A fake study cherry picks the start date of the pandemic to make a false claim that billionaires became far richer due to the pandemic. The actual purpose of the “study” is propaganda messaging using the methods of cherry picking, appeal to authority, and emotion. The errors made are large enough to be treated as lies, as well.
Time Magazine ran with the headline “Accidental Poisonings Rise After Trump Disinfectant Comments”; the headline, however, is refuted by the story’s own text. In fact, the rise in accidental poisoning began six weeks before Trump’s bizarre comments, and was part of a longer term trend in an increase in accidental poisoning. The sharp increase that began in February was due to many people acquiring and misusing (and making accessible to children) alcohol-based sanitizers and bleach.
A new report with a poorly written headline has been interpreted as the cost of a Covid19 (coronavirus) test is $3,270. In fact, the CDC is not charging for their diagnostic tests. However, this meme has taken off on social media – that a test costs $3,270 – and this claim, in turn, is used for propaganda messaging on a variety of political and health topics.
Some politicians and popular memes assert that Scandinavian socialism is a model for the world. Except the Scandinavian governments themselves note they are not socialist countries. They are free market economies with high taxes supporting a large social safety net; they are not socialist countries. If the U.S. had the same tax structure as Denmark, then you would pay an income tax of 55.9% above $65,000/year in income.
The news headline says Oregon ranks high in natural disasters, which the text explains, is wildfires in the State.
This claim comes from a press release from a small, little known online Internet insurance sales web site. This type of press release is put out in hopes of garnering free publicity – and it certainly worked for them – in large part because the media, like all of us, is more likely to succumb to a fear-based scary headline.
However, if we practice factfulness and look at the long term trend in Oregon fires we see that a small rise at the right end of the chart has been translated into a crisis and a catastrophe. The chart above is the official chart from the Oregon government’s Fire Statistics page, and shows actual acreage burned and total fires burned in Oregon since 1911.
The slight increase at the extreme right edge is the basis for the scary headline. By leaving out all historical context and by focusing on large percentile increase in a tiny number at the right edge of the chart, the media creates unwarranted fear and hysteria in viewers.
This poster is a persuasive bit of propaganda. Most of it is not true. The parts that are true are that the Corn belt is a very productive region, and about 80 million acres (close to 100 million in the poster?) are growing corn. This item had been shared into my Facebook news feed.
A month ago, the media gave us scary stories that “Fears of an economic recession could derail the holiday shopping season”. Actual sales rose by +3.4% year over year, even with a shopping season that was six days shorter than the prior year. Unfortunately, mindless speculative “news” is used to fill up air time and web page time with something new.
Can you spot all the propaganda tricks in this chart? This chart has been running around social media for years. At best it is highly misleading. At worst, the data is not correct.
In 2019, California wildfires, by acreage, are running about one quarter the number as in 2018, and also well below the five year average.
Last week, the news
reported speculated that “fears of an economic recession could derail the holiday season”. This week, that speculation is already old news as Black Friday broke shopping records.