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Month: September 2017

“Deluge” of information makes it difficult for social media users to recognize true and false statements

“Deluge” of information makes it difficult for social media users to recognize true and false statements

Mark Zuckerberg argues that more information reaching more people enhances democracy. But, as the adage goes, quantity does not equal quality. Source: Facebook Built Its Vision of Democracy on Bad Math | WIRED The linked article says social media users are under a deluge of information overload – there is now so much information in our news feeds – much of it fake or false – that we are unable to distinguish between the real and the false. This concept…

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Propagandists find new way to reach Facebook users

Propagandists find new way to reach Facebook users

Propagandists find new way to reach Facebook users: Through an unknown mechanism, these junk sites are managing to get their content posted on verified celebrity Facebook pages and spread to millions of users who find themselves inundated with spam, fake news, ads, and tracking software. Which then results in: Facebook users who “liked’ the pages of celebrities with large followings are inundated with spam and fake news Which is another illustration of how social media is a friction-less platform for…

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Fake-news writer dies in Arizona

Fake-news writer dies in Arizona

Still unsure if this is a real news story or a fake news story. Paul Horner, one of the most famous fake news writers, who made his living writing fake news, is said to have died – in Arizona! I’ve posted a couple items about Paul Horner on this blog in the past. Source: Paul Horner, infamous fake-news writer and hoaxster, dies in Phoenix

Why do we play the national anthem at sports events?

Why do we play the national anthem at sports events?

Sports is entertainment. Why do we play the national anthem at sports events? Why do we not play the national anthem at concerts, plays and other entertainment events? Because professional baseball, about 100 years ago sought to leverage patriotism in their marketing program – playing the national anthem at baseball games used the propaganda method of “transference” – literally transferring a feeling of patriotism to the playing of a pro sports baseball game. This was specifically to market professional baseball…

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Disaster Propaganda Part 2: Is there anything it can’t do?

Disaster Propaganda Part 2: Is there anything it can’t do?

This is not the Part 2 I was planning to post. Guess there will be Part 3! Earthquakes! A 7.1 or 7.2 magnitude earthquake occurred near Mexico City. Mexico is the 7th most seismically active country due to the intersection of 3 tectonic plates. An 8.1 magnitude earthquake took place near there in 1985, causing massive destruction to Mexico City. Large magnitude quakes are very common in Mexico (click for list) Big quakes in Mexico are not unusual and they…

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Exaggerated headline: Cellphone bomb found hidden in passenger luggage

Exaggerated headline: Cellphone bomb found hidden in passenger luggage

An IndiGo flight from Mangalore to Dubai was delayed on Tuesday following a major security scare when a suspicious “clay-like” item was detected by airport scanners Source: Cellphone bomb found hidden in passenger luggage by X-ray machine at Mangalore Airport in India – Mirror Online Read the story – they did not find a bomb. They found a crude, home made battery for a cell phone where the battery was held in place with some clay. This might actually be…

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Begging the question (fallacy) in propaganda messaging

Begging the question (fallacy) in propaganda messaging

“Begging the question, sometimes known by its Latin name petitio principii (meaning assuming the initial point), is a logical fallacy in which the writer or speaker assumes the statement under examination to be true. In other words, begging the question involves using a premise to support itself. If the premise is questionable, then the argument is bad.” Source: Begging the question (fallacy) – Grammarist This is explained by example at a conservative leaning blog: This insidious process of begging the…

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Is this one of the nation’s worst fire seasons?

Is this one of the nation’s worst fire seasons?

It has been a bad fire year but some mainstream reporting is getting ahead of itself and seems more intent on providing a propaganda message. In fact, its the worst fire season since … 2015! Propaganda: Note the reference to “in one of the nation’s worst fire seasons”. And: “worst fire seasons we’ve ever seen”? Some news writers confused record spending with record wildfires. While there is a linkage, it is not an accurate 1:1 correlation nor is the spending…

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Repost: 1 in 7 Americans do not go to bed hungry every night

Repost: 1 in 7 Americans do not go to bed hungry every night

We are now in the annual Fall time frame social media tag meme of #hangry and #hungeraction and the “wear orange” meme, in response to the annual release of a USDA report on “food insecurity”. We beat this meme to death previously. If your social media feeds are seeing these posts read it – now.

Social media contributes to destruction, feeds upon the “culture of perpetual outrage”

Social media contributes to destruction, feeds upon the “culture of perpetual outrage”

Sorry for the long quote – each sentence here is meaningful to see how social media’s use as a friction-less platform for propaganda leads to lawlessness and destruction, often based on idiocy: Josh Cobin’s story shows the strange social merging of virtual life and real life. The accusation that Trump is a fascist started as a typical bit of Twitter hyperbole, and now it stalks America in the form of a GoDaddy employee in a gas mask. To arrive at…

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How Facebook profited from marketing hate

How Facebook profited from marketing hate

Until this week, when we asked Facebook about it, the world’s largest social network enabled advertisers to direct their pitches to the news feeds of almost 2,300 people who expressed interest in the topics of “Jew hater,” “How to burn jews,” or, “History of ‘why jews ruin the world.’” Source: Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach ‘Jew Haters’ — ProPublica

Is #socialmedia “perpetual outrage” a sign of mental health issues? #Anxiety #MentalHealth

Is #socialmedia “perpetual outrage” a sign of mental health issues? #Anxiety #MentalHealth

Today I saw a tweet from an apparently famous person (I have not heard of her) saying that the current political environment (specifically the election of Trump) caused her so much anxiety that she is on medication and she is going to need better medication. This was preceded by and then followed by more  Tweets expressing her outrage. It struck me that her attempt to overcome anxiety by being publicly outraged, continuously, day after day, is probably not an effective…

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Why and how does EBay share searches with Facebook?

Why and how does EBay share searches with Facebook?

I am using the Epic Privacy Browser which blocks trackers and deletes history and cookie type information at exit. Yesterday, I looked on EBay (not logged in to EBay) to check prices on a used camera. I am pretty sure I was not logged into Facebook either. I may have to experiment to see what they are doing. Today, I log into Facebook and Facebook shows me an ad – “Inspired? Take another look!” with a link to the used…

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Disaster Propaganda

Disaster Propaganda

This might be the first of more than one post. I have been collecting, when possible, social media propaganda items regarding recent natural and unnatural disasters (such as local arson caused wildland fires). First, many people use unusual events as a platform for propaganda messaging to persuade others of their own agenda. Second, much of this propaganda messaging takes the form of asserting claims that when examined in context of historical data, are not true or are weakly partially true…

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