Russia and the US 2016 Elections

April 15, 2018

A Twitter storm pointed to a source claiming to have video from a Dutch TV crew showing Russians hacking the US elections. While the internet went predictably nuts, it was surprising how quickly reputable sources like Mother Jones picked up on what was later proved to be obviously fake. Steemit had a good perspective on the debacle in an article titled, “10 Reasons the Dutch-Russian Hacking Story is Fake News.”

According to the story:

“It never ceases to amaze me how intelligence agency narratives never fail to trip over their own shoelaces. How soon they forget, that one of their biggest attempts to discredit NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, was over revelations he made about the USA hacking a major Chinese university, that were published by the South China Morning Post in June, 2013.”

Despite Mr. Zuckerberg’s confidence in artificial intelligence, smart software, Big data and algorithms teams continue to try to find digital solutions to this growing oddity, but it’s tough. The world of fake news is slippery and tough for human and AI eyes to pin down. We think people need to keep fighting this good fight, but ultimately common sense is the best fake news detector in the business. If it sounds too good or too bad to be true, it probably is. More importantly, perhaps assertions about the capabilities of smart software are themselves fake news?

Patrick Roland, April 15, 2018

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