Browsed by
Category: In Practice

Youtube now pseudo fact checking some videos

Youtube now pseudo fact checking some videos

Youtube has begun flagging videos on selected topics and displays a fairly large banner with a quote from Wikipedia – just in case the video does not meet Google’s own definitions of truthiness. Or something. It’s kinda weird since they use Wikipedia – the encyclopedia that anyone can and does edit – as the source of truth.

The Amazon fires pseudo news panic illustrates how easy it is to throw an election via social media

The Amazon fires pseudo news panic illustrates how easy it is to throw an election via social media

Social media is a frictionless platform for the dissemination of propaganda messaging. Seeing what just took place in the past few days, can you imagine the firepower about to be unleashed during the next national election in the U.S.? The brutal propaganda messaging on social media threatens to take down democracy.

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.

Should we respond to Portland riots with even more violence?

Should we respond to Portland riots with even more violence?

Portland has become “ground zero” in the use of street violence against those holding views that others disagree with. Right wing hate groups, like Proud Boys, deliberately come to Portland with a goal of instigating violent uprisings. Portland is ground zero for a movement informally referred to as “Antifa”.

Antifa has no specific ideology but believes in the use of violence (vigilante and mob justice) against anyone they disagree with. While this example was about a right wing hate group, Antifa is all over the map in terms of what they do not like, and then applying violence to those targets. Both groups are filled with angry people, consumed by outrage, and not just inflamed by social media propaganda, but using social media as their platform to encourage more conflict, more outrage and more violence. None of these activities are leading to solutions – they lead only to more violence and more outrage.

Do social media algorithms favor “sexualized posts”?

Do social media algorithms favor “sexualized posts”?

Social media algorithms that select what items we see in our feeds or in our “recommended” posts or video lists, may be designed to favor content that features attractive people (usually females, usually young and fit) or which include more sexualized content (broadly defined). Content creators see in their viewership data what works to obtain views and will produce more content like that. The effect is that algorithms may be reinforcing stereotypes of women as sex objects (data suggests this has happened more so for women than men).

The cesspool called Twitter

The cesspool called Twitter

The noise level on Twitter greatly exceeds the signal, as their content has become overrun with meanness, falsehoods and outrage. This is not good for anyone’s mental health. I have no idea when or if I will log in again after the events of this past week.

Why is this national news?

Why is this national news?

A minor school yard tussle, not even worthy of a local news story becomes a national news report. This is not a national news story. This is “pseudo news” reporting that wastes our time with click-bait emotional content.

And for what its worth, its identical to something that happened to me at age 11. Then I was recovering from a skull fracture when a boy threw a football that hit me in the head, right along the fracture line. This was not local news. This was not national news. In fact, it wasn’t even news with in my school. But today, we’d be on cable news 24 x 7 …

Oxfam’s annual report on income inequality is nonsense designed for propaganda messaging

Oxfam’s annual report on income inequality is nonsense designed for propaganda messaging

Oxfam issues its annual report on global wealth inequality, but this time, many notice that its methodology is garbage, designed to produce a specific outcome for citation in propaganda campaigns. Specifically, many U.S. university graduates with good paying jobs, nice apartments, cars, smart phones, cable TV and Internet access are identified as among the poorest people on earth. Really?

Updated: How airlines use intimidation to persuade you to spend more money

Updated: How airlines use intimidation to persuade you to spend more money

Six months ago, I wrote about airlines’ new policies of dividing cabins into as many as 9 different tiers or classes of customers, creating a sense of peer pressure between the haves and have-nots. Now, researchers say this passenger hierarchy appears to lead to more in flight aggression by passengers.