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News

Lecturer accused of sharing Russian propaganda

This article was originally published in print on the 23rd March Lecturers at several universities, including the University of Edinburgh, have been accused of sharing Russian propaganda.Nadhim Zahawi, the Education Secretary, announced on 14th March that there would be a “crackdown” on the sharing of misinformation by academics at universities. Tim Hayward, a professor of […]

Categories
Science Technology

Social media companies hold power to stop misinformation

“FAKE NEWS” has been shouted louder than almost anything else over the last few years. Coming to the forefront with the wild accusations of Donald Trump, fake news has stayed an issue in the Covid-19 pandemic, continuing to support dangerous behaviour. Current efforts to mitigate the spread of misinformation rely on readers fact checking articles, […]

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Science Science Technology

What can Frankenstein teach us about bad science?

A scientific consensus
is only worth
acknowledging when it
follows a scientific
method, so failing to
replicate or reproduce
data could permanently
damage the authority of
experts.

Categories
Lifestyle

Twitter cracks down on platform manipulation – but is this enough?

Last week social media powerhouse Twitter suspended over 70 accounts on the grounds of ‘platform manipulation’ all of which were linked to the upcoming 2020 US Presidential Election. The accounts were created recently in support of presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg and were posting copious amounts of pro-Bloomberg content and propaganda which is a breach of […]

Categories
Features

Fake news: how much of a threat is it really?

Ever since the term ‘fake news’ first came into public attention in 2016, it’s been lurking in the political background. And with little surprise: it was only last month that the alt-right website ‘DataBattle’ had all its videos stripped from YouTube, as well as being banned from both Facebook and Instagram. The reason, according to […]

Categories
Features

A dive into Zetetic Astronomy: understanding contemporary flat earth beliefs

Contemporary flat earth beliefs originate from the mid-nineteenth century, coming from Samuel Birley Rowbotham’s book Zetetic Astronomy: Earth not a Globe. This book laid out Rowbotham’s view of the earth as a flat disc with the North Pole as its centre, and an ice wall surrounding the edge. Many connect Rowbotham’s earth structure with some […]

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Comment

The abuse of journalists’ human rights shows that they are needed now more than ever before

Despite the fervent protests in response to the appalling massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo two years ago, little has changed for journalists on the ground. The brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi was followed by the imprisonment of two Reuter journalists in Myanmar in December after reporting on the killings of Rohingya men. Whilst […]

Categories
Science

Fake news: more than just a punchline

The term ‘fake news’ is bandied about a lot these days and is largely used as a joke. Despite this flippant use of the term, however, the fact remains that there is a plethora of misinformation on the internet. In addition to this, all too many of us seem ready to believe anything that conforms […]