An Increase In Fake News? Debate

Is there an increase in fake news?

  • Yes

    Votes: 11 84.6%
  • No

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • Other

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    13

Yithian

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My preferred news sources: radio 4 & bbc.co.uk seem to be following the "Terrible disaster, thousands dead, but only 2 Britons bruised" formula.

It's almost as if they're pre-emptively answering the accusing question: "why are you telling us about these Mickey Mouse countries?"

I don't like it at all.
 

OldTimeRadio

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Yes, but is there anybody on this list who's not more cornerned with the safety of their spouse or sweetheart returning to them along treacherously icy roads than they are about the safety of bauxite miners in Upper Drumghoulla?

And might not those Drumghoullian miners be more concerned about the safety of THEIR spouses or sweethearts in a neighborhood flood than they are about Americans or Brits?

It's called being human and news is compiled and reported by human beings.
 

OldTimeRadio

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Where Does the News Come From?

One episode of the circa 1980 Canadian horror drama radio series NIGHTFALL is entitled "Where Does the News Come From?"

The story fully answers the question - news departments simply.... make....it....up.

Pray for the innocent young thing television news reader who eventually realizes that she's reported the same major airliner crash several times before, with exactly the same film footage and nothing changed in the text other than the date, the location, and the names and nationalities of the dead.

No survivors, of course.

Especially not the news reader.
 

MagusPerde

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I'd say there's a fair amount o' BS been pilin' up since News began.
 

JamesWhitehead

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It used to be the case that journalists were told they needed three independent sources before a story could be run. Newspapers were awash with "unprintable" stuff that might leak out to less fussy organs such as Private Eye. The Eye would regularly run kite-flying exercises in which broad hints were dropped of the kind of powder-kegs they knew were buried under certain public figures, without naming names.

I don't suppose there was ever a golden age but I have read a lot of pieces in which journalists have lamented the gradual lowering of the barriers. It started before the Web arrived; competition drove down the old rules so that it was just a calculated risk of who could sue and for how much. As most lives were laid open to scrutiny, the highest in the land made sure they were as remote as possible - the higher you are up the chain, the greater the number of little fish you can feed to your own potential preditors.

Now we have the Blogosphere in which any number of amateurs can make monkeys out of the professionals. This is happening daily on the Guardian website, where they have opened up the Comment columnists to ripostes by readers. Anyone who read the recent blistering comments on a Polly Toynbee piece in which she had defended politicians will get a wholly different view of what Guardian Readers are like! I note that her most recent piece seems to have been removed from this pillory-situation.

The Blogosphere does however resemble a tank of piranhas, with enough teeth to devastate anything thrown into the pool. It does not solve the question of what gets thrown into the pool or why.

For all our delusions of openness, we will be kept too busy with what we're thrown to drag ourselves out of the slime. :(


Last night I watched the old conspiracy thriller Defence of the Realm. It dates from 1985 and its picture of old Fleet Street was already nostalgic - at one point our hero joins in a traditional celebration in which the metal type-setters bang an employee out with a percussive ritual! Seems like another world. Yet the story stands up very well. A journalist is fed stories which result in the disgrace of a politician. It turns out that his investigative journalism has served to distract attention from a more disturbing agenda. Well I guess there's been nothing new since Macchiavelli. :(
 

Analogue Boy

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As I come from Newcastle, I remember the local paper, the Evening Chronicle would always try and make news local.
You'd see the headline 'Sumatra Earthquake - Tyneside Man Involved'.

Honestly, we get everywhere.
 

MagusPerde

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The local paper where I come from is awful! You can pretty much bet that whatever you read in it has maybe a small grain of truth somewhere but that's it. They don't check up on any sources; people get interviewed making these outrageous claims, like they're a registered nurse or they play football for some college--and those who know them can tell you they are not in any way based on reality. You can literally be Joe Nobody walking up at the moment and say "yes I'm a lawyer and I saw the whole thing" and they'll take your word for it.
 

ted_bloody_maul

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MagusPerde said:
The local paper where I come from is awful! You can pretty much bet that whatever you read in it has maybe a small grain of truth somewhere but that's it. They don't check up on any sources; people get interviewed making these outrageous claims, like they're a registered nurse or they play football for some college--and those who know them can tell you they are not in any way based on reality. You can literally be Joe Nobody walking up at the moment and say "yes I'm a lawyer and I saw the whole thing" and they'll take your word for it.
i expect that's not too different from national press it's just more likely that with a localised news story you'll have more backround knowledge.
 

ted_bloody_maul

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jimv1 said:
As I come from Newcastle, I remember the local paper, the Evening Chronicle would always try and make news local.
You'd see the headline 'Sumatra Earthquake - Tyneside Man Involved'.

Honestly, we get everywhere.
that's a bit like the reputation that the aberdeen press & journal had. although untrue the myth still persists that the paper ran a story with the headline 'Local Man Drowns At Sea'. the story was of the sinking of the titanic.
 
A

Anonymous

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Just spotted this in the ForteanTimes breaking news section;

American TV stations in 'fake news' inquiry

11:20am Monday May 29, 2006
By Andrew Buncombe


WASHINGTON - Federal authorities are investigating dozens of American television stations for broadcasting items produced by the Bush administration and major corporations, and passing them off as normal news.

Some of the fake news segments talked up success in the war in Iraq, or promoted the companies' products.

Investigators from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are seeking information about stations across the country after a report produced by a campaign group detailed the extraordinary extent of the use of such items.

The report, by the non-profit group Centre for Media and Democracy, found that over a 10-month period at least 77 television stations were making use of the faux news broadcasts, known as Video News Releases (VNRs).

Not one told viewers who had produced the items.

NZ Herald article
 

GNC

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Isn't that just what Fox News does every day?
 

Yithian

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Who was more accurate in predicting the way the Internet would play out with regard to 'fake news'.

Terry Pratchett or Bill Gates? [Interview from 1996]

D7qg9Q_W4AAYq2Z.jpeg
 

James_H

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Remarkably prescient thread title!

Here's an interesting long piece about College Daily, apparently the major news source for Mainland Chinese students abroad and no stranger to making up stories.

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/c...re-chinese-students-in-america-get-their-news

“Politics in China is largely behind the scenes,” Fang said. “When there is low transparency, people tend to believe in conspiracy theories and fake news.”

In a recent post, Fang wrote, “The weirder the conspiracy theory, the more widely it circulates. Many WeChat public accounts are becoming mills for conspiracy theories. It is not necessarily that they hate American politicians so much; it’s just that such articles are likely to reach the threshold of a hundred thousand clicks.”

Lin, for his part, has been open about his contempt for traditional journalism. He once wrote on his WeChat account that “the worst mistake I ever made was to pin hopes on people who hold onto journalism ideals.” In 2016, he said in an interview, “This gang of people only have their ideals, and produce no news.” He said, “Journalism majors tend to spend lots of time on one piece, but in the age of new media, we want reporting and editing to work seamlessly and emphasize our appeal to our readers—we can’t just wait for news to happen to do stories.”
 

Cochise

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The more important question is - "Is there ever such a thing as entirely true news?" Deception by omission not permitted.

Is there really such a thing as a 'Fact' that is absolute?

You may wriggle and wruggle but the answer to both is 'No' and - furthermore - you all know it :)
 

ramonmercado

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Frideswide

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Agreeing that specific instances, if they are political, have no place on this thread or elsewhere on these forums.

Frideswide
 

Analogue Boy

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Don’t get me started. You have now idea how much I’m bottling it all in at the moment.
Other than saying you never get the full picture from the media, I’ll give this thread a swerve now.
 

EnolaGaia

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Post 45 above.
To my eye that's a descriptive piece about a particular source of fake news and its broader implications. It's more about cross-cultural differences in the context for fake news rather than the politics per se.
 

ramonmercado

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To my eye that's a descriptive piece about a particular source of fake news and its broader implications. It's more about cross-cultural differences in the context for fake news rather than the politics per se.
I see similarities.

A headline posted during the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign read “Using a Double? Changing Leaders? Might Not Have Long to Live? Hillary’s Campaign May End Early.” More recently, a headline proclaimed, “Trump Dodged a Bullet! ‘Russian Collusion’ Investigation Over, and He’s Safe. . . .” Others have ranged from “Farewell, isis! The Last isis Group Will Be Exterminated, and They Beg the World to Forgive” to “Hollywood Sexy Asian Goddess, First Love Was Daniel Wu, Bewitched Hot Men All Over the World” (about the actress Maggie Q). When College Daily, after weeks of silence, finally weighed in on the protests in Hong Kong, in August, it toed the government line, uncritically publishing a headline that used the phrase “I Support the Hong Kong Police”—a saying that has been popularized by the People’s Daily, an official organ of the Chinese Communist Party.
 

Frideswide

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We can stick with the er... er... gentleperson's agreements about following the rules. Or we can remove more topics for discussion. :(

This hasn't been the sort of place that goes in for the nitpickery creating more problems. I suggest that we really don't need to go down that route.

Please keep this thread on track - discussion of rules can go in General Queries or in PM to any Mod. Am happy to talk about it in Pm with anyone. Although... that does mean I'm happy to talk about the rules, and not about whatever the forbidden area is. And yes, I'm a very political animal; if I can work within the rules then anyone can.

Frides
 

ramonmercado

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We can stick with the er... er... gentleperson's agreements about following the rules. Or we can remove more topics for discussion. :(

This hasn't been the sort of place that goes in for the nitpickery creating more problems. I suggest that we really don't need to go down that route.

Please keep this thread on track - discussion of rules can go in General Queries or in PM to any Mod. Am happy to talk about it in Pm with anyone. Although... that does mean I'm happy to talk about the rules, and not about whatever the forbidden area is. And yes, I'm a very political animal; if I can work within the rules then anyone can.

Frides
I merely responded to a nonmodish post by Enola in which he asked questions, which was in response to a post of mine in which I accepted the points you both made.

I don't wish to nitpick.
 

gordonrutter

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I merely responded to a nonmodish post by Enola in which he asked questions, which was in response to a post of mine in which I accepted the points you both made.

I don't wish to nitpick.
Ok so everyone agrees, so we can move on. Excellent.
 

AlchoPwn

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I found the Wikipedia entry very enlightening: Fake News. It is especially good to see an article with 383 footnotes.

As to the growth in Fake News, well, apart from the political polarization of news reportage with zero consequences for spreading falsehood, there is also the issue that sensationalism sells. Add to this the increasing global adoption of the Russian Model of disinformation, which has been so effective at silencing opposition to Putin, and the steep increase in social media's reach into people's lives, and I think we can account for the level of garbage news we are receiving.

Incidentally, the poll for this forum topic seems broken.
 
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