Internet Research Agency.

But how a lot affect the process had at the 2016 presidential marketing campaign stays open to discuss.

A brand new find out about from researchers at Ohio State college means that fake news performed a vital position within the converting citizens’ minds about vote casting for Hillary Clinton in that election.

The find out about, which has now not been peer-reviewed, means that about four% of those that voted for Donald Trump could have been dissuaded from vote casting for Clinton as a result of fake news tales about her.

Those integrated tales that prompt she was once in very deficient well being, others claiming that Pope Francis was once endorsing Trump, and ones suggesting that Clinton had licensed the gross sales of guns to Islamic jihadists.

Meanwhile, a Princeton-led find out about of fake news intake all the way through the election discovered that false articles made up 2.6% of all hard-news articles.

Russian journalist Mikhail Zygar, who additionally spoke at TED, mentioned that the Russian affect have been “over-stated” within the West.

“I have no doubt that it was the American people who elected Donald Trump,” he mentioned.

“Russian hackers wanted to create chaos but they didn’t understand the consequences of that chaos and the scale of that operation is exaggerated.”

Spreading concepts

Image copyright
Jason Redmond/TED

TED’s annual convention in Vancouver – this yr titled The Age of Amazement – will function greater than 100 talks, interviews, demos and performances over 5 days.

Speakers percentage concepts in a sequence of quick talks lasting from 3 to 18 mins.

“Both as a media platform and an annual conference, we strive to be a voice of sanity, reason and insight in today’s increasingly polarised dynamic of outrage,” mentioned the top of TED, Chris Anderson.

“Our theme – The Age of Amazement – is an attempt to compellingly plunge in to the good and the bad of what lies ahead for humanity,” he added.

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