70 episodes

A podcast from Ferret Fact Service about truth and falsehoods on the internet.

Ferret Fact Service is a fact-checking project based in Scotland. We'll round-up our latest fact-checks and discuss the best ways to spot misinformation, wherever it crops up.

Find out more at: https://theferret.scot/ferret-fact-service/

For Fact's Sake The Ferret

    • News

A podcast from Ferret Fact Service about truth and falsehoods on the internet.

Ferret Fact Service is a fact-checking project based in Scotland. We'll round-up our latest fact-checks and discuss the best ways to spot misinformation, wherever it crops up.

Find out more at: https://theferret.scot/ferret-fact-service/

    Will AI misinformation sway the general election?

    Will AI misinformation sway the general election?

    For Fact's Sake is back for a brand new series, kicking off with a special three-part look at the impact of misinformation on the upcoming elections this year.
    In the first episode, we spoke to Polly Curtis from think tank Demos about how AI could affect the general election, and democracy more widely.
    Demos has recently produced a report on the potential of AI to alter democracy.
    We also launched our newest feature, the Conspiracy Dictionary, with a look at the World Economic Forum (WEF)
    Show notes:
    Demos' report into AI impacts is here. Follow Polly Curtis on X here.More information on conspiracies surrounding the World Economic Forum and the Great Reset here.

    • 29 min
    Are journalists being targeted in Gaza?

    Are journalists being targeted in Gaza?

    It's the final For Fact's Sake podcast of the year, and we're focusing on the conflict in Gaza, where among the thousands of civilian deaths, scores of journalists have been killed.
    We speak to Fiona O'Brien from Reporters Without Borders about why so many journalists have been part of the tragic human toll of the Israeli attack on Gaza, and whether journalists in the area are being targeted by the military.
    She also explains how the killing of journalists in the region amplifies misinformation and inaccurate state narrratives about the war.
    Show notes:
    Reporters without Borders' work in Gaza can be seen here.Listen to our last podcast on misinformation in the conflict here.

    • 19 min
    How did 'fake news' cause Scotland's witch trials?

    How did 'fake news' cause Scotland's witch trials?

    On for Fact's Sake this week we're taking a look back to some historical misinformation - Scotland's witch trials.
    Ali and Paul speak to Dr Zoe Venditozzi, a writer and teacher who presents the Witches of Scotland podcast. She campaigns for posthumous pardons for those prosecuted for witchcraft in Scotland.
    We spoke about Scotland's witch trials, how the persecution was led from the top, and the parallels between the 'fake news' that drove women to be persecuted then and today's moral panics.
    Elsewhere on the pod, Ali looks at migration statistics, and we dig into 'detox' trends on social media.
    Show notes:
    Listen to all the episodes of the excellent Witches of Scotland podcast here. Find out more about the campaign here. Logically Facts have written a piece about 'detox baths' here.

    • 27 min
    What does it take for a politician to lose their job?

    What does it take for a politician to lose their job?

    On this week's edition of the For Fact's Sake podcast, Ali and Paul talk to Dr Ian Cawood from the University of Stirling about the long history of political sleaze in the UK.
    Ian explains the parallels between corruption in the early 19th century and today, how the Covid-19 pandemic sharpened the focus on scandal, and whether there is a higher bar for politicians losing their jobs than before.
    Elsewhere on the pod, Ali and Paul discuss the Rwanda migration plan and controversy over a cuddly octopus toy on University Challenge.
    Show notes:
    Dr Ian Cawood's piece in The Conversation about the history of sleaze can be found here: https://theconversation.com/a-history-of-british-political-sleaze-and-why-we-should-worry-about-the-johnson-government-160304

    • 25 min
    Who is 'Argentina's Donald Trump'?

    Who is 'Argentina's Donald Trump'?

    Populist leaders are gaining prominence across the globe, and Argentina is no different.
    Javier Milei, a self-described "anarcho-capitalist" who gained fame as a staple on Argentinian TV, is set to face-off against Peronist candidate Sergio Massa on November 19.
    He is an avowed admirer of Donald Trump, has been supported by Brazilian former president Jair Bolsonaro, and has used misinformation and wild claims to propel himself to the precipice of power.
    We spoke to Olivia Sohr from Argentinian fact-checkers Chequeado about his rise to power, his use of right-wing tropes, and how misinformation has helped to define the current election.
    Also on this week's pod, Ali and Paul discuss the Scottish Government WhatsApp controversy, and unpick the myth that alcohol warms you up.
    Show notes:

    • 24 min
    How can online investigators expose Israel-Gaza propaganda?

    How can online investigators expose Israel-Gaza propaganda?

    On For Fact's Sake this week, we are looking at the role of fact-checking in the Israel-Gaza conflict.
    Ali spoke to Lucy Swinnen, who is an editor at Bellingcat, which is using publicly available videos, images and data to tackle some of the propaganda and disinformation swirling around since October's escalation.
    But with so many people online now using publicly available footage to attempt to debunk narratives in the conflict, is there a danger that open-source investigation can be used to mislead?
    Elsewhere on the podcast, Ali and Paul look at Margaret Thatcher's alleged views on independence, and the disinformation spreading alongside bedbugs in France.

    • 25 min

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