Further Reading

Information wars : how we lost the global battle against disinformation and what we can do about it

Richard Stengel
2019
ISBN: 9780802147981

"In February of 2013, Richard Stengel, the former editor-in-chief of Time, joined the Obama administration as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Within days, two shocking events made world-wide headlines: ISIS executed American journalist James Foley on a graphic video seen by tens of millions, and Vladimir Putin's "little green men"--Russian special forces--invaded Crimea, amid a blizzard of Russian denials and false flags. What these events had in common besides their violent lawlessness is that they were the opening salvos in a new era of global information war, where countries and non-state actors use social media and disinformation to create their own narratives and undermine anyone who opposes them. Stengel was thrust onto the front lines of this battle as he was tasked with responding to the relentless weaponizing of information and grievance by ISIS, Russia, China, and others. He saw the scale of what he was up against and found himself hopelessly outgunned. Then, in 2016, the wars Stengel was fighting abroad came home during the presidential election, as "fake news" became a rallying cry and the Russians used the techniques they learned in Ukraine to influence the election here. Rarely has an accomplished journalist been not only a close observer but also a principal participant in the debates and decisions of American foreign policy. Stengel takes you behind the scenes in the ritualized world of diplomacy, from the daily 8:30 morning huddle with a restless John Kerry to a midnight sit-down in Saudi Arabia with the prince of darkness Mohammed bin Salman. The result is a rich account of a losing battle against trolls and bots--who are every bit as insidious as their names imply."-- Provided by publisher.

Ebook and audiobook always available on Hoopla.

The misinformation age : how false beliefs spread

Cailin O'Connor, James Owen Weatherall
2019
ISBN: 9780300234015

"Why should we care about having true beliefs? And why do demonstrably false beliefs persist and spread despite consequences for the people who hold them? Philosophers of science Cailin O'Connor and James Weatherall argue that social factors, rather than individual psychology, are what's essential to understanding the spread and persistence of false belief. It might seem that there's an obvious reason that true beliefs matter: false beliefs will hurt you. But if that's right, then why is it (apparently) irrelevant to many people whether they believe true things or not? In an age riven by "fake news," "alternative facts," and disputes over the validity of everything from climate change to the size of inauguration crowds, the authors argue that social factors, not individual psychology, are what's essential to understanding the persistence of false belief and that we must know how those social forces work in order to fight misinformation effectively."--Publisher's description.

Audiobook always available on Hoopla.

Fake news, propaganda, and plain old lies : how to find trustworthy information in the digital age

Donald A. Barclay
2018
ISBN: 9781538108895

Fake News, Propaganda, and Plain Old Lies explains how to identify deceptive information and seek out the most trustworthy information to inform decision making in your personal, academic, professional, and civic lives. Barclay takes an objective, non-partisan approach to the topic of sorting deceptive information from trustworthy information.

Breaking hate : confronting the new culture of extremism

Christian Picciolini
2020
ISBN: 9780316522939

"At fourteen, Christian Picciolini was recruited by a now notorious skinhead leader and encouraged to fight with the movement to "protect the white race from extinction." Soon, he had become an expert in racist ideology, a neo-Nazi terror who roamed the neighborhood, quick to throw fists. By the time he left the movement years later and was able to see clearly for the first time, Picciolini found that his life was in shambles and the nation around him was coming apart. Told with startling intimacy and compassion, Breaking Hate is the inside story of how extremists have taken the reins of our political discourse and a guide to how everyday Americans can win it back. The forces pushing to polarize and radicalize us are many--from fake news to coded language to Russian trolls to a White House that often aims to inflame rather than to heal. Increasingly, the information with which we construct our world views is segregated by social media stars and advertisers with murky motives to validate our worst impulses. As Picciolini demonstrates, our modern world systematically normalizes extremism in such a way that we grow blind to it, only recognizing it in the wake of tragedy. Drawing on profiles of extremists that he works to free from violent ideology and on his own painful history leading and then escaping from an infamous neo-Nazi group, Breaking Hate explains why terrorism and violence have come to characterize our daily lives and why that doesn't need to be the case"-- Provided by publisher.

Today's extremist violence surges into our lives from what seems like every direction — vehicles hurtling down city sidewalks; cyber-threats levied against political leaders and backed up with violence; automatic weapons unleashed on mall shoppers, students, and the faithful in houses of worship. As varied as the violent acts are the attackers themselves — neo-Nazis, white nationalists, the alt-right, InCels, and Islamist jihadists, to name just a few. In a world where hate has united communities that traffic in radical doctrines and rationalize their use of violence to rally the disaffected, the fear of losing a loved one to extremism or falling victim to terrorism has become almost universal. Told with startling honesty and intimacy, Breaking Hate is both the inside story of how extremists lure the unwitting to their causes and a guide for how everyday Americans can win them-and our civil democracy-back. Former extremist Christian Picciolini unravels this sobering narrative from the frontlines, where he has worked for two decades as a peace advocate and "hate breaker." He draws from the firsthand experiences of extremists he has helped to disengage, revealing how violent movements target the vulnerable and exploit their essential human desires, and how the right interventions can save lives. Along the way, Picciolini solves the puzzle of why extremism has come to define our era, laying bare the ways in which modern society-from "fake news" and social media propaganda to coded language and a White House that inflames rather than heals-has polarized and radicalized an entire generation.

The first : how to think about hate speech, campus speech, religious speech, fake news, post-truth, and Donald Trump

Stanley Fish
2019
ISBN: 9781982115241

How does the First Amendment really work? Is it a principle or a value? What is hate speech and should it always be banned? Are we free to declare our religious beliefs in the public square? What role, if any, should companies like Facebook play in policing the exchange of thoughts, ideas, and opinions? With clarity and power, Stanley Fish, "America's most famous professor" (BookPage), explores these complex questions in The First. From the rise of fake news, to the role of tech companies in monitoring content (including the President's tweets), to Colin Kaepernick's kneeling protest, First Amendment controversies continue to dominate the news cycle. Across America, college campus administrators are being forced to balance free speech against demands for safe spaces and trigger warnings.

Truth in our times : inside the fight to save press freedom in the age of alternative facts

David E. McCraw
2019
ISBN: 9781250184429

In October 2016, when Donald Trump's lawyer demanded that The New York Times retract an article focused on two women that accused Trump of touching them inappropriately, David McCraw's scathing letter of refusal went viral and he became a hero of press freedom everywhere. But as you'll see in Truth in Our Times, for the top newsroom lawyer at the paper of record, it was just another day at the office.

Republic of lies : American conspiracy theorists and their surprising rise to power

Anna Merlan
2019
ISBN: 9781250159052

Merlin takes readers on a riveting tour through the landscape and meaning of modern conspiracy theories. American society has always been fertile ground for conspiracy theories, but with the election of Donald Trump, previously outlandish ideas suddenly attained legitimacy. Trump himself is a conspiracy enthusiast: from his claim that global warming is a Chinese hoax to the accusations of "fake news," he has fanned the flames of suspicion. Merlin looks beyond the caricatures of conspiracy theorists to give a nuanced, sympathetic account of the people behind them, across the political spectrum, and the circumstances that helped them take hold. In doing so, she transforms our understanding of American paranoia. -- adapted from jacket

The presidents vs. the press : the endless battle between the White House and the media -- from the founding fathers to fake news

Harold Holzer
2020
ISBN: 9781524745264

"An award-winning presidential historian offers an authoritative account of American presidents' attacks on our freedom of the press. "The FAKE NEWS media," Donald Trump has tweeted, "is not my enemy. It is the enemy of the American people." Never has our free press faced so great a threat. Yet the tension between presidents and journalists is as old as the republic itself. From George Washington to Trump, presidents have quarreled with, attacked, denigrated, and manipulated the fourth estate. Washington groused about his treatment in the newspapers, but his successor, John Adams, actually wielded his executive power to overturn press freedoms and prosecute critical reporters. Thomas Jefferson tapped a reporter to find dirt on his rival, Alexander Hamilton, only to have the reporter expose his own affair with his slave Sally Hemings. (Jefferson denied the reports out of hand-perhaps the first presidential cry of "fake news.") Andrew Jackson rewarded loyal newspapers with government contracts; Abraham Lincoln shuttered critical papers and imprisoned their editors without trial. FDR and JFK charmed journalists in order to protect their personal secrets, while Nixon cast the press as a public enemy for daring to investigate his own. In this remarkable new account, acclaimed scholar Harold Holzer guides readers through the clashes between chief executives and journalists, showing how these battles were waged and won, while girding us for a new fight to protect our nation's greatest institution: a free and functioning press"-- Provided by publisher.

Every president has been convinced of his own honesty and transparency; every reporter who has covered the White House beat has believed with equal fervency that his or her journalistic rigor protects the country from danger. Our first president, George Washington, was also the first to grouse about his treatment in the newspapers, although he kept his complaints private. Subsequent chiefs like John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and Barack Obama were not so reticent, going so far as to wield executive power to overturn press freedoms, and even to prosecute journalists. In this remarkable new history, acclaimed scholar Harold Holzer examines the dual rise of the American presidency and the media that shaped it. From Washington to Trump, he chronicles the disputes and distrust between these core institutions that define the United States of America, revealing that the essence of their confrontation is built into the fabric of the nation.

Deepfakes : the coming infocalypse

Nina Schick
2020
ISBN: 9781538754306

"In a world of deepfakes, it will soon be impossible to tell what is real and what isn't. As advances in artificial intelligence, video creation, and online trolling continue, deepfakes pose not only a real threat to democracy -- they threaten to take voter manipulation to unprecedented new heights. This crisis of misinformation which we now face has since been dubbed the "Infocalypse." In DEEPFAKES, investigative journalist Nina Schick uses her expertise from working in the field to reveal shocking examples of deepfakery and explain the dangerous political consequences of the Infocalypse, both in terms of national security and what it means for public trust in politics. This all-too-timely book also unveils what this all means for us as individuals, how deepfakes will be used to intimidate and to silence, for revenge and fraud, and just how truly unprepared governments and tech companies are for what's coming."--Amazon.com.

United States of distraction : media manipulation in post-truth America (and what we can do about it)

Nolan Higdon, Mickey Huff ; foreword by Ralph Nader
2019
ISBN: 9780872867673

"Written in the spirit of resistance and hope, United States of Distraction offers a clear, concise appraisal of our current situation, and presents readers with action items for how to improve it. "Mickey Huff and Nolan Higdon emphasize what we can do today," says Ralph Nader in the foreword, "to restore the power of facts, truth, and fair, inclusive journalism as tools for people to keep political and corporate power subordinate to the engaged citizenry and the common good.""-- Provided by publisher.

Ebook always available on Hoopla.

The hype machine : how social media disrupts our elections, our economy, and our health--and how we must adapt

Sinan Aral
2020
ISBN: 9780525574514

"Social media connected the world--and gave rise to fake news and increasing polarization. Now a leading researcher at MIT draws on 20 years of research to show how these trends threaten our political, economic, and emotional health in this eye-opening exploration of the dark side of technological progress. Today we have the ability, unprecedented in human history, to amplify our interactions with each other through social media. It is paramount, MIT social media expert Sinan Aral says, that we recognize the outsized impact social media has on our culture, our democracy, and our lives in order to steer today's social technology toward good, while avoiding the ways it can pull us apart. Otherwise, we could fall victim to what Aral calls "The Hype Machine." As a senior researcher of the longest-running study of fake news ever conducted, Aral found that lies spread online farther and faster than the truth--a harrowing conclusion that was featured on the cover of Science magazine. Among the questions Aral explores following twenty years of field research: Did Russian interference change the 2016 election? And how is it affecting the vote in 2020? Why does fake news travel faster than the truth online? How do social ratings and automated sharing determine which products succeed and fail? How does social media affect our kids? First, Aral links alarming data and statistics to three accelerating social media shifts: hyper-socialization, personalized mass persuasion, and the tyranny of trends. Next, he grapples with the consequences of the Hype Machine for elections, businesses, dating, and health. Finally, he maps out strategies for navigating the Hype Machine, offering his singular guidance for managing social media to fulfill its promise going forward. Rarely has a book so directly wrestled with the secret forces that drive the news cycle every day"-- Provided by publisher.

True or false : a CIA analyst's guide to spotting fake news

Cindy L. Otis
2020
ISBN: 9781250239495

"A YA Nonfiction book about the history of Fake News and tips for how to spot it"-- Provided by publisher.

Audiobook always available on Hoopla.

Active measures : the secret history of disinformation and political warfare

Thomas Rid
2020
ISBN: 9780374287269

"This revelatory and dramatic history of disinformation traces the rise of secret organized deception operations from the interwar period to contemporary internet troll farms"-- Provided by publisher.

Truth : a brief history of total bull***t

Tom Phillips
2020
ISBN: 9781335983763

We live in a "post-truth" world, we're told. But was there ever really a golden age of truth-telling? Or have people been lying, fibbing, and just plain bullsh*tting since the beginning of time? Tom Phillips, editor of a leading independent fact-checking organization, deals with this question every day. In Truth, he tells the story of how we humans have spent history lying to each other--and ourselves--about everything from business to politics to plain old geography. Along the way, he chronicles the world's oldest customer service complaint, the Great Moon Hoax of 1835, and the surprisingly dishonest career of Benjamin Franklin. Sharp, witty, and with a clear-eyed view of humanity's checkered past, Truth reveals why people lie--and how we can cut through the bullsh*t.

Audiobook always available on Hoopla.

The rules of contagion : why things spread -- and why they stop

Adam Kucharski
2020
ISBN: 9781541674318

A deadly virus suddenly explodes into the population. A political movement gathers pace, and then quickly vanishes. An idea takes off like wildfire, changing our world forever. We live in a world that's more interconnected than ever before. Our lives are shaped by outbreaks - of disease, of misinformation, even of violence - that appear, spread and fade away with bewildering speed. To understand them, we need to learn the hidden laws that govern them. From 'superspreaders' who might spark a pandemic or bring down a financial system to the social dynamics that make loneliness catch on, The Rules of Contagion offers compelling insights into human behaviour and explains how we can get better at predicting what happens next. Along the way, Adam Kucharski explores how innovations spread through friendship networks, what links computer viruses with folk stories - and why the most useful predictions aren't necessarily the ones that come true.