Is Fake News & Viral Social Media Subverting Democracy In The UK?

Quake42

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The hysteria over social media “fake news” etc is a fairly transparent attempt by the legacy media and political class to strangle Gutenberg 2.0.

We can’t have the plebs reading and sharing opinions and stories which may or may not be true. That’s our job! Information must be filtered through the media high priests. If anyone with a phone can do it then what’s the point of our job?

The thing is that the legacy media could have secured their future by focusing on quality journalism. Actual news, facts without bias. Properly researched pieces. But instead they’ve upped their own Fake News quotient and spent the rest of their budget on opinion and lifestyle pieces. And they wonder why people are tuning out. Obviously not because the MSM itself is increasingly risible, but because of Twitter / Facebook / bots / Russians etc etc. Pathetic.

As for the targeted political ads on social media... they’re simply targeting a demographic they think will be attracted to their product. No different to ads for beer and casual clothing brands during football or equity release and over 50s life cover during Midsomer Murders. Advertisers have been targeting based on demographics for ever, but when it’s done online it is suddenly present as some sort of dark art.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Breaking story on the 06:30 news; Labour NEC member and hard-left Momentum-backed candidate Peter Willsman blames "Jewish Trump supporters" for using social media to falsify anti-semitism claims:

https://news.sky.com/story/corbyn-a...fanatics-behind-anti-semitism-claims-11454843

Despite being told to stfu, he just kept on digging and has prompted Labour deputy leader Tom Watson to brand him a loud-mouth and a bully who disgusts him.
So, not so much subverting democracy, but social media being used here to excuse or detract from anti-semitism.
I suspect the odious Mr. Willsman has just committed professional suicide.
 

Quake42

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Breaking story on the 06:30 news; Labour NEC member and hard-left Momentum-backed candidate Peter Willsman blames "Jewish Trump supporters" for using social media to falsify anti-semitism claims:

https://news.sky.com/story/corbyn-a...fanatics-behind-anti-semitism-claims-11454843

Despite being told to stfu, he just kept on digging and has prompted Labour deputy leader Tom Watson to brand him a loud-mouth and a bully who disgusts him.
So, not so much subverting democracy, but social media being used here to excuse or detract from anti-semitism.
I suspect the odious Mr. Willsman has just committed professional suicide.
In fairness this wasn’t social media so much - Mr Willsman was speaking at a meeting. I do agree that there is a troubling amount of amtisemitism on social media but that wasn’t the story here.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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In fairness this wasn’t social media so much - Mr Willsman was speaking at a meeting. I do agree that there is a troubling amount of amtisemitism on social media but that wasn’t the story here.
Noted, but Willsman was blaming what he claimed was fake news posted on social media by Trump-supporting Jews for the anti-semitism accusations, so it was still kinda on topic.
 

GNC

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The hysteria over social media “fake news” etc is a fairly transparent attempt by the legacy media and political class to strangle Gutenberg 2.0.

We can’t have the plebs reading and sharing opinions and stories which may or may not be true. That’s our job! Information must be filtered through the media high priests. If anyone with a phone can do it then what’s the point of our job?

The thing is that the legacy media could have secured their future by focusing on quality journalism. Actual news, facts without bias. Properly researched pieces. But instead they’ve upped their own Fake News quotient and spent the rest of their budget on opinion and lifestyle pieces. And they wonder why people are tuning out. Obviously not because the MSM itself is increasingly risible, but because of Twitter / Facebook / bots / Russians etc etc. Pathetic.

As for the targeted political ads on social media... they’re simply targeting a demographic they think will be attracted to their product. No different to ads for beer and casual clothing brands during football or equity release and over 50s life cover during Midsomer Murders. Advertisers have been targeting based on demographics for ever, but when it’s done online it is suddenly present as some sort of dark art.
I'm not saying it's anything like as bad as this on the FTMB, though evidently some disagree, but if it is the case that dissenting opinions of what you term the "plebs" have become the norm on the internet, that means trillions of examples of insults raging online, so much so that it's hardly worth the energy it takes to argue reasonably, since nobody wants to hear. So reactionary anger and aggression prevail.

Say you think a politician claiming populist support is doing far more harm than good? You get shouted down. Say you believe political correctness isn't all bad? You get shouted down. Say you like stuff on the BBC? You get shouted down. Say you liked the last Star Wars movie? You get shouted down. It's all the same mechanism, and if it's being fed by malicious untruths designed to benefit a small minority of the wealthy and conservative then it's really not the same as advertising targeting washing powder buyers. The monetising of our tastes and opinions means everything's up for sale, and if that's manipulated by lies I can't see how that's a good thing.

Good luck working out where the truth lies now, of course.
 

Quake42

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I'm not saying it's anything like as bad as this on the FTMB, though evidently some disagree, but if it is the case that dissenting opinions of what you term the "plebs" have become the norm on the internet, that means trillions of examples of insults raging online, so much so that it's hardly worth the energy it takes to argue reasonably, since nobody wants to hear. So reactionary anger and aggression prevail.

.
You do realise my use of the term “plebs” was to highlight how the political and media class view the wider public? It wasn’t my opinion.

The point isn’t whether there is anger and aggression online. It’s whether what might be termed the “establishment” is using the existence of it, and more pertinently the sharing of current affairs stories - some of which might be dubious - to crack down on freedom of expression. And I don’t think there’s much doubt that this is happening, and that the legacy media are complicit because they fear what the internet has done and will do to their product.
 

stu neville

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OK. I've closed the thread - temporarily - and am going to do some pruning. There is some overtly political stuff in here outside of the Conspiracy parameters, and I lack both the time and inclination to start discussing what's ok and not right now.

Will reopen when done and post some observations. What I will say is that any member attempting to issue ultimata about what should be deleted or else they'll do what is not, and will not, be tolerated. Report stuff by all means, but don't say "And if you don't..". I don't bluff, and you know that.
 

stu neville

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Pruning done. The sense and purpose of the thread is maintained. No-one is warned, but it does go to prove just how divisive and insidious politics becomes when discussed on this forum.
I think I see where Zuckerberg is coming from, especially after Facebook have come under so much fire recently. He may disagree with some unpleasant views, but the last thing we want is Facebook is sitting in moral judgement over its members.

And as Cochise and Myth have said, banning something seems to make it seem edgy and cool, and instantly more desirable. As long as someone's not breaking the law, let them say offensive things, but also let others challenge those views, and have them wither away under the force of the argument.
There's a strong parallel here to when Nick Griffin appeared on Question Time. There were wails and gnashing of teeth about offering him a platform on BBC1. In the event, he showed himself up for exactly what he was, a blustering bigot with hardly any reasoned or justifiable views. Denying them a platform martyrs them to an extent. Whatever Zuckerberg does, he'll be seen as wrong by a sizeable proportion of the audience.

The subject of this thread is interesting.

We've managed to avoid reductio as Islam for an unfeasibly large number of posts, so it would be a shame if it got shut down for resuscitating the Brexit leviathan instead.

(Edit: Yes, I know it's relevant - but it's still very probably going to get the thread shot. Because we all know exactly where it's going to go.)
No, it won't. It is a good subject for a thread, and provided it stays on that subject it will remain un-shot.

Another thread turned into a pro-Brexit sermon again and we wonder why people are leaving this place and we even get slagged off on another forum.

We are consistently asked not to make this place political but the same offenders post their usual right wing bollocks every opportunity they get.

Tiresome shite on an increasingly tiresome rightwing site.
All the Brexit stuff's gone. Please report the rightwing stuff if you see it. This place should be apolitical, and I want t to stay that way.

Thread reopened. I'm watching it.
 

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Pruning done. The sense and purpose of the thread is maintained. No-one is warned, but it does go to prove just how divisive and insidious politics becomes when discussed on this forum.

There's a strong parallel here to when Nick Griffin appeared on Question Time. There were wails and gnashing of teeth about offering him a platform on BBC1. In the event, he showed himself up for exactly what he was, a blustering bigot with hardly any reasoned or justifiable views. Denying them a platform martyrs them to an extent. Whatever Zuckerberg does, he'll be seen as wrong by a sizeable proportion of the audience.


No, it won't. It is a good subject for a thread, and provided it stays on that subject it will remain un-shot.


All the Brexit stuff's gone. Please report the rightwing stuff if you see it. This place should be apolitical, and I want t to stay that way.

Thread reopened. I'm watching it.
Stu

You have deleted responses which clarify what Willsman was actually referring to.

Also re Islamophobia in the Tory Party.

If it's ok to raise alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour Party why isn't it ok to respond to that showing that Willsman wasn't in fact spreading fake news?
 

stu neville

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Because of the social media aspect, as Blessmycottonsocks justified it. That's the only reason.
 

ramonmercado

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Because of the social media aspect, as Blessmycottonsocks justified it. That's the only reason.
There is no social media aspect to it. It refers to a news report about what was said at a meeting.

Whereas my post did refer to social media responses to Jonathan Arkrush congratulating Trump on his election. It gives credence to what Willsman said.

British Jews have responded angrily after Jonathan Arkush, the president of the Board of Deputies, publicly congratulated Donald Trump on his election win.

Mr Arkush’s statement sparked a wave of negative responses on social media. Aaron Simons was one of the first to respond to the announcement, and his reaction set the tone for much that followed:

On the basis of this I would say my post was valid. If anything should be removed then it is BMCS's original post which was not related either to fake news on social media or responses to it.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Stu

You have deleted responses which clarify what Willsman was actually referring to.

Also re Islamophobia in the Tory Party.

If it's ok to raise alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour Party why isn't it ok to respond to that showing that Willsman wasn't in fact spreading fake news?
Come on Ramon. Accept the rules here and try not to sabotage any more threads.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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At the risk of repeating myself, Willsman claimed anti-semitism was largely fake news spread by Trump-supporting Jews. The fact that Corbyn's anti-Israel conference pre-dated Trump as POTUs was cited as evidence to refute Willsman's claim.
 

ramonmercado

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Come on Ramon. Accept the rules here and try not to sabotage any more threads.
I am accepting the rules.

I'm pointing out that imho if anyone broke them then you did.

You are the one who keeps getting threads closed by dragging politics into them.
 

ramonmercado

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At the risk of repeating myself, Willsman claimed anti-semitism was largely fake news spread by Trump-supporting Jews. The fact that Corbyn's anti-Israel conference pre-dated Trump as POTUs was cited as evidence to refute Willsman's claim.
You are referring to a deleted post which was in response to a post you made about that very conference. Nothing to do with Willsman or fake news on MSM or SM.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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I am accepting the rules.

I'm pointing out that imho if anyone broke them then you did.

You are the one who keeps getting threads closed by dragging politics into them.
The difference is that the Willsman fake news claim is a major current news story which is on-topic in this thread. Your defective whataboutery about so-called "islamophobia" was not.
 

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The difference is that the Willsman fake news claim is a major current news story which is on-topic in this thread. Your defective whataboutery about so-called "islamophobia" was not.
But you raised the conference which took place ten years ago.

If fake news denying anti-Semitism is relevant to this thread then fake news denying Islamophobia is also relevant

But I am just asking Stu to reconsider the deletion of one post and I have supplied evidence which I believe is relevant to that request.

It's best to wait until Stu decides on that one request, this ping-pong will get us nowhere and only annoy other members.
 

stu neville

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But I am just asking Stu to reconsider the deletion of one post and I have supplied evidence which I believe is relevant to that request.
Reconsidered, am sticking with my original decision. Now please play on, on-topic.
 

ramonmercado

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Although it's in the US rather than the UK here's an example of what fake news about fake news can result in.

CNN’s Jim Acosta was met with a familiar scene on Tuesday at President Donald Trump’s rally in Tampa, Florida: shouting crowds and middle fingers.

Acosta, the outlet’s senior White House correspondent, shared a video of his encounter with the president’s supporters late Tuesday, including footage of rally-goers wearing shirts reading “Fuck the Media” and others screaming “stop lying.”

“Just a sample of the sad scene we faced at the Trump rally in Tampa,” Acosta wrote. “I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt.”

He continued: “We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy.”

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entr...cid=newsltushpmgnews__TheMorningEmail__080118

https://twitter.com/Acosta/status/1024467940257738752
 

Cochise

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But what is 'fake news' ? All news reporting has some kind of spin on it, if only in the language used - imagine the Times, the Guardian and the Sun all reporting the same slightly salacious scandal. I think the fake news argument is a fake argument, and politically motivated, so I don't see how individual examples can be discussed without bringing politics in to it.

Really, posting alleged fake news is in itself provocative - who is the fake? I don't know, and neither does anyone not actually there. I'm no more prepared to take Huffington Post as a source of record than I am any other media. It has its own agenda. They all do.
 

ramonmercado

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But what is 'fake news' ? All news reporting has some kind of spin on it, if only in the language used - imagine the Times, the Guardian and the Sun all reporting the same slightly salacious scandal. I think the fake news argument is a fake argument, and politically motivated, so I don't see how individual examples can be discussed without bringing politics in to it.

Really, posting alleged fake news is in itself provocative - who is the fake? I don't know, and neither does anyone not actually there. I'm no more prepared to take Huffington Post as a source of record than I am any other media. It has its own agenda. They all do.
I'm just worried about reporters being attacked at such events. Especially Acosta who I don't thinks has a history of spreading fake news.

What the Huffington Post reports here actually happened, Acosta was threatened, it's covered in other media.
 

Cochise

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Ramon, I'm not arguing, you are posting things we are not allowed to refute despite the conversation already being truncated. What actually happened you don't KNOW, you have just decided that some sources are trustworthy and some not.

That's your opinion, you are quite entitled to it, but it is essentially a political opinion which really cannot be debated without endless quote and counter quote, which a) is not allowed and b) would be exceedingly tiresome.
 

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Ramon, I'm not arguing, you are posting things we are not allowed to refute despite the conversation already being truncated. What actually happened you don't KNOW, you have just decided that some sources are trustworthy and some not.

That's your opinion, you are quite entitled to it, but it is essentially a political opinion which really cannot be debated without endless quote and counter quote, which a) is not allowed and b) would be exceedingly tiresome.
No I haven't.

The thread is about fake news.

My post is about a journalist being threatened with violence because he is accused of reporting fake news. I fail to see how this is off topic or a political opinion.

I haven't said that Huffington Post is particularly trustworthy (in any case Acosta actually works for CNN}. But the fact that he was threatened has been covered by numerous outlets.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...mp-rally-go-home-south-carolina-a8417351.html

http://thehill.com/homenews/media/394042-crowd-at-trump-rally-chants-go-home-jim-at-cnns-acosta

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/8/1/17639110/trump-tampa-rally-cnn-jim-acosta

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jul/31/jim-acosta-drenched-in-heckles-at-trumps-tampa-ral/

https://www.express.co.uk/news/worl...Bay-White-House-Jim-Acosta-Anthony-Scaramucci

I'm not aware of any reports which say that the above event did not occur. But do publish such accounts if you find them.

How can you discuss fake news without giving examples of such or the consequences of such allegations?

Of course peoples opinions of what constitutes fake news will differ.
 

Cochise

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But we have already had specific counters removed.

Why shouldn't you heckle a purveyor of fake news? The problem you have - I know you are a passionate advocate of your views - is that you can't see that it is a perfectly valid position to believe the mainstream media are purveyors of 'fake news' - I really prefer the term 'propaganda' - as much as if not more that the internet. At least the Internet does not selectively fail to report things - it is all there somewhere in the labyrinth. I refuse to go into specific examples for reasons already given - I will produce an example of media fake news , you will produce a counter example, and so on ad infinitum. Which is why I tried to opt out of this discussion a couple of pages ago.
 

ramonmercado

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But we have already had specific counters removed.

Why shouldn't you heckle a purveyor of fake news? The problem you have - I know you are a passionate advocate of your views - is that you can't see that it is a perfectly valid position to believe the mainstream media are purveyors of 'fake news' - I really prefer the term 'propaganda' - as much as if not more that the internet. At least the Internet does not selectively fail to report things - it is all there somewhere in the labyrinth. I refuse to go into specific examples for reasons already given - I will produce an example of media fake news , you will produce a counter example, and so on ad infinitum. Which is why I tried to opt out of this discussion a couple of pages ago.
If you produce reports which suggest that the journalist was not abused then I doubt if they would be removed. I think it is unlikely though seeing as there is video evidence of the event occurring.

The point is that he is only accused of writing fake news. Should a journalist face such attacks? Not that he shouldn't be challenged, but should he be treated in such a manner when he is doing his job covering a rally?

I'm not advocating my views here. I do actually believe that some of the news purveyed by the MSM is fake.

I'm merely reporting on the fact that a journalist has been threatened.

Of course views of what is fake news will differ, otherwise there would be no discussion here.

Edit: if you really want to opt out of a discussion then don't include accusations of political bias in your final post, that's bound to get a response.
 
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I’m of the opinion that ALL news, if not fake is certainly skewed in one way or another.
I read The Guardian, Mail, Express,Telegraph, Spectator, Independent, Huff, Guido and occasionally Socialist Worker but I don’t get my news from social media. Or do I? The above range from indoctrination opinion pieces, through rabid salivating, to classic examples of studied argument bolstering one’s position and perception of society - wonky as that may be.

This morning, I was watching Sky news as a female psychologist/media commentator gushed over Love Island. The cognitive disonnance of women on TV who may have previously celebrated the end of Miss World’s swimsuit round and the demise of pit girls in F1, celebrating a show where bikini-clad girls are being goaded into TV format sex on the show is quite remarkable.
So what has this to do with social media?

Well, let’s look at Brexit. It cannot be said that social media affected the Leave vote if it’s claimed it was only the old people, who don’t swallow hours of social media every day, voted Leave. I suspect it was 40 years of experience and NOTHING was going to change their vote. Conversely, ice bucket challenges, planking and all sorts of fads come and go but young, avid users of facebook and Twitter are not receiving any viewpoints other than those that reinforce their existing opinion. Unversity no-platforms and their safe spaces, painting over Kipling(and making a big social media thing out of it) seem to bear this out. Social media creates a bubble and if that’s popular, it will be manipulated. But I suspect the real intent is monetisation rather than political influence.Trump may be President but the Product is King.

TV news shows footage from phone clips taken by members of the public. It irritates me that it’s often in the wrong aspect ratio but also there’s no context of what’s going on behind the scenes. A selective view is promoted as the definitive version of the event. And this from the nation’s prime broadcaster.
Reporters on the breakfast news giggle away on the sofa in between items so there’s no gravitas to any development until there’s death and then it turns into a body count. Investigative journalism is in severe decline as opinion pieces take their place. It’s a pity the opinions are so ill-thought out and often contradictory.
 
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ramonmercado

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I’m of the opinion that ALL news, if not fake is certainly skewed in one way or another.
I read The Guardian, Mail, Express,Telegraph, Spectator, Independent, Huff, Guido and occasionally Socialist Worker but I don’t get my news from social media. Or do I? The above range from indoctrination opinion pieces, through rabid salivating, to classic examples of studied argument bolstering one’s position and perception of society - wonky as that may be.

This morning, I was watching Sky news as a female psychologist/media commentator gushed over Love Island. The cognitive disonnance of women on TV who may have previously celebrated the end of Miss World’s swimsuit round and the demise of pit girls in F1, celebrating a show where bikini-clad girls are being goaded into TV format sex on the show is quite remarkable.
So what has this to do with social media?

Well, let’s look at Brexit. It cannot be said that social media affected the Leave vote if it’s claimed it was only the old people, who don’t swallow hours of social media every day, voted Leave. I suspect it was 40 years of experience and NOTHING was going to change their vote. Conversely, ice bucket challenges, planking and all sorts of fads come and go but young, avid users of facebook and Twitter are not receiving any viewpoints other than those that reinforce their existing opinion. Unversity no-platforms and their safe spaces, painting over Kipling(and making a big social media thing out of it) seem to bear this out. Social media creates a bubble and if that’s popular, it will be manipulated. But I suspect the real intent is monetisation rather than political influence.Trump may be President but the Product is King.

TV news shows footage from phone clips taken by members of the public. It irritates me that it’s often in the wrong aspect ratio but also there’s no context of what’s going on behind the scenes. A selective view is promoted as the definitive version of the event. And this from the nation’s prime broadcaster.
Reporters on the breakfast news giggle away on the sofa in between items so there’s no gravitas to any development until there’s death and then it turns into a body count. Investigative journalism is in severe decline as opinion pieces take their place. It’s a pity the opinions are so ill-thought out and often contradictory.
I mightn't agree with all of that but it's a damn good old style rant!
 

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I tend to think if you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything, but I don't like Tweets presented as news items either. Fortunately in the paper I read they don't use them much, and on the news I hear they don't rely on them. But you have to believe something in the news, rather than rumour or plain invention on social media, or you risk lapsing into your own paranoid solipsism where nothing matters except what you think, and damn the feelings or lives of everyone else.
 

Cochise

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I tend to think if you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything, but I don't like Tweets presented as news items either. Fortunately in the paper I read they don't use them much, and on the news I hear they don't rely on them. But you have to believe something in the news, rather than rumour or plain invention on social media, or you risk lapsing into your own paranoid solipsism where nothing matters except what you think, and damn the feelings or lives of everyone else.
What is wrong with synthesising? By which I mean, check across multiple sources allowing for a bias. If something is given 400 lines on Huffpost and 40 lines on Breitbart it probably has at least some connection to reality.

I stand by my claim that no source is free of propaganda.
 
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