Faking the News
Lies. Hoaxes. Conspiracies. Rumors. Propaganda. Fake news is an age old phenomenon but the internet is making targeted misinformation cheap and scalable. That is affecting politics, public opinion, and the everyday experience of the internet. In this 6 week class, we will explore the cutting edge of “fake news” by engaging in ethical research and fabrication. Participants will manufacture and observe a controlled “fake news” event. We will experiment with command line tools for doctoring video, neural n ets and deepfakes to fabricate reality, Twitter bots, behavioral psychology, and the dark underbelly of the ad economy.”
Faking the News27 Sep 2018
This weeks readings were about troll farms and how they operate. We had a guest speaker come into class, Camille from Graphika, a social media network and analysis company. They work to investigate social media for bad actors. One of their projects was to analyze how Russian trolls may have penetrated or manipulated the election. Camille says that the primary target for Russian trolls are their own population. They operate in plain sight as the...
Faking the News19 Sep 2018
The readings from this week focused on various conspiracy theories that stem from fake news. Some are a kind of forensic file of an outcome of a conspiracy, and others explore how conspiracies are developed. Pizzagate: From rumor, to hashtag, to gunfire in D.C. This article examines the Pizzagate conspiracy which concluded in a dramatic gun standoff in Washington DC. The conspiracy was that Hillary Clinton and other DNC leaders were operating a child sex...
Faking the News19 Sep 2018
In last weeks class we did a quick tutorial on deepfakes. Deepfakes is a portmanteau of deep learning and fakes. It is a technique which is used to superimpose images and videos. It was originally developed to make realistic celebrity pornographic videos. To create our deepfakes we use some CLI tools to aid in our process. Tools used: os: Ubuntu 16.04 youtube-dl videogrep ffmpeg autocrop via pip face_recognition via pip Steps to produce training data:...
Faking the News13 Sep 2018
This weeks readings consider new technologies such as deep fake sex videos and the influence it has in politics.
Faking the News10 Sep 2018
Background: After the class discussion about what Fake News is and its role as a vehicle for political disruption, I was quite interested in its commercial usage - specifically how companies leverage fake news to sell products. While advertising has been a part of the public sphere for a couple of centuries, fake news rose to greater prominence within this function in the past century with the influence of Edward Bernays, an Austrian-American propagandist. Bernays...
Faking the News06 Sep 2018
This is the first class in faking the news. We discussed about what is fake news.