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

ramonmercado

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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.
Breitbart also reports on Acosta being heckled!
 

Cochise

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Breitbart also reports on Acosta being heckled!
But is it wrong that he should be heckled? Why should a journalist be immune? They sure like heckling other people. But threats of violence are wrong wherever they come from - and the anti-Trump lobby has not been hesitant in threatening direct confrontation with Trump supporters.

See we are drifting into politics again , and how can you not?
 

ramonmercado

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But is it wrong that he should be heckled? Why should a journalist be immune? They sure like heckling other people. But threats of violence are wrong wherever they come from - and the anti-Trump lobby has not been hesitant in threatening direct confrontation with Trump supporters.

See we are drifting into politics again , and how can you not?
Well put!

Breitbart reported virtually the same facts of the event but were approving of the heckling!
 

blessmycottonsocks

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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.
Some good points there, but the referendum didn't just split the electorate along age lines. It was very much a class thing too, with lower-educated working class voters tending to support Brexit, whilst better educated middle-class people tended to support Remain. I suspect social media did have some effect on influencing Brexit voters and would not be surprised if some "Putinbots" were involved to some degree.

BTW. Just about to board a plane to Prague. Will let you all know if I spot any Golems.
 

Mythopoeika

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It was very much a class thing too, with lower-educated working class voters tending to support Brexit, whilst better educated middle-class people tended to support Remain.
Careful now. Most of the people I know who voted to leave have a degree-level education and/or a high IQ.
Maybe that's not typical, I don't know.
 

Analogue Boy

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Some good points there, but the referendum didn't just split the electorate along age lines. It was very much a class thing too, with lower-educated working class voters tending to support Brexit, whilst better educated middle-class people tended to support Remain.
Hmmmmmmm. I don’t believe that generalisation for one moment.
 

Quake42

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As a remainer I also reject that stereotype. I might think they made the wrong decision but it's not because they're stupid.
More graduates voted Remain than Leave but that is largely a factor of the expansion in higher education over the last 25 years. Younger people were more likely to support Remain than Leave hence the larger number of graduates in the former category. Not IQ related in any way.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Hmmmmmmm. I don’t believe that generalisation for one moment.
It's not a generalisation. It was a summary of the referendum voting demographic trend.
There are, as always, examples that buck the trend (as per Myth's post above), but the detailed analysis in the link I posted above shows that the referendum did tend to split the electorate along class, education, employment status, age, ethnicity and to a degree North v South and East v West too, with the North East being staunchly leave and London staunchly remain.
Just as a balance to Myth's anecdote, a couple of mates of mine are brothers. The elder one is a graduate and works as a banker and voted Remain. The younger brother didn't go onto higher education, is a carpet fitter and a staunch Brexiteer.
 

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Just as a balance to Myth's anecdote, a couple of mates of mine are brothers. The elder one is a graduate and works as a banker and voted Remain. The younger brother didn't go onto higher education, is a carpet fitter and a staunch Brexiteer.
In this case, might it be their separate experiences rather than education that forced their decisions? Or are you saying one brother has less wit and native intelligence than the other?
 

blessmycottonsocks

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In this case, might it be their separate experiences rather than education that forced their decisions? Or are you saying one brother has less wit and native intelligence than the other?
No. Just saying they voted exactly in accordance with the wider demographic analysis of the referendum vote statistics.
I'm certainly not claiming that a working class guy living in the North East has any less wit than say a middle-class Londoner either. Just that the former was far more likely to be a Brexiter than the latter.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Interestingly article in today's Guardian about "Denialism". It explores the reasons why some folk are so eager to believe fake news (or "junk science") in order to bolster their own prejudices. It cites examples of Holocaust and climate change deniers, who will scan the Internet to find any examples of people holding similar views. The more they find, the more the deniers become reinforced in their own bigotry.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/aug/03/denialism-what-drives-people-to-reject-the-truth
 

Cochise

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No. Just saying they voted exactly in accordance with the wider demographic analysis of the referendum vote statistics.
I'm certainly not claiming that a working class guy living in the North East has any less wit than say a middle-class Londoner either. Just that the former was far more likely to be a Brexiter than the latter.
Just on the statistics - the trouble with statistics of that nature is that they only categorise a tiny amount of the variables. I would suggest that those who don't go to university tend to work in areas (both physical and economic) where the disadvantages of the EU are more immediately pressing.
 

ramonmercado

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Statistics on fake news spread by someone who talks a lot about fake news.

On Thursday, the Washington Post published a remarkable story on its front page revealing a recent spike in the number of “false and misleading claims” made by President Trump.

In his first year as President, Trump made 2,140 false claims, according to the Post. In just the last six months, he has nearly doubled that total to 4,229. In June and July, he averaged sixteen false claims a day. On July 5th, the Post found what appears to be Trump’s most untruthful day yet: seventy-six per cent of the ninety-eight factual assertions he made in a campaign-style rally in Great Falls, Montana, were “false, misleading or unsupported by evidence.”

Trump’s rallies have become the signature events of his Presidency, and it is there that the President most often plays fast and loose with the facts, in service to his political priorities and to telling his fervent supporters what they want and expect to hear from him. At another rally this week, in Tampa, Trump made thirty-five false and misleading claims, on subjects ranging from trade with China to the size of his tax cut.

These astonishing statistics were compiled by a small team overseen by Glenn Kessler, the editor and chief writer of the Post’s Fact Checker column, who for much of the last decade has been truth-squadding politicians and doling out Pinocchios for their exaggerations, misrepresentations, distortions, and otherwise false claims. ...

https://www.newyorker.com/news/lett...pJobID=1460289947&spReportId=MTQ2MDI4OTk0NwS2
 

Swifty

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Statistics on fake news spread by someone who talks a lot about fake news.

On Thursday, the Washington Post published a remarkable story on its front page revealing a recent spike in the number of “false and misleading claims” made by President Trump.

In his first year as President, Trump made 2,140 false claims, according to the Post. In just the last six months, he has nearly doubled that total to 4,229. In June and July, he averaged sixteen false claims a day. On July 5th, the Post found what appears to be Trump’s most untruthful day yet: seventy-six per cent of the ninety-eight factual assertions he made in a campaign-style rally in Great Falls, Montana, were “false, misleading or unsupported by evidence.”

Trump’s rallies have become the signature events of his Presidency, and it is there that the President most often plays fast and loose with the facts, in service to his political priorities and to telling his fervent supporters what they want and expect to hear from him. At another rally this week, in Tampa, Trump made thirty-five false and misleading claims, on subjects ranging from trade with China to the size of his tax cut.

These astonishing statistics were compiled by a small team overseen by Glenn Kessler, the editor and chief writer of the Post’s Fact Checker column, who for much of the last decade has been truth-squadding politicians and doling out Pinocchios for their exaggerations, misrepresentations, distortions, and otherwise false claims. ...

https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-trumps-washington/trumps-escalating-war-on-the-truth-is-on-purpose?mbid=nl_Daily 080318&CNDID=38161694&utm_source=Silverpop&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily 080318&utm_content=&spMailingID=13998479&spUserID=MTMzMTg0NDQ1ODQ5S0&spJobID=1460289947&spReportId=MTQ2MDI4OTk0NwS2
The Trump doth protest too much .. on a side note, I watched the Will Ferrel comedy film Anchorman 2 for the first time today that does a tidy job of spoofing your average FOX NEWS type reporting style of today .. it was all created by Ron Burgundy just because of a bet over ratings apparently ..
 

blessmycottonsocks

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ramonmercado

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Corbyn given column space in today's Guardian to acknowledge the problem and give his strongest condemnation to date on the anti-semitism permeating Labour:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/03/jeremy-corbyn-antisemitism-labour-party

The party leader's explicit acknowledgement of the problem surely knocks on the head Willsman's ludicrous claims that anti-semitism was fake news spread by Trump-supporting Jews.
But there are fake news claims of anti-semitism. Even the author of the IHRA definition of anti-semitism, Kenneth Stern, has spoken against it. Also willsman's claims weren't pulled out of thin air:

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:

@BoardofDeputies Trump mainstreams antisemites in a way unseen since the Nazis and you congratulate him? Revolting.

— Aaron Simons (@AaronPSimons)November 9, 2016

https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/...re-after-message-congratulating-trump-1.54660

Shaun Lawson exposes the fake news:

I’m Jewish. The grandson of a Holocaust survivor. My grandmother, who died only last year, was the one true hero of my life. Brought up in the village of Papa, Hungary, she, along with her parents and two sisters, was deported to Auschwitz in mid-1944. ...

When one of Britain’s two major political parties is accused of institutionalised anti-Semitism, it is inevitably a huge story. Newspaper editorials condemn the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn; Jewish leaders do likewise. ‘What has happened to Labour?’, they cry. And is, as Margaret Hodge apparently claimed this week, Corbyn a “fucking anti-Semite and a racist”?

No, he’s not. Few figures in British public life have dedicated their whole careers to fighting against all forms of racism in the way Corbyn has. To the best of my knowledge, no other party has set up a full, comprehensive investigation into possible anti-Semitism within its ranks in the way Labour has either. Yet when Baroness Warsi says Islamophobia is “very widespread”within the Conservative Party, the response of both the government and almost all the media is… nothing.

Shaun goes on to show how the IHRA has been misused:

Kenneth S. Stern is Executive Director of the Justus & Karin Rosenberg Foundation, and has spent his whole career combating hatred and anti-Semitism. Few people anywhere are better qualified to comment on this whole issue than he is.

“(The) “working definition” was recently adopted in the United Kingdom and applied to campus. An “Israel Apartheid Week” event was cancelled as violating the definition. A Holocaust survivor was required to change the title of a campus talk, and the university mandated it be recorded, after an Israeli diplomat complained that the title violated the definition. Perhaps most egregious, an off-campus group citing the definition called on a university to conduct an inquiry of a professor (who received her PhD from Columbia) for antisemitism, based on an article she had written years before. The university then conducted the inquiry. And while it ultimately found no basis to discipline the professor, the exercise itself was chilling and McCarthy-like”.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/sh...these-disgraceful-slurs-against-jeremy-corbyn
 
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ramonmercado

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It's veered off again, hasn't it?

It's a nice day, and I'm in a good mood. Back on topic, now, or the thread vanishes. No protests, please.
I was just responding but in the calm light of a second look I can see that my word count is excessive. I'll trim it back.
 

Cavynaut

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It's veered off again, hasn't it?

It's a nice day, and I'm in a good mood. Back on topic, now, or the thread vanishes. No protests, please.
You've worth your weight in gold Stu.
Seriously! :)
 

ramonmercado

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Allegations of fake news leads to death threats against reporters.

A supporter of President Donald Trump threatened “to shoot” CNN reporters Brian Stelter and Don Lemon during an on-air call with C-SPAN on Friday.

The caller’s threat comes amid repeated attacks on the media from Trump, who has described the press as “the enemy of the people” and “fake news.”

The caller, identified by C-SPAN host Greta Brawner as “Don from State College, Pennsylvania,” had phoned into her show Friday to express support for Trump’s criticism of the media.

“It all started when Trump got elected,” the caller said before falsely accusing the reporters of labeling all Trump supporters as racist. “[Stelter and Lemon] don’t even know us. They don’t even know these Americans out here and they’re calling us racist because we voted for Trump. They started the war. If I see ’em, I’m going to shoot ’em. Bye,” he added before abruptly ending the call. ...

Stelter discussed the threat Sunday on CNN, pointing out that neither Lemon nor he has ever described all Trump supporters as “racist.” Stelter said he didn’t know why the caller felt this way, but noted that Fox News’ Sean Hannity played a clip during his show Thursday of Stelter asking whether racial anxiety played a factor in Trump’s rise.

“Obviously, researchers have proven that ― yes ― racial anxiety and resentment was a factor. But that’s not the same as calling all Trump supporters racist,” Stelter said on Sunday. “I don’t know if the C-SPAN caller watched Hannity. I’m not blaming Hannity. I just thought the timing was odd.” ...

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entr...cid=newsltushpmgnews__TheMorningEmail__080618






https://twitter.com/brianstelter/status/1026139446075260931
 

Yithian

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False narratives have always been with us and politicians have always cherry picked their sources, but given the near endless echo-chamber of the mass media and the fact that the public vote based on surface perceptions, the kind of facts in this video are troubling.

 

blessmycottonsocks

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False narratives have always been with us and politicians have always cherry picked their sources, but given the near endless echo-chamber of the mass media and the fact that the public vote based on surface perceptions, the kind of facts in this video are troubling.

The food self-sufficiency fact surprised me.
 

Yithian

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Anonymous-50446

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False narratives have always been with us and politicians have always cherry picked their sources, but given the near endless echo-chamber of the mass media and the fact that the public vote based on surface perceptions, the kind of facts in this video are troubling.

Fascinating, thank you for posting that.
 

Frasier Buddolph

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Here is a film, "The Cleaners", that I think everyone needs to watch.

https://www.pbs.org/video/the-cleaners-yq8ap6/

It's about "content moderators", the people to whom social media companies have outsourced responsibility for deciding what is appropriate and what is not. There are apparently thousands of these info sweatshop workers in third world countries whose job is to sit at a terminal all day, clicking on one image after another, deciding whether to allow or delete them. From the film, these people appear to be mostly uneducated provincials, poorly trained, essentially unsupervised, bringing their own biases and prejudices to the job. They are expected to process 25,000 images per day, which means they have about one second to decide whether an image stays or goes. Their judgment is too often simplistic and unsophisticated; they lack a world view which would allow them to see any of the images in context.

One moderator, viewing an image of a U.S. military guard at Abu Ghraib prison terrorizing a prisoner with a dog, thinks it is an ISIS propaganda image and deletes it. Another, viewing an iconic image from the Vietnam war, a young naked girl fleeing a napalm attack, thinks "child, genitalia, unacceptable" and deletes it. One bases her decisions on her religious beliefs, another on his unpalatable political views. These are not people you want deciding what you see or do not see on the internet.

Also, the large social media platforms appear to be proactively anticipating what may or may not be acceptable to repressive regimes around the world and are deleting or blocking content before anyone complains. The "content moderator" companies, of course, are subcontractors, so the media companies can wash their hands of any responsibility.

Honestly, is this the best we can do? It's becoming increasingly clear that the social media companies are simply feckless, dazzled by their own technical genius, besotted with a Kumbaya vision of the whole world connected and dancing around the maypole. Inevitably, inaction by the media companies will force the government to step in, and I doubt that will end well.
 

EnolaGaia

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... Honestly, is this the best we can do? It's becoming increasingly clear that the social media companies are simply feckless, dazzled by their own technical genius runaway success, besotted with a Kumbaya vision of the whole world connected the profits to be made and dancing around the maypole all the way to the bank. Inevitably, inaction by the media companies will force the government to step in, and I doubt that will end well.
Fixed ... :evillaugh:
 
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