Pathways SU24 Digital Magazine


Avoiding Deception: Detecting Disinformation

Ancient & Modern Solutions for Health Acupuncture • Chinese Herbal Medicine • Ayurvedic Healthcare Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine Treats acute and chronic pain including but not limited to—back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, sports injuries, and fibromyalgia Women’s and men’s health issues including low libido, impotence, menstrual disorders, and infertility Chronic fatigue syndrome; mental depression, anxiety; general overall health optimization, dry needling, and much more Ayurvedic Medicine Ancient healing system of India, involves determining one’s individual constitution to optimize and maintain health. It treats health imbalances through lifestyle, dietary herbal therapies, and cleansing therapies; individual instruction in meditation is available. Consultations include Ayurvedic pulse and tongue diagnosis. Often Insurance Reimbursable political opponent. Or a campaign might also promote fake favorable stories, false- ly implying that someone prominent supports a favored candidate. Sometimes a campaign has a big picture goal, like breeding general distrust of elections and a sense that voting is pointless. As the global COVID-19 pandemic spread, false stories proliferated. Some promoted untested or debunked medications and unsubstanti- ated prevention or detection techniques. Others created conspiracy theories about COVID’s origins. During the height of the shutdown, nearly half of the Twitter accounts that discussed “reopening Ameri - ca” may have been bots. Fact-checking sites have documented a wide range of false pandemic stories. Another far-reaching goal of disinformation is to discredit fact- based news sources. The phrase “fake news” has become part of cam- paigns intended to call into question the credibility of journalists, both in the U.S. and abroad. In this way the concept of “fake news” has itself become a form of disinformation, sowing confusion about what is real and what is not. Zoom Out for Context This landscape of questionable, confusing content can feel over- whelming. But you can do a lot to verify the content you consume. A crucial starting point is putting things in context, zooming out to get a broader picture. One of the most dangerous features of online disinformation cam- paigns is that they can be micro-targeted at individuals. You may see different pieces of disinformation from what your friends see, based continued on page 54

FROM GUIDES.VOTE, NONPARTISAN VOTING RESOURCES We live in an age when huge amounts of information are available with the swipe of a touch-screen. We’re also seeing a growing presence of disinformation — intentionally false or misleading content — that is widely available and can have a major impact on our decisions, includ- ing whether or not — and how — we vote. Disinformation can take many forms: supposed news stories that are hoaxes, completely made-up. Or fake websites that look like trust- ed news sources. Or actual news stories that are reposted with sensa- tionalized clickbait headlines, often in ALL CAPS, which may distort the actual meaning of the story. Disinformation can be spread to gain an advantage over an oppo - nent, to simply confuse and dishearten people, or to just make a fast buck. In recent years, we’ve seen disinformation in the 2020 elections and their aftermath, in the COVID-19 pandemic, in climate discus- sions , and in the war in Ukraine. Circulating false stories isn’t new. Examples go back to Roman times at least. But today’s online disinformation campaigns can spread across the world instantly. In the three months leading up to the 2016 election, the top 20 fake election stories on Facebook g enerated more engagement than the 20 best-performing stories from major news websites. And four of the 10 top-performing fake election stories came from a 24-year-old Romanian man who’d never been to the U.S. Disinformation Can Lead to Distrust A disinformation campaign may have a specific goal, maybe to damage the reputation of an organization or an individual, such as a

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Don Diggs, L.Ac., Dipl. OM, AD Licensed Acupuncturist in Maryland Nationally Board Certified in Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, & Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Certified at the Ayurvedic Doctor Level by the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA). (Not a Medical Doctor) Registered as an Advanced Ayurvedic Practitioner by the Assoc. of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America.

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