A Field Guide to Fake News
Data Sprint on Fake News
6-10 March 2017
Everyday data sprint location
Digital Methods Initiative
University of Amsterdam
Turfdraagsterpad 9, 1012 XT Amsterdam
Opening day location (starting at 9:30am, please be on time)
Oudemanhuispoort (Law Faculty Building); rooms F2.01C (9h30-12h30) and C2.17 (12h30-16h30)
University of Amsterdam
Oudemanhuispoort 4-6, 1012 CN Amsterdam
Location on Google Maps
About the Fake News Sprint
The Public Data Lab in collaboration with the Digital Methods Initiative is holding a data sprint on fake news in the age of social media. The sprint consists of hands-on work to research the making, circulation, responses and controversies associated with fake news, together with a day of talks by prominent researchers in the area. The data sprint is part of a Public Data Lab project to develop a field guide to fake news in US and European politics. Research developed during this sprint will contribute towards the field guide, as well as an edited volume on the topic.
The Fake News Data Sprint is pleased to have Jayson Harsin (The American University of Paris) give the opening keynote. His work over the past ten years addresses “central questions of truth, belief, attention and control, especially the strategic role of rumor in contemporary political practices on a global plane revolutionized by historically recent digital communication technologies.” He is author ( among other works) of “The Rumour Bomb: Theorising the Convergence of New and Old Trends in Mediated US Politics” and “Diffusing the Rumor Bomb: ‘John Kerry Is French’ (ie, Haughty, Foppish, Elitist, Socialist, Cowardly, and Gay)”. He is joined as speaker by Marc Tuters (University of Amsterdam), Ida Eklund-Lindwall (East Stratcom Task Force) and Richard Rogers (University of Amsterdam). Additionally, attendees are invited on Wednesday afternoon to the talk by Elizabeth Losh, “I Did Not Have Text with that Server: Gender, Technology, and Digital Literacy in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign.”
About the “Field Guide to Fake News” Project
In the wake of concerns about the role of “fake news” in relation to the election of Donald Trump in the US, this project aims to catalyse collaborations between leading digital media researchers, data journalists and civil society organisations in order to map the making, circulation, responses and controversies associated with misinformation online in US and European politics. In the first instance collaboration is organised around series of online activities and in-person data sprints leading to a series of data stories, accompanied by a field guide with a comparative set of graphics and findings. These will be published ahead of several upcoming European elections and political events. The guide is planned to be launched at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia in April 2017.
The objectives of the project are:
- To enhance public understanding of the scope, nature and composition of misinformation and fake news phenomena in multiple European language spheres;
- To generate lists of actors and sources making up fake news and misinformation ecosystems in multiple European language spheres;
- To equip journalists, researchers and activists with techniques to trace these phenomena using leading digital tools and methods;
- To aid investigation into the strategies and rationales of fake news making to support public debate and to assist with public interest reporting and countermeasures;
- To generate materials to inform innovative and data-rich media coverage of these phenomena in the US as well as European countries.
Envisioned outcomes are:
- A field guide to fake news and misinformation ecosystems in US and European politics;
- Maps and graphics describing the composition of fake news ecosystems and the circulation of fake news on social media;
- Lists of actors associated with these misleading information spheres;
- Documentation on tools and methods for mapping fake news ecosystems;
- Recommendations for counter-measures informed by the research;
- An edited volume on the topic.
The project is run by the Public Data Lab with support from the First Draft Coalition
About the Public Data Lab
The Public Data Lab seeks to facilitate research, democratic engagement and public debate around the future of the data society. It aims to develop and disseminate innovative research, teaching, design and participation formats for the creation and use of public data. It works in collaboration with an interdisciplinary network of researchers, practitioners, journalists, civil society groups, designers, developers and public institutions across the world. See: @PublicDataLab and publicdatalab.org
About the Digital Methods Initiative
The Digital Methods Initiative is dedicated to reworking method for Internet-related research. The Digital Methods Initiative holds annual Digital Methods Winter and Summer Schools, which are intensive, week-long undertakings in the winter and summertime. The coordinators of the Digital Methods Initiative are Dr. Sabine Niederer and Dr. Esther Weltevrede, and the director is Professor Richard Rogers, Chair of New Media & Digital Culture, University of Amsterdam. The Digital Methods Initiative is online at http://www.digitalmethods.net/. The DMI ‘about’ page includes a substantive introduction, and also a list of members of the Digital Methods Initiative, with short bios. DMI holds occasional Autumn and Spring workshops, such as ones on mapping climate change and vulnerability indexes as well as on studying right-wing extremism and populism online. On the website there are also a Digital Methods book by Richard Rogers (MIT Press, 2015), papers and articles by DMI researchers as well as DMI tools.
For further questions please email contact at publicdatalab dot org.