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Bio alum Jevin West on Seattle Times Fact vs. Fake Panel

Friday, September 15, 2017 - 08:15
From left, Sharon Chan, Seattle Times vice president of innovation, product & development; Michele Matassa Flores, Seattle Times managing editor; Jevin West, UW assistant professor; Delip Rao, founder of Joostware; and Jeanne Bourgault, president and CEO of Internews, speak Wednesday at Kane Hall. (Amanda Ray/The Seattle Times)

The story projected onto the screen claimed that Amazon’s office space was now larger than the actual Amazon rain forest.

University of Washington professor and Biology alumn Jevin West pointed to the projection and asked the audience: Is that real or fake? The audience laughed. It was clearly fake. That’s a minor annoyance, he said.

Then he showed another story about the Israeli defense minister saying Israel would destroy Pakistan with a nuclear attack. It too was fake, but Pakistan’s defense minister actually responded to the story last December and threatened to retaliate.

“Fake news is more than a minor annoyance,” West told the audience in University of Washington’s Kane Hall on Wednesday night.

Fake news — and how to combat it — was the focus of The Seattle Times’ LiveWire event, “Fact vs. Fake: Fighting Back Against Fake News,” featuring a panel of technology and journalist experts. Among the panelists was West, an assistant professor in the University of Washington’s Information School. He codirects the DataLab and co-teaches a popular course “Calling BS in the Age of Big Data" with Biology Prof. Carl Bergstrom. 


Read the full article in the Seattle Times

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