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Yes, deepfakes can make people believe in misinformation — but no more than less-hyped ways of lying
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Yes, deepfakes can make people believe in misinformation — but no more than less-hyped ways of lying
The reasons we get fooled by political lies are less about the technology behind their production and more about the mental processes that lead us to trust or mistrust, accept or discount, embrace or ignore.
By Joshua Benton
Do you know the McMuffin man?
Capitol coverage, the problem with op-eds, and that Vogue cover.
By The Objective Staff
Tiny News Collective aims to launch 500 new local news organizations in three years
At least half of the new newsrooms will be “based in communities that are unserved or underserved, run by founders who have historically been shut out.”
By Sarah Scire
Google is giving $3 million to news orgs to fact-check vaccine misinformation
Projects that demonstrate “clear ways to measure success” and aim to reach groups “disproportionately affected by misinformation” will be prioritized.
By Sarah Scire
After the Capitol riots, platforms, archivists, conspiracists, and investigators collide
“While enforcing their rules on the president may help prevent him from egging on his followers further, the rush to delete videos posted by those very followers may end up making them harder to hold accountable. “
By Laura Hazard Owen
Boston.com’s new cocktail club is recreating the city’s bar scene from readers’ homes
“There’s such a fun food scene in the city that we all just miss, and this is our ability to replicate that as much as possible until it’s safe to go back out again.”
By Hanaa' Tameez
The insurrection at the Capitol challenged the way newsrooms frame unrest
“News audiences aren’t necessarily used to seeing violence and disruption at citizen demonstrations in support of a president — and certainly not on the scale we witnessed on Wednesday at the Capitol.”
By Danielle Kilgo
Our old models of journalistic impact need to change
Plus: How newsrooms “pressured from the top” cover their corporate bosses, studies of the “Serial effect” in podcasting, and Facebook’s role as an infrastructure for local political information.
By Mark Coddington and Seth Lewis
Bad actors are returning to old-school methods of sowing chaos
As the social media platforms become more active in tackling false claims around politics and health, disinformation agents are searching for “new” ways to spread their messages.
By Bethan John and Keenan Chen
Trump’s presidency is ending. Is the reign of Newsmax and OAN just beginning?
“The audience is not loyal to Fox. It wants to get its fix of identity-confirming news. It will go where it can get it, and avoid where it can’t get it.”
By Luke Winkie
In Georgia, Facebook’s changes brought back a partisan News Feed
Ahead of crucial Senate runoffs, Facebook reversed its political ad ban, and the impact was visible on users’ feeds.
By Corin Faife
Yes, deepfakes can make people believe in misinformation — but no more than less-hyped ways of lying
The reasons we get fooled by political lies are less about the technology behind their production and more about the mental processes that lead us to trust or mistrust, accept or discount, embrace or ignore.
By Joshua Benton
Do you know the McMuffin man?
Capitol coverage, the problem with op-eds, and that Vogue cover.
Tiny News Collective aims to launch 500 new local news organizations in three years
At least half of the new newsrooms will be “based in communities that are unserved or underserved, run by founders who have historically been shut out.”
What We’re Reading
The Information / Tim Dotan and Jessica Toonkel
Apple is planning a podcasting subscription service
“The company, which runs the most widely used podcasting app in the industry, is discussing launching a new subscription service that would charge people to listen to podcasts, according to people familiar with the matter. Such a service could pose a threat to Spotify, SiriusXM, Amazon and other big companies that have in the past couple of years swallowed up podcasting production firms in an effort to gain more control of the podcast ad market.”
Vox / Rani Molla
Signal has so many new users, it’s stopped working
Signal — once a niche messaging service for the privacy-minded (including many journalists) — is currently the most downloaded app in the United States. “Signal’s growth in popularity also came as numerous tech companies, including Facebook and Twitter, began deplatforming Trump and his followers and trying to prevent their technologies from being used in service of further violence. Parler, the right wing’s social media alternative, was also booted from the internet; Google and Apple banned it from its app stores and Amazon Web Services stopped hosting the app on its servers.”
Vanity Fair / Joe Pompeo
Politico’s Playbook will have four authors and (for the first time) its own dedicated editor
The team will be editor Mike Zapler and journalists Rachael Bade, Eugene Daniels, Ryan Lizza, and Tara Palmeri. (Guess Thursday was the last time we’ll see Ben Shapiro take the reins.) “I want to bring some of the old Playbook back,” said Palmeri. “That flavor that, when I was working at the New York Post, it felt like I had to watch what was popping on Playbook at all times.”
USA TODAY / Nathan Bomey
Gannett announces goal of 10 million digital subscriptions within five years
The company’s flagship publication, USA Today, does not currently have a paid digital subscription option, but CEO Mike Reed said one is under consideration. Gannett reached the 1 million subscriber mark in the second half of 2020.
The New Yorker / Andrea DenHoed and Eléonore Léo Hamelin
“I can honestly tell you that our journalism has made a difference”: Covering the Covid-19 crisis in the Navajo Nation
“The Navajo Times, based in Window Rock, Arizona, is the only newspaper focussed on reporting the news of the Navajo Nation—which covers an area larger than West Virginia and is home to more than a hundred and seventy thousand people. Many residents of the reservation don’t have Internet service, so the paper is vital to the community in a way that is increasingly rare these days, as local-news outlets around the nation are withering, sometimes supplanted by social media and sometimes by nothing at all.”
New York Times / Taylor Lorenz
Snapchat wants people to post. They’re willing to pay millions.
“The company debuted Spotlight in November and is ‘distributing over $1 million USD every day to Snapchatters,’ a spokesperson said … Katie Feeney, 18, a high school senior in Olney, Md., said she has earned over $1 million from Snapchat in the past two months … Feeney said the cash has opened up new opportunities already. Colleges that she wasn’t planning to apply to because of financial concerns are suddenly on the table.”
Nieman Reports / Celeste Katz Marston
Trump’s stoking of hostility — rhetorical and physical — toward reporters is likely to outlast his presidency
“Making us ‘the enemy of the people’ has made it hard … In the Tea Party days, they didn’t really like us either, [but] they didn’t treat us like the Trump people do, or the anti-mask people do, or the militia people … They just come right at us, like, ‘Who are you with?’ and ‘What do you think you’re doing here?,’ [They] attack us, which is something totally new to me in my career.”
CNN / Kerry Flynn
Medium has acquired Glose, a digital platform for buying, reading, and discussing books
“Glose’s 20 employees, most of whom are based in Paris, will join Medium. Glose CEO Nicolas Princen will become vice president of books at Medium. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.”
Washington Post / Karen Kornbluh and Ellen P. Goodman
Three steps to help treat America’s debilitating information disorder
“We should create a new ‘PBS of the Internet’ to strengthen our civic infrastructure and ensure a strong online supply of trustworthy, nonpartisan scientific and election information.”
Bloomberg / Gerry Smith
Corporations’ political reckoning began with a Judd Legum’s “Popular Information” newsletter
“Legum said he looks for angles to stories that he thinks media outlets are unlikely to pursue. Last week, he and his research assistant spent four days finding the corporate donors for senators who objected to the election results, then contacted all 144 companies for comment. ‘My guiding principle is to find something that’s so monotonous and boring that it’s unlikely to be duplicated,’ he said in an interview.”
Nieman Lab is a project to try to help figure out where the news is headed in the Internet age. Sign up for The Digest, our daily email with all the freshest future-of-journalism news.