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© 2019

From Urban Legends to Political Fact-Checking

Online Scrutiny in America, 1990-2015

Book

Part of the History of Computing book series (HC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. William Aspray, James W. Cortada
    Pages 1-8
  3. William Aspray, James W. Cortada
    Pages 9-39
  4. William Aspray, James W. Cortada
    Pages 41-76
  5. William Aspray, James W. Cortada
    Pages 77-106
  6. William Aspray, James W. Cortada
    Pages 107-133
  7. William Aspray, James W. Cortada
    Pages 135-140
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 141-146

About this book

Introduction

This text presents an historical examination of political fact-checking, highlighting how this is part of a larger phenomenon of online scrutiny that manifests itself in multiple forms. Reflecting the long history of “fake facts” in America, the book discusses important developments in this area from the emergence of the public Internet in the 1990s to the start of the Trump-Clinton presidential election campaigns.

Topics and features:

  • Describes how some of the major players in political fact-checking began with the purpose of scrutinizing and debunking of urban legends
  • Considers how this was part of a wider culture, encompassing B-grade horror movies, truth-or-fiction television shows, and groups warning about computer viruses
  • Explains how such developments are connected, revealing political fact-checking as one of many forms of scrutiny applied in the face of a complex, dangerous world
  • Provides a range of detailed case studies, covering such topics as the rumors surrounding the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and academic interest in contemporary legends
  • Discusses how pre-Internet technologies such as bulletin boards, Usenet, and proprietary online service providers such as CompuServe and AOL were used to both disseminate and debunk urban legends
  • Examines the rise of political fact-checking, reviewing all of the major initiatives in this area undertaken in the United States

This timely study touches on issues of popular culture and major events, and offers profiles of colorful individuals and organizations, and as such will appeal to a broad audience interested in the history of fact-checking and efforts to protect the political process from falsehoods.

Dr. William Aspray is a full professor in the Department of Information Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. His other publications include the Springer books Participation in Computing: The National Science Foundation’s Expansionary Programs and Women and Underrepresented Minorities in Computing: A Historical and Social Study. Dr. James W. Cortada is a Senior Research Fellow at the Charles Babbage Institute at the University of Minnesota.

Keywords

Cultural and Political History of the Internet Debunking of Rumors and Urban legends Fake Facts Online Scrutiny Political Fact-Checking

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information ScienceUniversity of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Charles Babbage InstituteUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

About the authors

William Aspray is a full professor in the Department of Information Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. He has also taught at the University of Texas Austin, Indiana University Bloomington, Virginia Tech, University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University, among others. He holds a Ph.D. in the history of science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has served as the Director of the IEEE Center for the History of Electrical Engineering, Associate Director of the Charles Babbage Institute for the History of Information Processing at the University of Minnesota, and Executive Director at the Computing Research Association. He is the author or editor of over two dozen books dealing with the history of computing, mathematics, and information. He has published more than 100 articles in the key information history journals and served on their editorial boards, including Information Research, The Information Society, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Information & Culture: A Journal of History, and Communications of the ACM.

James W. Cortada is a Senior Research Fellow at the Charles Babbage Institute at the University of Minnesota. He holds a Ph.D. in modern history and worked at IBM in various sales, consulting, management, and executive positions for 38 years, including in IBM’s management research institute, The IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV). There, he led and participated in over three dozen global studies on the use of information and business managerial practices. He is also the author of over a dozen books on the management of business, information technologies, and management. He also authored nearly two dozen books on the history of information technology, its business practices and industry, and about knowledge management. His articles on the history of information have appeared in many of the “journals of record” for each topic he has studied, including Information and Culture, Library and Information History, Business History Review, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Enterprise and Society, and Technology and Culture, among others. He serves on the editorial boards of Information and Culture, Library and Information History, and IEEE Annals of the History of Computing.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title From Urban Legends to Political Fact-Checking
  • Book Subtitle Online Scrutiny in America, 1990-2015
  • Authors William Aspray
    James W. Cortada
  • Series Title History of Computing
  • Series Abbreviated Title History of Computing
  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-22952-8
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Computer Science Computer Science (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-22951-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-22954-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-22952-8
  • Series ISSN 2190-6831
  • Series E-ISSN 2190-684X
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages X, 146
  • Number of Illustrations 2 b/w illustrations, 2 illustrations in colour
  • Topics History of Computing
    Cultural History
    Political History
    History of Technology
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