Weekend Thoughts - 12.17.16

   Image  by  Mydhili Bayyapunedi , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by Mydhili Bayyapunedi, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Happy Saturday y'all! Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:

1. Disinfo dedicated an article to 2016 as the "year of disinformation". From England voting to leave the European Union to Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election, myriad global events were affected by "fake news". Influential companies like Google and Facebook are planning to develop filtering systems that will reduce or eliminate "fake news" stories, but that brings to mind many questions. Who will assess whether a story is legitimate or not? Will non-mainstream news sources be at a disadvantage? And ultimately, these companies may be more focused on making money than accurately identifying a true journalistic attempt versus clickbait. Although "fake news" has been around for a long time, it may be more prevalent than ever. That means that we must be personally accountable and stay vigilant—don't believe everything you read, see, or hear, and don't share any news without verifying its veracity first.

2. Along a similar vein, Edward Snowden was interviewed by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Periscope. Their conversation covered the proliferation of "fake news", the issues with metadata surveillance, an imbalance in privacy (private citizens increasingly have no privacy while public officials have maintained their levels of privacy), and some feature suggestions for Twitter to consider implementing. It's an excellent interview and definitely worth viewing.

That's all for this week's edition of Weekend Thoughts. Until next week, keep thinking wilder.