25 March 2020

Calling Bullshit ~ Factcheck Covid-19 Misinfo

WIRED's Tom Simonite writes about The Professors Who Call ‘Bullshit’ on Covid-19 Misinformation...
"Jevin West told fellow University of Washington professor Carl Bergstrom that he was starting a new course on big data. The pair worked together to develop a course, Calling Bullshit, broadening the scope to offer tips on how to detect and disarm spurious appeals to data and science in anything from TED talks to medical papers. The syllabus went viral [Now] the pandemic has added Miracle-Gro to what Bergstrom and West’s course calls the “natural ecology of bullshit.” Despite the bullshit bonanza, West says he has been pleased to see medical experts fighting incorrect information on social networks and tech companies such as Facebook and Google adding banners and filters to fight or block coronavirus misinformation."
As an example...
"University of Washington professor Kate Starbird used a database of tweets about Covid-19 to create this chart showing how retweets (blue circles), quotes (orange diamonds), or retweets of quotes (green circles), boosted a tweet sharing inaccurate scientific claims about the novel coronavirus."

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