Although AI is trying to bring truth into data journalism, fake arguments, catfishes, and inaccurate statistics still plague the web. So how do people sift through the news to find out what is actually the truth?
Deepfaking is an AI-based technology used to produce or alter online content. It presents something that did not actually occur. It is used to produce videos of politicians or celebrities saying or doing things that they did not say or do.
London-based web hosting guide Who is Hosting this? has released an online trust study. It asked 981 Americans -- from baby boomers to millennials -- how they worked through fake news items produced by AI-based technology to find out what is true.
It discovered that almost half (47%) of Americans admitted that they did not believe they could be a victim of deepfaking. But almost nine out of 10 (88%) of people thought that deepfakes could cause more harm than good.
One in 10 men believe deepfaking should be "mostly legal with few restrictions," yet only 25% of Americans believe they could actually be a victim of deepfaking,
Political leanings could play a role in this belief, too. Of the 981 users, 501 stated they were liberal, and 480 considered themselves to be conservative.
In general, people believed that 43.7% of internet users spread misinformation. Over four out of five (81.8%) liberals trusted information from news publications compared to less than half (48.1%) of conservatives.
However, 30.9% of liberals trusted information posted on forums or message boards compared to 40.2% of conservatives.
One in five (21.6%) do not trust news items or reporters -- saying that they were "most concerned" these sites used deception online -- even more than scammers (21.3%). Only 1 in 10 Americans worry about political misinformation being spread across social media.
Conservatives were more likely than liberals to believe what they read on social media. According to one of MIT's fake news studies, false stories spread faster and more widely than true stories on Twitter.
Interestingly, over 70% of liberals believe deepfakes would be used in presidential elections, while only 60% of conservatives believe they will be.
Over four out of five (82.1%) believed that there would be more distrust in information on the internet in the next 10 years.
So, how do you distinguish fact from fiction? Almost seven out of 10 (68%) respondents believed everything from particular sources they trusted. Almost three out of five (56%) believed content to be true -- if multiple sources confirmed the same story
As the 2020 election approaches, campaigns that aim to undermine the election will rise to the fore. Recently, Twitter has stopped accepting political ads ahead of the election, yet Facebook continues to allow political ads to maintain its revenue stream.
Misinformation and fake news online are currently at an all-time high, so knowing which online outlets need to get their facts checked might be useful when trying to work out what is true and what is fake.
It might certainly sway the results of the next election if too many people believe the news they read online and do not check their facts.
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