Dr. King-wa Fu, Associate Professor
After the 2016 United States presidential election and the “surprising” victory of President Donald Trump, there has been a pervasive concern over the spread of misinformation or “fake news” on social media, formation of online “filter bubbles” and a polarized public sphere, as well as hyper-partisan tendency of traditional and online media outlets. Associate Professor King-wa Fu spent 10 months between September 2016 and June 2017 visiting the MIT Media Lab as a Fulbright-RGC Hong Kong Senior Research Scholar. He collected a sample of US-based Facebook Public Pages, posts, and comments created in the election period–amounting to 929,000 posts published on 52,000 Facebook Pages–and developed analytics to examine the pattern of online communities and potential influence of “fake news”. In the talk, Dr. Fu will also speak about what he learnt from the MIT Media Lab.
Please register for Dr. King-wa Fu’s talk here.
Anne Kruger, Assistant Professor of Practice
From Occupy Central in 2014 through to the 2017 Chief Executive elections and beyond, the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre has been an active leader in teaching journalism students social media verification techniques. Long before Trump brought the term ‘fake news’ into the modern lexicon, the JMSC was teaching fact-checking methods and how to debunk online misinformation.
The Cyber News Verification Lab was founded in June 2016 by news literacy professors at the JMSC, arguably the first of its kind in Asia, as a focused, experiential project developing undergraduates’ online verification skills. It has been hailed as “ahead of the curve” in online and social media fact-checking education by the industry’s groundbreaking verification journalists. In September 2016, Meedan, a founding partner of First Draft News along with Google News Labs, joined the experiment by providing access and technical support to their open source verification platform called “Check“. The project led to a significant increase in the quality of verification techniques and critical thinking actions by students. Project design, case studies and findings will be discussed by the Lab’s Principal Investigator, Anne Kruger, Assistant Professor of Practice.
Please register for Anne Kruger’s talk here.
Dr. Masato Kajimoto, Assistant Professor of Practice
Why do we fall for fake news? Although intentionally misleading news stories with cherry-picked or made-up facts have been with us from the beginning of modern-day journalism, development of new communication technologies seem to be advancing faster than news literacy education can adapt. In Asia, the rapid adoption of smartphones has provided an ecosystem in which misinformation and disinformation can be produced and disseminated at the stroke of a key within minutes. But little is known about the way fake news works in this part of the world. Which platform does it spread? Who is producing it and why? Why do certain topics and issues become targets in some countries and not others?
In this workshop-style discussion seminar, Dr. Masato Kajimoto will showcase different types of “fake” news and demonstrate some useful techniques the news audience and journalists can employ to tackle misinformation. Dr. Kajimoto is the co-creator of Making Sense of the News: News Literacy Lessons for Digital Citizens, a massive open online course (MOOC) offered in partnership with Stony Brook University’s Center for News Literacy.