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Category: Cherry Picking

Social media has gone insane over fires in the Amazon area of Brazil, with most posts being wrong

Social media has gone insane over fires in the Amazon area of Brazil, with most posts being wrong

Social media has gone utterly insane about fires in the Amazon region of Brazil-virtually all of them contain false information. NASA points out that over their 15 year satellite-based observing history, the fire situation in the Amazon is average. But the falsehoods have blown up to the point that internationally known politicians are calling for action!

Social media is a bonfire of idiocy.

Pseudo news: “More Utah women are graduating with STEM degrees, but not at the same rate as men”

Pseudo news: “More Utah women are graduating with STEM degrees, but not at the same rate as men”

A pseudo news story – one of many – proclaims not enough women are in “STEM” fields. This conclusion depends on how you define “STEM” fields. By leaving out many fields of “science”, they are looking primarly at “TE” – technology and engineering only. When all “S” (science) and “M” (math) are included, the discrepancies are not nearly as large. The root issue, though, is that many fields have a dominant gender – but this issue is ignored in favor of focusing exclusively on women in “TE” fields (while pretending this group is “STEM”). For example, about 90% of nurses, which employs millions of workers, are women – yet “health science” is typically excluded from the charts and data tables used to show us that women are not studying “STEM” – because they mean “TE”.

Fear is a powerful motivator in propaganda messaging: How its used to sell third party solar

Fear is a powerful motivator in propaganda messaging: How its used to sell third party solar

Third party companies offer to install solar PV arrays on your home and promise to save you money on your monthly electric utility costs. Bloomberg found they use a mix of false assertions, lies, cherry picking and fear as sales methods, to persuade homeowners to sign up and lease the solar PV system for decades. Over time, the lease costs increase such that the homeowner spends far more in the future, while the third party company collects large government subsidies. Few homeowners understand what they got in to. When they go to sell their home, the lease is transferred to the buyer – in effect, TPO solar PV arrays become a dead weight on the home’s future sales potential, particularly to informed buyers who understand the game.

The headline: “Over half of Americans delay or don’t get health care because they can’t afford it”

The headline: “Over half of Americans delay or don’t get health care because they can’t afford it”

The survey appears to have found that over half of Americans postpone preventative checkups when they are not experiencing any health problems which is different than avoiding seeking care for an active health care problem.

The distinction is that in many health care visits, a patient is experiencing something wrong and visits a provider to hopefully find a solution.

In a preventative check up, a patient goes to a provider and asks the provider to find something wrong with them.

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.

Did Vox advocate censoring social media? No.

Did Vox advocate censoring social media? No.

This propaganda poster is now spreading online. The original Vox Tweet is here. It contains a link to a video explaining their thinking. They are clear in their video that they are not advocating censoring these individuals. The video concludes with the problems that emerge when speech is censored and the practical problems of policing platforms like YouTube that see 400 hours of new video uploaded every minute. The Vox video does not encourage censorship. Commentary There is, though, a…

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Journalists and Academics seek special privileges on Facebook

Journalists and Academics seek special privileges on Facebook

Facebook restricts certain conduct on its platform. However, journalists and academics are seeking to  receive special privileges to do things that are prohibited for others. Journalists and academics, for example, would be permitted to set up fake accounts with fake or curated content, for the purpose of studying users. Individuals, however, would be banned from conducting the same research and thus, would be prohibited from verifying or evaluating the work of journalists and academics. Basically, the proposal is to have…

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Part 7: We should all be like Denmark, remember?

Part 7: We should all be like Denmark, remember?

Occupy Democrats is an online, social media-based, for profit publisher of emotion laden political propaganda posters targeting those who view themselves as left wing. In 2016, Occupy Democrats used social media to distribute this propaganda through shares and likes. Every claim on this widely distributed and shared poster is essentially false – or two that are highly misleading at best (see links below for excruciating details.) Note their last item: SHARE if America should follow their lead! Occupy Democrats wants…

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It may be virtue signalling, but at least its not actually true

It may be virtue signalling, but at least its not actually true

This propaganda poster came across my news feed. According to Snopes, He occasionally rides a subway but is more often driving one of his sports cars or classic motorcycles. He generously support several charities; however, his net worth is estimated at $350 million. He lives in a $4 million home (shack, not a mansion, in Hollywood Hills, which is in California, not New York City). Typical of propaganda, this poster extracts “bits” and extrapolates those to make broad or generalized…

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"There is nothing wrong with your social media feed. We are controlling transmission"

"There is nothing wrong with your social media feed. We are controlling transmission"

A long time ago, in a generation far away from the present, there was a TV show called “The Outer Limits” famous for its opening sequence narration: There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will…

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