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Articles on Deception

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A military vehicle destroyed on Feb. 18, 2022, by an explosion in Donetsk, a city in eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian separatists. Nikolai Trishin\TASS via Getty Images

What are false flag attacks – and did Russia stage any to claim justification for invading Ukraine?

Attacking your own side and blaming your foe has a long history and a firm grip on the popular imagination. But the internet makes it difficult to pull off – and less desirable.
The Russian and Ukrainian governments both blamed forces aligned with the other for mortar fire in eastern Ukraine and for using the accusations as justification for increased aggression. AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

What are false flag attacks – and could Russia make one work in the information age?

Attacking your own side and blaming your foe has a long history and a firm grip on the popular imagination. But the internet makes it difficult to pull off – and less desirable.
Critics of President Joe Biden have accused him of lying. Most American presidents have been accused of deception. Win McNamee/Getty Images

All American presidents have lied – the question is why and when

A political philosopher argues that while all American presidents may lie, those who appear to lie for the public good are often celebrated.
It’s not you; many e-commerce websites are difficult to use by design. fizkes/iStock via Getty Images

What are dark patterns? An online media expert explains

Deceptively labeled buttons, choices that are hard to undo, web designs that hide options – these dark patterns are how some websites trick people into giving up their money and information.
The FTC put companies that sell AI systems on notice: Cross the line with biased products and the law is coming for you. Maciej Frolow/Stone via Getty Images

FTC warns the AI industry: Don’t discriminate, or else

The Federal Trade Commission is rattling its saber at the technology industry over growing public concern about biased AI algorithms. Can the agency back up its threats?
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with reporters after participating in a video teleconference call with members of the military on Nov. 26, 2020, at the White House in Washington. He reiterated his baseless claims during the news conference that the Nov. 3 election was ‘rigged.’ (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Trump’s lies about the election show how disinformation erodes democracy

If citizens disbelieve the institutions that count ballots and the organizations that accurately report on those results, it will be impossible to agree on what a legitimate election looks like.
Even common knowledge isn’t immune. ledokolua/Shutterstock.com

Writing’s power to deceive

Reading something that sows doubt about a widely agreed-upon fact – even the election of George Washington as president – can have a profound effect.
One day we could have an intelligent robot cook up surprise meals at home. Besjunior/Shutterstock

We need robots that can improvise, but it’s not easy to teach them right from wrong

Robots have already learned to cheat when playing games. How do we teach them morals if we want them more involved in our everyday lives?
It’s actually a big developmental milestone. BlurryMe/Shutterstock.com

Watching children learn how to lie

Psychologists observed young children in real time figuring out how not to tell the truth.

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