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We work to protect communities from harmful disinformation by sharing tips and resources to build resilience and improve access to accurate information.
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2 Dec 20
In the wake of recent vaccine announcements, reporters and policymakers need to be tracking “data deficits” — situations where demand for information about a topic is high, but the supply of credible information is low. We outline two of them below. 🧵👇firstdraftnews.org/long-form-arti…
1. mRNA technology, DNA alteration and foreign propaganda narratives. mRNA vaccines’ novelty and technical complexity complicates efforts to provide accessible and compelling information on this technology, while the incentive for bad actors to exploit this gap is high.
2. Measures of vaccine “effectiveness,” trial stages’ “interim” results and other limitations of the vaccine announcements. Information detailing these limitations are often missing from reporting, which could erode public confidence in Covid-19 vaccines.
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2 Dec 20
Today the UK became the first Western country to approve a Covid-19 vaccine. Following this and other recent vaccine trial and approval announcements, here are five misinformation narratives reporters should be aware of when covering these stories. 🧵👇 firstdraftnews.org/latest/vaccine…
1. A Covid-19 vaccine is unnecessary; the immune system is superior. This narrative is now comparing Covid-19 survival rates to the efficacy rates of the current vaccines to suggest that our immune systems are more capable than vaccines in protecting us from Covid-19.
The narrative that hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness eliminates the need for a Covid-19 vaccine, highly popular among many Francophone communities in Europe and Africa, has been applied to recent vaccine trial announcements.
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1 Dec 20
Next week, we’re hosting a series of discussions on the challenges of covering vaccine misinformation next year. We’re hosting one in English, one in French, and one in Spanish. Details below 👇
Join an essential discussion on misinformation on Weds 16 Dec, and get your questions answered. Register now: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/regist…
Rejoignez-nous pour une conversation essentielle le mercredi 9 décembre et trouvez des réponses à vos questions. Register now: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/regist…
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20 Nov 20
We are failing to provide the right information about the Covid-19 vaccine at the right time to the right people. Here are some suggestions for what we could do 👇 [thread] firstdraftnews.org/long-form-arti…
2/ Many false notions about vaccines, such as them altering DNA, being unnecessary because survival rates from Covid-19 are 99% (very misleading), or providing a "silver bullet" -- haven’t been sufficiently addressed
3/ Reporters, governments, and health bodies need to provide the information in an effective, compelling manner (such as with video and meme-based content)
Read 7 tweets
1 Oct 20
(THREAD) There’s been chatter about threat modeling based on a @jayrosen_nyu piece. Since Sept ‘19, we’ve run over 25 crisis simulations with more than 1k people working in the media, at platforms and organizations with great results. What we’ve learned
pressthink.org/2020/09/the-na…
1. People don’t know what they don’t know and what they’re not ready for. 2. Putting people from different newsrooms and platforms together is necessary for us to understand the dynamics of the information environment in real time.
3. Finding different ways to engage people on these issues is critical. As a participant said, “This has all the fun of a breaking news event, with none of the responsibility.” Journos love the adrenaline rush of a real-time scenario, particularly those put off by “training.”
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29 Sep 20
Between January and June, First Draft collected 9,722 fact checks about the coronavirus outbreak to find out what we could learn about misinformation. Here’s what we found (thread) firstdraftnews.org/latest/the-fir…
On January 15, @rapplerdotcom debunked a social media claim that a case of SARS had been reported in Mandaluyong City, outside Manila. The article would be the first of many fact checks relating to the new coronavirus in 2020 according to our research rappler.com/newsbreak/fact…
With @GateAcUk, we attributed each fact check to one of nine categories defined by @risj_oxfor to capture the range of misleading or false claims made about the virus reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/types-sources-…
Read 8 tweets
29 Sep 20
The new Ad Observatory tool from @nyutandon is a great way to track political ad spending on Facebook. One of its best features is that it lets you monitor spending automatically with a range of different alerts. This thread will show you how.
Step 1: You'll need to sign up for an account at adobservatory.org as email notifications are only available if you have registered. Luckily, this tool is free for journalists (including freelancers) and approval usually happens within a business day. Image
Step 2: State pages are a good place to start when browsing ideas for what notifications to set up. Clicking on individual races and top spenders shows more detail, like micro-targeting. Here's a comparison of ad spending from Congressional candidates in Florida’s 3rd district Image
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28 Sep 20
At First Draft, we have spent much of 2020 talking about the infodemic. Here are the final three pieces to bring together our editorial series, ‘Tracking the infodemic’
In this report we explore a new concept called ‘data deficits’ and why we need to monitor the demand and supply of information in real time

firstdraftnews.org/long-form-arti…
Here you can explore our prototype dashboard for exploring ‘data deficits’ which is a new concept designed to help track the infodemic

datadeficits.firstdraftnews.org
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24 Sep 20
Knowing the exact time that something was posted can help you verify content on social media. Each platform has a different way of displaying dates and times. This thread will show you how to investigate a video posted on TikTok.
Step 1 - Open up TikTok on your browser. Remember that to view a TikTok account you have to include the @ before the user’s handle in the URL → tiktok.com/@userhandle Image
Step 2 - Open up the individual page for the TikTok video that you are investigating

Read 8 tweets
21 Sep 20
Our handbook from 2017, written by @samdubberley and Michele Grant, deals with the challenges posed by vicarious trauma and offers practical tips for journalists, newsrooms managers and universities. Find it here:
firstdraftnews.org/latest/vicario…
The recent pandemic prompted First Draft's @lydmorrish to offer some tips for journalists on how to take care of themselves, as the demand for coverage continues.
firstdraftnews.org/latest/how-to-…
Vicarious trauma is an issue that must be taken seriously and has to be tackled by newsrooms and management. @lydmorrish shares her advice: firstdraftnews.org/latest/editors…
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14 Sep 20
Here's a quick thread of three top reads on information disorder for you today, collated by the First Draft monitoring team:
A growing number of studies show that the key to fighting disinformation is to “catch” it early, teaching children essential digital literacy is imperative. Jaigris Hodson at @TheConversation discusses how critical thinking skills can be instilled early on theconversation.com/teaching-child…
Older users who have been on social media for only a few years are less likely to understand its dangers. But digital literacy organizations have had success educating older users to catch online misinformation, writes @paula_span for the @nytimes

nytimes.com/2020/09/11/hea…
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11 Sep 20
Here's a quick thread of three top reads on information disorder for you today, collated by the First Draft monitoring team:
GPT-3 is designed to create text that reads as though it was written by a human, and according to new research it could be used to create QAnon supporting bots that drive online radicalization: middlebury.edu/institute/site…
“About 1 in 5 voters polled have volunteered ideas that veered into the realm of conspiracy theory, ranging from QAnon to the notion that COVID-19 is a hoax”. How did we get here? @TIME ‘s @CharlotteAlter offers some clues

time.com/5887437/conspi…
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10 Sep 20
Here's a quick thread of three top reads on coronavirus and information disorder for you today, collated by the First Draft monitoring team:
We tend to think of vaccine misinformation coming predominantly from anti-vaccine communities, but researchers have found that “vaccine proponents were not immune to spreading less reliable claims” misinforeview.hks.harvard.edu/article/not-ju…
"In many respects, this new bill seems to seek not to combat fake news but, rather, to control users," writes @tvaskko of Brazil's proposed "fake news" legislation technologyreview.com/2020/09/10/100…
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9 Sep 20
Here's a quick thread of three top reads on coronavirus and information disorder for you today, collated by the First Draft monitoring team:
"The group has become known for Te Kahika’s views on Covid-19, 5G, the United Nations, and conspiracy theories about New Zealand and global leadership” @lightyouonfire ’s latest piece for @guardian
theguardian.com/world/2020/sep…
Is Animal Crossing the new frontier for memetic warfare? Not yet, although as campaigns attempt to reach voters on new platforms there is always a risk that disinformation will follow slate.com/technology/202…
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8 Sep 20
Here's a quick thread of three top reads on coronavirus and information disorder for you today, collated by the First Draft monitoring team:
Conspiracy theorists such as QAnon them are seeking new avenues to reach an audience - often under a guise of ostensibly wholesome causes, as this @TB_Times report from “SavetheChildren” protests in #Lakeland shows tampabay.com/florida-politi…
While Russian disinformation certainly exists, the perception of its influence far outweighs its actual reach — latest from @yaffaesque featuring experts
@wiczipedia,⁩ @RidT, ⁦@AricToler⁩ ⁦and @peterpomeranzev

newyorker.com/magazine/2020/…
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4 Sep 20
Here's a quick thread of three top reads on coronavirus and information disorder for you today, collated by the First Draft monitoring team:
References to non-specific authority sources can function as a warning sign that misinformation follows not far behind — new research from the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Misinformation Review

misinforeview.hks.harvard.edu/article/misinf…
The disinformation landscape across the United States, Venezuela, Brazil, Turkey, Nicaragua, Hungary, the Philippines and India is eerily similar - their leaders have turned social media into a weapon, writes @ctardaguila for @Poynter

poynter.org/fact-checking/…
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3 Sep 20
Here's a quick thread of three top reads on coronavirus and information disorder for you today, collated by the First Draft monitoring team:
New research from @CCDHate and @RestlessDev found that fewer than 1 in 20 pieces of misinformation about vaccines were dealt with by the social media giants bbc.co.uk/news/technolog…
@theguardian columnist Belinda Barnet warns that the stand-off between Facebook and Australia’s media regulators over news sharing on the platform could spell disaster for the country’s news outlets - and for the general public: theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
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2 Sep 20
Here's a quick thread of three top reads on coronavirus and information disorder for you today, collated by the First Draft monitoring team:
Ahead of the US election in a matter of weeks, when political tensions will be at their peak, Facebook still has much work to do to combat hateful and violent speech, reports @CaseyNewton for @verge

theverge.com/interface/2020…
More than half of young Africans do not regard Facebook as a trustworthy source of news, a potential thorn in the side of the company’s plans for growth - @TheYomiKazeem reports for @qzafrica

qz.com/africa/1898283…
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1 Sep 20
Here's a quick thread of three top reads on coronavirus and information disorder for you today, collated by the First Draft monitoring team:
Researchers were not able to verify the authenticity of over 80% of coronavirus-related websites posing as government sources misinforeview.hks.harvard.edu/article/ambigu…
There have been multiple instances of governments using claims of false information to illegitimately "suppress the spread of coronavirus information within their borders," writes @jshermcyber for @WIRED

wired.com/story/opinion-…
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28 Aug 20
Here's a quick thread of three top reads on coronavirus and information disorder for you today, collated by the First Draft monitoring team:
"Harmful misinformation about the coronavirus abounds in Latin American Christian communities, with figures such as Gutierrez...capitalizing on fear to promote anti-vaccine sentiment” — @dann_acosta, @mdywebb and @jailongo on religious misinformation
firstdraftnews.org/latest/religio…
Memes, hashtags and other celebratory content are still spreading on its platforms, with one fundraiser attracting over 17,000 shares to hundreds of groups - latest from @juliacarriew theguardian.com/technology/202…
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26 Aug 20
It is important to understand the psychology behind misinformation to help prevent the harm it causes. In part 1 of our 3 part series on the psychology of misinformation, we explore what makes us so vulnerable to it. Read part one here: firstdraftnews.org/latest/the-psy…
In part 2 of the series we cover the psychological concepts that are relevant to corrections, such as fact checks and debunks. Find part two here: firstdraftnews.org/latest/the-psy…
In the last part of the series we cover the psychological concepts that are relevant to the prevention of misinformation. Here we'll explain the psychological concepts that can help us by building our mental resilience:
firstdraftnews.org/latest/the-psy…
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