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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    The corrosive power of fake news.

    Here is a Washington Post story of two unemployed college graduates who moved to California and are now making a living writing fake news. It is an interesting read.

    For the ‘new yellow journalists,’ opportunity comes in clicks and bucks

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...fcd_story.html

  2. #2
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    Social media and the corrosive power of fake news.

    [I found this interesting because I have definitely noticed a lot of bizarre news stories recently. I'm pretty cynical as a rule so my first response is usually "ah bullshit" but many people just lap up anything no matter how far fetched and improbable it sounds. I have a facebook account, have for years (under a fake name and details) but rarely go there but I have visited a bit over the last few weeks and the number of bullshit memes and articles is out of hand, honestly, people will repost any old shit at all as if they were doing a public service.
    The outgoing US president has lamented an age where ‘active misinformation’ can spread as quickly and easily as the truth. And he is not exaggerating
    Research has found that 62% of US adults turn to social media for news, yet there is little distinction between truth and lies.
    Research has found that 62% of US adults turn to social media for news, yet there is little distinction between truth and lies.

    Barack Obama, facing the imminent handover to his bombastic successor, has plenty to be concerned about this week. But he took the time to express his concern about the impact of fake news online when he spoke to reporters on Thursday.

    Obama, who was described in a detailed New Yorker interview as being “obsessed” with the problem since the election, described the new ecosystem of news online in which “everything is true and nothing is true”.

    Analysis Facebook’s failure: did fake news and polarized politics get Trump elected?
    The company is being accused of abdicating its responsibility to clamp down on fake news stories and counter the echo chamber that defined this election
    Read more
    “In an age where there’s so much active misinformation, and it’s packaged very well, and it looks the same when you see it on a Facebook page or you turn on your television, where some overzealousness on the part of a US official is equated with constant and severe repression elsewhere, if everything seems to be the same and no distinctions are made, then we won’t know what to protect,” he told reporters in Berlin on Thursday. “If we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems.”

    Obama is not exaggerating. Worse yet, in the last weeks of the US election campaign, according to an analysis by Buzzfeed News, fake news – whether claiming that the Pope had endorsed Trump, or that Clinton sold weapons to Isis – actually outperformed real news on the platform, with more shares, reactions and comments.

    Another widely shared story used a young picture of Donald Trump with variations on a quote he reportedly gave People magazine in 1998. “If I were to run, I’d run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.”

    Yet Trump never said that. It is not even possible to know how widely the quote was shared, with a new version created every time another is flagged, and removed. Memes like this replicate across the internet like a virus in this way, so the quote, tantalising in its plausibility, is pitch-perfect for quick sharing.

    As long as Mark Zuckerberg refuses to understand his own system, there is no hope for Facebook reforming itself
    Siva Vaidhyanathan, University of Virginia
    Facebook has faced many controversies in its 12 short years, but has fumbled with the gravity and impact of its editorial power in an age where 62% of US adults now turn to social media for some or all of their news, according to the Pew Research Centre.

    In the early days of the election, Facebook was criticised for what was perceived as overzealous curation of its “trending topics” chart. When conservative outlets accused the site of censoring right-leaning news stories, Zuckerberg fired the trending stories team and replaced them with an algorithm – which almost immediately began to distribute fake news.

    The problem went unaddressed. Sources told Gizmodo that high-level meetings in Facebook have been underway since May, when a planned update to identify fake news to Facebook’s news feed was shelved after it was found to disproportionately impact right-wing sites, though Facebook officially denies this happened.

    Part of the problem, experts say, is that many people share articles based on the headline alone and don’t even read the story – let alone apply any skepticism to the claims within.

    Another viral story by “the Denver Guardian” claimed, completely falsely, that an FBI agent investigating Clinton had been killed in a house fire in Colorado. It prompted the Denver Post – a newspaper that does actually exist and was founded in 1892 – to explain that “There is no such thing as the Denver Guardian”, pointing out that address it listed as its base led to a tree in a Denver carpark.


    In one way, the problem is not a new one. Publications like the National Enquirer in the US have long bent the truth, often shamelessly. But now, a fake story can much more easily masquerade as real because in Facebook’s walled garden, all the posts look largely the same – a New York Times investigation alongside a fake story claiming Taylor Swift endorsed Trump.

    The ease of deception has given birth to a brand new cottage industry. In November Buzzfeed discovered that many of the pro-Trump fake news sites – over 100 of them – were being operated as for-profit click-farms by Macedonian teenagers.

    By 5 November, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg was facing mounting pressure to address the problem. “Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “The hoaxes that do exist are not limited to one partisan view, or even to politics. Overall, this makes it extremely unlikely hoaxes changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other.”

    Experts say this statement sounds like Zuckerberg is in denial. “As long as Mark Zuckerberg refuses to understand his own system, there is no hope for Facebook reforming itself,” said Siva Vaidhyanathan, professor of media studies at the University of Virginia.

    “Facebook and its leaders have consistently applauded themselves for connecting millions of people around the world and enabling friction-free conversation, and have gladly taken unwarranted credit for pro-democracy movements in different parts of the world,” he said. “And yet Zuckerberg himself has denied any moral responsibility for the fact that Facebook has helped poison American democracy.”

    Facebook has faced criticism in the wake of the presidential election for its role in the distribution of fake news stories.
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    Facebook has faced criticism in the wake of the presidential election for its role in the distribution of fake news stories. Photograph: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images
    This weekend Zuckerberg openly acknowledged for the first time the gravity of the problem and the steps Facebook is taking to counter it.

    “We take misinformation seriously,” he wrote in a post on Saturday. “We know people want accurate information. We’ve been working on this problem for a long time and we take this responsibility seriously.”

    Zuckerberg said they were working to make it easier for users to report a story as fake. He also said Facebook has “reached out” to “respected fact-checking organizations” about third-party verification, but didn’t provide specifics.

    The problem isn’t just limited to the latest US presidential election cycle, Vaidyanathan said. “The harmful information that spreads on Facebook includes the myths and lies about vaccination and links to autism. It contains myths and lies about the scientific fact of global warming. These are issues that are crucial to our wellbeing, and there is no algorithm that can distinguish a fact from a lie.”

    On Monday, Google and Facebook both announced that they would be making it harder for fake news sites to make money via their advertising networks – though this does not address Facebook’s news feed problem.

    Pressure continues to grow, even from within Facebook itself. A report emerged on Monday that a “renegade” group of “more than dozens” of Facebook employees had formed a task force, kept secret from upper management, to try to address the issue. “[Zuckerberg] knows, and those of us at the company know, that fake news ran wild on our platform during the entire campaign season,” an employee, speaking anonymously, told BuzzFeed. Hundreds more had privately expressed dissatisfaction with how the company had dealt with the problem.

    Melissa Zimdars, assistant professor of communication and media at Merrimack College in Massachusetts, said she was concerned about some of the sources her students were finding and using online, so she created a Google document which lists a number of sites and which has since gone viral.

    Not all of them are fake. Many are satirical sites such as the Onion or the New Yorker’s Borowitz Report, while others are news organizations whose stories are often slanted, like Breitbart on the right or Occupy Democrats on the left.

    “There are things that readers can do, but there are [also] things structurally and within the culture of journalism itself that need to change,” Zimdars said. “One thing readers can do is to read what they’re sharing, and after that if you read something and have a strong reaction to it, read more about it rather than just accept what you originally read as complete information.”

    The only solution to Facebook’s problem, according to Vaidhyanathan, is the labour-intensive human checking of facts.

    “Facebook would have to hire thousands of human beings who are trained to make editorial judgments and could step in and edit news feeds,” he said. In the meantime, it’s as if Mark Zuckerberg is using some different version of Facebook unafflicted by hoax stories and misinformation. “The rest of us know too well the corrosive power of fake news.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/20...e-news-problem

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat Jesus Jones's Avatar
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    Ah, you've fallen for the fake news that Brietbart and others are putting out fake news. Desperate times, desperate measure I guess!

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo
    I have a facebook account, have for years (under a fake name and details)
    Don't your family and friends on there think that a bit weird?

  5. #5
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    Quite ironic this article coming from the left wing guardian who published lots of fake news leading up to the Brexit vote.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat Jesus Jones's Avatar
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    REVEALED: The Real Fake News List

    We've seen the make-shift "fake news" list created by a leftist feminist professor. Well, another fake news list has been revealed and this one holds a lot more water.

    This list contains the culprits who told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and lied us into multiple bogus wars. These are the news sources that told us "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." They told us that Hillary Clinton had a 98% of winning the election. They tell us in a never-ending loop that "The economy is in great shape!"

    REVEALED: The Real Fake News List - Ron Paul Liberty Report
    You bullied, you laughed, you lied, you lost!

  7. #7
    Sukhumvet
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    The problem with FarceBook as with TD is that any looney can post any news. relevant or not , correct or not, correctly spelt or not, grammatically correct or not. etc..

    The best solution would be telling everyone that nothing on FarceBook is true but that it might lead one to find the actual story that is true.

    So far the most poignant thing is the London pub sign that states "All Americans must be accompanied by and adult"
    Better to think inside the pub, than outside the box?
    I apologize if any offence was caused. unless it was intended.
    You people, you think I know feck nothing; I tell you: I know feck all
    Those who cannot change their mind, cannot change anything.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo
    I have a facebook account, have for years (under a fake name and details)
    Don't your family and friends on there think that a bit weird?
    Probably. That should concern me how?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus Jones View Post
    Ah, you've fallen for the fake news that Brietbart and others are putting out fake news. Desperate times, desperate measure I guess!
    Yeah, but no. If you read it again you'll see how it's not so much about 'news' websites publishing fake news but the fact the a very large percentage of 'adults' (Millennials I suppose) without the requisite doubt and BS filters and cynicism are getting their news from social media, particularly facebook, and many fake news stories and memes are being planted and quickly take on a life of their own and become accepted as real.
    Think about story about Michele Obama being born a male for example.

  10. #10
    back to work SKkin's Avatar
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    From Heat Street:

    The Mainstream Media Has Only Itself to Blame for the ?Fake News? Epidemic[at]|[at]Heat Street

    But the media hasn’t bothered to ask why such sites gained traction. Our media has cultivated false news for years. Understandably, people stopped caring about the “journalistic ethics” the media claim to possess.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    ^ The differences are enormous in the examples of fake news by the msm over years and what Goldman and Wade (post #4) do everyday. Legitimate journalists who distort the truth suffer the consequences in job loss or public humiliation. For those who make their living on churning out clickbait, they aren't even phased by their own lack of ethics.

  12. #12
    back to work SKkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit
    Legitimate journalists who distort the truth suffer the consequences in job loss or public humiliation.
    Do they? I see Brian Williams and Judith Miller are back at it. I know that's only two examples...but...good little puppet news readers and columnists always find their way back into the fold.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKkin
    Do they?
    Yes, they did. Both of them. Williams lost his job over his tall tale. Miller lost her professional standing, even though her case was not so straight forward.

    Still, this no comparison to the fake news churned out as click bait. Chalk and cheese.

  14. #14
    Newbie BelAir's Avatar
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    All good points gentlemen but the reality is thus...




    ...if your government (via the msm) has been lying to you for decades why keep believing them !

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat Jesus Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus Jones View Post
    Ah, you've fallen for the fake news that Brietbart and others are putting out fake news. Desperate times, desperate measure I guess!
    Yeah, but no. If you read it again you'll see how it's not so much about 'news' websites publishing fake news but the fact the a very large percentage of 'adults' (Millennials I suppose) without the requisite doubt and BS filters and cynicism are getting their news from social media, particularly facebook, and many fake news stories and memes are being planted and quickly take on a life of their own and become accepted as real.
    Think about story about Michele Obama being born a male for example.
    M.O being born a male? I guess i missed that one.

  16. #16
    MARK SUCKER BORG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus Jones
    M.O being born a male?
    D Boy says so must be true

    Irrefutable & Scientific Proof Michelle Obama Is Indeed A Man? | NewsBeat Ent.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Here is a Washington Post story of two unemployed college graduates who moved to California and are now making a living writing fake news. It is an interesting read.

    For the ‘new yellow journalists,’ opportunity comes in clicks and bucks

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...fcd_story.html
    Thank you, misskit.

  18. #18
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    The National Enquirer has been around for many years.
    I don't see the corrosive power of fake news, but aliens ate my brain.

  19. #19
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    Is there really much difference between the so-called "fake" news and the already entrench bodies of biased, manipulated, modified, and omitted news?


    Journalism [critical, challenging, questioning] doesn't truly exist within the mainstream/commercial/establishment circles.

    Fake news? WTF is this?
    Absorbed everyday ad nauseam.

  20. #20
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    Before the Internet there was the "Hitler Diary " news story. Fake
    Last edited by wasabi; 22-11-2016 at 12:05 AM.

  21. #21
    Molecular Mixup
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    nice short infowars video pointing out that's its the main stream media who are masters at fake news


  22. #22
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    Infowars again.

    They know all about "real news". They brought us the shape shifting lizard aliens that have taken over!


  23. #23
    I am above looking down
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
    They know all about "real news". They brought us the shape shifting lizard aliens that have taken over!
    Only laughable idiots would turn to infowars. The master of fake news. The video is just them flipping the narrative. A classic right wing tactic. The childish "no I'm not you are" game.

  24. #24
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    How Fake News Spreads

    One of the most widely shared pieces of analysis published by conservative news and opinion site Breitbart after the election was an article headlined “Donald Trump Won 7.5 Million Popular Vote Landslide in the Heartland.” The article, published Nov. 15, was full of flat-wrong and deceptive information, including a fake electoral college map. Yet it spread like a virus, primarily across Facebook, and continues to deceive readers today even though the original article has since been corrected.

    The premise of the article, written as a contrarian response to Hillary Clinton’s steadily increasing victory in the popular vote, was that if you take the 50 counties that voted most heavily for Clinton, excluded them from the total, and called the rest of the country the “heartland,” well then, yes, Trump had what it calls a “landslide in the heartland.”

    Aside from that bit of analysis — which contains other fun errors of fact such as describing Bronx County, New York, as an “elite coastal county” — the most deceptive part of the story was its completely phony electoral map, which continues to be shared on Facebook even after the Washington Post called it out as wrong and the original article was corrected.

    The article continues to be shared with the uncorrected image, offering a case study in how easy it is to get fake news to spread and how hard it is to stamp it out.





    Breitbart’s false map is not anomalous; fake news proliferated rapidly this election cycle, in part because it does so well on Facebook. A recent BuzzFeed News analysis found that on Facebook, the most-trafficked stories from fake news sites (“WikiLeaks CONFIRMS Hillary sold weapons to ISIS…”) vastly outperformed those from “mainstream” media publications like the New York Times (“I ran the C.I.A. Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton”).

    The contrarian headline and neat symmetry of the illustration made the fake Electoral College map irresistible share-bait on Facebook. John Philip Riffice, a Trump voter from the Chicago metropolitan area who shared the article on Facebook, told VICE News that he almost instantly regretted it.

    “I posted it and realized, wait it a minute, there’s some blue missing here. Hillary won Illinois, and a few other states and what not,” Riffice said in a phone interview. “I don’t want to post anything that I know is blatantly false, and inadvertently I posted that one. So in retrospect, that [Breitbart article] is false and I wish I hadn’t done it.”

    In a phone interview with VICE News, Breitbart Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle said he didn’t know where the fake map came from, but acknowledged attaching it to the story was a mistake and that “we clearly we updated the map after we faced criticism.”

    As to why the false version is still circulating on Facebook, “Our Facebook is handled by other people. To be honest with you, I don’t even read our Facebook,” Boyle said. “But specifically I think the story is sound … it’s not a new argument to point out that there are two Americas out there.”

    So far the initial Facebook post — which still features the fake map — has garnered about 35,000 shares, 59,000 likes and 2,400 comments. The map has been shared thousands of times on Twitter as well, including by conservative pundit and rumored White House press secretary candidate Laura Ingraham.

    news.vice.com/story/breitbarts-phony-election-map-shows-how-hard-it-is-to-stamp-out-fake-news?utm_source=vicefbus

  25. #25
    I am above looking down
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub
    In a phone interview with VICE News, Breitbart Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle said he didn’t know where the fake map came from
    Right. Total BS.



    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub
    As to why the false version is still circulating on Facebook, “Our Facebook is handled by other people. To be honest with you, I don’t even read our Facebook,” Boyle said. “But specifically I think the story is sound … it’s not a new argument to point out that there are two Americas out there.”
    Fcuking pathetic liar. He did this for click bait. I can not wait until Anonymous starts hacking these fake news sites.

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