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Month: October 2016

How social media censorship threatens the flow of information #wikileaks

How social media censorship threatens the flow of information #wikileaks

The rise of the Internet has expanded the ways in which information may be delivered to end users, going around potential media and government control of information. However, as social media platforms increasingly become our gateways to the web, they are recentralizing the distributed web. As Facebook breaks 1.7 billion users worldwide, every one of those users in every country of the world are subject to a single centralized set of rules governing what is acceptable content that can be…

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“What you see is all there is”

“What you see is all there is”

A popular propaganda method is to give you some information that leads you to a likely incorrect conclusion, but the conclusion the propagandist would like you to reach. The trick works because we see some information in the propaganda message and our brain short circuits and concludes that “What you see is all there is”. We then quickly agree with the message without considering that we have an incomplete picture. The following social media propaganda poster was shared into my timeline…

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Bizarre attempts at social media propaganda regarding #Wikileaks

Bizarre attempts at social media propaganda regarding #Wikileaks

This is bizarre on many levels: The files are read as HTML (text) files via the Wikileaks.org web site, which does not present a way to deliver malware to your computer. The first document release contained about 2,000 text files, making the “33,000 viruses” claim silly. This social media propaganda message might have been posted in attempt to discourage you from reading the Wikileaks documents for your self, or it could have been posted by someone that wants you to think…

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Google plans to offer “fact check” for news.google.com

Google plans to offer “fact check” for news.google.com

Source: Labeling fact-check articles in Google News It appears they will add links to sources that might help to check if items in the news story are true or false. That this needs to be done says something about news reporting 🙂 I am having a difficult time seeing how “fact checking” would work on stories like this, this and this, which we showed, were incorrectly reported initially, and in some cases, led to the creation of “false” facts. President Obama also…

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When are journalists obligated to report on received information?

When are journalists obligated to report on received information?

Glenn Greenwald presents the basic principles: 1. A source’s motives are irrelevant in deciding whether to publish. 2. Journalists constantly publish material that is stolen or illegally obtained (e.g. NY Times and Donald Trump’s 1995 tax return) 3. The more public power someone has, the less privacy they are entitled to claim. 4. Whether something is “shocking” or “earth-shattering” is an irrelevant standard. 5. All journalists are arbiters of privacy and gatekeepers of information. Core principles of journalism are ignored…

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Many on social media are misquoting #Wikileaks

Many on social media are misquoting #Wikileaks

Recent releases from Wikileaks are, without question, exposing ethical failures and outright corruption in our government officials. The emails contain enormous evidence that this is occurring and that our government officials are as corrupt as the worst in the world. That said, numerous people are posting excerpts on social media that are taken 100% out of context, to say something that is not true. For example, I have seen this quote widely distributed on social media today, being presented as…

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Learn how to recognize propaganda in public statements

Learn how to recognize propaganda in public statements

There have been leaks of emails whose content is embarrassing. In response, U.S. intelligence agencies issued the following statement alleging that Russia is behind the hacking and release of the emails in order to influence the U.S. election: “The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer…

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Political campaigns use fake “Astro turf” social media influencers

Political campaigns use fake “Astro turf” social media influencers

In politics, “grass roots” supporters refers to an organically developed  group that supports an initiative, a party or a politician. The idea is the group has arisen “from the people”. Counter to that, lobbying organizations create fake “grass roots” support groups, with fake names such as “Citizens for Jobs”. These fake organizations are known as “astro turf” – literally fake grass roots support organizations funded and managed by lobbying groups working to present the false impression that this is a…

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How political campaigns control the media propaganda message

How political campaigns control the media propaganda message

All presidential campaigns have their favorite reporters, try to plant stories they want published, and attempt in multiple ways to curry favor with journalists. These tactics are certainly not unique to the Clinton campaign (liberals were furious in 2008 when journalists went to John McCain’s Arizona ranch for an off-the-record BBQ). But these rituals and dynamics between political campaigns and the journalists who cover them are typically carried out in the dark, despite how significant they can be. Source: EXCLUSIVE:…

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Beware of fake documents on social media purporting to be from Wikileaks

Beware of fake documents on social media purporting to be from Wikileaks

Beware of fake documents widely distributed on social media, and purportedly coming from Wikileaks. Wikileaks IS distributing thousands of documents that are very likely authentic. However, others are using the publicity of the Wikileaks documents to spread their own versions that are likely fake. For example, the document image below is being widely circulated on social media and claims to be from Wikileaks. However, a search of the Wikileaks database shows this does not exist at Wikileaks. The official Wikileaks Twitter…

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Social media, confirmation bias and its use in marketing

Social media, confirmation bias and its use in marketing

This post first appeared on my technology blog in early 2014, prior to creating the Occupy Propaganda web site devoted to analysis of social media propaganda. Confirmation bias occurs when we tend to give weight to information that supports our beliefs and to ignore or discard information that opposes our beliefs. Several studies find social media reinforces confirmation bias. All the studies I found address this in the context of politics and liberal or conservative bias.  However, the issue is much more…

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False assertion and False choice: Tesla versus Edison poster

False assertion and False choice: Tesla versus Edison poster

The following poster has appeared many times in my social media feed. The conclusion you are intended to draw is also false. Source   Another variation: TL; DR Summary These posters imply that Tesla cared about people more than making money versus Thomas Edison, who he once worked for as an employee (or another version of the poster, the evil person is George Westinghhouse) who only cared about making money. In reality, Tesla’s nearly 300 patents made him a very rich…

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