IEEE Standard to Rate the Trustworthiness of News Sites

The IEEE Standards Association is trying to help readers detect such content with its new IEEE P7011 Standard for the Process of Identifying and Rating the Trustworthiness of News Sources.

Source: IEEE Standard to Rate the Trustworthiness of News Sites

You may not know who the IEEE is but if you use WiFi, or Ethernet or a whole lot technologies, you are using the work of their working groups. Before it was called “WiFi”, it was known as 802.11, and you still see many references to 802.11a, b, ac, g ,n , ad and so on. 802 refers to the local area network/mesh network standards and 11 refers to the wireless LAN standard (engineers like numbers:) ) Some one I once worked for wrote the first draft of the 802.11 specification.

The IEEE, which once stood for Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, but now just IEEE, is the world’s largest professional organization for the advancement of technology.

This is neat to see the IEEE’s Society on Social Implications of Technology developing a public standard for trust ratings. You can learn more at their web site.

Never leave a reporter, alone, in a room, with a number

One of the wealthiest and most influential families in the world, the banking dynasty was founded in the 1760s. Because the family’s wealth is private, it’s difficult to ascertain its net worth – estimates range all the way up to a staggering $700 trillion, split between legions of descendants. The philanthropic clan has interests in real estate, art and wine.

The World’s Richest Families’ staggering wealth

According to Credit Suisse, the total wealth in the world in 2017 was $280 Trillion.

Snopes also demolishes this absurd news report from MSN.

Remember, the way to address accusations of fake news is to … create more fake news? Hello?


Media announces “fact free” reporting initiative

Tiny couple lives in 8 square foot trailer:

The couple, both 30 at the time, decided to trade in their three-bedroom San Francisco home to take up residence in an 8-square-foot TAB Teardrop camper.

Source: As millennials embrace RVs, next wave of travel trailers go hip |

The actual dimensions of just the queen size bed inside are 31 square feet. Guess it’s like a Doctor WHO Tardis, bigger on the inside?

Newsweek says Virgin Galactic space plane now travels at twice the speed of light – wow:

“Correction: The headline has been changed to reflect the fact the Virgin Galactic spaceplane flew at twice the speed of sound, not the twice speed of light as previously stated.””

More from “Newsweek”:  this story written by highly creative writer Janice Williams, where almost everything in the lead is wrong.

  • Per Wikipedia, Stephen Austin died in 1836 yet Newsweek says he founded the City of Austin 3 years after he died. Amazing guy!
  • Texas was part of Mexico until 1836, after which it was an independent republic until joining the US in 1845.
  • Newsweek says that 24 years after Austin’s death, he became a leader of a Confederacy that was founded in 1861!
  • William Barton is another Confederate leader, per Newsweek. Except he died in 1840, 21 years before the Confederacy was established.

Newsweek based their creative story telling on an original report in the Austin Statesman. The latter reported the story correctly; Newsweek’s reporters and editors lack even elementary school reading ability.

Newsweek is a fictional story service that pretends to report on the news – their journalistic and business failures are self inflicted, says Salon.

Yet they wonder why people call them “fake news” when their reporters and editors act like bumbling fools with the talent of middle school writers.

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. This behavior is bewildering.

Update – “Average renter can’t afford their apartment”

A few months ago, a news item spread saying that the “average renter” or “minimum wage renter” cannot afford a one bedroom apartment.

But that is not what the study actually said.

The study picked a price point equal to the 40th percentile of rental unit price distributions. In general, those earning a single minimum wage income are usually not able to afford a one bedroom apartment at the 40th percentile. They can afford lower cost units in the market below the 40th percentile – in other words, they can rent units in the lower 40% of the market.

I have updated the original blog post to incorporate this new information.

And an update to our update – a link to yet another example of how CBS News merely parroted the press release propaganda. Reporters did not read the study to understand the nuance of what the study actually said versus what was written in the propaganda press release. The news media is just one link in the chain of an effective propaganda operation. (The editor of a local paper once referred to such reporting as “stenography reporting” and called it bogus. But those are the old days now!)

Source: Fake News: Average renter can’t afford their apartment | – Occupy Propaganda

Update: Polar bears, social media, and how our emotional response may have helped a PR stunt

Update: National Geographic has retracted the claims made about a widely viewed photo of a starving polar bear. The photos and video were seen by an estimated 2.5 billion people and purported to show the effects of climate change.

NGeo has retracted the claim and the photographer admits they were seeking a photo to be used for propaganda messaging. Details are in our now updated original post: Polar bears, social media, and how our emotional response may have helped a PR stunt | – Occupy Propaganda

The episode is likely the most successful propaganda message in  history. It is highly doubtful that many of the 2.5 billion original viewers will learn of the retraction.

Fake propaganda poster has almost everything wrong

The only part of this propaganda poster that is true is that did write about Snopes in 2009 but rather than finding it to be a “liberal propaganda site” they said is solid and well documented”.

See how easy it is to create a viral propaganda poster for social media sharing?

Source: FACT CHECK: Was ‘BUSTED’ for Our CEO’s Ties to George Soros?

Who shares fake news on social media? You do.

“On the left if you’re consuming fake news you’re 34 times more likely than the general population to be a college graduate,” says Green.

If you’re on the right, he says, you’re 18 times more likely than the general population to to be in the top 20 percent of income earners.

And the study revealed another disturbing trend: the more you consume fake news, the more likely you are to vote. It’s “fascinating and frightening at the same time,” says Green.

Source: The rise of left-wing, anti-Trump fake news – BBC News

This is consistent with the late Jacques Ellul’s observation that the highly educated are more susceptible to propaganda messaging than the less educated, and are more likely to tell others. (Ellul was a famous French sociologist, philosopher and professor during the latter 20th century).

An easy way to stop fake news sharing in its tracks is – surprise! – Do not share anything! If you did not create it or do not know the background to how it was created, and cannot vouch for its authenticity, then don’t share it!

Fake News about opioids and the workforce

Powell cited research from Princeton economist Alan Krueger, who conducted a survey and found that 44 percent of men reported that they had taken some form of pain medication the previous day.

Source: Fed’s Powell: Opioids people out of the workforce

Actual study text:

Fully 44 percent of prime age men who were out of the labor force acknowledged taking pain medication on the previous day, although this encompasses a wide range of medications.

Pain medication, per the study, included either prescription or over-the-counter medication, or both

Since this is about opioids:

Nearly two-thirds of those who took pain medication indicated that they took prescription pain medication


Thus, on any given day, 31 percent of NLF prime age men take pain medication, most likely an opioid-based medication<

No data is given to support the “most likely an opiod-based medication” claim.

From a claim of “44% of men” down to 31% of prime age men not-in-the-labor-force – or 31% of a very small subset.

Apparently CNBC never read the underlying study, made no attempt to verify the facts or unintentionally or intentionally misconstrued the Fed Chair’s comments. What ever it is, it was terrible reporting.

This “news” works as a propaganda:

  1.  It now appears in a major media outlet which will influence others into believing pain medication is so widespread that 44% of working age men are taking prescription pain medications.
  2.  It uses an “Appeal to Authority” (Fed Chair)
  3.  It uses an “Appeal to Authority” (Princeton economist)
  4.  It uses a “Logical fallacy” (lumping prescription and non-prescription medications together in the top line number of 44%)
  5. It uses “Lies” by leaving out that this refers to men not in the labor force, rather than all men.

There is a wide spread meme sweeping the nation that opioid deaths care caused primarily by abuse of prescription opioid pain medications. Other studies indicate most deaths are due to synthetic, illegally produced and sold drugs on the street and not those prescribed by doctors.

This “news” report by CNBC feeds this propaganda meme.


A separate table (Table 6) presents different data values saying that 57.7% of men aged 25-54 NLF took pain medication yesterday.

According to Table 8, 76.5% of those taking prescription pain medication were part of Medicaid, Medicare or VA/Tricare. About half were on various disability programs (Workmen’s comp, Social Security, VA, Disability insurance).

One can not make this up


The media is putting The Onion out of business!

Text for Indexing

A tape might exist of Trump doing something in an elevator, though exactly where that somewhere is and what that something might be, no one in media can say. That’s because no one in the media seems to have seen the tape – or is even confident it exists