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Why is TRUMPery all around us: fake news fever, how to fight it, and whom to blame?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:52:29 +0300

There’s nothing you can’t write about now that people won’t believe. Paul Horner, fake-news writer   We live in the world where we get news nonstop. But is it actually the news we get? How can we be sure some piece of information is true while the Web provides everybody with an opportunity to be a reporter, political analyst, pro blogger, photographer, or an ‘expert’ in any other field. Several studies have shown that 62% of Americans get the news from social media such as Facebook or Twitter.   These platforms allow anybody to create fake news groups and pages almost indistinguishable from the real news outlets. The scheme is quite simple: fake-news makers build websites that imitate corporate styles, colours, and fonts of mainstream media, such as The New York Times or The Huffington Post, and fill them with loads of juicy content. Then, for example, Facebook’s algorithm recommends such news to the followers/readers of the said popular media. These articles are a pure clickbait, so the enticing headlines make 99% of their success, therefore they must be shocking, sensational or just hilariously improbable - something like this one: “BREAKING: Supreme Court To Nullify The Election… They Are Actually Doing It”.   When you open such posts, they may look like the trustworthy newspaper articles, but in fact, they can be full of misinterpretation, farce, straightforward lies, or propaganda. This kind of writing has nothing to do with journalism at its best, as the real journalists adhere to higher professional standards and ethics. They are obliged to: tell the truth check the facts verify the sources they are representing in their articles or reports Fake media have no such responsibility (and obviously no ethics): their only aim is to get more attention converted into clicks, likes, shares, etc, which means earning more money from ads, or more success in spreading some misbelieves. Most of the mainstream media cannot play by the same rules, and thus can never compete with the hoaxers that have no legal responsibility over the information they spread, but they had to adapt to not so fair algorithms of social media promotion in fear of losing their audience.   According to The Pew Research Center, traditional journalism as we knew it before goes through a dramatic change: the digital era created new challenges for people of this profession, such as widespread of nontraditional outlets and digital-only media, increasing number of amateour/private reporters, and state officials producing their own newsfeeds. In this context, the existence of fake news puts us in a dangerous position where we can't simply rely on everything we see on the web, no matter how real it may look. So what is the new meaning of TRUMPery? 2016 US election became a turning point that showed us how deep the pitfalls of the fake media influence can be. The fake news industry turned a group of ordinary Macedonian teenagers into prosperous businessmen - they organized a very successful fake media campaign to spread pro-Trump (and anti-Clinton) clickbait-type stories. Many of these baseless ‘news’ went viral on social media, brought traffic to certain domains, and generated thousands of US dollars in return. Well done guys!     That might sound shocking, but those teens had no political interest or dividend from it. The only reason for them was good old money, while Trump supporters were a convenient marketing group to target. As one of the most successful hoaxers from Macedonia stated in his interview for NBC: ‘Nothing can beat Trump's supporters when it comes to social media engagement, so that's why we stick with Trump’. The story of those kids was just one of a few that came to the surface, but the fake news market is pretty much saturated with other players.   Spreading false news is not against the law in many countries, so there is a lack of instruments to beat such fakers in the legal field. However, we have grounds to say that fake news articles are not that harmless, as they might ha[...]

Information Overload vs Human Brain: infobesity causes, symptoms, and how to beat it.

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 16:51:46 +0300

It’s been a few decades since we were introduced to some iconic yet doubtful products of the modern accelerated lifestyle, including ‘fast food’ and ‘fast cars’ (not to mention a pure disaster of ‘fast loans’, of course). Then, some evil geniuses of IT made things even worse: they released a new plague - fast Internet connection! It’s free, unlimited and gets you literally everywhere: on a bus stop, on a roadway, in your favourite coffee shop, in a park, hospital, school, library, restroom… and it’s ready to eat your brain hit you with the information anxiety syndrome making your life even more turbulent and hectic.   Seriously though, the rapid technological progress just gives us another bunch of powerful tools to be used for either good or evil - you choose. So called infoxication, infobesity or information overload is the dark side of staying online 24/7: your devices might be beeping, ringing, and vibrating all at the same time, many times a day, all day long - email notifications, social media updates, breaking news, working and personal messages keep coming nonstop (by the way, only 13% of US residents prefer to stay offline). Our mind struggles to absorb such a massive amount of information but fails somewhere in the middle of it: you’re getting tired, while switching between different sources/tabs/devices, and trying to process the abundance of information that pretends to be important or useful (in fact, it is not), and thus it becomes even harder for you to concentrate and differentiate what is really essential from unimportant or disturbing stuff.     Irritation, disturbance, poor concentration, inability to make an informed decision - those are the main symptoms of 'information fatigue syndrome' and the cost of being constantly exposed to too much information. We may find it similar to the classic multitasking issue: heavy multitaskers can suffer a poor productivity, hurry sickness and decreased cognitive ability. Managing several tasks at a time (e.g. scrolling down through a piece of content along with checking emails/messages on your phone) will definitely do no good to your learning capacity.   It is not only the Web that causes infoxication - TV channels, radio stations, and outdoor advertising generate tons of informational noise. According to Daniel Levitin, a psychology professor at McGill University, ‘infobesity’ symptoms can simply occur because of a growing variety of brand choices in our grocery stores today - there are almost 5 times more products on the shelves comparing to 1970s.     Information hygiene - how can it help?   One of the main infobesity reasons is information pollution and evolving from it ‘multi-tasking’ (or heavily fragmented/mixed learning activity) leading to multiple distractions or context switching, which can quickly exhaust your brain, paralyze your movement towards important goals, and negatively affect your decision-making process.   You can cope with the information pollution/overload problem by applying a few simple rules in your daily life. It’s hardly possible to solve it radically (unless you're ready to live in a high-mountain monastery), but you can adhere to an information hygiene policy that would allow you to manage the incoming flow of information efficiently, and thus win extra time for self-development or spending it with your family and friends.     5 healthy habits of information hygiene   1) Identify what info really matters to you in terms of personal and professional life, and get rid of everything excessive.   We may find ourselves subscribed to dozens of news outlets which can daily flood us with a real tsunami of pushy yet useless content. Analyze your subscriptions (both RSS and social media) and find out which of them provide you with a duplicated, reused, or very similar content. You'll be surprised how easily you can cut off most of them and lose nothing at all.   Withdraw news sources which are less original or prof[...]

What is RSS? And why it deserves a try

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 17:21:08 +0300

A bit of explanation for RSS newbies: RSS stands for Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication and means a web-based technology of delivering news of various kinds from their sources directly to the users, in the form of a simple feed - that’s it!   You can use an RSS reader of your choice to subscribe to your favourite sites, blogs, job listing portals, online shops, etc, and thus get all their news collected in one place. That would help you to keep abreast of the latest events, hot deals, digital media updates, and fresh articles without actually visiting all those websites one-by-one.   How to subscribe? It’s a cakewalk: there might be an orange button with a text suggesting that you ‘subscribe via RSS’ on a site, but most of feed reading tools can automatically check a website to see if it syndicates an RSS channel and then you can go on by adding it to the subscriptions.     Why Social Media can never replace RSS   Today more people than ever get news from social networks and that might be an issue: the content of social media feed heavily depends on our (and our friends’) reactions and votes (i.e. likes, shares, reposts, etc), which is not bad at all, but it may lead to formation of so called ‘echo chambers’ keeping us within a narrowed and manipulated scope of interests, so it seems that we started to miss a lot at this point. Unlike most of the social networks, RSS does not include any mechanism that can automatically promote, filter or ‘micro-target’ certain content at a specific user according to trending opinions or his\her recent actions, location, and personal preferences.   It’s as simple as that – Really Simple Syndication. You only have to choose the resources and get the information you’re purely interested in, with no additional moderation or limitations, except for those you set yourself.   RSS technology can boast of a few strong advantages over the social media (as a news source, of course), making it a favourable choice for users who still appreciate their personal freedom of choice: No ads or promoted content mixed into your newsfeed. No personal data tracking or questionable censorship policies. No deceptive SMM strategies or shady inner algorithms trying to take advantage of your attention. No issues with sudden account bans, fake users or dishonest reports. Let us be clear: the point of social media is to create a safe environment for people to communicate (and they are pretty great at it), while RSS is a rather simple way to control the incoming flow of information and build a news digest with your own rules.   Once you decide to give RSS a try, it won't take long to realize the benefits: you may save so much precious time and nerves by getting rid of all those useless content, rubbish clickbait, and annoying ads that are flooding the social media. With the help of feed readers (aka RSS aggregators) you can manage your news feeds wisely and focus on things that really matter.     How to keep the Simple Syndication really simple   If you feel excited about the ideas of RSS, and would like to follow a few worthy sites, then you should begin the journey with signing up for a nice feed aggregator.   We at Feedreader believe that simplicity is the key virtue of RSS, so we created Feedreader Online that lets you check the news on the go, without hassle, personal data collection or overwhelming functionality.   Here are some Feedreader Online features for you to enjoy RSS: Radically simplified and streamlined user interface. Easy to sign up and use (no need to read any lengthy manuals). Clean and uncluttered view: no banner ads or promoted content. Safe and anonymous usage: keep all your personally identifiable info to yourself + benefit from https encrypted data transmission. Responsive support service providing timely assistance to everyone. Free of charge for all users. Feedreader Online keeps managing the newsfeeds ultimately simple and ma[...]

Meet the Feedreader’s news observing service!

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 22:56:43 +0300

After a few months of hard work and dedication, we are delighted to announce that the instant news observer from Feedreader is available at


We hope you will love this new service that lets you research and observe website news, stories and media buzz based on your own choice without subscribing to every particular site (once you find a good source you may click ‘Subscribe’ button to add it to your Feedreader Online).


Here are a few examples of news profiles you may start with: Make Use Of, Business Insider, CBS Sports.


It helps you preview any site’s RSS digest + find alternative news/feed sources for a wider range of media opportunities and choices; it also features a few important analytical and safe browsing options to make sure you can keep abreast of reputation, availability, and attitudes of every site/source you might subscribe to.

Feedreader website goes fresh, clean and mobile

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 21:01:16 +0300

Our team has recently renovated the Feedreader website’s UI in order to streamline and adapt it for mobile devices. We hope you will love our new elegant and modern look!

Get ready for the news observer by Feedreader!

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:51:07 +0300

Just imagine a service, which on the one hand lets you preview any site’s RSS feed without even subscribing to it in Feedreader Online, and on the other hand helps you broaden your horizons by suggesting some alternative news sources.
Such a “quick view” service would allow you not only to check the availability or activity of a certain website’s RSS feed (to make sure it’s not broken or outdated) before adding it, but also to find and observe more feeds\news related to similar subjects. Feedreader team is on its way to launching such an instant feed observer in early 2017, so stay tuned!

We are glad to present Deets Feedreader!

Fri, 22 Jan 2016 12:47:23 +0300

Feedreader has proudly expanded its platform with a new service - Deets Feedreader!


We take the challenges of user safety very seriously and that’s why we decided to start a free service that would allow you guys to check the websites’ statuses (e.g. 'live' or 'stale', safe or dangerous) before subscribing to their RSS feeds.


Here we go: Deets Feedreader is intended to help you delve into any website’s most important details, such as the most visited pages, safety insights, traffic stats, Whois lookup, preferred language, and more. It allows you to check all 'deets' in one place (and in a single click!) - just enter an URL and discover everything we managed to learn about that site.

Get ready for the brand new FeedReader!

Sat, 07 Mar 2015 16:57:12 +0300

Hello, everybody!
Get ready for the brand new FeedReader!
We worked hard during last year to present you the latest creation of our team.
Now it is almost complete. Check our site later this March for a new amazing web service, featuring industry-best RSS search and analysis.

Feedreader Gets a New Look

Fri, 13 Dec 2013 02:19:05 +0300

Good day, everyone!
We are glad to present you our newly redesigned website that unites the best solutions from Feedreader family: Feedreader Online, Feedreader Lookup and Feedreader Browser. These are the three solutions we're going to concentrate on developing. We hope that you will appreciate our new sleek, smoothed and polished to perfection design.
Feedreader family includes quick, modern and easy-to-use services focused on finding, managing and bringing fresh and important news to your devices.
Feedreader Online is a decent feed reader which follows the traditions of Google Reader. It’s interface is really simple and intuitive indeed and can be easily used by a child.
Feedreader Browser lets you browse all interesting and popular feeds and find channels for subscription. With its help you can find news related to any terms, browse feeds from famous resources and get even more interesting feeds related to your needs right away from your browser.
Feedreader Lookup is a search tool that helps finding proper feeds all over the Internet. It’s fully compatible with Feedreader Browser, which means that you can see the feeds content, subscribe to the channels you find interesting, and keep them aggregated in one feed.

Feedreader Online as a great alternative to Google Reader

Thu, 14 Mar 2013 18:38:00 +0300

Unexpected news has reached us today: Google Reader is closing on July 1. The world's most popular feed reader has caught many of us off guard and puzzled as to what RSS tools to use now.

This is where our Feedreader Online comes to the rescue as one of the best Google Reader alternatives. Combined with the recently launched Feedreader Lookup, it allows you to search, subscribe to and view all of your favorite feeds online. Loads of new features and optimizations we are planning to launch in the near future will make using Feedreader Online even more comfortable, so hopefully, in three and a half months you won't even notice Google Reader has shut down.