BBC joins fight against fake news with a dedicated team

The BBC has a team dedicated to debunking fake news.
Image: Clara Molden/PA Wire /Press Association Images

The uphill battle against fake news (and correctly using the term “fake news” in the first place) continues. The latest effort to debunk made-up information is British broadcaster BBC.

On Thursday, The Guardian reported the BBC was forming a debunking team to tackle false stories that often start on Facebook and other social media outlets.

This means segments such as the outlet’s Reality Check will become more than an occasional feature, but a persistent effort with a team tackling incorrect stories, posts and information.

BBC news chief James Harding told staff that The BBC cant edit the internet, but we wont stand aside either,” per the Guardian report.

The team will pull staff from across the BBC, build an “intelligence unit” within the international World Service and use more data journalism to find and debunk incorrect facts, according to the plan laid out at Thursday’s discussion.

The debunking effort comes only a day after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump called out CNN for being “fake news” at press conference after the cable news outlet alleged Trump had been briefed on Russia having sensitive information about him.

The BBC earlier Thursday carried a story titled “Things to think about before calling something ‘fake news'” which went into Trump’s labeling anything he dislikes as “fake news.” It also distinguished between unverified and fake news, of which the internet saw plenty during the U.S. presidential election.

In an email to Mashable, the BBC explained how they are building a “slow news” plan, especially focusing on and working with Facebook. Harding in a statement said, We also need to explain whats driving the news. We need slow news, news with more depth data, investigations, analysis, expertise – to help us explain the world were living in.”

He added, “Slow news means weighing in on the battle over lies, distortions and exaggerations in the news.”

BONUS: In stunning exchange, Trump refuses to answer question from CNN reporter

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With so many losers, the Oscars really do need goody bags | Peter Bradshaw

If you dont carry off an award, dont fret. Ease your anti-climax and depression with a trip to Japan, some cosmetic surgery or a packet of cheese and onion

Sunday sees the Academy Awards ceremony, and no discussion of this subject is complete without a mention of its yuckiest tradition the bizarrely pointless goody bags given to nominees. This years includes a 15-day walking tour of Japan worth $45,000 and, for female nominees, a free vampire breast lift in which the patients own blood is injected into her cleavage.

The understanding of course is that the stars will publicise these freebies in the press and on social media. Goody bags are de rigueur at all awards ceremonies: with my own eyes, I have seen wealthy and important people muscle forwards to grab theirs at the end of glitzy evenings.

Its not just about greed. The goody bags are there to anaesthetise the terrible, unacknowledged sadness that settles on the room like a cloud at the end of every Oscar night. Four out of five nominees lose: 80% finish Oscar night feeling like failures, and for a sizeable proportion of that defeated group, the nomination had been their once-in-a-lifetime shot at glory. The anti-climax and depression have to be swallowed, and the goody bags are a salve, like the bags given out to little kids at the end of a party, full of balloons and Haribos, so they dont burst into tears.

Even in the UK, we have our humble version of the goody bag tradition. At the end of a London Critics Circle awards some years ago, I was given a bag which I eagerly ripped open in the cab. It contained a hardback biography of Leslie Phillips and a bag of crisps.

Clarksons sorry apology

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Here’s How To Get Over Someone You Never Actually Dated

I have a fantasy lineup of fantasy boyfriends. I refer to several people whom I have never met as my boyfriend and husband. Isnt that a thing?

That cute barista who works at the coffee shop? My boyfriend. That guy who likes all my Instagram photos whom I have never met in real life before? Also my boyfriend.

But then, theres also that guy whom I went on two dates with andI really felt there could be a future with. After date two, he contacted me again. He still likes all my photos, watches all my Instagram stories (what the heck is that about?), and I think about him all the time.

If we had gone on just one other date, what could have happened between us?

Sometimes, its hardest to get over the people you never even dated in the first place. It feels like unfinished business.

Plus, in an increasingly social media-centeredworld, where its easy to think you know someone without actuallyknowingthem and when online dating leads to a slew of first dates and not many seconds its easy to create fantasy relationships that dont really exist.

So how do you actually get over someone you never really dated?

I reached out to Jen Kirsch, dating expert and relationship columnist, to find out.

Do a social media blackout.

Becoming unhealthily obsessed with someone on social media? Unfollow, unfollow, unfollow. Smash that unfollow button!

Kirsch says you need to remove them from your social feeds:

Each and every time you see a post of theirs, youll be triggered by it. To gain control of not being affected by their actions, whereabouts et al, either unfollow them, delete them, or use the special features on apps to remove them (and even their closest friends!) from popping up on your feeds.

In my humble opinion, unfollowing, blocking, and muting is just a form of self-care. And most likely, they wont notice, and they wont take it personally.

I always hear from friends and clients alike who cant believe someone posted something, and how certain posts hurt their feelings and put them through an anxiety spiral. I say, Then stop looking at that persons feed! Its as simple as that, she continues.

Take it day by day, and after one month of a social media blackout, I you will feel better.


Dont lose touch with reality.

Just because you went from a dating app to Facebook friends to texting buds who have the occasional phone chat or FaceTime, doesnt mean youre in a relationship or that this person owes you anything, Kirsch says. Ouch, but true.

She continues,

We tend to give our feelings, thoughts, attention, and selves away way too easily these days. This is a result of how accessible everybody is at all times. The person who cares about establishing a real relationship with you will make time to meet you in real life.

That means, if hes only commenting on your pics or DMing you on Twitter, hes not your boyfriend. Let me repeat: That does not make him your boyfriend. Liking picsdoes not mean dating. (Im repeating this mostly for myself.)

Realize this and stop wasting time communicating via devises back and forth and telling yourself you have a strong connection, when you havent even met. The more aware you are of the situation for what it is, the easier it will be to walk away from, she summarizes.


Flirt with someone new.

The best way to get over someone old is to get under someone new. Sorry.

Instead of chatting about it with your girl squad over drinks and lunch and at events, move forward. We spend so much time trying to figure out why things are the way they are and analyzing the situation instead of just moving on, Kirsch says.

That endless talking and wondering about what happened with your ex? Its sticking you in the past like cement. Move on. Pull up your big girl panties and start having fun, whether its at your job, with your friends, or in your romantic life. Because most likely, hes not out with his friends moping about you.

Kirsch says its important to take this time to see what else is out there:

Instead, enjoy your time with your friends. See if they know anyone. Flirt with your bartender or the babe across the room. Being out with your buds and putting the idea of someone out of mind will allow you to attract likeminded mates.

I always find it ironic that I can be out with a gorgeous, smart, successful friend, and she spends our whole eve analyzing why a guy who has been saying he wants to see her, but never does, doesnt want to see her. She takes it personally, asks me what she did wrong, etc., and [she] is oblivious to all the guys around us who are ogling at her!

Whether its social media, or just a few dates before ghosting, its easy to get hung up on relationships that never truly got to run their course or never even started in the first place.

Kirsch concludes, With such increased access these days to people via social, we feel like we know them so well, even though weve never met them IRL. We watch their days unfold via Snapchat, Insta stories, live feeds, and the like.

But things arent always what they seem, especially when it comes to social media. Shesays,

I know one bearded Instagram star, if you will, who is in a happy, monogamous, long-term relationship with his girlfriend [whom] he adores and adorns, yet he never shows her or includes her in his online posts because its not good for his brand.

Watching women comment and drool over him on his images becomes borderline embarrassing because he will never stray [from her] , but no one knows better.

She gives one last piece of advice: A tip in this sort of situation is to be aware of whether what youre putting out to an online crush is reciprocated. If not, take a step back and put your energy elsewhere.

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You’re Really Going To Flip When You See Who KFC Is Following On Twitter

KFC is a fast food staple. The chain has been part of countless childhood meals.

I know I loved to see my dad wander home with that big bucket of chicken under his arm just as much as I loved my mom’s cooking. It was a treat every once in awhile to dive into those mashed potatoes and cole slaw that tasted exactly the same no matter where in the country it came from.

When it comes to social media, like most brands KFC has a Twitter account. What one person realized about it will blow your mind.

On Twitter, your account can “follow” people of interest. KFC’s official account only follows 11 people.

The 11 people are: Geri Horner, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie C, Victoria Beckham, Herb Scribner, Herb J. Wesson, Jr., Herb Waters, Herb Dean, Herb Sendek, and Herb Alpert. But what do they have in common?

You might recognize the first five names as the Spice Girls.

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