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Thursday, October 22, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Misinformation spikes as Trump confirms COVID-19 diagnosis

News Friday that President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19 sparked an explosion of rumors, misinformation and conspiracy theories that in a matter of hours littered the social media feeds of many Americans.

Russia fines opposition radio station for fake news

Russian opposition-leaning radio station Echo Moskvy and its website editor have been fined the equivalent of $3,745 for posting the comments of a political analyst who questioned Russia's coronavirus statistics.

Twitter removes China-linked accounts spreading false news

Twitter has removed a vast network of accounts that it says is linked to the Chinese government and was pushing false information favorable to the country's communist rulers. Beijing denied involvement Friday and said the company should instead take down accounts smearing China.

EU wants tech giants to do more to counter virus fake news

A senior European Union official warned online platforms like Google and Facebook on Wednesday to step up the fight against fake news coming notably from countries like China and Russia, but she praised the approach of Twitter for fact-checking a tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Newspapers 101

To help you understand why we’re not “fake news,” it might help if we explain how newspapers work and the divisions between news reporting and commentary.

Fake news: What is it?

How did we go from the trustworthiness of “Uncle Walter” and “Chet and David” of the 1960s to today, when so many Americans say they neither trust nor like the news media? It has less to do with news reporting and editing and more to do with rapidly changing technology, nefarious manipulators and a public that often doesn’t take the time to stop and engage in critical thinking.

European experts accuse Russia of spreading fake virus news

Russian state media and news outlets supporting President Vladimir Putin are waging a fake news campaign aimed at undermining public confidence in the ability of European health care systems to cope with the coronavirus, according to a European Union analysis.

Google reins in political advertising

The company said that as of January, advertisers will only be able to target U.S. political ads based on broad categories such as gender, age and postal code. Currently, ads can be tailored for more specific groups – for instance, using information gleaned from public voter logs, such as political affiliation.

AI can make up news stories from handful of words

OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research group co-founded by billionaire Elon Musk, has demonstrated a piece of software that can produce authentic-looking fake news articles after being given just a few pieces of information. In an example published recently by OpenAI, the system was given some sample text: “A train carriage containing controlled nuclear materials was stolen in Cincinnati today. Its whereabouts are unknown.” From this, the software was able to generate a convincing seven-paragraph news story, including quotes from government officials, with the only caveat being that it was entirely untrue.

Elderly, conservatives shared more Facebook fakery in 2016

People over 65 and ultra conservatives shared about seven times more fake information masquerading as news on the social media site than younger adults, moderates and super liberals during the 2016 election season, a new study finds.