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Introduction to SIFT: Media Ecosystems

Information Pitfalls

DATA VOIDS [Sometimes also called EVENT VOIDS] happen when many people begin searching for information that doesn't exist. There are several types of voids, but in the current situation the one to note is BREAKING NEWS: a lack of sources means there is room for error, whether because of speed or because people are deliberately planting false leads or witnesses either for propaganda reasons or to drive traffic from spiking search terms. These voids will eventually be filled by legitimate news content, but can be abused before such content exists.

CLICKBAIT is online content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page. Headlines are often written clickbait style. Clickbait is deliberately provocative and while the accompanying article might be well-researched, the tendency of people to scroll online means many readers often engage only with the possibly misleading headlines and end up misinformed.

PROPAGANDA AND CENSORSHIP are tools used to change perception through omissions and even outright lies. Russia has disinformation services who seed false content to spaces like FaceBook, often disguised to seem as if it's coming from non-Russian sources. Currently, Russia is also censoring access to social media in what is presumably an attempt to replace facts with propaganda. 

Mexico, Monarchs, and Misinformation | NOVA | PBS

Mexico, Monarchs, and Misinformation | NOVA | PBS

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