View counts on Youtube are faked

Video creators readily purchase views, by the thousands, as well as fake likes. By doing this, Google pushes their videos higher up in search rankings and in recommended video lists.

Essentially *all* of the Youtube stars who got started in the earlier years (which is most of today’s Youtube stars) used fake views to inflate their viewership. Back then it was incredibly easy – you could put a Youtube video player one hundred times on an HTML page and each time the page was reloaded, it would add 100 views. Tricks like that were shut down long ago.

Now, YouTubers just buy views to help establish their channels. The reason is because there is vast amounts of content on Youtube now – and its extraordinarily difficult for new channels to get underway. I read it can take 3 or more years of steadily posting videos before a new channel will have much of a following. You need something to “hook” the reader, from unusual/odd to young and cute.

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 small problem in the Vox video:  Vox lists only right wing provocateurs, perpetuating the idea that only the right spreads propaganda on social media. Vox does not mention any left wing propagandists. In effect, Vox is delivering its own meta-propaganda message by omitting key information.

This is perplexing as one of the most prolific fake news propaganda purveyors is a left wing, online, social-media based, for profit publishing operation with over 7.4 million followers on Facebook alone. See our series on the false propaganda about Denmark or their propaganda poster that caused me to start this web site (and  more examples on this blog).

Propaganda originates from both the right and the left, and through social media, is widely shared by both the left and the right. Left wing and right wing enthusiasts are each likely to be influenced by propaganda that targets their emotional hot buttons.

Journalists and Academics seek special privileges on Facebook

Facebook restricts certain conduct on its platform. However, journalists and academics are seeking to be treated as special, and 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 exact same research and thus, would be prohibited from verifying or evaluating the work of journalists and academics. Basically, the proposal is to have a group of “elite” Facebook users and everyone else are lab rats.

Political propaganda drops all pretense of logical thinking #ACA #ObamaCare #MedicareForAll

“Faithfully executed, as the Constitution requires, the ACA was working and insurance markets were stable” – Andy Slavitt, former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2015-2016.

During the period from 2014 to 2016, the average premium went up by 106% according to the CMMS, and in 3 states average premiums went up by over 200%. This, he says, is a “stable” market. And he was in charge during most of that time frame. Prices continued to rise at similar rates in 2017 and 2018.

The AP reports:

Of course – a very stable market requires ever increasing government subsidies while premiums rise at astronomical rates. Not.

This column in USA Today works as propaganda rather easily through the use of

  • Appeal to Authority (Slavitt)
  • Asserting things are true, that clearly are not. Which is just another form of lying.
  • Logical fallacy, “the ACA was working and the markets were stable”.
  • Censorship, by leaving out the writer’s relevant past experience.
  • The target’s quick acting System 1 thinking style that avoids details and misses the logical fallacies used in the proponent’s arguments.

The USA Today column mentions Slavitt’s involvement with CMMS but omits his full history. Once you learn of his past history, your perspective of his comments may change. What do you think?

Slavitt left a job as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs to become CEO of a company named Ingenix, a subsidiary of United Healthcare. Under his leadership, Ingenix was sued, twice, for creating fraudulent data used in health care billing and paid $400 million in settlements. Slavitt, who led the fraud scheme, was appointed to head CMMS and implementation of the ACA. Ingenix changed its name after the settlements – and Slavit was put in charge of CMMS where he regulated his past employer which is a conflict of interest prohibited by the Federal government. However, the Obama Administration issued an “Ethics Waiver”, waiving its conflict of interest rules and permitting Slavitt to head CMMS anyway.

Commentary

Not only was the ACA not working due to how the Act was written, the ACA is not sustainable. I wrote a paper on the subject that was read by staff at the Oregon Health Authority, numerous Oregon state legislators, health care industry executives and economists and was, in part, influential in changing Oregon State law to partially fix the definitely not stable ACA markets here. To learn more, please read my paper.

Proponents who say the ACA is “working” and “stable” are simultaneously advocating “repeal and replace” the ACA:

Logically, why is it necessary to repeal and replace a government program that is “working” and “stable”?

The propaganda efforts by Slavitt are perplexing. Presumably he is trying to buttress his past association with the ACA. But he is doing so through the use of lies while supporters simultaneously say it should be repealed and replaced. There is a logical disconnect here.

Fake comments too? How everything is fake on the Internet

This blog has commented in the past on the problem of fake reviews all over the Internet. Fake reviews are used to make a product sound better or sometimes to make a competitor’s product sound awful. It is difficult to rely on Amazon product reviews, for example, because for many products, an overwhelming number of reviews are fake. Web sites like fakespot.com help people identify products that are flooded with fake reviews.

I rarely look at YouTube comments but just looked at comments on a video by a prominent YouTube reviewer. It looked like almost all of the comments were bogus – literally posting a few words of near nonsense that added nothing to the discussion. Seems they are trying to get visibility for themselves in hopes that a few people will click on their YouTube ID and then pick up more views or subscribers. A few comments even ask the reader to check out their channel.

The high prevalence of fake stuff on the Internet is turning the Internet in to something far less than what we all envisioned 10 or 20 years ago.

Today, the primary business model of the Internet is surveillance for the purpose of producing targeted advertising to get you to buy something or adopt someone else’s agenda.

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 | SocialPanic.org – 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.

How legislators use propaganda methods to pass new laws

How propaganda techniques are used to promote legislation.

In this case, a specific individual is highlighted to emotionally hook others into supporting the bill. Arguments for the first law were shaped by referring to it as “Max’s Law” to connect it to a specific individual. Arguments for the second law were shaped by referring to it as “Jenna’s Law”.

The key technique is to personalize the topic to emotionally engage the target that needs persuading: legislators, and potentially lobbyists and the public who are usually needed to support proposed laws.

David Kracke, the Oregon lawyer who was pivotal in passing the legislation, remembers the decision to focus solely on public institutions in the bill named for Max Conradt, a former high school quarterback who suffered a permanent brain injury after back-to-back concussions.

Kracke told the Pamplin Media Group that at the time, he thought having a jurisdictional hook — the state already presides over public schools — was key to getting the legislation to then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s desk.

Chesnutt helped craft a bill to extend the protections of Max’s Law to young athletes competing outside of public schools. He made [Jenna] Sneva the public face of the issue.

Source: Pamplin Media Group – Checking the blind spot

Note – My comments above are about the propaganda technique that was used – emotional hook via focus on a single person – it is a common technique when pushing for legislation.

I experienced six traumatic brain injuries spread across my life from very young to a decade ago. TBI effects can last for months, years or a life time and until recently were often neglected by medical practitioners in favor of focusing on obvious physical problems such as the bones that were broken during the incidents that also included TBI.

Broward public schools seeks to hire a propaganda specialist to “fix” the public, rather than fix the problem

When everything is wrong, hire a propaganda specialist to persuade others that things are great because … propaganda!

The South Florida Sun Sentinel has reported on how Stoneman Douglas under-reported crime on campus, how the school failed to provide adequate special education services to killer Nikolas Cruz; and how a culture of leniency has allowed unruly students to receive countless second chances.

The school district also struggled to defend its controversial PROMISE program, which offers alternatives to arrests for some misdemeanors.

Source: Battling an image problem, Broward schools seeks public relations exec for up to $175,000 a year – Sun Sentinel

In effect, Broward public schools seeks to “fix” the public, rather than fix the underlying problems.

Smart TVs track everything you watch, and link that to your computer and smart phone connected devices too

Once enabled, Samba TV can track nearly everything that appears on the TV on a second-by-second basis, essentially reading pixels to identify network shows and ads, as well as programs on Netflix and HBO and even video games played on the TV. Samba TV has even offered advertisers the ability to base their targeting on whether people watch conservative or liberal media outlets and which party’s presidential debate they watched.

….

Samba TV can also identify other devices in the home that share the TV’s internet connection.

Source: How smart TVs in millions of U.S. homes track more than what’s on tonight :: WRAL.com

The primary business of the Internet is surveillance and propaganda.