journalism, news

YouTube Lets California Fire Conspiracy Theories Run Wild

By Caroline Haskins @ Vice

…the point isn’t that these conspiracy theorists are wrong. They obviously are. The point is that vloggers have realized that they can amass hundreds of thousands of views by advancing false narrative, and YouTube has not adequately stopped these conspiracy theories from blossoming on its platform, despite the fact that many people use it for news.

More @ BBC

politics, religion

Data mining gets religion as campaigns target voters of faith

By Menachem Wecker @ Religion News Service

Data has increasingly become the currency of political campaigns. The two parties and campaign consultants put huge resources into developing sophisticated voter files based on previous voting records, phone numbers, email addresses and other data...As elections focus more on mobilizing voters of known views, rather than convincing a broad middle, those profiles have become increasingly valuable, and they are bought and sold within each party’s phalanx of consultants.