Next Meeting:

Monday, August 14th | RSVP

5:30 – 7:00 p.m. | Embassy Suites
The Garden Room
3880 W. Northwest Highway, Dallas 75220
5:30 p.m. Appetizers and Cash Bar
6:00 p.m. Program

Fake News

Everyone’s heard the old joke. “How do you know when a politician is lying?” Answer: “His lips are moving.” More recently, this level of distrust has increasingly affected almost every form of traditional media, be it print or broadcast. Inconvenient facts, differences of opinion and differing partisan views are quickly labeled as “fake news,” while sometimes wildly inaccurate and intentionally misleading information is accepted as fact, even when originating on social media from unknown sources, with no corroboration. So what is fake news, and how do we verify what qualifies? How do we separate fact from fiction, and what responsibility does social media have to monitor content aired on its platforms? Exactly how does fake news originate and how is it disseminated? And the elephant in the room – what do we do about it?

These are real-world issues of incalculable significance, and misinformation has the potential of sometimes-tragic consequences. Remember the shooting attack on a Washington, D.C. pizza restaurant falsely accused of being a front for a pedophilia ring controlled by Hillary Clinton? Surely no reasonable person would accept that “news” as truth, yet as we know, the shooter became enraged by propaganda posing as fact on social media feeds. Imagine this type of malicious misinformation in the international arena and the potential for dangerous responses using massive weapons.

Our Speaker

Mark Tremayne is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Arlington in the department of Communication and a former broadcast journalist. He earned his doctorate in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tremayne’s research focuses on the transformation of journalism and mass communication in the digital era with particular emphasis on interactivity, network theory, online journalism, blogging, social networks and citizen media. Dr. Tremayne has published in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Convergence: The International Journal of Research Into New Media Technologies, The Journal of Interactive Advertising, New Media and Society and Science Communication. He also produced an edited book, Blogging, Citizenship, and the Future of Media, published by Routledge. Prior to academia, Tremayne worked in broadcast journalism.

Dr. Tremayne and four other academicians — two professors from UTA and three from UTD – view fake news as more than just misleading — they see it as a national security crisis. It was recently announced that they have been awarded a seed grant to focus on using technology to automate detection of fake news.

Please join us on August 14 for a dialogue about fake news, detection, and communications in the age of digital connectivity.