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Expert Summary: Misinformation is Common

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We start today with the Washington Post Naomi Nix, Cat Zakrzewski and Joseph Menn— and their investigative reporting on the Republican Party’s growing war on disinformation research.

Academics and government scientists say the campaign also succeeded in curbing years-long efforts to study online lies, which grew after Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election caught people off guard. social media sites and politicians.

Interviews with more than two dozen professors, government officials, doctors, nonprofit organizations and research funders, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss their internal deliberations, describe a growing campaign that is emerging as online propaganda increases.

Social media platforms have backed away from moderating their content, even as mounting evidence shows that Russia and China have stepped up their covert influence campaigns; Next week, misinformation watchdog NewsGuard will release a study revealing that 12 major media accounts from Russia, China and Iran saw the number of likes and reposts on X nearly double after Musk removed the labels labeling them as government affiliates. Advances in generative artificial intelligence have opened the door to potentially widespread voter manipulation. Meanwhile, public health officials grappling with medical misinformationlike the United States heading into fall and winter virus season.

Julia Angwin of the New York Times points out that artificial intelligence is poised to make the Internet even worse.

The authors file a complaint AI Outfitsalleging that their books are included in the sites’ training data. OpenAI arguedin a separate proceeding, that the use of copyrighted data for training AI systems is legal under the “fair use” provision of copyright law.

As quality content creators challenge how their work is used, questionable AI-generated content is rushing into the public sphere. NewsGuard has identified 475 AI-generated news and information websites in 14 languages. AI-generated music floods streaming sites and generates AI royalties for scammers. AI-generated books – including one mushroom foraging guide that could lead to errors in identifying highly toxic mushrooms — are so prevalent on Amazon that the company requires authors who self-publish on its Kindle platform to do so as well. declare if they use AI.

This is a classic case of tragedy of the commons, where a common resource is undermined by the commercial interests of individuals. The traditional example is a public field on which livestock can graze. Without any limits, individual livestock owners are incentivized to overgraze the land, destroying its value to everyone.

We also have things in common on the Internet. For all its toxic aspects, it’s still full of vibrant parts that serve the public good — places like the Wikipedia and Reddit forums, where volunteers often share their knowledge in good faith and work hard to keep bad actors at bay.

Paul Krugman of the New York Times examines the simplistic assumption that manufacturing jobs are “well-paying” jobs.

But why should creating more manufacturing jobs be a policy goal? A large part of the answer lies in the widely held perception that manufacturing jobs are good jobs, jobs that pay well and come with good benefits.

However, this is not necessarily the case. Jobs in manufacturing are not inherently better than jobs in other sectors. It’s true that there was a long period of time – basically from Franklin Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan – where manufacturing jobs were actually good jobs. Nostalgia for that period is part of the reason Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” has gained traction with blue-collar voters. But these relatively high wages in manufacturing did not happen by chance: they were negotiated by unions, which were much more powerful in manufacturing than in the rest of the economy. When the power of unions disappeared, so did the wage premium in manufacturing.

So one way to look at the auto workers’ strike is as an attempt to make the manufacturing industry successful again.

Let’s start with the story. We don’t have all the data we want for long-term comparisons – in particular, we don’t have reliable data outside of manufacturing before the 1960s. But there is little reason to believe that jobs in manufacturing manufacturing sector were particularly good before the New Deal.

Kate Sosin of The 19th News reports on an investigation that gave the United States a “C” on LGBTQ+ human rights. Given that 2020 was the year studied, these scores will get worse.

Uruguay, Luxembourg, Brazil, Norway, Colombia, Malta and Chile are the countries that best respect the human rights of their LGBTQ+ citizens, according to a report released last week.

Obviously off this list? The United States, which received a C or “persecutory” rating on LGBTQ+ human rights, Franklin & Marshall World Barometers Report. The annual study, conducted by a partnership led by Franklin & Marshall College, looks at a country’s policies as well as climate. This gave more than half of the world’s population – 62 percent – ​​an F.

The report ranks the United States 31st out of 136 countries, based on the lived realities of more than 167,000 queer people surveyed worldwide, behind France, Vietnam and Hong Kong. But the United States is also heading toward a failing grade, said Susan Dicklitch-Nelson, a professor of government at Franklin & Marshall College and founder of the study.


This latest report examines data from 2020. Since then, hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ bills have flooded and passed state legislatures, most targeting transgender youth. In 2023, US states saw more more than 700 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced and legislators adopted more than 70 of them.

Hamza Karcic from Middle East Eye poses and then attempts to answer an interesting question: do “European values” really exist?

17 years ago, when I was studying for my Masters in International Relations and European Studies, the mantra of “European values” was omnipresent.

I remember that professors and students undoubtedly highlighted the impact of these values, not only in the European Union but beyond. The EU expansion process has often been presented as an export of European values ​​and norms to formerly socialist countries in transition.


Although many current EU members have made progress in upholding democratic standards, the same cannot be said of their situation when they joined the club. In fact, when dealing with the Western Balkans today, the EU expects potential members to have adopted values ​​and standards that were far from being respected during previous enlargement processes. EU. (…)

To be honest, there is indeed a set of values ​​and standards in the EU. Perhaps in no other region than Western Europe are freedom and the rule of law respected. Add to this the prospects for economic well-being, and it is no coincidence that countless migrants try to make their way to Western Europe in search of a better life. The European dream has become the new iteration of the American dream.

Finally today, The grammarian wrote for The Philadelphia Inquirer about the inclusion of “jaw” – considered “a Philadelphia word” – in an online dictionary.

Earlier this month the online dictionary announced he added to his virtual pages the classic Phillyism and all-purpose noun: “something or someone for which the speaker does not know or need a specific name.” Many viewed this as a victory or validation…or at least excited about Philadelphia receiving widespread press for something that isn’t overtly negative.

But everyone should calm down for one clear reason: Dictionary.com is not a real dictionary.

Going to Dictionary.com for definitions is like going to Olive Garden for an authentic Italian experience. You will find something close to reality, but the natives will probably laugh at you.

And you might feel a little bad afterwards.

In 2019, I described in these pages how jaw already had I jumped the shark. At the time, he was appearing everywhere from Christmas “Jawnaments” to commercials for a boutique hotel in Fishtown. I argued that the word was finite not because of its ubiquity, but because it was used inorganically – as a way to sell products rather than as a natural way of speaking. Such abuses tend to fetishize the regionalisms that make our vernacular distinct and beautiful.

Have the best day possible, everyone!


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