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This may form part of the social media guidelines currently underway by the IT Ministry and could be out soon.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok may have to scramble for developing an account identity-verification option to check "fake news, malicious content, misinformation, racial slurs, gender abuse that may have an impact on the individual and society as a whole." This may form part of the social media guidelines currently underway by the IT Ministry and could be out soon. "The work is in progress, we have sent it to the Law Ministry for vetting," said a source.

The IT Ministry is learned to have finalized the social media guidelines to check misinformation, malicious info, and gender-biased views and have sent them to the Law Ministry for vetting it where account holder verification could be made mandatory.

The new draft personal data protection Bill has proposed social media intermediaries to enable "voluntary verification" of user accounts. The method for this, as suggested in the bill, is that these verified users should be given a demonstrable and visible mark of verification which is akin to biometric or physical identification which is publicly visible to all users.

If this is implemented, then this verification system would be different from the existing verified accounts category on platforms such as Instagram and Twitter.

The security check user account verification will be developed by the social media company.

Another major change that may come up is in the definition of the "significant data fiduciary" based on the volume of personal data they possess because there is a feeling that big or small, any incorrect or fake information through even a small social media platform has the potential to multiply the fake news irrespective of the volume of personal data it holds.

Therefore, there may be another layer included for those social media companies who don't have volumes of personal data, but they can affect the democratic nature of the country.

Under Section 26 of the 2019 Bill, certain thresholds in terms of volume of personal data processed, the sensitivity of personal data processed, risk of harm, etc are specified, upon satisfaction of which, the Data Protection Authority may notify a data fiduciary as a "significant data fiduciary" (social media companies).

This provision in the data privacy Bill is only applicable to "significant" social media platforms. The significant status of a company is determined by the Central government on the basis of the number of users and the potential impact that these companies can have on Indian democracy and the country's security and general harmony. But this may change, said sources.

A social media intermediary has been defined as a body that primarily or solely enables online interaction between two or more users and allows them to create, upload, share, disseminate, modify or access information using its services.

Earlier, there was a proposal to link social media accounts with Aadhaar to trail the real source of fake news, but the nodal agency for UIDAI shot down the proposal, saying Aadhaar is meant for the distribution of government welfare benefits not catching culprits which is a policing job.

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad later said there is no proposal to link social media accounts of individuals to Aadhaar.

With the rise in fake news and hate speeches online, the need for verification of social media accounts has been felt for a while. This became even more pronounced following a series of lynching incidents over religious issues. Earlier this year, Facebook reported taking down 2.19 billion fake accounts in the first quarter of 2019, a significant hike from 1.2 bn accounts in Q4 of 2018.

[Source: This article was published in gadgets.ndtv.com  - Uploaded by the Association Member: James Gill]

Categorized in Internet Privacy

The process of getting your social media accounts verified is mysterious and extremely desirable. For those who don’t know, social media verification is when your account handle has a blue check next to it. You will see A-list celebrities, athletes, musicians, successful brands, and top social media personalities with the blue verified account checks. Simply put, the blue check signifies massive credibility and digital fame.

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What most people don’t understand is what it actually takes to qualify and receive the blue check. A few months ago, my TikTok account and personal Instagram account were verified. Here is how it happened. 

Four years ago, I created a liquor brand with my two best friends. The marketing and branding plan was to create an exciting and engaging social media presence. We saw that the liquor industry was largely boring and run by traditional executives who did not understand social media or modern-day digital marketing. While we were building the brand, I became a social media expert and developed a deep understanding of what it would take to become successful. I also took content creation to the next level with unique-point-of-view videos using GoPros. Instead of traditional industry content, we leveraged people and an exciting lifestyle to position the brand. The success of the brand earned me frequent news interviews, a newspaper column, and many interviews in major publications.

During the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, I became frustrated with the ever-increasing pay-to-play growth and engagement models of most social media platforms. So, I decided to get serious about TikTok. It seemed to be the only platform where huge organic growth was still possible. This paid off big. My video style was working for the audience, and I began growing quickly. My account has gone from 2,000 followers to almost 100,000 followers. A few videos early on had over 10,000 views, then 50,000 views, 100,000 views, and 500,000 views — and now, many have over 1,000,000 views. 

During a flight when I was flying a privately owned fighter jet trainer, I passed out from the massive G-forces. This video immediately went viral. It had over 3 million views within a few weeks. I decided to license the video, and it really exploded immediately after that. The Daily Mail featured the video, and then many other news sources and social media accounts followed suit. Currently, the video has over 50 million total views across all digital platforms. The Daily Mail article headline directly referenced my TikTok account and that the video had 3 million views. One week later, I opened up my TikTok, and there it was: the blue check.

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After my TikTok account was verified, I opened my Instagram app, took a picture of my driver's license, and submitted it directly to Instagram for verification. Within a few hours, there it was: the blue check.

So what does it take to get your social media accounts verified? The answer is generally to be an A-list celebrity or be a leader in your industry who gains massive press and extremely viral content. If you don’t have the above, there is no third-party service I know of that can help you get a blue check. Do not fall for the rampant verification scam services out there. 

If you want to get your social media accounts verified, start off by identifying your unique skill sets and expertise. Next, work hard to become a leader in your field of expertise. Start sharing this expertise and provide value to those around you. Share your ideas on social media and work to get published in small publications. Then, small publications can become large publications.

Next, leverage your skill sets and share them in creative ways on social media. This will take time but can pay off in huge dividends. I never wanted to start a TikTok account, but I learned this was the only place I could quickly grow a massive audience. Spend time mastering social media and staying ahead of the trends. This even includes moving on to new platforms when they launch.

Now, go work on taking your content to the next level, earning major press, and getting your social media accounts verified.

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[Source: This article was published in forbes.com By Alex Kowtun - Uploaded by the Association Member: Deborah Tannen] 
Categorized in Internet Privacy

No one loves email bounce backs, primarily when SDRs conduct cold email campaigns. According to a recent report by Constant Contact, the average email bounce rate is 7.75%.

But the good email bounce rate is less than 2%. Anything above 2% is considered critical.

Email verification techniques can be used to reduce your email bounce backs. It cleans your email list by filtering the spammy and invalid addresses that help you in proceeding towards your email campaign securely. But many email professionals are unaware of how to verify email addresses.

This article will help them with multiple email verification processes, and it’s best practices to improve email deliverability in a considerable amount.

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Table of Contents

  1. Why should we verify email addresses?
  2. How to verify email address before sending cold emails?
  3. How frequently should you validate your email list?
  4. What’s next? Cold email campaign

Why should we verify email addresses?

Before jumping into the steps to verify the email addresses, let’s go through the quick benefits of email verification. This will help you understand the advantages of email verifications and its consequences.

1. Stay away from bounces

As discussed, email bounces are the biggest nightmares of a cold email campaign. Continous bounce back degrades your email account’s authenticity and domain quality. Your email account might get listed in the spam index of various email service providers (ESP) and end up by getting blocked.

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If you verify your email list before sending a cold email, you can easily segregate your good contacts from the bad ones. Ultimately it will decrease your email bounce rate and make you stay away from spam indexes.

2. Better sender reputation score and email deliverability

Every email account has a sender reputation score that helps the recipient’s ESP to decide the quality of the email. The higher the score, the better is the email deliverability and vice versa.

If you send emails to invalid or spammy email accounts frequently, it can lead to suspension of your email account.

Verifying your email account helps you in getting your emails to the right recipient in an authentic manner. This will keep your email account healthy and increase your reputation score.

3. Getting better results from your email campaign

You import a list of recipients for scheduling an email campaign. With large lists, the chances of email bounce also increase. This eventually affects your whole email campaign performance.

Also, you spend a lot of time and energy on an email campaign, which might go to vain if it doesn’t provide you with the desired results.

Email account verification excludes the bad contacts from your lists, which increases your email deliverability. You also receive a higher open rate and reply rate that boosts your email campaigning performance.

To grab all the above benefits, you need to know the best email verification practices that can help you in landing your emails directly in your recipient’s mailbox. 

Below we are listing the 7 best tactics to verify your email addresses for getting the best results.

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How to verify an email address before sending cold emails?

There are multiple techniques to verify email addresses. Some of them require advanced knowledge of email technology. However, in this section, we have added some easy techniques to verify your email accounts. We have also tried to provide simplified solutions to tackle the technical difficulties associated with it.

1. Check the email syntax

Typographical and syntax errors are one of the most usual issues with email addresses. They can be manually checked and modified. The standard email address follows the format of This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. It has three mandatory parts (unique identifier, @, and domain name).

The xyz in the email address is considered as the unique identifier of the email. It can be a maximum of 64 characters long and can consist of:

  • Uppercase and lowercase letters in English (A-Z, a-z)
  • Digits from 0 to 9
  • Special characters such as ! # $ % & ‘ * + – / = ? ^ _ ` { |

The @abc in the syntax example is the domain name. This is usually the same as the business domain, like @saleshandy.com or email service providers like @gmail.com.

You need to check your recipient’s email address must follow the required syntax. Any other format other than this syntax is faulty and is more likely to bounce back. Also, check the typographical mistakes like @gmal.com or @yahooo.co, leading to the bouncing back of your emails.

2. Ping the server

Pinging the server is a technical method to verify email address without sending emails. You need a tool like PuTTY for Telnet in Windows system to perform this check. If you are using a Mac system, you can use the iTerm app. 

Follow the below steps to check to ping the email server.

  • Enable Telnet in windows.
  • Open command prompt, type the nslookup command: nslookup –type=mx domain.com
  • You will find multiple MX records associated with the domain. Pick the one with the lowest preference number.
  • Connect to the telnet server with the command: telnet {mail server address} 25
  • Handshake with the server by typing: HELO
  • Next, provide your identity with a random email address: mail from: {random email address}
  • As the next step add the email address you want to verify: rcpt to: {email address to verify}
  • The server will reply back with an OK or some error message. If the message is OK, then the email address is valid.

Ping the server

Source

This method is accurate and provides the best results, but it’s very tedious and might affect your system negatively.

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3. Send an email from a different account

You can verify the email deliverability to an email account by sending them an email, but doing that from your primary email account is risky. It is suggested to create a dummy email address and try out sending emails to your recipients. Further, you can clean up the bounced accounts from your email list manually.

Although this method works, it is quite tedious as of doing each work twice. 

4. DNS lookup

DNS Lookup technique is used to check the authenticity of the domain. It also provides you with any blacklist or spammy data associated with the domain. To conduct a DNS lookup, follow the steps below:

  • Open MXToolbox DNS Check in your browser
  • Add the recipient’s domain name in the text box provided and click on DNS check
  • You will get a list of hostname and details of the DNS records
  • If you don’t see any details of the provided domain, the domain is most probably available.

DNS lookup

This test provides you the accuracy of the recipient’s domain but still can’t assure 100% deliverability.

5. Perform an IP address lookup

IP address lookup is another way to check the authenticity of the recipient’s email account. This lookup helps you by providing the IP details of the recipient’s email address. Follow the steps below to do an IP address lookup.

To start the IP address lookup, we need to find the IP address of the recipient as the first step.

  • Open MX Toolbox in your browser
  • Add your recipient’s email address in the text box and click on MX Lookup
  • You will get a list of IP addresses associated with the email address. You can choose any one of them

In the next step, we will start with the IP address lookup. You can find many IP address lookup tools like whatismyipaddress over the internet that can provide the IP details of the recipient’s email server.

Perform an IP address lookup

You can check with the location servers and ISP details provided in the results of the lookup. If you find anything unusual, then it’s a case of email spoofing and the email address is risky.

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6. Use an email verification tool

An email verification tool can help you in doing all the technical verifications in one go. You just need to add the email list, and the automated system will verify all the email addresses for you. The other methods listed above are tedious, and each task has to be done individually. You can use a bulk email verifier tool to verify an email list and get results in a fraction of a minute. This will help you in spending less time in email verification and providing your valuable time for cold email campaigns.

7. Verify your email list while sending cold emails

If you are planning to send a cold email campaign and hunting for a technique to verify your email list, then this section is for you. You can use SalesHandy to verify your bulk email list and send cold emails together.

Follow the simple steps below to verify and schedule a cold email campaign.

  1. Sign Up with SalesHandy and login to the web-app
  2. Click on the email campaign from the right side menu followed by the New Campaign button
  3. Upload your email list in a CSV format
  4. Soon, you will get a pop-up to verify your email list
  5. Click on Start to commence your email verification process
  6. It will take a few minutes and you can get your email list divided into 3 parts: Valid, Invalid, and Risky. It is suggested to proceed only with Valid contacts for the best results. (Check the video below for better understanding)

Read More...

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 [Source: This article was published in saleshandy.com By Rajendra Roul - Uploaded by the Association Member: Eric Beaudoin]
Categorized in Investigative Research

Identity fraud is now more threatening than ever

Technology is changing the way people do business but, in doing so, it increases the risks around security. Identity fraud is especially on the rise. In fact, it’s estimated this type of fraud has doubled in just the last year. And, while the banking sector may be the juiciest target for attempted identity fraud, security is not purely a banking concern.

In 2015, damage caused by internet fraud amounted to $3 trillion worldwide. Latest predictions say it will be $6 trillion in 2021. This makes cyber fraud one of the biggest threats in our economy and the fastest growing crime. It is becoming far more profitable than the global trade of illegal drugs.

Enterprises all over the world need to focus on this cost-intensive problem. With over 1.9 billion websites and counting, there is a huge possibility for fraud to be committed – a serious problem that must be slowed down.

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Most common identity fraud methods

Of all fraud methods, social engineering is the biggest issue for companies. It became the most common fraud method in 2019, accounting for 73% of all attempted attacks, according to our own research. It lures unsuspecting users into providing or using their confidential data and is increasingly popular with fraudsters, being efficient and difficult to recognise.

Fraudsters trick innocent people into registering for a service using their own valid ID. The account they open is then overtaken by the fraudster and used to generate value by withdrawing money or making online transfers.

They mainly look for their victims on online portals where people search for jobs, buying – and selling things, or connecting with other people. In most of the cases, the fraudsters use fake job ads, app testing offers, cheap loan offers, or fake IT support to lure their victims. People are contacted on channels like eBay Classifieds, job search engines and Facebook.

Fraudsters are also creating sophisticated architecture to boost the credibility of these cover stories which includes fake corporate email addresses, fake ads, and fake websites.

In addition, we are seeing more applicants being coached, either by messenger or video call, on what to say during the identity process. Specifically, they are instructed to say that they were not prompted to open the account by a third party but are doing so by choice.

How to fight social engineering

If organisations are to consistently stay ahead of the latest fraud methods and protect their customers, they need to have the right technology in place to be able to track fraudulent activity, react quickly and be flexible in reengineering the security system.

Crucially, it requires a mix of technical and ‘personal’ mechanisms. Some methods include:

Device binding – to make sure that only the person who can use an app – and the account behind it – is the person who is entitled to do so, the device binding feature is highly effective. From the moment a customer signs up for a service, the specific app binds with their used device (a mobile phone for example) and, as soon as another device is used, the customer needs to verify themselves again.

Psychological questions – to detect social engineering, even if it is well disguised, trained staff are an additional safety net that should be applied – and in addition to the standard checks at the start of the verification process. They ask a customer an advanced set of questions once an elevated risk of a social engineering attack is detected. These questions are constantly updated as new attack patterns emerge.

Takedown service – with every attack, organisations can learn. This means constantly checking new methods and tricks to identify websites which fraudsters are using to lure in innocent people. And, by working with an identity verification provider that has good connections to the most used web hosts and a very engaged research team, they are able to take hundreds of these websites offline.

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Fake ID fraud

However, social engineering isn’t the only common type of identity fraud. Organisations should be aware of fake ID fraud. Our research indicates fake IDs are available on the dark web for as little as €50 and some of them are so realistic they can often fool human passport agents. The most commonly faked documents are national ID cards, followed by passports in second place. Other documents include residence permits and driving licenses.

The quality of these fake IDs is increasing too. Where in the past fraudsters used simple colour copies of ID cards, now they are switching to more advanced, and more costly falsifications that even include holographs.

Biometric security is extremely effective at fighting this kind of fraud. It can check and detect holograms and other features like optical variable inks just by moving the ID in front of the camera. Machine learning algorithms can also be used for dynamic visual detection.

Similarity fraud is another method used by fraudsters, although it’s not as common thanks to the development of easier and more efficient ways (like social engineering). This method sees a fraudster use a genuine, stolen, government-issued ID that belongs to a person with similar facial features.

To fight similarity fraud, biometric checks and liveness checks used together are very effective – and they are much more precise and accurate than a human could ever be without the help of state-of-the-art security technology.

The biometric checks scan all the characteristics in the customer’s face and compares it to the picture on their ID card or passport. If the technology confirms all of the important features in both pictures, it hands over to the liveness check. This is a liveness detection program to verify the customer’s presence. It builds a 3D model of their face by taking different angled photos while the customer moves according to instructions.

The biometric check itself could be tricked with a photo but, in combination with the liveness check, it proves there is a real person in front of the camera.

Fighting back

The threat of identity fraud is not going away and, as fraudsters become more and more sophisticated, so too must technology. With the right investment in advanced technology measures, organisations will be in a much stronger position to stop fraudsters in their tracks and protect their customers from the risk of identity fraud.

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 [Source: This article was published in techradar.com By Charlie Roberts - Uploaded by the Association Member: Alex Gray]

Categorized in Investigative Research

This could make many Twitter users very happy, or equally lead to more confusion, depending on how it's enacted.

According to a new discovery by reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong, Twitter is working on a new option that would enable users to apply for profile verification from their account settings.

Screenshot 2

EZ54vXLUwAEq9rW.png

This could make many Twitter users very happy, or equally lead to more confusion, depending on how it's enacted.

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According to a new discovery by reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong, Twitter is working on a new option that would enable users to apply for profile verification from their account settings.

Screenshot 3

Twitter hasn't provided any updates on the process since then, though it has repeatedly noted that it is working on a new system. Twitter has also continued to verify some accounts, though not via user applications. Most recently, Twitter used its verification tick to highlight authoritative voices in relation to COVID-19, but again, that was internally managed, and not open for public requests.

Twitter first enabled all users to apply for verification back in 2016, though if you try to go through that process now, you're met with this note:

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Twitter product lead Kayvon Beykpour reported in July 2018 that, while work had been done on fixing its verification process, it was not a priority, and was still some way off being re-launched. The appearance of a new prompt in testing could suggest that it's now moving closer to making a comeback - though how it might function, and what qualification process Twitter will use for such, remains a mystery. And it'll likely be difficult for Twitter to manage, no matter how they go about it.

For example, part of the problem with verification was that it seemingly implied that Twitter endorsed any account with a blue tick. In 2017, Twitter verified the profile of a white supremacist leader - despite, around the same time, vowing to take more action against hate speech. That's what prompted the initial pause on verification - the confusion here was that some within Twitter saw the verification tick as a basic mark of ID confirmation, while others felt it should be reserved for approved public figures only. So some people have been verified simply by proving who they are, regardless of their public profile, while others have been rejected, despite being people of significance.

Any changes to the process will mean that Twitter will need to provide more specific clarity around exactly what qualifies someone for a blue tick, but it could also mean that Twitter will need to retrospectively remove the tick from those who currently have it, yet don't meet these updated standards.

Twitter, of course, is unlikely to do that, but if it doesn't take that step, that will mean that a level of confusion will remain around what the blue tick represents, as some people who've been approved previously will still have it, despite not matching the new requirements.

How Twitter gets around that is hard to say - just remove it for everyone then start again? That seems unlikely - but then again, with only 356k people currently holding the blue tick, Twitter could, theoretically, review all of these profiles and take the tick away from those who are no longer eligible.

Either way, it's interesting to note that Twitter does appear to be moving on this, and it'll be ineresting to see how they facilitate the process moving forward.

If Twitter leans towards making it more of an official ID confirmation, that could help to provide more accountability, with users unable to hide behind a basic account. Twitter could, for example, reduce the visibility of accounts which are not approved, limiting their capacity to interact without going through the ID process. That could make trolls think twice about their activity, given that it would be tied back to their actual identity.

If Twitter leans towards making it more of exclusive endorsement for public figures, that, as noted, could see accounts that don't qualify stripped of the tick.  

It's an interesting element, and we'll have to wait and see where Twitter decides to go with it.

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[Source: This article was published in socialmediatoday.com By Andrew Hutchinson - Uploaded by the Association Member: Wushe Zhiyang]

Categorized in Social

Annotation of a doctored image shared by Rep. Paul A. Gosar on Twitter. (Original 2011 photo of President Barack Obama with then-Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by Charles Dharapak/AP)

To a trained eye, the photo shared by Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) on Monday was obviously fake.

pual gosar

At a glance, nothing necessarily seems amiss. It appears to be one of a thousand (a million?) photos of a president shaking a foreign leader’s hand in front of a phalanx of flags. It’s easy to imagine that, at some point, former president Barack Obama encountered this particular official and posed for a photo.

Except that the photo at issue is of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, someone Obama never met. Had he done so, it would have been significant news, nearly as significant as President Trump’s various meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Casual observers would be forgiven for not knowing all of this, much less who the person standing next to Obama happened to be. Most Americans couldn’t identify the current prime minister of India in a New York Times survey; the odds they would recognize the president of Iran seem low.

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Again, though, there are obvious problems with the photo that should jump out quickly. There’s that odd, smeared star on the left-most American flag (identified as A in the graphic above). There’s Rouhani’s oddly short forearm (B). And then that big blotch of color between the two presidents (C), a weird pinkish-brown blob of unexpected uniformity.

Each of those glitches reflects where the original image — a 2011 photo of Obama with then-Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — was modified. The truncated star was obscured by Singh’s turban. The blotch of color is an attempt to remove the circle from the middle of the Indian flag behind the leaders. The weird forearm is a function of the slightly different postures and sizes of the Indian and Iranian leaders.

Screenshot 1

President Barack Obama meets with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Nusa Dua, on the island of Bali, Indonesia, on Nov. 18, 2011. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

Compared with the original, the difference is obvious. What it takes, of course, is looking.

Tools exist to determine whether a photo has been altered. It’s often more art than science, involving a range of probability more than a certain final answer. The University of California at Berkeley professor Hany Farid has written a book about detecting fake images and shared quick tips with The Washington Post.

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  • Reverse image search. Save the photo to your computer and then drop it into Google Image Search. You’ll quickly see where it might have appeared before, useful if an image purports to be over a breaking news event. Or it might show sites that have debunked it.
  • Check fact-checking sites. This can be a useful tool by itself. Images of political significance have a habit of floating around for a while, deployed for various purposes. The fake Obama-Rouhani image, for example, has been around since at least 2015 — when it appeared in a video created by a political action committee supporting Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).
  • Know what’s hard to fake. In an article for Fast Company, Farid noted that some things, like complicated physical interactions, are harder to fake than photos of people standing side by side. Backgrounds are also often tricky; it’s hard to remove something from an image while accurately re-creating what the scene behind them would have looked like. (It’s not a coincidence that both the physical interaction and background of the “Rouhani” photo were clues that it was fake.)

But, again, you have to care that you’re passing along a fake photo. Gosar didn’t. Presented with the image’s inaccuracy by a reporter from the Intercept, Gosar replied via tweet that “no one said this wasn’t photoshopped.”

“No one said the president of Iran was dead. No one said Obama met with Rouhani in person,” Gosar wrote to the “dim-witted reporter.” “The point remains to all but the dimmest: Obama coddled, appeased, nurtured and protected the worlds No. 1 sponsor of terror.”

As an argument, that may be evaluated on the merits. It is clearly the case, though, that Gosar had no qualms about sharing an edited image. He recognizes, in fact, that the photo is a lure for the point he wanted to make: Obama is bad.

That brings us to a more important point, one that demands a large-type introduction.

The Big Problem with social media

There exists a concept in social psychology called the “Dunning-Kruger effect.” You’ve probably heard of it; it’s a remarkable lens through which to consider a lot of what happens in American culture, including, specifically, politics and social media.

The idea is this: People who don’t know much about a subject necessarily don’t know how little they know. How could they? So after learning a little bit about the topic, there’s sudden confidence that arises. Now knowing more than nothing and not knowing how little of the subject they know, people can feel as though they have some expertise. And then they offer it, even while dismissing actual experts.

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“Their deficits leave them with a double burden,” David Dunning wrote in 2011 about the effect, named in part after his research. “Not only does their incomplete and misguided knowledge lead them to make mistakes, but those exact same deficits also prevent them from recognizing when they are making mistakes and other people choosing more wisely.”

The effect is often depicted in a graph like this. You learn a bit and feel more confident talking about it — and that increases and increases until, in a flash, you realize that there’s a lot more to it than you thought. Call it the “oh, wait” moment. Confidence plunges, slowly rebuilding as you learn more, and learn more about what you don’t know. This affects all of us, myself included.

Screenshot 2(Philip Bump/The Washington Post)

Dunning’s effect is apparent on Twitter all the time. Here’s an example from this week, in which the “oh, wait” moment comes at the hands of an actual expert.

Screenshot 3

One value proposition for social media (and the Internet more broadly) is that this sort of Marshall-McLuhan-in-“Annie-Hall” moment can happen. People can inform themselves about reality, challenge themselves by accessing the vast scope of human knowledge and even be confronted directly by those in positions of expertise.

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In reality, though, the effect of social media is often to create a chorus of people who are at a similar, overconfident point in the Dunning-Kruger curve. Another value of the Internet is in its ability to create ad hoc like-minded communities, but that also means it can convene like-minded groups of wrong-minded opinions. It’s awfully hard to feel chastened or uninformed when there is any number of other people who vocally share your view. (Why one could fill hours on a major cable-news network simply by filling panels with people on the dashed-line part of the graph above!)

The Internet facilitates ignorance as readily as it does knowledge. It allows us to build reinforcements around our errors. It allows us to share a fake image and wave away concerns because the target of the image is a shared enemy for your in-group. Or, simply, to accept a faked image as real because you’re either unaware of obvious signs of fakery or unaware of the unlikely geopolitics that surrounds its implications.

I asked Farid, the fake-photo expert, how normal people lingering at the edge of an “oh, wait” moment might avoid sharing altered images.

“Slow down!” he replied. “Understand that most fake news/images/videos are designed to be sensational or outrageous and get you to respond quickly before you’ve had time to think. When you find yourself reacting viscerally, take a breath, slow down, and don’t be so quick to share/like/retweet.”

Unless, of course, your goals are both to be sensational and to get retweets. In that case, go ahead and share the image. You can always rationalize it later.

[Source: This article was published in washingtonpost.com By Philip Bump - Uploaded by the Association Member: Alex Gray]

Categorized in Investigative Research

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