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Month: September 2018

This is genuine and not faked reporting – Anderson Cooper was intentionally showing the dangers of unseen drop offs in flood waters

This is genuine and not faked reporting – Anderson Cooper was intentionally showing the dangers of unseen drop offs in flood waters

This image does not show what people think it shows. CNN’s Anderson Cooper was moving around in the water to illustrate the dangers of unseen drop offs in flood waters. I’ve seen clips of the original that show this is what he was doing and this was not “fake news”. The original broadcast occurred after Hurricane Ike. This Internet meme illustrates how an instantaneous, moment in time still image loses all context – and can be readily repurposed into a propaganda message.

Staged photos used to illustrate a “news” story

Staged photos used to illustrate a “news” story

The way to respond to accusations of fictional news reporting is to double down on accuracy, objectivity and remaining calm. Unfortunately, the news industry continues to harm itself through self destructive behavior typical of middle school drama. Here, an online magazine staged their photos to accompany an interview, down to providing the clothing worn by the subject being interviewed.

Facebook to “fact check” photos, propaganda posters and videos

Facebook to “fact check” photos, propaganda posters and videos

Facebook to “fact check” photos, propaganda posters and videos – but how accurate is their “fact checking”, and what happens when Facebook fact checkers must apply subjective interpretation? There is a risk that Facebook will become the arbiter of truth, and due to a false positive problem, turn fake facts into true facts.

Journalism is dead, Part 2

Journalism is dead, Part 2

Weather Channel actor Mike Siedel, who plays the role of a journalist and meteorologist, is shown faking a live TV shot. Former NBC News actress Michelle Kosinski, who played the role of a journalist on NBC News is caught canoeing in a flooded street – having just inches of water. Journalism is dead due to death by self inflicted wounds. Sadly, there is no way for a news consumer to know if their news source is reliable or trustworthy as all major news outlets have been caught making significant errors.

Google’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week

Google’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week

The week started off with an internal Google email from a high level manager describing how Google worked behind the scenes to attempt to get Clinton elected in 2016. A few days later, an internal Google meeting video appeared, showing executives behaving oddly, to say the least, after the 2016 election went for Trump, and suggesting that Google would uses its resources to manipulate voters to achieve Google’s desired outcomes. Ouch.

Creative news writing – “First solo flight” claim is false

Creative news writing – “First solo flight” claim is false

Numerous “news” outlets botch a new story saying a 17-year student pilot made a successful emergency landing on her “first solo flight”. In reality, her first solo flight was a year ago. However, this erroneous report was repeated by numerous news stories, nation wide. When they cannot get even the simplest of facts correct, should we trust anything in the news?

How Google’s Artificial Stupidity manipulates image search results in to propaganda messaging

How Google’s Artificial Stupidity manipulates image search results in to propaganda messaging

The news media uses a photo to illustrate an article, but selects a photo having nothing to do with the subject. The photo is from a festival at a horse race in Great Britain on “dress up” day.

Google Image search was used to research the photo. However, Google misinterprets the photo and falsely adds “richest 1 percent of Americans”. That happened because this photo has been used, repeatedly, by U.S. media outlets to illustrate “wealth” and “richest 1%”. Google’s search algorithms then incorrectly associate “richest 1%” with this photo; Google then reinforces that incorrect conclusion by automatically adding “richest 1 percent of americans” to a search for this photo.

We learn from this that reporters and editors routinely use fake photos to illustrate “news” reports in what appears to be intentional propaganda messaging. Then we learn how Google’s artificial stupidity algorithms incorporate fake photos and textual analysis in to computational propaganda messaging.

How does a college student “intern” become a “senior adviser”?

How does a college student “intern” become a “senior adviser”?

How the New York Times turned a college student intern into a “federal analyst”, “senior adviser” and host of other titles, in a single front page news story. Title inflation makes a news report more persuasive through use of an “appeal to authority”. Citing an anonymous college student intern does not sound as good as citing an anonymous “senior adviser”. Unfortunately, the news media frequently uses both title inflation and anonymous sources to persuade you to adopt their agenda.