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Month: April 2017

Google working to counter “fake news” and other fake stuff

Google working to counter “fake news” and other fake stuff

Google wants to give higher priority, in search results, to authoritative sources. However, no one outside of Google knows what “authoritative” means nor how Google determines that information is “authoritative”. How’s Google learning from the data to figure out what’s authoritative? How’s that actually being put into practice? Google wouldn’t comment about these specifics. It wouldn’t say what goes into determining how a page is deemed to be authoritative now or how that is changing with the new algorithm. It…

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And incredibly, he is still dead 3 years later!

And incredibly, he is still dead 3 years later!

Twitter is today filled to the brim with tributes recognizing the death of Gabriel García Márquez, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. One tiny detail is missing from these tributes – he died in 2014! And apparently he just died again in 2017! Just when you think the social media mob could not possibly do something dumber than the day before, there comes the next day! Easily verifiable items spreading like wild fire on social media illustrate…

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Most car crashes caused by cellular phone usage?

Most car crashes caused by cellular phone usage?

I saw an item on a Facebook group where the general meme was that everyone knows cellular phone usage while driving is the cause of most vehicle crashes. The data, however, paints a remarkably different picture. Cellular phone usage, per the government’s own data, is a minor causative factor in vehicle crashes. There are many causative factors in car crashes: one category of causative factors is “distracted driving”. Cellular phone usage is a subset of “distracted driving”. The U.S.government’s National…

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Are social networks fading? One early proponent says yes.

Are social networks fading? One early proponent says yes.

The man who set up the most popular social network in Russia [VK] axed all of his online friends in one fell swoop this week. Having them, he wrote, was so 2010. Source: Social networks are fading as messenger apps rise up | Stuff.co.nz Just as MySpace fell off the popular list, Facebook has lost many young people who have migrated to Instagram or SnapChat. Many people have deleted one or more of their social media accounts and this does seem to…

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Facebook dominates social media usage

Facebook dominates social media usage

The data is from circa 2012-2014: For the first time in Pew Research findings, more than half (56%) of internet users ages 65 and older use Facebook. Overall, 71% of internet users are on Facebook, a proportion that represents no change from August 2013. Source: Social Media Site Usage 2014 | Pew Research Center 70% of Facebook users log in to Facebook daily.

YouTube’s Advertising Algorithms are killing Youtube video producers

YouTube’s Advertising Algorithms are killing Youtube video producers

Google and Facebook are a duopoly for online digital advertising. Through their ad placement programs, they are now – basically – using heavy handed automated content filters that censor out many videos. The result: “YouTube is on the fast track to becoming Disney vloggers: beautiful young people that wouldn’t say anything controversial and are always happy.” Google and Facebook are indeed so powerful that they now censor ordinary speech.  

All major media participates in fake news distribution

All major media participates in fake news distribution

This is also true of CNN, News.Yahoo.com and numerous other mainstream media web sites that allow advertisers to display fake news headlines as click bait. There is no longer any difference between professional news media and fake news media. An investigation found paid-for hoaxes about high-profile public figures next to users’ news feeds, duping them to click to alleged scam websites. Source: Facebook promoted scam ads based on fake news headlines | News | The Times & The Sunday Times

Creating fake social media accounts leads to lucrative business opportunities

Creating fake social media accounts leads to lucrative business opportunities

Crackdowns on fake social media accounts are unlikely to hurt the multi-million-dollar spam industry — in fact, it could make the problem far worse. Source: Crackdowns on Social Media Accounts Backfire by Driving up Demand – NBC News Because fake accounts offer big profit opportunities, there is much money to be made as a fake account creator and broker.

More “Look at me!” propaganda memes

More “Look at me!” propaganda memes

I am not the only one noticing this peculiar form of propaganda, now prevalent on Instagram and Youtube social media: There is an undeniable aesthetic and demographic conformity in the vanlife world. Nearly all of the most popular accounts belong to young, attractive, white, heterosexual couples. “There’s the pretty van girl and the woodsy van guy,” Smith said. “That’s what people want to see.” …. King clicked on the account’s most successful post, which has more than eight thousand likes….

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Smart people more likely to consume fake news

Smart people more likely to consume fake news

“On the left if you’re consuming fake news you’re 34 times more likely than the general population to be a college graduate,” says Green. If you’re on the right, he says, you’re 18 times more likely than the general population to to be in the top 20 percent of income earners. And the study revealed another disturbing trend: the more you consume fake news, the more likely you are to vote. It’s “fascinating and frightening at the same time,” says…

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If you have lots of friends, social media can make you feel better

If you have lots of friends, social media can make you feel better

When individuals post photos of their wonderful lives on social media, we do not typically think of this as propaganda – but literally, these are propaganda messages that say “I have a cool life” and you should follow and Like my posts. A new paper comes up with the remarkable (not really) finding that if you have a lot of friends, social media can make you feel better about yourself. Buried at the end: if you do not have a…

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Face palm: PRWeek names United CEO “Communicator of the Year”

Face palm: PRWeek names United CEO “Communicator of the Year”

  Our Communicator of the Year, United Airlines’ CEO Oscar Munoz, said it best when he came on stage to receive his honor. He commented that the turnaround he has led at the beleaguered airline was not just something that needed to be communicated – it was all about communications. It’s telling when a major CEO from a $36 billion global company recognizes the value of communications, not as a promotional tool or part of a strategy, rather as a…

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Widely republished “news story” is fake news

Widely republished “news story” is fake news

Source: Viral story about ‘married couple who found out they were twins through IVF’ appears to be fake – Mirror Online And this is the original nonsense that was widely re-published worldwide by the organizations with “layers and layers of fact checkers”. And you still think propaganda has no influence over you?