2018-04-12 VWER – Misinformation

Transcript of the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable: April 12, 2018


Topic: Misinformation

Disinformation, misinformation or fake news? There are increasing numbers of official reports and discussions about misinformation and fake news at the national and international level. This week, Sheila Yoshikawa will introduce key points from the recent European Commission expert group report http://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/final-report-high-level-expert-group-fake-news-and-online-disinformation. We can then discuss questions such as: Is disinformation a problem in virtual worlds? How do we combat disinformation ABOUT virtual worlds? What should we be doing as educators?

Slides are available at http://www.slideshare.net/sheilawebber/some-points-from-the-ec-report-on-disinformation


[2018/04/12 12:03]  Sheila Yoshikawa: Hi everyone, and welcome to the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable. We meet on Thursdays at 12 noon SLT for an hour. 8pm In UK, 3pm EST. VWER is a forum to educate and inform the community about issues that are important and relevant to education in virtual worlds. This is a public meeting, so we will be keeping and publishing a transcript. The VWER continues to develop a community of educators from around the world.

[2018/04/12 12:03]  Sheila Yoshikawa: Please join the VWER group here in SL. If you are on Facebook, or Google+ please join our group there. Our group on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/159154226946/, and our Google+ community at https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/101630374387475211030  Also find and post pictures to our Flickr group and follow us on Twitter @VWER. When you blog or tweet, please remember to include the tag #vwer. you can catch up on our tweetchat at #vwer.

[2018/04/12 12:04]  Sheila Yoshikawa: I am moderating today. The topic for this week’s meeting will be: Misinformation! After the introductions i will give a very short presentation in voice. The slides/text are on the notecard you get if you click the Topic box on the table. After the short presentation there will be a text chat discussion

[2018/04/12 12:05]  Sheila Yoshikawa: Let’s start as we normally do and introduce ourselves; just type into text chat

[2018/04/12 12:05]  Sheila Yoshikawa: I teach and research in the Information School, University of Sheffield, UK

[2018/04/12 12:06]  Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): Hi I’m Darkejade,  a academic librarian from Johnson & Wales University, Providence, RI  USA

[2018/04/12 12:06]  ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Selby Evans, Blogger,  Learning centers on a browser. A use case for web-worlds as schools, libraries, and museums  https://virtualoutworlding.blogspot.com/2018/04/2018-ww-edu-learning-centers-on-browser.html

The internet is forcing us to reinvent learning environments.  Anything we need to learn is on the internet, so we no longer need to spend money on paper books.  Do we need to spend money on building more brick and mortar schools? We could put well-staffed and well-equipped learning centers on the internet.

[2018/04/12 12:06]  Wisdomseeker (lissena): Lynne Berrett, NYC Metro area, owner of Inspiration Island, CEO of Whole Brain Health brain-training program. FB: Virtual Inspiration Island; website: http://VirtualInspirationIsland.org. Board Member NonprofitCommons

[2018/04/12 12:06]  Edward Tarber: Edward, from Germany … computer scientist, IT entrepreneur, software architect, metaverse traveller … using virtual worlds for education, communication and collaboration … creating, expanding and running my own browser based virtual world platform called “cybaLOUNGE” (http://www.cybalounge.com and https://nonprofitvirtualworld.org). Founder and CEO of Metaverse School (http://metaverse.school).

[2018/04/12 12:06]  Marly (marly.milena): Niela Miller, M.S. Ed/Communications: Gestalt therapist, educational designer/facilitator, trainer, coach, multi-artist. Group in SL- Octagon:Creative Exploration. See http://www.peoplesystemspotential.com.

[2018/04/12 12:06]  Kali Pizzaro: Evelyn McElhiney Senior Lecturer Glasgow Caledonian University VWER Co- Lead

[2018/04/12 12:07]  Sheila Yoshikawa: and my department is ranked number 1 in the library and information management field in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018, haha just boasting

[2018/04/12 12:07]  Wisdomseeker (lissena): Edward, you will be glad to know I was able to use your browser to enter your world at our local library!

[2018/04/12 12:07]  Camie Rembrandt: Independent e-Learning Professional, and Certified Professional/Vocational Trainer with a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (E-Learning Pedagogy). VWER Moderator.

[2018/04/12 12:07]  Sheila Yoshikawa: wow Liss excellent!

[2018/04/12 12:07]  Wisdomseeker (lissena): I was very excited

[2018/04/12 12:08]  Edward Tarber: @Wisdomseeker … that’s great 🙂

[2018/04/12 12:08]  Sheila Yoshikawa: I am following the slides embedded in the notecard which you get in a folder if you click on the box on the table

[2018/04/12 12:08]  Wisdomseeker (lissena): they wouldnt let me download any viewer

[2018/04/12 12:09]  Edward Tarber: the goal was to make it accessible from (literally) everywhere

[2018/04/12 12:09]  Sheila Yoshikawa: the folder’s called VWER 12 April 2018

[2018/04/12 12:09]  Sheila Yoshikawa: If you can’t hear voice, it will not be much more than the text I’ve given

[2018/04/12 12:09]  ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): hearing

[2018/04/12 12:09]  Sheila Yoshikawa: I am speaking in voice now

End Symbol 2Notecard Text:
*** Topic: Disinformation, misinformation or fake news?
* Virtual Worlds Education Round Table, discussion in text chat. ALL WELCOME!*

There are increasing numbers of official reports and discussions about
misinformation and fake news at the national and international level.
This week, Sheila Yoshikawa will introduce key points from the recent
European Commission expert group report (probably in voice, but
briefly!) https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/final-report-high-level-expert-group-fake-news-and-online-disinformation

We can then discuss questions such as:

– Is disinformation a problem in virtual worlds?

– How do we combat disinformation ABOUT virtual worlds?

– What should we be doing as educators?

The session will be led by SL: Sheila Yoshikawa (outside SL, Sheila Webber)

Below are the slides Sheila will present, summarising key points from
the European report:

The image and the text on the image are included for convenience

title slide

– Example of a more substantial international effort
– Group set up by European Commission in January 2018 “to advise on
policy initiatives to counter fake news and disinformation spread
– 39 members: media/communications academics; media organisations
(e.g. Facebook, Bertelsmann, Sky); fact-checking organisations;
citizen groups

Disinformation defined:
– Includes all forms of false, inaccurate, or misleading information
designed, presented?and promoted to intentionally cause public harm or
for profit
– Excludes illegal content & also satire and parody
– Avoids term “fake news” on grounds that this has been
misappropriated to mean anything disagreeable to someone

Issues such as:
– Politicians/ governments may spread disinformation: also may not
support a free press which would enable many points of view
– Some news media do not have high journalistic standards
– Citizens may spread disinformation “highly polarized societies with
low levels of trust provide a fertile ground for the production and
circulation of ideologically motivated disinformation”
– Digital media makes it all more complicated

No simple solution
Proposed strategy based on:
– Enhancing transparency of online news
– Promoting media and information literacy
– Developings tools to help people/ journalists tackle disinformation
“Safeguard the diversity and sustainability of the European news media
– More research

Step 1: short term
– Forming a coalition of stakeholders (media companies; factchecking
agencies; academic experts etc.) to draw up a self-regulation Code of
Practices & ensure implementation & review
– Review whether this is working after a year
– Governments/ EU support development of a network of independent
European Centres for (academic) research on disinformation + a central
Centre of Excellence

Step 2: longer term
– The European Commission “Sharpen actions in support of media and
information literacy for all citizens and the promotion of media
literacy in EU curricula reforms”
– Individual countries similarly
— Pay more attention to developing MIL strategies & education for
all population groups
— “Refrain from interfering with the editorial independence of
media” & encourage a pluralist media scene
– News media organisations cooperating to develop MIL and e.g.
“continue investing in quality journalisms and equip newsrooms with
professional automatic content verification tools”

In virtual worlds: Are these proposed strategy points relevant? Could
we do anything about them?
– Enhancing transparency of online news
– Promoting media and information literacy
– Developings tools to help people/ journalists tackle disinformation
– “Safeguard the diversity and sustainability of the European news
media ecosystem”
– More research into disinformation

End Symbol 2

[2018/04/12 12:16]  Sheila Yoshikawa: Pew Internet

[2018/04/12 12:16]  Camie Rembrandt: yes

[2018/04/12 12:16]  Sheila Yoshikawa: American Life Project

[2018/04/12 12:19]  Marly (marly.milena): Snopes.com?

[2018/04/12 12:22]  Sheila Yoshikawa: Just moving from voice to text chat

[2018/04/12 12:22]  Sheila Yoshikawa: In virtual worlds: Are these proposed strategy points relevant? Could we do anything about them?

– Enhancing transparency of online news

– Promoting media and information literacy

– Developings tools to help people/ journalists tackle disinformation

– “Safeguard the diversity and sustainability of the European news media ecosystem”

– More research into disinformation

[2018/04/12 12:23]  Sheila Yoshikawa: so that was my first question: do you think any of this is relevant to us? can we do anything about it? any views?

[2018/04/12 12:23]  Marly (marly.milena): A life and death one is whether, how much, etc Syria is using chemical warfare since all sorts of decisions about how to deal with this situation are based on knowing what is actually happening. This would affect us all

[2018/04/12 12:24]  Sheila Yoshikawa: indeed, and the situation is horribly like Iraq and weapons of mass destruction, which of course ended up being misinformation

[2018/04/12 12:24]  Marly (marly.milena): Yup

[2018/04/12 12:25]  Sheila Yoshikawa: Are we affected by misinformation specifically as educators in virtual worlds? I was thinking that there is misinformation ABOUT us! for example people writing about virtual worlds and just talking about sex, sigh

[2018/04/12 12:26]  Camie Rembrandt: yes

[2018/04/12 12:26]  Sheila Yoshikawa: lol oh dear me talking seems to have shut people up, sorry!

[2018/04/12 12:26]  Edward Tarber: maybe not specifically, but of course we also depend on reliable information … too bad there is no lie detector test for news …. only solution is to use many different sources and “calculate” a probability of truth

[2018/04/12 12:27]  Camie Rembrandt: I mean there is sex in virtual words – but there’s also a lot more than that

[2018/04/12 12:27]  Marly (marly.milena): This culture of misinformation brings out human insecurities and produces confusion, craziness, inability to make decisions, despair about where to look for the truth. I don’t think you can separate here and there; it is the zeitgeist of the times and affects everyone

[2018/04/12 12:27]  Sheila Yoshikawa: @Edward although you may have 4 sources with misinformation and just one with the better information….

[2018/04/12 12:28]  Edward Tarber: yes … that doesn’t make things easier …

[2018/04/12 12:28]  Sheila Yoshikawa: I think it has made some people rethink giving “recipes” for judging information, in that this also makes it seem like it is easy to tell “facts” from “lies”

[2018/04/12 12:28]  Edward Tarber: but I wouldn’t trust an AI to assess news, would you?

[2018/04/12 12:28]  Sheila Yoshikawa: no! especially when you don’t know how the AI is programmed–and that also causes the problems – ie social media and search engines feeding us stuff they think from algorithms we will agree with and like (rather than more accurate news). I have seen a lot about “filter bubbles” that we get more and more enclosed in ideas etc. that are familiar to us, although to be fair some people also saying that this effect is exaggerated

[2018/04/12 12:30]  Camie Rembrandt: @Sheila – it’s just about virtual worlds, every time I refer to Twitter people tell me how terrible and divisive it is – and it can be that, of course – but I’m part of very positive supportive communities where none of that happens. So, I guess I could say misinformation is also a consequence of bad/good experiences?

[2018/04/12 12:31]  Camie Rembrandt: @Sheila “it’s NOT just about”

[2018/04/12 12:31]  ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Even the best news sources hype their news to the point  that they are overstating the importance.

[2018/04/12 12:31]  Sheila Yoshikawa: @Selby the BBC for example has got worse like that, and I use to think it was reliable

[2018/04/12 12:32]  Sheila Yoshikawa: @Camie yes, I think it is easier in a virtual world to steer clear of the non-supportive (than on Twitter)?

[2018/04/12 12:32]  Marly (marly.milena): The lack of balance is also atrocious…very few publications or news sources where you can get GOOD news

[2018/04/12 12:33]  Sheila Yoshikawa: In the UK @Marly the number of trained journalist on mainstream newspapers and news media has declined steadily, so you may get an unpaid intern putting together stories and being told to make it clickbait

[2018/04/12 12:34]  Marly (marly.milena): https://qz.com/1169003/the-99-best-things-that-happened-in-2017/

[2018/04/12 12:35]  Camie Rembrandt: @Sheila I steer clear – there are strategies to do it – just like in SL: don’t go to places where those things happen – in Twitter, use tools like TweetDeck and focus on the topics and communities you enjoy instead of going through all that is tweeted.

[2018/04/12 12:35]  ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Clickbait: “You won’t believe what happened next.”

[2018/04/12 12:36]  Camie Rembrandt: Yes, Selby, that has become quite common

[2018/04/12 12:36]  Sheila Yoshikawa: 😉 Marly, actually there’s a book which is one of the “books of the week” being read daily on BBC radio 4 about that – about how there ARE good things happening: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09xjb5r

[2018/04/12 12:38]  Sheila Yoshikawa: Also, Valibrarian’s digital citizenship initiative partly covers media and information literacy, has anyone else been involved in initiatives to improve people’s media and information literacy? so people can cope better with disinformation. @Liss and @Marly do you think any of your sessions address this? I was thinking of Marly’s sessions, getting people to argue things from different perspectives

[2018/04/12 12:40]  Marly (marly.milena): Sheila, do you make a distinction between disinformation, misinformation, outright lying, taking news out of context, etc?

[2018/04/12 12:40]  Sheila Yoshikawa: that seems good education for challenging misinformation

[2018/04/12 12:40]  ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): I never click that kind of bait.   But I do think about writing a comedy skit with a character who talks in click-bait.

[2018/04/12 12:40]  Sheila Yoshikawa: @Shelby ;-))

[2018/04/12 12:42]  ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Joe to Mary:  You won’t believe what happened next.

[2018/04/12 12:43]  ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Mary: Don’t tell me– I wont believe it

[2018/04/12 12:43]  Camie Rembrandt: LOL Selby

[2018/04/12 12:43]  Sheila Yoshikawa: lol Selby

[2018/04/12 12:41]  Sheila Yoshikawa: @Marly , I think the definitions are shifting

[2018/04/12 12:41]  Sheila Yoshikawa: I think using “misinformation” for deliberate misleading is a good idea

[2018/04/12 12:41]  Sheila Yoshikawa: as i too feel that the “fake news” phrase has lost its meaning

[2018/04/12 12:42]  Camie Rembrandt: :))

[2018/04/12 12:42]  Marly (marly.milena): I would say that in my climate change session at least, I try to deal with <sins of omission> ie being able to state many positions besides the ones we cling to

[2018/04/12 12:42]  Sheila Yoshikawa: I think that there is still such a thing as lying, but you have to know more about what was said, who said it and what the matter is before you can label something a lie?

[2018/04/12 12:43]  Sheila Yoshikawa: sometimes people THINK what they are saying is true because they haven’t thought to question it

[2018/04/12 12:44]  Sheila Yoshikawa: @Marly I think one of the GOOD things that is coming out of this is more attention to critical thinking and understanding different points of view, challenging your own thinking

[2018/04/12 12:45]  Marly (marly.milena): It is a great exercise to be able to argue for a position that is not your own, that you disagree with, that is questionable as fact.  I wish world leaders would do more of that…and our entrenched U..S. Congress people

[2018/04/12 12:45]  Sheila Yoshikawa: Actually this keynote talk of a conference i was at last week had that as a theme https://www.slideshare.net/infolit_group/posthuman-literacies-reframing-relationships-between-information-technology-and-identity-david-white-keynote-speaker-at-lilac-2018

[2018/04/12 12:45]  Sheila Yoshikawa: @Marly not just politicians in the USA!

[2018/04/12 12:45]  ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): So schools should do better at teaching critical thinking,

[2018/04/12 12:46]  Sheila Yoshikawa: the presentation is about challenging your own thinking, not politics btw

[2018/04/12 12:46]  Sheila Yoshikawa: @Selby yes I think so! but teaching to the test is encouraged in the UK by all the emphasis on league tables and getting teh students to do well

[2018/04/12 12:46]  Marly (marly.milena): I refer you all to the books of Arnold Mindell, a Jungian, physicist, shaman, and global thinker who outlines ways of doing this both in personal relationships and large-scale situations

[2018/04/12 12:46]  Sheila Yoshikawa: that is a problem in other countries too?

[2018/04/12 12:47]  Sheila Yoshikawa: thanks Marly

[2018/04/12 12:48]  Sheila Yoshikawa: any other last thoughts about the problem of disinformation and things to do about it?

[2018/04/12 12:49]  Marly (marly.milena): Some titles: Sitting in the Fire, Leader as Martial Artist, The Deep Democracy of Open Forums, Conflict: Phases, Forums, and Solutions

[2018/04/12 12:49]  Sheila Yoshikawa: Thanks

[2018/04/12 12:49]  ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Tests could test for critical thinking if that were specified by the instructional objectives

[2018/04/12 12:50]  Sheila Yoshikawa: The trouble with that is that people sometimes start to learn the things that pass the test, without necessarily internalising the thing they were supposed to learn, I have that problem sometimes with reflective writing

[2018/04/12 12:51]  Sheila Yoshikawa: some people get good at writing reflective writing that isn’t necessarily reflective of what they actually think/did

[2018/04/12 12:51]  Sheila Yoshikawa: though at least they have learnt what “reflection” looks like….

[2018/04/12 12:51]  Sheila Yoshikawa: but I’m being negative there!

[2018/04/12 12:52]  Sheila Yoshikawa: Had you any ideas for the types of things that could be used to test @Selby?

[2018/04/12 12:52]  Marly (marly.milena): We still struggle with the real value of education and what teaching and learning are all about. What is a good teacher? How do you teach processes of learning vs. data….

[2018/04/12 12:53]  Sheila Yoshikawa: an ongoing but worthwhile struggle!

[2018/04/12 12:53]  Sheila Yoshikawa: Right

[2018/04/12 12:53]  Sheila Yoshikawa: It seems like the discussion has come to an end

[2018/04/12 12:53]  Sheila Yoshikawa: so let’s end it there for this week

[2018/04/12 12:54]  Sheila Yoshikawa: as the hour is approaching. I think it’s Kali next week

[2018/04/12 12:54]  Marly (marly.milena): Thanks Sheila. This is such a big topic!

[2018/04/12 12:54]  Sheila Yoshikawa: I’m not sure whether she has a topic lined up

[2018/04/12 12:54]  IM: elfbiter: Going strong? In addition to being busy, that is

[2018/04/12 12:54]  Sheila Yoshikawa: but I see she is away ;-))

[2018/04/12 12:54]  Sheila Yoshikawa: Thanks for your contributions

[2018/04/12 12:54]  Sheila Yoshikawa: as you say Marly, a big topic, and not one to go away

[2018/04/12 12:55]  Sheila Yoshikawa: in fact one fears it will get worse

[2018/04/12 12:55]  ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): We have no shortage of news and other published information that could be used as test items. test takers could be asked to evaluate them

[2018/04/12 12:55]  Marly (marly.milena): Not just one, but you and me!  LOL

[2018/04/12 12:55]  Sheila Yoshikawa: yes @Selby

[2018/04/12 12:55]  Sheila Yoshikawa: lol @Marly

[2018/04/12 12:56]  ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): New items could be added every year, so there is no standard test to teach to

[2018/04/12 12:56]  Sheila Yoshikawa: and I look forward to Clickbait! The Musical!

[2018/04/12 12:56]  Sheila Yoshikawa: @Selby yes there is certainly enough out there to get people to engage with, examples of good, bad, and dreadful

[2018/04/12 12:57]  Sheila Yoshikawa: Ok that’s it for today

[2018/04/12 12:57]  Sheila Yoshikawa: I look forward to seeing you next week!

[2018/04/12 12:57]  Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): Thanks Sheila,   have a great day / night folks.

[2018/04/12 12:57]  Camie Rembrandt: Thank you, Sheila. Very interesting topic.


VWER Meeting Transcripts by Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://vwer.info.

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