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Category: Facts

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.

Youtube as a platform for propaganda

Youtube as a platform for propaganda

Researchers looked at Youtube videos about climate change and found that a very large proportion are basically conspiracy theory videos (example – claiming jets are spewing “chem trails” to modify the climate and control the population). The researchers, in turn, advocate use of Youtube for “science communication” efforts, apparently unaware that another study found most science communications is now tied to political motives – in other words, propaganda messaging.

Bottom line is that Youtube is no different than Facebook and Twitter in that all are frictionless platforms for propaganda dissemination.

Der Spiegel star reporter and editor admits to having made up stories and facts

Der Spiegel star reporter and editor admits to having made up stories and facts

A “star” reporter and editor at Der Spiegel has admitted to fabricating his stories over a period of many years. He was the four time winner of Germany’s “Reporter of the Year” award and a two time winner of CNN’s Journalist of the Year. Yet the journalists who selected the winner never saw problems. Think of the role that such fake news plays in shaping public opinion, and its sharing on social media as part of propaganda campaigns.

The role played by propaganda in the public discussion of the #ACA #ObamaCare-Did you know the ACA has a pre-existing condition waiting period?

The role played by propaganda in the public discussion of the #ACA #ObamaCare-Did you know the ACA has a pre-existing condition waiting period?

Propaganda messaging played and continues to play an enormous role in the public’s view on the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. ObamaCare. For example, Democrats have made pre-existing condition exclusions the centerpiece of their 2018 public commentary on the ACA.

Yet, never explained is that most Americans already had protections against pre-existing condition exclusions – it was the individual market that did not have protections (details in the post). Further, contrary to what you have been led to believe, the ACA does, in fact, establish a pre-existing condition waiting period. The ACA did not eliminate pre-existing condition waiting periods (see post for details).

The propaganda messaging used the methods of Fear, Assertion, Lying and What You See Is All There Is and has been extraordinarily effective. The Republican opposition has been clumsy and largely counterproductive with utterly ineffective propaganda messaging of its own.

(This is a major update to a previously posted item on this topic – formatting, editing and a better explanation of the propaganda methods used have been done to improve the previous post and make it easier to understand.)

Fear and false assertion used to market a government law

Fear and false assertion used to market a government law

Obamacare was judged unconstitutional by a Federal judge today. In response, a number of politicians made comments such as this one: “Today’s ruling is an assault on 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions”. That claim, however, is false. It is not well known but HIPAA (passed in 1996) provided protections for many, and about half of the U.S. states enacted various protections against pre-existing condition exclusions. This was hidden by design. By implying (falsely) that 1/3d of the U.S. population would be denied health insurance, the method of fear is used to create political support.

Example of erroneous social media post gone viral-yet is factually incorrect

Example of erroneous social media post gone viral-yet is factually incorrect

A widely shared social media post about the Supreme Court contains 4 major errors according to an expert on law. Yet at the time of his writing, had been shared over 18,000 times on Facebook. Social media enables anyone to act as a propagandist, and once memes go viral, they become “facts” even though they are completely wrong.

Official, provable, corporate funded marketing lies from Code.org

Official, provable, corporate funded marketing lies from Code.org

Code.org is a lobbying organization funded by high tech industrial giants. They are lobbying to have more kids K-12 studying computer science and less time spent studying other subjects in school. One of their methods is to straight up lie about the size of the job market, as you’ll see on the attached post. And its not a little lie, but being off by a factor of ten. This is a great example of corporate funded propaganda that turns into “facts” quoted in media news stories and then likely gets quoted by politicians.

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.

Part 8: Is Denmark a socialist country?

Part 8: Is Denmark a socialist country?

This blog analyzed a popular social media propaganda post that was widely distributed in 2016. The poster encouraged viewers to share if you wanted the U.S. to be just like Denmark. Nearly all the claims about Denmark, however, were false. Yet the poster was widely shared. Another popular meme is that Denmark is a socialist country and we should be just like Denmark. Except Denmark is not a socialist country – and that is according to the Prime Minister of Denmark.