Why Your Newsfeed Sucks – Smarter Every Day 212

– My internet newsfeed is mostly crap. I try to be smart, right? And discern what I’m
reading online and make sure that it’s lining up with
truth, but for the most part, it seems like everyone has an
agenda or everything’s biased. So how do you figure out what’s real? A technique that I used to
use was I would read something on one side of the aisle and
then I’d go read something on the other side of the
aisle and then I would assume that the truth is in the middle. Truth is truth. It doesn’t have to be on that spectrum, it’s its own separate thing. Recently I’ve been
tricked a couple of times. I’ve seen a story and I’ve read about it and was like, ooh, that’s
pretty interesting. And the more I dig, the more
I see this narrative happening and then suddenly a couple
of days later, it comes out that what I was reading wasn’t true, even though a lot of
people thought it was. If I can be fooled by a
story like that from a couple of different sources, how much
is getting through my filter? What’s even scarier is
I share things online. So how much of the stuff
that I share is not true? Like, am I part of the problem? ‘Cause I wanna be a good guy, I wanna be, like, part of the solutions. So here’s how it works in engineering. If there’s a process
that’s failing, you find the root cause of that
failure and you try to fix it. In this case, my failure is the ability to discern fact from fiction online. There’s a well respected
nonprofit school for journalism, it’s called the Poynter Institute. And they are the experts
for good journalism. Poynter has created this
program called MediaWise, and it’s supported by
Google to help people learn how to see what’s true and
what’s not true online. I’ve partnered with
MediaWise to make this video to figure out how I can
help myself and other people learn how to separate
fact from fiction online. As part of this partnership
I traveled to Austin, Texas to talk about misinformation
online at South by Southwest. I want to introduce you to Katy Byron, who runs the MediaWise project. This is Katy. We’re buddies.
(Katy laughs) And she’s been a journalist for 15 years. The goal here is to get
people more intelligent about how they use the internet, right? – Yes. – Katy is smart, she
really knows her stuff. And she told me there’s three easy steps to figuring out if
something is true online. To see this is in action
I pulled up a tweet I knew Katy would personally like. She’s a third generation
journalist, so I tried to pull at her heartstrings and show her a tweet that made journalists look really good. Let’s see what she does to engage to figure out if this is true or not. I saw this tweet. And it makes me feel things, right? – Makes me feel things true. I love journalism. (laughs) – It’s talking about
these dudes, that, like, basically helped expose the lies. And, you know, they’re watching– – Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. – Are they famous journalists? – Yes, very. – Okay, I don’t know a whole lot about it. – All the President’s Men,
the movie, the old movie? It’s about them. And this is actually a
scene from that time. – I wanna retweet that, right? Should I retweet it? – It’s very retweetable. (laughs) – Should I retweet it? – I mean, I think, number one I would look at who is Don Wislow? – Step one, you can see
that she tries to figure out who is behind the information. – I hope he’s not somebody
really important that I should know who he is.
(Destin laughs) Don Winslow, number one, who
is behind the information? We need to figure that out. – [Destin] He’s an author. – New York Times number one international bestselling
author of The Cartel. He’s not necessarily an expert
on the topic of journalism. That to me is not enough for the retweet. So next step, after I looked that up– – So you would not
retweet it at this point? – No, no. (laughs) – So now what I do I do? – There’s no link to any
additional information, and that to me is always
a red flag, always. So find more information
about what they’re saying. – Number two, what’s the evidence? This is the most important step for Katy. And one thing I found was
interesting is she didn’t stop at just, is the story
true, she went further. She wanted to see if the photo was real. To do this, she used a
really clever technique, it’s just a Google reverse imagine search. – Use a reverse Google
image search and write click and search Google for image,
it’s as simple as that. This is one of my favorite tools. – [Destin] Oh, wow, okay. – [Katy] So first search results– – [Destin] Reddit,
Twitter, Blogspot, Tumblr. – [Katy] Scoopnest, I
don’t know what that is. – So I’m simply looking for things that I recognize as reputable– – And I spend all my days lateral reading, and I don’t know any of these. – [Destin] So all this is looking– – These are all not reputable
names or well known sources, so that is a red flag in itself. – [Destin] What if I went
this, what if I went up here to tools and I searched, like,
let’s say, like, last year. I should get an old source now, so maybe I can find the first person. – [Katy] Washington Post, what is this? So that’s a good sign, NPR. – [Destin] Washington Post. – So this is a panel, but
not showing the photo, right? So that’s– – [Woman] His resignation
felt like to you? Elizabeth? – This is the night he announced
he was going to resign. – [Woman] The night he
announced he was resigning. – He was gonna resign, and it was the next day that was truly bizarre. – I think most people probably
aren’t gonna sit through a five minute video to find out, right? So I think I’d go back
to the search results. And see what else we got.
– Okay. But that was an original
source, those were the guys. – Yes, but we’re talking,
we’re trying to verify the veracity of the photo, right? – [Destin] Got it, because somebody could have photoshopped in– – Nixon’s image. – You think differently than me. (Katy laughs) I’ve been, like, yeah,
they were there, retweet. But you’re trying to make
sure that the image is real. You have a higher level of
fidelity that’s required– – And skepticism, you know. – Skepticism. – I think that, because
the internet is full of a lot of garbage. (laughs) – Number three, what do other sources say? Katy told me a really
interesting technique called lateral reading. – Basically that means
instead of reading vertically and just looking at your newsfeed– – Yeah, ’cause I’m just
scrolling on my phone, yeah. – And you stop at a tweet or
you stop at a Instagram meme or whatever, instead of
reading vertically and just trying to figure out is
this legitimate or not, just by looking at that,
you need to open up tabs on your browser and
literally read laterally. – Sometimes when you
get to the end of this three step process you’re pretty
sure that the thing is real and you wanna tweet it because
it makes you feel things and you want other people to feel things, but at that point, if you don’t know 100%, this is the moment that you
have to decide if you’re gonna be part of the problem
of misinformation online or if you’re gonna be
part of the solution. You have to do something that
she calls click restraint. Okay, well, I can’t find the actual image. Okay, so, to me that’s
just generally a red flag, and it’s not something
to be discouraged by, it’s also telling you something. It’s telling you that
you can’t find this image anywhere else, so it could
be doctored, number one. Number two, I’m not gonna
feed that out, I’m not gonna retweet that, I’m not gonna
share that on my social media. – But those are your homies. They’re like, talking
about how journalism– – I know, it’s really
tempting, this is like chocolate for a journalist,
that tweet, you know? (laughter) But I’m going to exert my click restraint and I am not going to reshare that. – Really? So now that we’re armed
with these techniques: who’s behind the information? What does the evidence say? And what do other sources say? Katy wanted me to take a shot at it. She found something online that was a little bit controversial,
it’s the kind of thing that gets people stirred up online. And she wanted me to take
a crack at figuring out if it was true or not. Right, you’re gonna send it to me? – I sent it to you. – [Destin] How do I fact check that? – [Katy] Memes are kinda
tricky, because you need to do a screenshot that takes away the text. Google Image Search, drag and drop. – [Destin] Arctic sea
ice minimum, is that it? – [Katy] You could try that, that’s NASA, so that’s always a good sign. Okay, so this is the image, right? – [Destin] There it is. – [Katy] Bingo. The dates are wrong, so this, which is really important to the story. – Look at that, they blotted out the date to put whatever date they wanted on there. Punks. It’s called just facts page too. (Katy laughs) Like, ultimately, the
person that made that post was trying to say, like,
hey, global warming is real and if you don’t believe it you suck. But ultimately they undermined
what they were trying to do because they showed false
data and then somebody on the other side that’s
a climate change denier or whatever terminology you
wanna use to get excited about, that person can say, see,
you doctored the photos. So it muddies the waters,
and it makes truth this difficult thing to
find, and so ultimately even if you’re trying to
put an exclamation point beside the thing that you believe, you can undercut your very cause. – Exactly, I mean, it’s
like feeding the beast. – Something I’ve been giving
a lot of thought to recently is that in the developing
moments of a new news story, that is the most likely
time that I’m gonna get misinformation online. I think it has to do
with the speed at which the news cycle occurs, and to
explain this I have a metaphor for something I learned about
fighter jets in the ’50s. There was this colonel
in the Air Force named Colonel John Boyd who
developed the decision cycle called the OODA loop. He figured out if you can
observe, orient, decide, and act first, you would complete your
OODA loop before the enemy and you would almost
always score hits and win. I asked my buddy Ben to make a simulation to help me illustrate this point. Here we have two fighter jets, they’re constantly trying
to out maneuver each other. The only difference in the
jets is that the red one is able to get through
its decision cycle first. The blue one takes his time
getting through its OODA loop, and as a result, it’s
always too slow and ends up reaching to information
that’s already changed. This means that no matter
how many times I restart the simulation, the red
jet is always gonna be the one that scores the big hits. Now think of your social media newsfeed like it’s a war zone. It’s not unlike the dogfights
seen in aerial combat. It’s a hyper competitive environment where the stakes are high and
reaction time matters. Instead of observe, orient,
decide, act, let’s change the decision cycle to how
people make news posts online. People observe things, they
may or may not verify them, they write a social media post,
and then they click publish. Often times, whoever publishes first gets the most views, the most
followers, which eventually turns into more advertising dollars. People are rewarded for posting fast. The problem today is that your
modern newsfeed is driven by social media, which rewards
whoever can post first. And unlike when traditional, high quality journalism
dominated, on social media, there are no editors to verify the truth. In fact, many people
intentionally skip this step so they can can post quicker in order to be the first one to get the views. Unfortunately what this means is now you must verify the truth,
because unless it’s coming from a reputable source, it is
not going to be fact checked. So how do we break this
cycle of misinformation? First of all, you need to
read the entire article, not just the title. If there’s nobody
willing to put their name next to the information and
there’s no sources cited, that is a crap news source. They care more about views
and clicks than telling you the truth, you should
unsubscribe to that news source or that social media
account, and you should clean up your news timeline. Good journalists exist, they do. You have to find them,
you have to follow them, reward them for their work. Share their work, tell
people, hey, this is a well sourced article, you
should follow this person. Do some lateral reading. Use Google to get to the heart of where that image came from. And most important of all,
think before you click and share something online. Do some digging, try to
fact check it yourself, and only then should you
share information online. Do not spread misinformation. Let’s be part of the solution,
not part of the problem. – If you see something on
social media that you’re not sure about and you really
want some help figuring out if it’s legitimate or not,
just share it with a hashtag or reply with the hashtag is this legit? And tag @mediawise, and my team and I will help you figure it out. – There you go, so, hashtag is this legit? You know we’re just gonna totally flood your Twitter account, right? (Katy laughs) Or your Instagram. – We’re ready. – You’re ready? Okay, hashtag is this legit? You should be doing the
lateral reading yourself first, but if you really can’t figure it out, this is the lady to talk to. – We’ll help you figure it out. Also, follow us on all,
across social, @mediawise, we have some really cool fact
checking content that teaches a lot of the things we’ve
been talking about today. – Huge thanks to MediaWise
for supporting the creation of this video, and I
wanted to let you know about an upcoming series
on Smarter Every Day. I’m doing a very unique,
well researched series, I guess you would call it,
on algorithm manipulation. I went to YouTube, I went to
Twitter, I went to Facebook, I talked to the people in
charge of these things, the people that develop
countermeasures to try to fight the misinformation that
we experience online. I got to go talk to the
people that are in charge of those things, and
it is very fascinating. That is a, I mean, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen
online, so, if you haven’t subscribed to Smarter Every
Day, please help me spread the message on this by subscribing and sharing those videos
when they come out. I’m Destin, you’re
getting smarter every day. Have a good one.

100 thoughts on “Why Your Newsfeed Sucks – Smarter Every Day 212”

  1. Hey guys… this stuff is pretty serious to me. I want to be able to accurately discern truth in all that I do, so the techniques that Katy taught me here were super helpful. I hope you are able to use them as well. MediaWise has been using the hashtag #IsThisLegit across all social media, so tag them on Insta or Twitter (Where a lot of misinformation happens) and they'll get a team to help you figure it out. Also, the upcoming series I'm doing on Algorithmic Manipulation is going to be a very hardcore look into the inner workings of YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. I hope you'll subscribe (http://bit.ly/Subscribe2SED ) and consider watching this 3 part series with me. I've never done a series like this, so I hope you find it to be as fascinating as I have while doing the research. Thank you very much for watching my internets. I'm grateful.

  2. Wish this wasn’t titled the way it is. It will only be watched by those who already feel their news feed sucks. Those wholly uninformed and happy to be so, will not learn from this excellent video as a consequence of the title. Can’t even get family to view it.

  3. That part about Col. John Boyd reminded me of Erich Hartmann's mantra; See, Decide, Attack, Disengage. 🙂
    love the streams. thanks man!

  4. How do we know for sure that this video is not about promoting 'MediaWise''? Haha!! Just being sceptical like Katy.😅.
    But I did enjoy the video and it is really helpful.😇

  5. As someone else said, it's not necessarily about the facts. People will frequently deny facts even when given irrefutable proof. The problem is that people want to continue believing what they believe. People are not taught that it's ok to be wrong. That it's ok to change your mind about something. That it's ok to make mistakes (and then learn from them). Instead, people are taught you have to be right, no matter the cost. Then you couple that with the parasympathetic nervous system (fight, flight, freeze, friend response) and you get an arrogant tribalistic territorialism about facts and beliefs. It's also now been shown that the more fearful you make people feel about something, the more extreme they become in their beliefs. No amount of teaching people how to discern facts and think critically is going to help until there is a culture change in HOW people think about themselves and others. (i.e. people need to learn how to eat more humble pie, be more compassionate AND think critically)

  6. she laughs at a high five…. imagine what any joke u say will do! What else could any guy want in a girl lol

  7. 0:41 Reminds me of Rene Descartes's epistemological horror (Cartesian Doubt). "How many things I believe are true, are actually falsities and lies? How do I find and correct the things I think are true, but are actually false? How to I prevent myself from believing more falsities in the future?"

  8. Honest to God, this initiative looks tempting. But then I remember google is involved, and all hope for the best of the project just vanishes.

  9. Lateral reading..I've been doing this for years without knowing it was something. I currently have 87 tabs open on my browser lol.

  10. I love this video. I try to fact check anything I see on Facebook that seems a bit extreme. I’m sure my friends get a little sick of me for calling them out for posting stuff that’s untrue.
    Doesn’t it suck that we have to fact check almost everything you see on the internet? This is one of the many reasons I’m taking a break from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for at least the next month.

  11. I really don't know if I would trust a Google company to tell me the truth because they certainly don't hide that they have a really biased agenda as well.

  12. The majority of all liberal news and MSM news is controlled by democrats so it's instantly a lie and propaganda. It's not that hard to figure out if you're not completely stupid. The MSM news has zero credibility after the past several years. LOL

  13. Destin, you are smart guy, yet you first fall into that trap. What other (not so smart people) will do when see such post?

  14. That is a real picture of Woodward and Bernstein watching Nixon, but it's from April 30th, 1973, more than a year before Nixon resigned. Nixon was probably still calling them liars at that point. The way I found this original photo is with the TinEye image search, which usually finds the original source much better than Google.

    (To more easily find the original image that I'm talking about, you can search for its caption: "Washington DC: April 30, 1973. Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein (chair) and Bob Woodward watch Richard Nixon speaking on TV. Watergate scandal. ©Mark Godfrey / The Image Works")

    By the way, you guys were also using the Google Image Search wrong – you have to click on the "all sizes" link to actually narrow down the results of the image search, since otherwise you'll just be looking at search results that Google is guessing to be related to the picture, e.g. by keywords.

  15. Even if you're 100% that something is true, you are essentially creating homework for millions of people by sharing, assuming that they follow this same process.

    The only way to win is to not retweet at all.

  16. Blacklist CNN, ABC, and the other phony news outlets. They can be unhinged somewhere other than my newsfeed.

  17. does mediawise correct for story bias; omission of facts or embellishment of others. trusting bodies like mediawise or biased google to be the arbiters proves pointless.

  18. Unfortunately this applies to a lot of "respectable" news channels as well, at least in Sweden. Unfortunately this makes people more likely to share from unknown sources…

  19. Why should I trust MediaWise when she says that mainstream media outlets are credible sources that fact check their stories.

  20. There is a process/tool called "muscle testing" also known as the "kinesiology response." Research Dr. David R. Hawkins, MD,PhD. He describes this in detail in one of his books: "Power vs Force" Veritas Publication.

  21. MSN news suck, substandard news every time I try to read one, dragging, repeating just to interject ads in between. Most of the writings are shallow. Read the entire article to verify already wasted time.

  22. I'm highly skeptical about any online media but that can be a hindrance, too! After this video, I'm even more ambiguously skeptical!

  23. a little disappointed, you completely ignored the bias and laziness of big news media in publishing stories to fit a preconceived narrative as a source of false news. e.g. covington and smollet

  24. So called Fact Checkers like Snopes may identify certain facts, but they are also guilty of then editorialising that information to skew its support over to the Left.

  25. Unfortunately, as has been proven now, you can't use Google to vet anything. They are a pre-biased search engine, so your "vetting sources" will be pre-filtered before you even get a chance to review any unbiased information.

  26. But the bias of goo gle and NPR is clearly far left and you are using one as your main tool and she said NPR was good.

  27. Stick with the science vids. This whole "well-known sources are the only legit ones" is way out in left field. Consider that if someone labelled your "unmixing colors" video as fake science because your degree is not in Fluid Dynamics and that you don't have a full staff for verifying your results. This is no different than these MSM talking heads trying to discredit all of the independents while they themselves are only running editorial pages masquerading as news.

  28. It is beyond disgusting how misinformation and downright lies manipulates the weak minded. I've been saying this for a while now, "news" travels too quickly

  29. The scary problem is the overton window shift. There is a slow drift to the left, many MANY people don't know that the shift is occuring because it is everywhere now. Just beacuse there are "experts" in the field now does not mean they are right, either CNN or FOX are wrong because they state polar opposite findings multiple times a day. The method of reading from the left and the right no longer works beacuse things that are left biased are widespread compared to the right. Part of this shift is due to Google manipulating search data and hiding conservative viewpoints. Think about it, why would you trust a company with congressional accusations of bias to tell you what is not biased. The fact that mediawise is supported by Google means its left biased.

  30. This is the Trump era. The MSM (((media))) has been exposed for what it really is…mostly garbage. We are now deep into an American psychological civil war to split this country in half whether by design or not.

  31. The real issue is competition for dollars. COMPETITION. If we changed the system in such a manner that we could collaborate.. it would not be like this. Ultimately, shareholders of stock are in general trying to defeat the general public to prevent ordinary people from taking away their market share, so they can remain million and billionaires. Centralization and competition compared to decentralization and collaboration

  32. Everyone should be required to watch this at least twice. Very important information for us all. One question, what is up with the red rocket thing above you map? It keeps changing…

  33. What if you got completely away from social media and the news? What if you watch and see what this orange man does and says and make your own conclusions? I was a Facebook junkie and I was witnessing the psychological damage it was causing me.

  34. A lot of times I would intentionally spread fake news to cause chaos. I enjoy watching people fight and watch. I guess I could be a psychopath.

  35. God it must be hard to stay true. 7M+ subs, staying focused requires effort. I love, don’t use that term a lot, love how information on this channel is consistently viewed through the prism of a logical mind.

  36. Being smarter every day takes effort. Don't be lazy folks. There is a battle going on for our hearts and minds.

  37. Very simple solution, news should be verified by 3d party service, like banks who verify payment transactions.

  38. One should be sceptical about a photo within a photo but accept something said by say, the Washington Post ? Insane.

  39. All reputable sources offer good information. The problem is when you consume the story along with the facts.

  40. Rule Number 1. Do not use social media. at all.
    Rule Number 2. do not watch/read News. its irrelevant to your life.

  41. "The truth is somewhete in the middle" Except when one side is lying a d yhe other. In that case the truth is not somewhere in the middle. In the middle is not true but is on one side.

  42. ..believe nothing of what you hear and half of was you see… CNN IS FAKE NEWS.. CNN IS FAKE NEWS…CNN IS FAKE NEWS.. CNN IS FAKE NEWS…CNN IS FAKE NEWS.. CNN IS FAKE NEWS…

  43. I tried to weigh each side's opinion on an issue, but the problem is, when I listen to conservative radio, they're talking about one issue (and their argument makes sense), but when I listen to liberal radio, they're talking about a different issue (and their argument makes sense).
    It's incredibly rare to hear a conservative opinion and a liberal opinion ON THE SAME TOPIC, back-to-back.
    Except when they're having an insult fight, on the same program, so neither side actually addresses the issue at hand. Because then it's all "You're stupid" and "You're brainwashed", etc.
    It leaves me wondering, "What happened to making a case for your viewpoint?"

  44. I think we should be teaching fact checking skills on school. Practicing with real content as Destin did in this video.

  45. "Supported by Google" . "Bias free reporting and fact control" . YOU MUST CHOOSE ONE. Google has already shown how biased they are and their willingness to lie to and profit off of the American People's private information. Google as a Monopoly needs to be destroyed, the fact corporations arent held accountable is why the problem started.

  46. The failure is mainstream media….the fix is social media outlets…channel high impact vlogs….channel Mark Dice…channel OAN

  47. Still someone telling you how to listen and learn LOL we'll take care of ourself you paid shill

  48. These people are telling you how to discern all the lies that they've been told about our President🇺🇸TRUMP2020🇺🇸

  49. Greatest president in US history Donald J TRUMP🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

  50. I can tell this video is fake because you are getting paid by someone to spew this nonsense. Maybe someone should investigate if you are fake news @smartereveryday …

  51. Google sucks, razorfist is noting that even a full title search of dame pesos viral mocking the young turks no longer works as expected, the suppression is real.

  52. well, there it is you finally got it i am subbed now after a couple of years just kinda watching when it struck a fancy i am subbed i like to read news a lot and i always am looking to see if things are accurate my wife will see things on social media and ill ask her if thats where she got it, if i get a yes, i go looking for its accurac. nice to see someone with some influence saying this

  53. I love your videos but this one’s my favorite. More influencers need to be encouraging people to seek the truth. Thank you Destin!

  54. My thanks go out to Mark Rober. He pointed me to your channel – and I love it. Of course I still love him, but I have to wait about a month between his posts. And you have a ton of content I can indulge myself thoroughly by watching/reading/learning and getting Smarter Every Day.. Loving it!!

  55. The fact the institute program was sponsored by google was immediately off putting considering google was recently exposed for trying to manipulate what they felt was even true in the first place. They want to make it so you only see what they think is true not was necessarily is, and many journalists feel the same way. Neither group is one I would give any consideration on how to judge truth given the current circumstances in in Google and journalism

  56. Do Not Use Twitter. Delete your account and ignore twitter, then you will a happier and mentally healthier person.

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