Misinformation

7 results arranged by date

Conspiracy theories grow in the U.S., creating threats to journalist safety

On the eve of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, conspiracy theories have abounded online amid the global pandemic and a polarized political climate. Journalists covering nearly every beat grapple with misinformation, which is false but may be spread by mistake, as well as disinformation, when falsehoods are shared intentionally.   QAnon has emerged as one…

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“I’ve lost count of the number of fires I’ve covered this year”: How journalists stay safe covering U.S. wildfires

Photojournalist Kent Porter has covered wildfires in the western United States for more than 30 years. But this year, he says, the fires are different. The season’s first fire usually burns about one or two acres, Porter told CPJ in a phone interview. This year, however, the first fire he covered was 140 acres. “Usually…

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Data journalists describe challenges of reporting on the true toll of COVID-19

How many people worldwide have been infected by the coronavirus, and how many have died as a result? Finding reliable information on the virus’s toll has proven such a challenging task that it is nearly impossible to answer these basic questions, five data journalists from around the world told CPJ in May and June. In…

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A picture taken on October 1, 2019, shows the logos of mobile apps Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Messenger. (AFP/Denis Charlet)

Digital Safety: Protecting against targeted online attacks

Journalists reporting on misinformation, conspiracy theories, and/or false news are frequently left vulnerable to online attacks by those who originate or support these views, as well as by people with strong political leanings. People supporting the spread of this type of information online may organize coordinated attacks with the aim of forcing journalists offline and…

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Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump hold signs during a rally to call for the reopening of California's economy after the lockdown closure, implemented to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, in Woodland Hills, California, on May 16, 2020. NY Times reporter Davey Alba recently told CPJ about her experiences covering coronavirus conspiracy theories and facing online harassment. (AFP/Mark Ralston)

NY Times reporter Davey Alba on covering COVID-19 conspiracy theories, facing online harassment

Over the course of Davey Alba’s career as a tech reporter, her beat has transformed from covering the latest gadgets and phones to investigating the creeping influence and massive power wielded by tech companies over peoples’ everyday lives. As the coronavirus pandemic has spread across the globe, Alba, who covers tech and disinformation at The…

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A 3D-printed WhatsApp logo is seen in front of displayed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) sign in this illustration taken March 19, 2020. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

First Draft’s Aimee Rinehart on fact-checking coronavirus misinformation

While digital communication enables the public to receive critical information about the COVID-19 pandemic in real time, the same tools are enabling an “infodemic” of misinformation that “can hamper an effective public health response and create confusion and distrust,” according to the United Nations.

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A banner reading “300,000 cases in the world, 15,000 deaths because of coronavirus! Stay at home and save lives!” hangs at the Cidade de Deus favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on April 7, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak. Rio’s community journalists face daily challenges informing favela residents about COVID-19. (AFP/Mauro Pimentel)

In Brazil, Rio’s community journalists face daily challenges informing favela residents about COVID-19

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Gizele Martins and Raull Santiago—community journalists from Rio de Janeiro’s favelas—worked to bring accurate news and information to the local population and to give visibility to their struggles. Their organizations are among dozens of media groups founded by residents of Rio’s favelas and other marginalized areas aiming to challenge stereotypes,…

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