The Ornery American Forums

General Category => General Comments => Topic started by: D.W. on February 14, 2017, 03:28:12 PM

Title: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: D.W. on February 14, 2017, 03:28:12 PM
Is the current fixation on “Fake News” actually helpful?  While it’s driving me nuts about now, I find myself asking this question.  In the not too distant future, or right now, depending on who you ask or your budget, we will be able to “fake news” at level previously reserved for clever Hollywood plots.  Already we can’t believe what we read.  We need to find multiple sources that are not just copied from each other.  The technology exists / is under development or refinement for two particularly terrifying tricks.  First is mapping facial movements from one person onto a model generated through an alarmingly small sample set of video of the target person.  Second is an ability to build a speech library in order to make someone say what you want, again with a fairly small sample set.

Before even the next presidential election cycle there could be in place the ability to turn any candidate into a puppet to convincingly say whatever you want them to, live on TV.  Maybe I’m wrong on this, or maybe it’s already possible.  While it’s still obvious right now if you are looking for it, the technology is already good enough if people aren’t focusing that much.  Tech still lags a little?  Joining us by satellite connection is Mr. X!  Oh the picture quality is a little low due to the connection, sorry about that folks.

We’ve already got politicians who will tell you with a straight face, “I never said that.”, when there is video ‘evidence’ they did, and often not long ago and unambiguously.  What happens when they tell us that… and they are being truthful?  How do you recover from slander that everyone believes came out of your own mouth?  I SAW you say it.  What if they saw you interact with someone in real time let alone a recorded/doctored video?  We are struggling mightily with just false WRITTEN stories. 

Is there any way to inoculate ourselves against such tactics?  Is having a “war on media” and accusations of “fake news” right now, before things reach a critical mass useful?  Can we create a source of information disbursement of “news” that is credible and respected?  If not, what does a post-informed society look like?  Do you believe we already live there?
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Fenring on February 14, 2017, 03:50:47 PM
Media sources currently thrive on viewership and no other factor. As long as that remains so things will get worse, not better. Some X-factor needs to be introduced if the system is going to be reformed. This might be a market-induced change, such as an "honesty score" that get crowd-voted in some manner, or maybe new laws of some kind. The previous laws requiring networks to tell the truth became defunct when new media sources other than the main networks began to compete with them. It's not clear what the fix should be, but as long as there is value in manipulating and lying to the public, those practices will not only continue but will increase in sophistication to the point where it's no longer possible to tell by simple observation what is true and what isn't.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Pete at Home on February 15, 2017, 04:50:44 PM
Yes, there's a way, but it won't be done.  Do what Mexico City has done with polution -- a rotating week where two days a week, any one car cannot be on the roads.  Shut every channel down and clear that bandwidth for 2 days per week.  Forcing American viewers to find another news source for those two days.  Force them to become aware of the existence of other points of view.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Gaoics79 on February 15, 2017, 06:30:07 PM
Bring back the fairness doctrine?
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Seriati on February 16, 2017, 10:18:54 AM
Break up major media companies into smaller groups and re-impose restrictions on ownership that allowed the creation of media empires.  Change the liability laws to provide greater protection for news stories produced by your on staff journalists and strict liability for stories that are printed from a wire service.  Basically, force more people and view points into the market and force more conflict between those view points.

I guess you could impose term limits on news anchors as well (half joking).
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: D.W. on February 16, 2017, 10:50:55 AM
Reducing "cross posting" of news stories may help.  A clear industry standard way of knowing what is an opinion piece based upon other sources material vs. an investigative piece your company broke would help.

Just making people responsible for what they post as clearly their content rather than reporting on other's reporting...  That could help I guess.

My larger point is that tech wise, our ability to fabricate false narratives is about to make an evolutionary leap.  The only way I see avoiding it is if the "major outlets" can restore trust, and do so fast.  That doesn't mean they have to be unbiased, but there has to be a bright red line between reporting of facts and what is happening / being said, and what is their opinion or interpretation of those facts and events. 

Right now, that's eroded and in may cases non-existent.  That environment combined with technology that lets one "invent" news in the form of fake interviews, quotes or live footage is... well, terrifying. 
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Pete at Home on February 16, 2017, 07:24:02 PM
Break up major media companies into smaller groups and re-impose restrictions on ownership that allowed the creation of media empires.  Change the liability laws to provide greater protection for news stories produced by your on staff journalists and strict liability for stories that are printed from a wire service.  Basically, force more people and view points into the market and force more conflict between those view points.

Yes.  Sherman act either applies or should be adapted to apply.  Surprised and delighted that we agree on this point.  I thought I was out in the field alone on that one.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDeamon on February 18, 2017, 09:06:53 PM
Bring back the fairness doctrine?

Please no, that's more likely to be an abuse rather than the alternative. Besides, it wouldn't be used to "fix the news media." It would be used to take Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck off the air on the talk radio circuit.

While getting Hannity off the air in particular may be a public service almost everyone can agree to,  I'm not sure that the precedent set would be a good one.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDrake on February 20, 2017, 09:18:23 AM
I don't think you "fix" the media from the supply side. You have to teach people to think critically so that they look at some of the stuff CNN puts out and says, "really?". You have to teach people to be skeptics. That they should read all the words, and look up the ones they don't know. That somebody screaming a soundbite is not news. That, absent news media getting multiple sources, that YOU have to get multiple sources - and that means tracking down originals, knowing what reuters and AP are and how they function. Knowing how to spot a regurgitated press release (especially in financial and business "news" - which is even faker than other kinds).

But it would probably be easier to outlaw TV, radio, and internet than to get all that to happen. I can't even get my close friends on facebook to perform a 30 second search to filter out the false stories and memes that are trivially disproven, or to even embarrass them by pointing it out. That's on both "sides" of the political spectrum, BTW.

Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Fenring on February 20, 2017, 10:33:22 AM
I don't think you "fix" the media from the supply side. You have to teach people to think critically so that they look at some of the stuff CNN puts out and says, "really?". You have to teach people to be skeptics. That they should read all the words, and look up the ones they don't know.

This would be nice...in maybe 500 years. Right now this isn't a tenable suggestion, broadly speaking. A large culture shift would be needed over time, although I do agree that it's always the right time to begin moving in that direction.

However I would caution you in placing too much trust in skepticism winning the day, because I believe that even a well-disciplined mind will only be resistant - but not immune - to the effects of propaganda and being misled. Simply put, the individual doesn't have enough information on hand to personally vet content enough to reject certain kinds of things out of hand. In many cases you can remain 'undecided', but the way certain information content is structured you don't have to believe it, only to hear it, for it to have its effect. It's kind of like radiation; you can put on some protection, but unless you have a full-body suit (i.e. cut yourself off from all media) you're getting irradiated to some extent even if you're aware it's happening. Orwell would teach us that manipulation of language alone is enough to change how minds think, and I would agree with him. So not only do we have to be cautious about accepting ideas, but even about accepting how words are used. And indeed, this very issue is at the forefront of our social discourse right now.

Maybe in some far-flung future when our grasp of reality is so good will be we able to wholesale shrug off harmful data. Until then I think it will be a fact that the source of the content will always achieve some success persuading and misleading so long as the content is being consumed. And if it's available it will be consumed, therefore leaving us with the rock-and-hard-dilemma of either accepting that we're going to be brainwashed to some extent, or else gutting the freedom of what can legally be put into print (i.e. to remove the freedom to lie to the public as a protected right).
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: D.W. on February 20, 2017, 10:09:12 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohmajJTcpNk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohmajJTcpNk)

This is one of such software tools coming soon to a propaganda toolkit near you!
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: D.W. on February 20, 2017, 10:21:20 PM
I like the way the conversation went.  But I wanted to be clear about what I see on the horizon.  We may be reaching a technological threshold where critical thinking is simply not enough.  Even the most cynical and careful among us may be out matched.

OR... a major media operator will fall prey to bait of the manufactured variety and take a serious blow.  Perhaps one who has enemies in high places.

Think of how useful to a boy-who-cries-wolf an uncovered "fake video" of him crying wolf would be? 
"I never said that!"
(and what if he didn't?)
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Fenring on February 20, 2017, 11:15:54 PM
I like the way the conversation went.  But I wanted to be clear about what I see on the horizon.  We may be reaching a technological threshold where critical thinking is simply not enough.  Even the most cynical and careful among us may be out matched.

I think we're already there. At best a diligent and informed mind will be able to resist accepting narratives, and most likely the result of this is going to be great caution in accepting any narrative presented, even those that are true. There isn't enough data available to be sure what to be believe (IMO), but using deduction and best-guesses can allow for a reasonably clear picture in broad strokes.

A good piece of evidence for that fact that we're already outmatched is that if you observe the community of people who reject mainstream narratives, many of whom are very intelligent, you'll rarely find agreement between any of them - even about broad details about what's going on! The skepticism subculture is basically a train wreck, and when places like Info Wars are among the more prominent of these you know there are issues there. Based on that alone I think it's safe to say that 'critical independent thinking' is insufficient to put the pieces together in a convincing fashion. The problem, really, is that so much of the information we consume is way beyond even being second-hand; it's sourced from who-knows-where, and the original source (if it was known) would often weight heavily into its trustworthiness. But since the source is typically obscured the information available is a huge jumble and figuring anything out is like doing a jigsaw puzzle with no picture to match it up against.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: rightleft22 on February 21, 2017, 10:01:08 AM
 I agree that we are already at the threshold, perhaps not that critical thinking in not enough but that the traditional  tools of critical thinking and discernment are failing in the information age

I would argue that issue isn't that  "There isn't enough data available to be sure what to be believe" but that there is two much information to be sure what to believe and the skill of discernment has not kept up.

This disconnect between information, knowledge and wisdom is terrifying
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: D.W. on February 21, 2017, 10:03:58 AM
Quote
This disconnect between information, knowledge and wisdom is terrifying
A problem further compounded by the desire for outsiders who render those over reliant on "conventional wisdom" almost functionally crippled.  Or at least removes their edge in predicting outcomes...
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Fenring on February 21, 2017, 11:19:48 AM
This disconnect between information, knowledge and wisdom is terrifying

Wisdom can be tough, depending on one's first principles and how they are meant to apply to life, but certainly I agree there is a disconnect between information and knowledge. I would specify that "knowledge" in this case should be taken to mean "true things about reality", because in many cases a person "knows" things that are not, in fact, in any way connected to reality even though by virtue of knowing them they feel real in the person's interior life. Using this kind of distinction, I would argue that at present the average American has more information and is less knowledgeable than probably any previous generation of Americans. The ratio of how much of one's information is knowledge (using this definition) is probably extremely low right now, and this is the main problem: what is being peddled and consumed is information, and translating any of that into real knowledge is very hard for a person to do. How do you take something you learn and then conduct the process of vetting it, as for example "This data does correspond to a reality independent from my imagination, and is therefore solid"? It's very hard to do, especially when even the raw facts are in dispute by alternate sources and the distributor of the information isn't trustworthy. Even worse, there has been a trend in recent history away from even acknowledging that there is any objective reality to which each person must submit.

I think we would see a big change in the mental atmosphere of life if somehow the conflict of interest in peddling information was eliminated. Right now there is gross incentive for private parties to create narratives that suit their purposes, which don't have to be entirely untrue but create mental characterizations that favor them at least. This is so because there is monetary advantage to doing so; take away the monetary advantage and there would be no purpose in spending so much energy creating these narratives. The way the economic system is currently structured there is pretty much maximal incentive to screw with people's heads, and little to no incentive to try to propagate truth simply for the betterment of the populace. When the game is so designed, the major players will always go for the primary 'win' condition regardless of what effect it has on human life.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: D.W. on February 21, 2017, 11:34:46 AM
Any way to accomplish this other than taking shelter behind pay walls?  Not to sound cheep but I don't see convincing the nation/world that information that IS free, is flawed.  :)
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Wayward Son on February 21, 2017, 11:44:07 AM
Quote
Right now there is gross incentive for private parties to create narratives that suit their purposes, which don't have to be entirely untrue but create mental characterizations that favor them at least. This is so because there is monetary advantage to doing so; take away the monetary advantage and there would be no purpose in spending so much energy creating these narratives.

While I agree with just about everything else you say, I wouldn't say that the monetary advantage is the only incentive.

Ideological advantages are also paramount.

Persuading a large portion of the population to believe something that is true has huge political advantages--which easily convert into monetary and power advantages.  So eliminating the monetary advantage will only push the problem down one level.

I think the primary way to fight fake news is to hold those who report the news accountable.  If they are wrong or mistaken, they must admit it, or they must be dismissed.  Of course, you will have to know that your "alternative facts" are more trustworthy than the new report.  And you will have to account for your own biases.  But through the accumulation of evidence over time, those who will bend the truth should become apparent.

With luck. :(
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: D.W. on February 21, 2017, 11:54:35 AM
Quote
If they are wrong or mistaken, they must admit it, or they must be dismissed.
By whom?  Giving any government the power to "dismiss" an outlet sounds... catastrophic. 

The "best case scenario" that I could think up is some international agency who's sole mandate is to fact check.  Part of their work would be to create, or result in, composite scores of trustworthiness for stories per outlet.  Then, we could get to a point where browsers or standardized banners on a site link in their score from this outside agency. 

Now that does nothing to solve how to make people trust this agency if they feel it is politically motivated to attack "their perspective". 

We could also use industry standards to label any particular piece as a first hand report, an interview with someone (potentially ranking or cautioning against their level of bias) and then, pure opinion piece. 

"Fake News" could well be (and by many accounts already is) weaponize.  We want 2% military spending for NATO?  How about 0.5% spending for safeguarding our internet and our media sources from attack?  It may take a lot of man-hours to do this job.  Maybe our taxes pay for it.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Fenring on February 21, 2017, 12:04:43 PM
Quote
Right now there is gross incentive for private parties to create narratives that suit their purposes, which don't have to be entirely untrue but create mental characterizations that favor them at least. This is so because there is monetary advantage to doing so; take away the monetary advantage and there would be no purpose in spending so much energy creating these narratives.

While I agree with just about everything else you say, I wouldn't say that the monetary advantage is the only incentive.

Ideological advantages are also paramount.

Well, I didn't mean merely cashing in on sponsors at the lowest level. I sort of meant that in some way, shape or form, it will boil down to money somewhere down the line. Even if news media stations were mandated by law to function as non-profit organizations (which I wouldn't mind!) there would still be major incentive by third parties to use them as conduits for spreading their own information around, who in turn would stand to make money. So not only would the media have to be divorced from money, but also from having any levers that other private parties could pull to bend the media to their ends.

Maybe I'm cynical when I say this, but I think most so-called ideological divides in the U.S. as we see them in politics are just about different factions vying for funds and gravy. I do not believe that they fundamentally have as their agenda to help anyone by teaching them some kind of truth. There are plenty of groups around that probably do try to just help people, but they aren't the ones lobbying the Congress, let's just put it that way. The minute there is a gravy train with figures in the billions, you can be sure there will be all sorts of 'ideological' opponents battling for it. The problem always lies in the incentive. I honestly don't blame the scrappers going after it, even though one might argue that as individuals they should know better.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDrake on February 21, 2017, 12:45:43 PM
I like the way the conversation went.  But I wanted to be clear about what I see on the horizon.  We may be reaching a technological threshold where critical thinking is simply not enough.  Even the most cynical and careful among us may be out matched.

Possibly, but we as a society are not even close to doing the most minor of vetting. Thus, the constant retweeting, reposting, and liking of "famous guy said THIS" meme pictures. Trivial research with the information we already have would go a long way to making the ground less ripe and making fake news less lucrative - which is largely what drives its proliferation.

I want this to be true! <CLICK>

Technology of creating videos is hardly necessary when you can just misquote someone in print (at least as long as literacy is a thing. Alexa, respond to all posts critical of <current president> with a Like and Retweet!

Despite what Rene Descartes proved or not, I believe that my senses are accurate. Likewise, I believe that all global news sources are not conspiring to tell me something that is not true. They may all lie, but they'll be telling me different lies that won't match up. Like suspects talking to detectives. If BBC, ABC, NPR, Al Jazeera, Snopes, and Le Monde are all telling me something happened, I'm going to accept that it happened. This presumes that I've read who their source is suggested to be. If it comes from "a senior white house official who spoke on condition of anonymity" without corroboration, I'm going to downgrade that intelligence. I'll wait to see how the information plays out, how the people who should know the truth are reacting, if more people come forward with information.

As far as stopping people from telling lies or distorting the truth, even setting the political bits aside, wouldn't this largely rule out all advertisements? I recommend The Space Merchants and The Merchants' War to see what both paths look like. Mokie-Koke!

Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Seriati on February 21, 2017, 12:48:24 PM
I think the primary way to fight fake news is to hold those who report the news accountable.  If they are wrong or mistaken, they must admit it, or they must be dismissed.  Of course, you will have to know that your "alternative facts" are more trustworthy than the new report.  And you will have to account for your own biases.  But through the accumulation of evidence over time, those who will bend the truth should become apparent.

Won't work, won't even come close to working.  It's premised on the idea that true and false are easily identifiable, and quite frankly they aren't.  Complex issues can have multiple right answers, even answers that conflict, where none of them are factually wrong but they are all dependent on what your goals are.  There's also almost no way to account for deliberate bias, how do you address, equivalent candidates on one side being labeled "innovators" and on the other side "unqualified"?  Neither statement is objectively true or false, but with enough repetition they certainly change what people believe.  It's the same reason every conservative is an "ultra conservative" and the media has yet to find a "ultra liberal" or "ultra progressive" (they can barely find a liberal).

When you couple that with interest driven science that produces "studies" that are designed to support policy positions rather than objectively discover truth, you get an even nastier web of "fact-based" reporting.  Fact checkers, who are nothing more than opinion reporters (heck, even the idea of fact-checkers as distinct from journalists should tell you everything you need to know about how far journalism has fallen, before you even consider how far fact-checking has fallen) make the situation even worse, with people citing to them as greater authorities without any objective consideration or vetting.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Fenring on February 21, 2017, 12:49:54 PM
As far as stopping people from telling lies or distorting the truth, even setting the political bits aside, wouldn't this largely rule out all advertisements?

Right you are ;)
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: cherrypoptart on February 21, 2017, 01:26:46 PM
Just adding to what Seriati described, you often have situations where everything reported is completely accurate in every way down to the last detail, but it's the stories that don't get reported on at all that mislead by omission, and you'll never know. For instance, the German government and a complicit media acted to entirely cover up the story about the mass rape of German women in public by hundreds of immigrants acting in concert. The media could have reported on completely true stories about immigrant doctors saving lives, immigrant engineers improving fuel efficiency, and immigrant chefs fusing cultures in dishes that are a culinary delight. Fact checking won't do you any good because all of those stories would be true down to the last warm and fuzzy detail. And you'll never know what you didn't know. That's also fake news. And it's completely real news too. Once you find out this is happening there is almost no way to avoid paranoia about what stories are being covered up or just ignored. The media can't report on every thing that happens so of course they have to pick and choose. It's what they pick and choose to cover or not to cover that sets the agenda.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDrake on February 21, 2017, 02:26:58 PM
The media can't report on every thing that happens so of course they have to pick and choose. It's what they pick and choose to cover or not to cover that sets the agenda.

It is absolutely true that one can choose to report on something to whatever degrees one might like. There are also "true" things that mislead, like the particular photo that you choose to go with an article. The photo actually happened, but it often wasn't from the event being reported upon. Other times something is popped in and later retracted - like when a Dominican paper puts Alec Baldwin's picture on a Trump article. I don't really believe that was an honest mistake - it gave them tons of attention. That's why it is good to have a variety of sources and be capable of noticing the differences.

Then there's the words that you use to describe an event. Will you call some guys throwing rocks... Thugs? Terrorists? Citizens? Protestors? Rioters? Mob? Unidentified Men? Will you describe the size of the group as huge or small, or try to give it a concrete number? All of these are ways to persuade the reader to accept the author's take on the situation, and in many cases the author may be genuinely trying to describe a scene accurately, but cannot avoid adding their own cultural bias and life experiences, or other reports that you've seen in the past.

BBC, Jan 5, "Germany shocked by Cologne New Year gang assaults on women"

CNN, Jan 10, "Cologne, Germany: Hundreds of sexual assault charges from New Year's Eve"

Daily Mail, Jul 11, Revealed: 1,200 women were sexually assaulted by 2,000 men in German cities on New Year's Eve

The implication of the Mail article is that there was a massive coverup. But reading into the articles shows that in Cologne, there were 600 reports, which is in fact "hundreds" that CNN reported. And the BBC article talks about 1000 men being involved.

I don't mean to try to defend any point of view on that particular topic, but rather pointing out it can clearly be taken two ways, and that's on a quantitative set of facts, let alone all the other factors that come into play with that story.

That's why the idea that we could have some kind of Media Czar who could rule on who tells the truth and who doesn't would be problematic, dangerous, and ultimately lead to less certainty and more confusion.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDeamon on February 21, 2017, 02:32:52 PM
Any way to accomplish this other than taking shelter behind pay walls?  Not to sound cheep but I don't see convincing the nation/world that information that IS free, is flawed.  :)

I think it'd be awesome if someone came up with a credible crowdsourced/crwodfunded and functionally independent news organization. The challenge there is "drift conditions" that invariably crop up, and the reality that both sides are more than willing to flood such things with either people, or money, if not both if they think there is a decent chance that they can "take it over."

Which brings us back to "follow the money" which is the very problem that we're seeing with Fox/CNN/MSNBC/et al.

But it also makes a compelling case for a stricter set of anti-trust laws that apply specifically to "news organizations."

What we need is not bigger/better news organizations. We need more/smaller (tactical) news organizations, and better aggregation options, which also means options beyond just the AP and Reuters, or Google for that matter. However, the issue once more comes back to follow the money. Those many, smaller, news organizations are only likely to be as effective as their funding allows them to be.

Which is a large part of the problem "the news media" in particular has been having since the 1990's. The Internet and other technologies has fundamentally changed their business model, and they're still trying to work out how to make things work financially in this new reality. The Local newspaper has been largely replaced with the internet.

The broadcast/cable News Networks are dealing with increasing levels of viewer division and subdivision, as well as many of those viewers largely "tuning out" entirely on the cable news networks, and likewise going online for their news. (And doesn't even get into the impacts experienced in advertising revenues with the advent and wide scale adoption of DVR's and people being able to skip commercials)

So part of "our problem" is that News Organizations across the nation are "starving" for money as their previous revenue streams decrease substantially, and this is in turn helping feed their desire to play up anything that "will generate eyeballs on their product" so they can make money. Likewise, that decreasing amount of money coming in also translates into less ability to actually do "original journalism" and in particular the investigative type. 

But it is a hodgepodge and mixed mess, many of the local news people are often living near the poverty line, if not below it. While the ones who are on the national tier are often signing multi-million dollar contracts. Which makes it a small wonder that they have a hard time funding more in depth journalistic resources when Matt Lauer is getting paid $28 Million/year to host the Today Show for example. He could single-handedly fund the staff for several news rooms if he wanted to.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: rightleft22 on February 21, 2017, 02:52:19 PM
Quote
Won't work, won't even come close to working.  It's premised on the idea that true and false are easily identifiable, and quite frankly they aren't

I disagree.  Objective events that happen are identifiable. This pretense that they can’t is a false premise perpetrated by those who are intentionally trying to manipulate.

This idea that ‘the media’ in all of its permutations could as a global conspiracy be working together for some end… would be an accomplishment I cannot imagine. 
This tactic of undermining objective fact is another tool of those who wish to manipulate facts.

Note how when those that talk about ‘fake news’ in with a sweeping brush seldom identify the stories in which they suspect are fake. 
For example: The leaks are real but what the leaks reveal and or put into question is not real. (so should not be reported on)
That so many Americans are not asking for better clarification on what in the claim of being false is actually false and why is very disturbing.


Cherry mention “mass rape of German women in public by hundreds of immigrant” as being an example of under-reported events, a covered up, and even global conspiracy.  Yet a quick search reveals that that is not the case.

“The attacks sparked an international outcry, a debate about women's rights, the sustainability of Germany's asylum policy, and social differences between European societies and those of North Africa and the Middle East.  The attacks prompted Germany to update its laws, making it easier to deport immigrants convicted of sex crimes and broadening the definition of sexual assault to include any sexual act that a victim declines through verbal or physical cues. Previous law made no mention of consent and required a victim to physically resist their attacker”

This seems to be a failure in ability to determine a difference between the objective happening and speculation about what happened and how it was reported.  I can’t but wonder if Cherry issue was not that the event was under-reported but that the response to the reporting did not create the hysteria  that would help achieve/manipulate his own moment’s agenda. 

It’s interesting, when my brother in-law talks about the agenda of the ‘media’ he refuses to accept that he also has an agenda in doing so… In his mind he is right and that being right there can be no agenda. 
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDeamon on February 21, 2017, 03:02:16 PM
Cherry mention “mass rape of German women in public by hundreds of immigrant” as being an example of under-reported events, a covered up, and even global conspiracy.  Yet a quick search reveals that that is not the case.

You're missing the narrative and context alike on that one. The complaint was that for the past several years the German Press has been deliberately ignoring or downplaying reports of Muslim Immigrants/refugees sexually assaulting Germans... Until the problem became so rampant that they couldn't ignore it any longer.

IE. They set the stage for the mass-rape even in Cologne, because they were previously acting as enablers for them.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Fenring on February 21, 2017, 03:06:16 PM
Quote
Won't work, won't even come close to working.  It's premised on the idea that true and false are easily identifiable, and quite frankly they aren't

I disagree.  Objective events that happen are identifiable. This pretense that they can’t is a false premise perpetrated by those who are intentionally trying to manipulate.

I look forward to the day when you report infiltrating the white house to give us your private report on identifying the objective facts of what go on there. Or if you want an easier case you can feel free to make your way to DNC/RNC headquarters and record the minutes of backroom conversations that happen there. Of course I'd sympathize if you don't want to aggravate your own government, so as a bonus mission you can take a field trip to Syria where you can make your way through contested territories and comb the streets of Aleppo looking for clues. I will certainly read your report on objective events. Of course, I'll also ask who's funding your expedition :)

Quote
This idea that ‘the media’ in all of its permutations could as a global conspiracy be working together for some end… would be an accomplishment I cannot imagine.

If you were aware of how few parties control the vast majority of major media it would make it a lot easier for you to imagine. The mechanism of how this could be (or is) done isn't complicated or far-fetched, which of course is different from demonstrating that it actually happens. But the argument that it's implausible for this to happen is the idea I find far-fetched.

Quote
This tactic of undermining objective fact is another tool of those who wish to manipulate facts.

Yes. But there are two ways to proceed once you realize this: 1) Argue in favor of believing more of what's reported, on the grounds that it's probably objectively true, or 2) argue in favor of believing less of it. I imagine you can guess which choice I'd advocate.

Quote
For example: The leaks are real but what the leaks reveal and or put into question is not real. (so should not be reported on)
That so many Americans are not asking for better clarification on what in the claim of being false is actually false and why is very disturbing.

I'll not be caught defending Trump's gaffs, however one thing to keep in mind here is that there is a lot to stories behind the scenes that we don't hear about. On the one hand someone like Trump (or any high-ranking official) may want to blow the whistle on something bad, but on the other hand there are laws about revealing sensitive information to the public, and additionally political ramifications of telling certain things even though they do pertain to the case. And these factors can shift rapidly, so that in one instance one may want to report "illegal leaks" and feel it's best to call them false since the public isn't supposed to know that information, even though in reality they're true but that wasn't supposed to be verified. And yet if some third party (such as Wikileaks) demonstrates that they are true it makes the person speaking look like a liar or a fool even though his/her choice of what to disclose wasn't entirely a matter of just telling the plain truth with no complications. So I try to distinguish between damage control that ends up going wrong, versus attempting to keep a state secret that goes wrong, versus actually lying to the public to mislead and manipulate them. Parsing the motive may be a hazy process, but I think there are more and less excusable reasons for failing to disclose all available information when referring to something. 
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Wayward Son on February 21, 2017, 03:36:26 PM
Quote
Quote

If they are wrong or mistaken, they must admit it, or they must be dismissed.

By whom?  Giving any government the power to "dismiss" an outlet sounds... catastrophic. 

Not the government.  Each of us, individually.

I think the primary way to fight fake news is to hold those who report the news accountable.  If they are wrong or mistaken, they must admit it, or they must be dismissed.  Of course, you will have to know that your "alternative facts" are more trustworthy than the new report.  And you will have to account for your own biases.  But through the accumulation of evidence over time, those who will bend the truth should become apparent.

Won't work, won't even come close to working.  It's premised on the idea that true and false are easily identifiable, and quite frankly they aren't.  Complex issues can have multiple right answers, even answers that conflict, where none of them are factually wrong but they are all dependent on what your goals are.  There's also almost no way to account for deliberate bias, how do you address, equivalent candidates on one side being labeled "innovators" and on the other side "unqualified"?  Neither statement is objectively true or false, but with enough repetition they certainly change what people believe.  It's the same reason every conservative is an "ultra conservative" and the media has yet to find a "ultra liberal" or "ultra progressive" (they can barely find a liberal).

When you couple that with interest driven science that produces "studies" that are designed to support policy positions rather than objectively discover truth, you get an even nastier web of "fact-based" reporting.  Fact checkers, who are nothing more than opinion reporters (heck, even the idea of fact-checkers as distinct from journalists should tell you everything you need to know about how far journalism has fallen, before you even consider how far fact-checking has fallen) make the situation even worse, with people citing to them as greater authorities without any objective consideration or vetting.

Very true, Seriati.

I know it's true because I see this happening on the Right at this very moment. :(

I'm sure you see it happening on the Left as well. :(

What we need to do, individually and as a society, is to dedicate ourselves to facts and truth.  To examine our sources.  Decide for ourselves if their facts prove their opinion.  To question.  And to leave our minds open when there is no definitive answer.

This is not going to provide a quick fix.  We have years or decades ahead of us where we really won't know what is true and what isn't.  But unless we are willing to work to find out what is factual and what isn't, then our nation is doomed.  Because how can a democracy address problems when we cannot agree on the facts??

But we can start doing better right now.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: rightleft22 on February 21, 2017, 03:57:09 PM
Quote
The complaint was that for the past several years the German Press has been deliberately ignoring…
I have issue with the use of the word ‘deliberately’ implying a conspiracy with intent which at best can only be speculation.

The German Press is all is forms may have been ignoring the complaint for many reasons not requiring a conspiracy.
That the story never disappeared to me indicates that the not all the media ignored the issue. 

My brother in-law feels ‘the media’ is not reporting the story of the Pro-Life movement to his satisfaction (when America was great and the debate was headlines every week fro years!) and views this as a conspiracy of ‘the media agenda’.  Of Course if he owned a media outlet this issue would be front and center of his agenda which I suspect why he accuses ‘the media’ of having an agenda.  He sees in others what he knows of himself but cannot see. It would also be likely that, unless his media outlet was a talk radio station deep in the heart of evangelical Christian's his media outlet would go broke.  That the national media is not reporting on his group’s latest protest may not be a pro-life or pro-choice agenda but pro-ratings and profit (or that the majority of people just dont care to debate the issue anymore) does not occur to him, nor does he see that his own biases in his ‘reporting of facts’ about  the media agenda. What he is really angry about is that the people are not responding to the issue in the way that he wants.


Quote
One thing to keep in mind here is that there is a lot to stories behind the scenes that we don't hear about.

No doubt, however that fact does not make it a conspiracy of ‘the media’. You can not report on what you do not know about. You might speculate but speculation is not news.
Perhaps part of the problem is a failure of the people in discerning the difference between news, speculation and opinion.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Fenring on February 21, 2017, 04:10:43 PM
That the national media is not reporting on his group’s latest protest may not be a pro-life or pro-choice agenda but pro-ratings and profit (or that the majority of people just dont care to debate the issue anymore) does not occur to him, nor does he see that his own biases in his ‘reporting of facts’ about  the media agenda. What he is really angry about is that the people are not responding to the issue in the way that he wants.

It's unclear to me exactly what point you are making here. Are you saying that the media rightly should be reporting based on ratings and profits, in which case it's no conspiracy but good business sense? Or are you arguing that even though it's bad for news media to report based on profits that's a different problem from one of conspiracy? If the latter, I don't think it's an either/or proposition. If the former...I disagree.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: rightleft22 on February 21, 2017, 04:34:51 PM

Quote
I look forward to the day when you report infiltrating the white house to give us your private report on identifying the objective facts of what go on there

Objective facts are what, where, when, who and are in most cases easily confirmed.

The issue we usually have is as to why and how which is often speculation and opinion.  In most cases credible news outlets identify when they are entering into speculation. That said reporting on what this or that person said about why and how, though speculation on their part, is still news and objective fact – in that his person said it. So it gets messy.

A decision to report which statement to print maybe biased which is why multiple media sources should be sought out but always with that in mind.

Maybe it’s a matter of consumer laziness as we want ‘the media’ to sort it out for us…

When I hear about a news event I find it helpful to check how the information is being reported from local, national and international source’s … while trying to be as conscious of my own biases as possible. 


Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: rightleft22 on February 21, 2017, 04:35:26 PM
Quote
It's unclear to me exactly what point you are making here. Are you saying that the media rightly should be reporting based on ratings and profits, in which case it's no conspiracy but good business sense? Or are you arguing that even though it's bad for news media to report based on profits that's a different problem from one of conspiracy? If the latter, I don't think it's an either/or proposition. If the former...I disagree.
I’m saying that every media company has an agenda conscious or not and it’s up to the consumer to recognize. The idea of conspiracy on such a scale is absurd and unhelpful.

In the main, the first five to ten minutes of most news shows is news - This was said, this event happened, this is how some people are reacting/responding… it the rest that often crap.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDrake on February 21, 2017, 04:48:06 PM
You're missing the narrative and context alike on that one. The complaint was that for the past several years the German Press has been deliberately ignoring or downplaying reports of Muslim Immigrants/refugees sexually assaulting Germans... Until the problem became so rampant that they couldn't ignore it any longer.

IE. They set the stage for the mass-rape even in Cologne, because they were previously acting as enablers for them.


If you go to Brietbart, you'll find an article where they scream the headline:

REPORT: Migrants Committing Disproportionately High Crime In Germany While Media And Govt Focus on ‘Far Right’ Thought Crimes (http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/05/23/germany-registers-surge-crimes-right-wing-radicals/)

Quote
Illegal immigrants and asylum seekers account for around 2.5 per cent of Germany’s population, but were also massively overrepresented.

Amongst total offences, non-Germans accounted for 27.6 percent while illegal immigrants and asylum seekers accounted for 5.7 percent. Of homicides, the figures are 29.3%/8.2%, and of sexual assaults, the figures were 20.5%/4.8%.

Wow, that sounds pretty bad. Massively overrepresented. And lots of stats to make it sound scary. But the straight up math (5.7%) shows that "massive" in this case is a little over 2x? And that had it been "normal" representation we'd be looking at 2.4%. And, if you normalize for other factors (unemployment, etc) how far off would it be? The portrayal is that this group of people is completely changing the face of crime in Germany, but its really little more than a blip in the grand scheme. Which is why most outlets reported it that way.

Following the original report cited and linked by Breitbart:

Quote
The increase is mainly due to an increase in the political right (+ 44.3%) and left-wing (34.9%) violence.

Wait, what's this? I though Breitbart told me that this was about far-right thought crime? First, this is actual political violence, which isn't what a thought-crime is. It's an action-crime. Second is the convenient stripping of the significant increase in left-wing violence.

Now, you can do this exercise on any source - including BBC, ABC, etc. I'm suggesting that this approach be taken by all readers, rather than people picking one source and chugging it like a solo cup full of beer. Or worse, snorting headlines from their facebook feed. Just say no to junk news addiction.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Fenring on February 21, 2017, 04:52:02 PM

Quote
I look forward to the day when you report infiltrating the white house to give us your private report on identifying the objective facts of what go on there

Objective facts are what, where, when, who and are in most cases easily confirmed.

If this was the case things would be a lot easier to parse. When a news report quotes Trump as saying such-and-such at a press conference, yes, it's surely easy to verify that since there would have been many witnesses, as well as perhaps cameras and so forth. That really is a paint-by-numbers thing to report on, speculative content and spin aside. But that's a straw man type of example in the word of reporting on things dishonestly. As others have mentioned, how to do you vet "small crowd" for content when at a rally there was certainly a crowd of some size, and the qualifier being somewhat subjective? This is where verification doesn't happen just like that. You'd need to know context, typical crowd sizes for such an event, the sort of event it was supposed to be, etc etc. Including all of that context is something that goes above and beyond merely stating something that is technically correct, at least from a certain point of view.

But it gets far worse in foreign events, where even context won't help you and you can't know what to make of actual reported facts. For instance I heard many American news reports about disastrous carnage being perpetrated by Assad's forces in Aleppo, how he was oppressing the city, conquering it, what have you. And then I heard conflicting reports from elsewhere that the ones doing the oppressing were on the ISIS side of the fence, and that the people in Aleppo were universally in favor of Assad freeing them from their oppressors. How do you vet that, other than by going to Syria and doing on-the-spot reporting personally? I'll tell you that I, for one, am going to do no such thing, and so I literally have no way to vet such stories other than by hearing both and assessing them based on other contexts. But as is, there is no material way for even an intelligent, discerning person to listen to such a report and to be able to just conclude whether it's true or accurate. Not enough data; arguably no data in some cases. Another Syria example is the manner in which the fighting against the rebels was being reported, where the U.S. was claiming to be fighting ISIS and other insurgents, while at the same time decrying Assad and Putin for claiming to do the same, with the linchpin of that narrative being that Assad was only attacking moderate rebels and not ISIS, which of course makes no sense since ISIS was the one taking his territory away. There are other reasons that narrative made no sense but I won't get into that here. But the news was nevertheless repeating sound bites fed to them from the white house about Assad attacking 'the good guys' in Syria (whoever that was supposed to be) and committing 'atrocities' on the forces that, I suppose, had 'rightfully' conquered half the country.

You can make the same case for news reporting on the Libya regime change, or any other hot issue center where the reports were so conflicting that even if you believed them you'd end up believing a set of irreconcilable and contradictory facts. It's not easy to find out what is true, but often it's very easy to know that what's being said cannot be true, but it's illogical or contradictory.

So tell me how to reasonably vet that kind of news reporting now that independent reporters on-scene is a thing of the past, and that most big stories like that come through a narrow set of clearing-houses before trickling into the news networks?
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDrake on February 22, 2017, 10:53:52 AM
For something like that, I first look to aljazeera because I expect them to get somewhat better access. I found an opinion piece (http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/12/whitewashing-assad-allies-challenged-161223135228023.html) that looked promising as a starting point. She's not affiliated directly with a news organization, and actually was present in Syria. She points out two people who are taking the position "Assad's not so bad". She cites four other organizations who have investigated their claims.

She's doing a much better job citing her sources than most of the major news organizations. She draws the distinction between rebels, isil, a couple of other groups I'm not familiar with.

If you follow through to the snopes article, they point out that Bartlett (pro-Assad) is associated with RT - that drops her credibility. She cited election results as the reason to believe the Syrian people are highly supportive. I think we can generally agree that election results are not that helpful as a support indicator in that area. A quick fly by wikipedia shows that opposition groups boycotted the election. Since this was during a civil war, areas held by anti-Assad forces didn't get to vote.

We also have the reports from refugees on who they were most concerned about. I don't have the time right now to follow that thread, since it isn't very easy to get at that information - especially since they might say "Assad" in order to enhance their chances.

Off to see who's killing whom. I start with references to doctors without borders - who are less political than other groups. This leads me to a CBS article that describes air strikes conducted by the Russian military that struck a blood bank and a children's hospital. WHO is cited, 126 attacks on medical facilities, all by Russian/Assad forces. I take a pause, and realize that might be just because of who is under seige (if Damascus was under attack by rebel/ISIL forces, would it look the same way?).

I'm not trying to address every point you brought up (particularly whether Assad was giving ISIS a pass), but rather to show my thought process on how I make my best assessment of "what's really happening over there".

As we're busy bashing the press, let's take a moment to acknowledge key breaking stories - like the NY Times reporting on Cambodian bombing. A response to which was the paranoid Nixon engaging in wiretapping reporters as enemies of the people....
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Fenring on February 22, 2017, 11:08:01 AM
Off to see who's killing whom. I start with references to doctors without borders - who are less political than other groups. This leads me to a CBS article that describes air strikes conducted by the Russian military that struck a blood bank and a children's hospital. WHO is cited, 126 attacks on medical facilities, all by Russian/Assad forces. I take a pause, and realize that might be just because of who is under seige (if Damascus was under attack by rebel/ISIL forces, would it look the same way?).

This is a good but hazy area, because I don't know whether these facts are cited in their proper context. For instance, if many building were bombed and two of them were actually medical facilities thought to be military targets, that's bad but not the same as if they were intentionally targeting medical facilities as a policy. I will point out that American forces did exactly the same thing in terms of bombing medical buildings in Afghanistan, and in that case there was no plausible excuse about it even being an mistaken target; they knew what it was. That doesn't rule out incompetence as the cause, but in any case if it happens even to U.S. forces who have dominating air power then it can't come as a shock for Syrian forces to sometimes hit targets like that too (assuming a charitable interpretation). And let's not even get started on what the Saudis have done in Yemen, not like the MSM is going to jump on that like they have on the Assad situation. Gee, maybe it's because special interests have been pushing the invasion of Syria. Big surprise.

Incidentally, I also have no doubt that ISIS are exactly the kind of people who actually would use medical buildings as military shields. Whether or not this was the case I don't know, but when weighing whether or not Assad's and Putin's forces did 'good things' or 'bad things' I try to take into account the fact that I mostly lack context on what really happened with any given event (like the bombing of a hospital).
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: rightleft22 on February 22, 2017, 11:10:28 AM
Quote
But it gets far worse in foreign events, where even context won't help you and you can't know what to make of actual reported facts

So tell me how to reasonably vet that kind of news reporting now that independent reporters on-scene is a thing of the past, and that most big stories like that come through a narrow set of clearing-houses before trickling into the news networks
?

The examples you gave with regards to the foreign events are indeed difficult to vet. Who is reporting the story, - state, independent, national, local, individual reporter… will influence the way a story is reported and muddy context. But that does not mean the event didn't happen - which is where we seem to be going.

I know I’m not explaining myself very well.

The majority of ‘The media’ reporting on all these possible viewpoints is not a conspiracy… the issue is in how we the consumer use the information we get and/or allow the information to affect and or manipulate us. Even here in on this thread those arguing that the media is unreliable are using the media as source to underline their argument of which they are certain of. (Appear to be certain of) That to me is a contradiction.

If all media is unreliable all opinion must be unreliable. Yet that is not how we are acting or should I say reacting to the information we take in.

We can’t be sure of anything yet we are sure we are right and everyone must agree with our view of events and what we ‘know’ – even as we argue that the source of information can’t be trusted. Such as state can only lead to cognitive dissonance, mystification, and a collective schizophrenia.

The question I ask is who gains by undermining the process of discernment. Who benefits when a factual event can be discounted as even happening just because the intent, the how and why can’t be known with certainty. If this is conspiracy where not looking in the right direction.

You say Objective events that happen are not identifiable. I say that the Objective facts of an event are identifiable, the what, the where, the when… while yes, the context, implications, the how and why which are influenced by the manner in which they are reported will always be uncertain. That has always been the case.

I get it If someone only relied on Fox news and CNN as their ‘news’ source how could then not end up frustrated and confused - especially as the majority of time on air time is speculation, opinion and not news.  That is not a conspiracy. Our job as a consumer is to discern the news from speculation, opinion and bias (mine and the reporters) and make the best judgment we can, open to being wrong and learning better. At least then their is the possibility of dialog.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Seriati on February 22, 2017, 11:22:31 AM
Quote
Won't work, won't even come close to working.  It's premised on the idea that true and false are easily identifiable, and quite frankly they aren't

I disagree.  Objective events that happen are identifiable. This pretense that they can’t is a false premise perpetrated by those who are intentionally trying to manipulate.

When was the last time the media reported on objective events without coloring them?  The entirety of cable news is nothing but a slant on events, literally every tv news show (beyond the local news, and sometimes even then) is an exercise in trying to guide your thinking.  Every election of what they choose to cover and what they choose not to cover is exercise in slant.

Do they cover every town hall?  Or just the ones where a protester from a favored cause has gone to stage a rant? 

I watched CBS this morning.  They choose to cover the what of Trump's plan on immigration (to enforce more of the existing laws than Obama did, but still less than all) as if it were an aggressive assault on freedom.  Not one mention of "undocumented" let alone "illegal" aliens.  Focused completely on their arguments that, following our actual laws, will make us "unsafe," break up families (nothing prohibits families from leaving the country together), and cost Billions of dollars. 

Is anything they said objectively false?  Pretty obvious though that it's slanted.  You might see it better, if they'd chosen to focus on crime statistics or the high profile cases where immigrants murdered people, if they had elected to focus on safety, or the inherent justice in following the actual laws.  Or maybe if they elected to focus on how immigration enforcement is favored by the vast majority of the electorate.

Quote
This idea that ‘the media’ in all of its permutations could as a global conspiracy be working together for some end… would be an accomplishment I cannot imagine.

Why would they need a conspiracy?  Do college professors need to be engaged in a conspiracy to present a uniformly leftist worldview?  The press absolutely lacks a real diversity of worldviews, that translates directly into how they choose to present the news, even if they'd like to do otherwise they can not do so, because their own bias leaves them unable to believe that the other side's positions could be true.  They find themselves believing sources that agree with themselves far more readily than those that disagree, this really comes into play during the falsification process - they aggressively attempt to falsify the "oppositions" positions, and even strain and over attribute minor faults to imply they color the whole position, while finding themselves defending rather than falsifying positions they find agreeable, or just never even bothering to try to falsify them because they are "obvious."

Of course, that's before the last election cycle.  In the last election cycle, members of the press actively promoted abandoning objectivity.  They were so lost in their opinions that they decided it was their job to be activists and report on the "lies" (as they saw them), notwithstanding that they have no objectivity on those matters.

Quote
This tactic of undermining objective fact is another tool of those who wish to manipulate facts.

True.  Too bad you miss it when it really happens.

Quote
Note how when those that talk about ‘fake news’ in with a sweeping brush seldom identify the stories in which they suspect are fake.

I have noticed that you seldom identify stories that are "fake" and never actually take the next step to explain them.  Is that what you mean?

Quote
For example: The leaks are real but what the leaks reveal and or put into question is not real. (so should not be reported on)

Pretty sure leaks are real (both sides seem to agree, Hillary's campaign, Donald's Whitehouse).  Substance can also be real, Podesta's emails sure did turn out to be so.  The Whitehouse leaks are more difficult to verify since they seem to take the form of "a highly placed source has informed us" of difficult to disprove but damaging statement. 

Quote
Cherry mention “mass rape of German women in public by hundreds of immigrant” as being an example of under-reported events, a covered up, and even global conspiracy.  Yet a quick search reveals that that is not the case.

Others have better covered this.  The outcry is of the routine suppression that occurs.  We have examples a plenty in the US as well.  Race based attacks where a white person attacks a black person are more broadly covered than race based attacks where a black person attacks a white person.  Why would that be?  Initial news stories of active shooters where the suspects have Arabic names are generally very slow to identify them and even slower to link it to Islam, yet active shooters where there is even the vaguest suspicion of a conservative motivation jump to label it as such, and retractions are very slow even when it turns out the shooter is from the left (e.g., Jared Loughner). 

Quote
This seems to be a failure in ability to determine a difference between the objective happening and speculation about what happened and how it was reported.  I can’t but wonder if Cherry issue was not that the event was under-reported but that the response to the reporting did not create the hysteria  that would help achieve/manipulate his own moment’s agenda.

You can't help wonder that?  You seem to be able to help from wondering if the actual statistics and details were not reported to specifically suppress sentiment that would interfere with your own moment's agenda.

Quote
It’s interesting, when my brother in-law talks about the agenda of the ‘media’ he refuses to accept that he also has an agenda in doing so… In his mind he is right and that being right there can be no agenda.

And there, without realizing it, you identified the problem, you just made the common mistake of believe it applies just to other people.  My basic rule of thumb on arguing an issue is if you don't understand why the other side is right (not why they believe they are right) you really don't understand it well enough to have a firm opinion about why they are wrong.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDeamon on February 22, 2017, 11:43:55 AM
I think my paradigm for today is that:

In Nazi Germany, the political/media narrative was about how diabolical the Jews were, and giving reasons to fear the Jews in order to pursue new laws to suppress them.

In Trump's America, the popular political/media narrative is about how afraid the Hispanics are of being subjected to enforcement of laws that have been on the books for decades.

And remember folks:

"The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly." - Abraham Lincoln
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: rightleft22 on February 22, 2017, 11:51:33 AM
I appreciate your posts as being from someone so blind to their shadow and bias the true dialog is difficult if not imposable and so an example of the real problem we face today.

I have noticed that you seldom identify stories that are "fake" and never actually take the next step to explain them.  Is that what you mean?

You repeat the exact point I was making. That those use the label of fake news never actually take the step to explain them. (This is a common tactic the alt right and left use to end or muddy dialog – accuse the other of doing the very thing you’re doing while playing the victim.)

In the example I gave Trump labeled All the news stories about the information revealed via the leaks as fake without explaining why those stories were fake. He used the word ‘Fake’ a wide brush to successful redirect the conversation. Very clever very dangerous and that you and your movement can’t see that is very concerning

Quote
And there, without realizing it, you identified the problem, you just made the common mistake of believe it applies just to other people.  My basic rule of thumb on arguing an issue is if you don't understand why the other side is right (not why they believe they are right) you really don't understand it well enough to have a firm opinion about why they are wrong

What a bunch of hog wash. You don’t know me, what I might realize. How many times have you used this argument which is just another one of your go to.  How very liberal of you to take in all accounts and rules as you see them equally to yourself and others and then don't.  Just another tactic to confirm your own bias
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Fenring on February 22, 2017, 11:53:44 AM
The majority of ‘The media’ reporting on all these possible viewpoints is not a conspiracy… the issue is in how we the consumer use the information we get and/or allow the information to affect and or manipulate us. Even here in on this thread those arguing that the media is unreliable are using the media as source to underline their argument of which they are certain of. (Appear to be certain of) That to me is a contradiction.

[...]

You say Objective events that happen are not identifiable. I say that the Objective facts of an event are identifiable, the what, the where, the when… while yes, the context, implications, the how and why which are influenced by the manner in which they are reported will always be uncertain. That has always been the case.

Maybe this is why you're so confused about what other people believe. If you truly believe the two bolded sections then I will suggest that you have a grossly mistaken sense of what it is you actually know. Unless you're sitting in a room for hours each day sifting media sources, writing down levels of how reliable information is, and cross-checking that against sources and conflicts of interest, then I will put it to you that it's literally not possible for you to have the kind of certainty about the "what, where, and when" of events around the world in contested areas. And even then you wouldn't have certainty, but just a high probability best guess. At it stands if you feel like you have a good handle on all the objective facts then that's probably a very bad sign. Part of the idea of questioning the media is also about questioning your own knowledge. Is it really knowledge at all, or just things you hear and accept? The difference between hearing about some event in Aleppo versus knowing that it happened is huge; you may not realize how much.

ETA - just a small point about your premise that it's the consumers' fault for not parsing the white noise sufficiently well: 1) I don't believe it's correct or even just to imply that every person ought to be a hobbyist detective to be able to know basic things about what goes on in the world, and in their own country. 2) Division of labor means that average people go to work, and that's their 'job.' It's someone else's job to report facts and to distribute them to the people. The average person should not have to do the reporter's job and try to determine what the facts are; if they do have to do that the reporter should be dismissed.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDrake on February 22, 2017, 02:10:41 PM
Incidentally, I also have no doubt that ISIS are exactly the kind of people who actually would use medical buildings as military shields. Whether or not this was the case I don't know, but when weighing whether or not Assad's and Putin's forces did 'good things' or 'bad things' I try to take into account the fact that I mostly lack context on what really happened with any given event (like the bombing of a hospital).

You're entitled to draw your own opinions. I would take with a huge block of salt reports from the "rebels" claiming hospitals were being attacked for no reason, thinking that it is very possible that it is propaganda. If is coming from WHO and Doctors without borders, I'm going to find it more credible.

I'm reminded of reporting that Iraqis were killing babies in hospitals by disconnecting their incubators after the invasion of Kuwait. The US either swallowed it or was behind the story in the first place. News reports after the fact went like this:

Quote
The cable reported eyewitness accounts of two incidents in which eight babies died.

A health worker at Al-Adan Hospital, the cable said, recounted arguing with Iraqi soldiers who demanded that babies be removed from incubators and respirators. One baby died "almost immediately" and four died within 24 hours, according to this account.

Two health workers at Al-Jahra Hospital, the cable said, reported that an Iraqi military doctor had ordered 12 babies removed from the neonatal intensive care unit on Aug. 26. Eight were removed from incubators and two from ventilators. Two died that day and another later, it said.

But Mr. Roth said that Middle East Watch had interviewed about two dozen health professionals who had worked in all of Kuwait's maternity hospitals throughout the occupation, and that despite many second-hand reports, "no one we spoke to was able to confirm any instance in which the Iraqis had taken incubators or left babies to die."

...

Ambassador Gnemh said the embassy was told that approximately 250 babies might have been buried in mass graves at Al-Riqqa cemetery in Kuwait in August and September 1990.

Mr. Roth sharply disputed this, saying that Middle East Watch investigators had thoroughly examined the records at Al-Riqqa, which appear to have been meticulously kept.

So this is a type of urban legend that apparently spread. Some people may have co-opted the story and described it first hand believing it was true and wanting it to be known. Some people may have deliberately fed disinformation.

BTW, the title of that article seems highly downplayed. U.S. OFFERS DETAIL ON IRAQI ATROCITY - and notably not "US claims of Iraqi atrocity in doubt"

Now the same publication a couple of years earlier says:

Quote
Human rights groups are the first to acknowledge that their estimates are conservative. "It makes a better headline to use the larger numbers," said Kenneth Roth, deputy director of Human Rights Watch, of which Middle East Watch is an affiliate. "But we find that the lower estimates often prove correct, so to maintain credibility, we report only what we can confirm."

"The situation in Kuwait makes 'Rashomon' look like a clear story," he concluded. "Without direct access to the country, it is very hard to be sure."

What seems sure, however, is that hundreds of people have been executed -- more by the security police and military intelligence than by soldiers -- in detention centers, in public, or in front of their families.

An Administration official said human rights monitors in the Government tended to believe the human rights groups' estimates rather than those of the Kuwaiti Government.

"We can't accuse them of lying," the official said. "But this is a highly emotional situation, and it's very hard to be cool and objective."

Atrocity reports involving occupied territories have frequently been incorrect. In 1914, for example, the Germans were falsely accused by the Allies of murdering Belgian babies at the outset of World War I; in World War II many diplomats said reports of German atrocities against the Jews were exaggerated.

So even in the fog of war, it is possible for a news report to be credible by specifically highlighting the uncertainty of the report. They point out your direct point, Fenring, about the difficulty being sure unless you are actually there. To form an opinion about such events, we tend to have to live without certainty. To support or disparage a policy, we have to make a call about what we find most credible.




Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Fenring on February 22, 2017, 03:01:10 PM
I would take with a huge block of salt reports from the "rebels" claiming hospitals were being attacked for no reason, thinking that it is very possible that it is propaganda. If is coming from WHO and Doctors without borders, I'm going to find it more credible.

Agreed, and also with the rest of your post.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: rightleft22 on February 22, 2017, 04:08:13 PM
Quote
I will suggest that you have a grossly mistaken sense of what it is you actually know. Unless you're sitting in a room for hours each day sifting media sources, writing down levels of how reliable information is, and cross-checking that against sources and conflicts of interest, then I will put it to you that it's literally not possible for you to have the kind of certainty about the "what, where, and when" of events around the world in contested areas
.

I understand the issue Global news coverage which granted is more difficult to verify then local news but still argue not impossible?
That people don’t spend the time to investigate there conclusions about the news they hear is not a argument that it is not possible to do so. 

Are you arguing that because we can’t know with certainty why or how an event happened or the intentions behind it that we can’t know that an event happened? 
I don’t think you’re arguing that however I have seen others dismiss events using that reasoning and is becoming more common.

Quote
I don't believe it's correct or even just to imply that every person ought to be a hobbyist detective to be able to know basic things about what goes on in the world, and in their own country
.

My point is that people are making statements of facts based on information that they aren’t investigating and label as relative and even fake because it is not knowable with certainty.
They don’t trust the media yet feel free to state their point of view about an event as a fact and certainty which I see as a self-defeating loop,  hypocritical, and dangerous and that can only lead to extremism.

Perhaps this is off topic but maybe it will explain my point of view

I had a discussion with a very religious person who argued that to be able to act in the certainty of one’s faith it is necessary that one faith be certain. I disagree. I think that a person can act with certainty while being uncertain, in fact those are the time when one leans on faith. (Fear is to courage as doubt is to faith, it is in times of doubt that one excesses ones faith.)   I think that the former thinking leads to extremism while the latter opens the door to humility and learning. 

I believe one ought to view the news one is exposed to in the same way.

Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Seriati on February 22, 2017, 05:05:47 PM
Well here's a fake news story from today.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/did-immigration-officers-really-have-their-hands-tied-under-obama-as-sean-spicer-claims/ (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/did-immigration-officers-really-have-their-hands-tied-under-obama-as-sean-spicer-claims/)

Here's the money quote:

Quote
Whatever constraints agents might have faced, they deported more than 2 million immigrants during the eight years Obama was in office, more than in previous administrations. They sent back 409,000 in 2012 alone, a record.

Problem is this "count" has been debunked and known to have been debunked for years, and to be little more than a trick of how they changed the law and the counting methodology.  Here's just a couple examples of the hundreds that can easily be found (which means there is zero chance a competent reporter would have missed them).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2014/04/21/lies-damned-lies-and-obamas-deportation-statistics/?utm_term=.5da61ee1b75b (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2014/04/21/lies-damned-lies-and-obamas-deportation-statistics/?utm_term=.5da61ee1b75b)

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-obama-deportations-20140402-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-obama-deportations-20140402-story.html)

So why is CBS including Fake News in its attempted rebuttal?  And will any in the MSM call them out on it?
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDrake on February 22, 2017, 05:36:40 PM
Interesting example. This particular article is AP sourced, and shows up elsewhere, almost verbatim.

A quick look shows other outlets carrying are washington times, some local tv

There seem to be relatively few outlets rebroadcasting, although my search-fu might be weak. I search for the Spicer quotation directly, to see who else is responding to it. I'm not seeing a lot there either.

Previous Snopes coverage does in fact label the "more than any other president" claim as true, but if you read their article, they point out a lot of the salient details.

Of course, I'm not even going to bother asking about whether Obama deported a lot or a little when spicer doesn't even make any such claim. This is an extremely bogus "fact check".

Spicer's claim was that agents had their hands cuffed, that some rules might have limited how many deportations there could have been. Comparing Obama's deportations to Bush's doesn't have anything to do with that. It immediately calls into question any other AP fact checking (A shortcut to use in the future, to avoid doing as much research).

Don't bother to read the comments, you won't find anyone pointing out anything other than "Trump is great!" or "Trump sucks!"

LA Times has a more factual view:

Quote
Under President Obama, immigration officials increased deportations to an annual peak of about 400,000 people in 2012.

Following widespread outcry from immigration advocates, Homeland Security backed down on deportations, ordering agents to focus on expelling criminals, repeat immigration violators and recent arrivals. As a result, deportation totals fell to about 240,000 last year.

That second paragraph is certainly proof enough to consider Spicer's statement true, I would judge.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDrake on February 23, 2017, 10:41:38 AM
Or you could take Russia's approach (http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-39065825)?

Quote
Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the site would collect "fake news of leading western media", and provide primary sources and facts countering them.
However, it currently contains nothing but screenshots of news items with a big red "fake news" stamp, a link to the original story, and, in each case, the words "This article puts forward information that does not correspond to reality."

Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Seriati on February 23, 2017, 11:04:50 AM
The problem is its far easier to make and broadly disseminate "fake news" or more commonly news that while true creates a fundamentally flawed impression in the reader, than it is to effectively refute and broadcast that refutation.  I put forward that example above because that's one where the refutation did get broad distribution (uniquely, in my view, its because the left pushed both the original story - to try and shut down Republicans calling for stronger immigration efforts - and also the refutation - because the story was causing issues with their Hispanic base, if the right had been responding, instead of the left, we'd never have seen it).  It's a good example of media hypocrisy where they let a favored party benefit in both directions on an issue.

Today, I was reading Larry Elder's opinion column and he did an anecdotal break down of how the media characterized parallel events depending on the party affiliation of the President.  It's not scientific, but neatly frames how easy it is to frame an issue to sway the opinion.  https://www.creators.com/read/larry-elder (https://www.creators.com/read/larry-elder)
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDeamon on February 23, 2017, 11:36:03 AM
Spicer's claim was that agents had their hands cuffed, that some rules might have limited how many deportations there could have been. Comparing Obama's deportations to Bush's doesn't have anything to do with that. It immediately calls into question any other AP fact checking (A shortcut to use in the future, to avoid doing as much research).

Don't bother to read the comments, you won't find anyone pointing out anything other than "Trump is great!" or "Trump sucks!"

LA Times has a more factual view:

Quote
Under President Obama, immigration officials increased deportations to an annual peak of about 400,000 people in 2012.

Following widespread outcry from immigration advocates, Homeland Security backed down on deportations, ordering agents to focus on expelling criminals, repeat immigration violators and recent arrivals. As a result, deportation totals fell to about 240,000 last year.

That second paragraph is certainly proof enough to consider Spicer's statement true, I would judge.
But also telling with the L.A. Times, they support the pro-Obama (anti-Trump) statistics first(knowing many will likely stop reading after getting that confirmation), then they get to pointing out that Obama did in fact restrict ICE enforcement options in his final year.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDrake on February 23, 2017, 11:41:18 AM
Remember the old reading comprehension tests? They're supposed to teach you to read the WHOLE THING. :)
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDeamon on February 23, 2017, 11:52:42 AM
Remember the old reading comprehension tests? They're supposed to teach you to read the WHOLE THING. :)

Yes, and that will shield them legally, but that isn't human behavior, particularly in this day and age where a Goldfish can demonstrate a longer attention span than many Adults.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: rightleft22 on February 24, 2017, 09:45:08 AM
For the Trump to complained about fake news while relying on his rhetoric technique of “truthful hyperbole“  “innocent lying” is hypocritical at best or signs of a psychotic break at worse.

That Trumps acolytes don’t notice the dissonance or don’t care is troubling and short sighted. Worse they don’t realize that Trump and or the puppet masters behind the movement despise them for following them.

The Party that fears big government, the loss of constructional rights, and ‘freedom’ is in the process of creating the biggest government America has ever been ruled under.  all hail the “new political order” and it will rule.


Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Seriati on February 24, 2017, 09:59:05 AM
That's a lot of memes and slogans at once, how about you walk through why you think they have merit.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: cherrypoptart on February 24, 2017, 10:43:59 AM
Trump told all of those lies and yet...

he's doing exactly what he said he was going to do.

That's why the left hates him so much.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDeamon on February 24, 2017, 11:46:46 AM
For the Trump to complained about fake news while relying on his rhetoric technique of “truthful hyperbole“  “innocent lying” is hypocritical at best or signs of a psychotic break at worse.

Add "inverted pyramid" to the list, although he's usually on the receiving end of that, aside from Breitbart and maybe Fox.

Quote
That Trumps acolytes don’t notice the dissonance or don’t care is troubling and short sighted. Worse they don’t realize that Trump and or the puppet masters behind the movement despise them for following them.

Or they're so jaded they don't really care, they've concluded everyone involved at that level lies. So it is more a question of which one is selling what.

Quote
The Party that fears big government, the loss of constructional rights, and ‘freedom’ is in the process of creating the biggest government America has ever been ruled under.  all hail the “new political order” and it will rule.

And a LOT of Republicans and Conservatives in congress and in the nation at large will push back because of that. The problem there is very few of the Republican Congressional critters place Conservatism very high on their priority list.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: rightleft22 on February 24, 2017, 12:55:48 PM
Quote
Trump told all of those lies and yet...
he's doing exactly what he said he was going to do.
That's why the left hates him so much...

That a false and dishonest argument
The left has always disliked Trump
During the Campaign Trump strategically keep details of how he would implement his promises. "Promises" obscured behind the smoke screen of his fake news / truthful hyperbole that always put into quesion what 'he really would do' (which way to many people fell for.  I suspect if he shared his plan of banning seven specific countries that that just might have woken up the Left.
the idea that such a move will make America safe and great again... is absurd.

That you acknowledge and don’t care that Trump used lies to achieve his agenda is disturbing and also unmasks you for what you are.
That you are unconsciously surrendering the values you have argued for in the past foolish

Be careful what you wish for. History starts now….
Enjoy your new world order.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Seriati on February 24, 2017, 04:45:46 PM
Fake News or real?   CNN is reporting that they have been blocked from today's White House briefing (and internet outrage has already made the rounds, with claims of first Amendment violations).  Is this real or fake?

How about some details.  The type of briefing was changed from a full on tv briefing with everyone invited to an off camera in office briefing where the "pool" is invited.  The pool is guaranteed only one media member from the networks and one from print, and they are charged with passing on what they find out to the rest of the media.  Spicer elected to expand the pool and instead of inviting just one network invited four (NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox).

So what do you think is it fake news or real that CNN was excluded when the White House actually invited 3 more networks than is typical for this type of briefing?
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDrake on February 24, 2017, 04:49:26 PM
Well, they were excluded (white house confirmed the list). They attempted to enter the room and were blocked. AP refused to enter under the circumstances voluntarily. It is an unusual move, but not at all the Constitutional crisis people are making it out to be.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Seriati on February 24, 2017, 04:53:57 PM
So if they'd only done the typical for such a briefing and invited say NBC, would it be reasonable for CBS, ABC and FOX to run headlines acting like this was something atypical?  Not sure not invited is the same as excluded (which implies a right to be there).
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Seriati on February 24, 2017, 05:22:38 PM
Lol, now their headline is all caps "UNPRECEDENTED ACT"

Notwithstanding that if you read their article, they themselves make it clear that the normal group for this kind of press briefing would exclude them more often than not.  They are really complaining that the White House did more than its required to and that is somehow unprecedented.

I really think CNN has gone off the deep end.  Ever since they got called out for running with the Fake News story on the unconfirmed Russian blackmail of Trump they've been acting like an "aggrieved" teenager with an attitude.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: rightleft22 on February 24, 2017, 06:09:16 PM
Quote
Trump told all of those lies and yet..
he's doing exactly what he said he was going to do

I’ve been hearing that as an excuse or comeback to argument a lot lately... as if it actually means anything

I just don’t get it. 
I mean that statement only makes sense if applied to the fools that voted for him and who might be upset about Trump “doing what he said he was going to do. 
The popular vote said no to trump and disagreeing/protesting is a valid response to a man who is attempting a coup like control of the US democracy. 
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Pete at Home on February 24, 2017, 06:17:07 PM
Be careful what you wish for. History starts now….
Enjoy your new world order.

I’ve been hearing that as a comeback to factual corrections a lot lately... as if it actually means anything

I just don’t get it. 
I mean that statement only makes sense if applied to the folks that voted for him.  Not for those who simply correct alternative facts and hysterical claims against him.

Quote
The popular vote said no to trump and disagreeing/protesting is a valid response to a man who is attempting a coup like control of the US democracy.

Disagreeing/protesting is valid, but using Andrew Jackson's complaints against John Quincey Adams to refer to losing the election as a "coup" is not valid, and using such language is tantamount to calling for an actual coup.

Be careful what you wish for. History started a long time ago, and it helps to put things in their historical context.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDeamon on February 24, 2017, 06:30:24 PM
The popular vote said no to trump and disagreeing/protesting is a valid response to a man who is attempting a coup like control of the US democracy.

The popular vote also said "NO" to Hillary, so who is supposed to be running this show by that logic?
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDeamon on February 24, 2017, 07:47:03 PM
The popular vote said no to trump and disagreeing/protesting is a valid response to a man who is attempting a coup like control of the US democracy.

Disagreeing/protesting is valid, but using Andrew Jackson's complaints against John Quincey Adams to refer to losing the election as a "coup" is not valid, and using such language is tantamount to calling for an actual coup.

Be careful what you wish for. History started a long time ago, and it helps to put things in their historical context.

Which isn't even to mention the "alternate reality" one would need to live in where a 48% Plurality of the popular vote somehow constitutes "majority support" for Hillary Clinton as President of the United States.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: rightleft22 on February 24, 2017, 09:03:02 PM
Using a word like coup was intentional.

History starts everyday. Any study of the past show time and again that change happens slowly (unnoticed) then all at once (usually with the people wondering how it happened)


Perhaps you think its not possible to undermined democracy and turn it into a new world order. Yet such things have been done in the past
You have a leader constantly attacking the media for false news while relying on truthful hyperbole, misdirection and and out right lies himself.  And America is letting him
His attacks on the media seldom explain what part of a news story is false (and his followers let him) and there is enough evidence to show that Trump labels anything that shows him in a negative light as being false. (and his followers lets him)
You have a leader who want to, no going to, increasing the military, homeland security, boarder security... a force with, if again he has his way, little oversight from the public. Don't worry you can trust him.

You think the system and Constitution will protect you from any misuse of such a force, maybe, but its not a sure thing, history has shown that playing with this type of fire tends to end badly.

Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Pete at Home on February 25, 2017, 12:15:41 AM
Using a word like coup was intentional.

History starts everyday. Any study of the past show time and again that change happens slowly (unnoticed) then all at once (usually with the people wondering how it happened)


Perhaps you think its not possible to undermined democracy and turn it into a new world order. Yet such things have been done in the past

I think it's quite possible.  I think it's been happening for some time now.  But that threat isn't just coming from Trump, but also from those who are calling for his removal and claiming false facts against him.


Quote
You have a leader constantly attacking the media for false news while relying on truthful hyperbole, misdirection and and out right lies himself.  And America is letting him
His attacks on the media seldom explain what part of a news story is false (and his followers let him) and there is enough evidence to show that Trump labels anything that shows him in a negative light as being false. (and his followers lets him)
You have a leader who want to, no going to, increasing the military, homeland security, boarder security... a force with, if again he has his way, little oversight from the public. Don't worry you can trust him.

I worry, and I don't trust him.  I worry that when he does do something seriously wrong, that the opposition will have discredited themselves with BS attacks against him.

I suspect but can't prove that Trump's allies, not his foes, planted that idiotic Russia piss story.  Knowing that every stupid lie they tell against Trump makes him stronger, makes his lies more bearable, "more sinned against than sinning."
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDeamon on February 25, 2017, 01:07:22 PM
Using a word like coup was intentional.

History starts everyday. Any study of the past show time and again that change happens slowly (unnoticed) then all at once (usually with the people wondering how it happened)


Perhaps you think its not possible to undermined democracy and turn it into a new world order. Yet such things have been done in the past

. . .

You think the system and Constitution will protect you from any misuse of such a force, maybe, but its not a sure thing, history has shown that playing with this type of fire tends to end badly.

Being someone who has had close contact with the "tin foil hat" crowd since 1992, has been sympathetic to many of their claims, and even somewhat agreeable with other concerns they've raised in years past. I can fully relate. Many of the people you're arguing against probably "get it" better than you do. The "world" you now find yourself in is strange and frightening. Welcome to where many of them were 8 years ago, or where a number of people went back in 1992(and have remained) after George H. W. Bush gave his "New World Order" speech followed by Bill Clinton becoming PotUS in '93.

Yes, Democracies can be hijacked and overthrown, as we've seen happen internationally numerous times. Even the United States itself can be "hijacked" to various ends, as demonstrated by John Adams, Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, and even Barack Obama as PotUS. Congressionally, we've even seen it happen with McCarthyism that I can recall off-hand.

Things can get bad when you're "under the thumb" of an opposing President with sufficient support, but history has also shown that it takes a LOT throw the Federal system off course. Also, the thing the Anti-Trump people are failing to realize is the long-term trajectory of the Federal Government has been towards the modern incarnation of "liberalism" (which scares me, frankly), and as such, while "Trump is scary" freaking out in his first month is overkill. Not even Glenn Beck was this hysterical in Obama's first month in office. While he may have gotten close to being this hysterical(regarding Obama) at points during Obama's first 2 years, I actually don't think he made it as far as "the left" has already  gone with Trump.

So that said, Trump raises a LOT of valid concerns, they're currently likely to only be short-term issues. As meaningful, lasting, change in the nature of the Federal Government is likely to require a decade or more of sustained control of the reigns of state. A cooperative congress during that time also helps considerably.

My concern is that "the opposition" (in the form of the Democrats/left-wing) are burning themselves out "in pursuit of the wrong things" right now. In some respects, I'm glad of that, because I don't like many aspects of their own respective agenda, so the sooner they render themselves functionally inert, the better. But in others, its bad because it leaves me wondering what the alternatives will be in 2 years.

Their focus should be on organising, educating, and preparing for 2018. Not on creating an ongoing political spectacle of unending opposition and protest to Everything Trump(tm).

But as it stands, early outcomes look to me like it'll likely be the Conservative/Libertarian(rather than reactionary/religious) aspects of the Tea Party acting during the Republican Primary races that will likely end up being the true backstop to anything particularly nefarious Trump may get up to. The Democrats and the left-wing still doesn't seem to "get it" but maybe they're still working through their 5 stages of grief.

Of course, the Libertarian approach to things further terrifies the Democrats on many fronts, ironic given the complaints right-left just voiced. Considering the Democrats are the one who typically advocate for ever increasing amounts of centralized (federal) control over things. The very same thing that is a pre-requisite of (quickly) implementing a tyrannical regime.

You don't build a build a very effective tyrannical regime by undermining your own power base by devolving control of things back to the citizens, or local communities(/states), themselves.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Wayward Son on February 26, 2017, 01:52:46 AM
There is an obvious reason why Trump wants to discredit major news sources as being "fake news."

If he can discredit them, then no one can question his version of facts, events, outcomes, and reasons.  Then he can control our perception of reality and mold it into whatever he wants.

Which works well for politics, but not for reality.  Because reality has this feature that it will affect you whether you believe in it or not.  It does not care.

But molding the perception of reality can keep you in power for quite a while if done right.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDeamon on February 26, 2017, 03:07:30 AM
Which works well for politics, but not for reality.  Because reality has this feature that it will affect you whether you believe in it or not.  It does not care.

But molding the perception of reality can keep you in power for quite a while if done right.

Trump is 70, I doubt he's very interested in this as a long term thing. Although who knows, maybe he's hoping this will start "a political dynasty" for his own family because of this. Lord knows, the media seems fixated on such things. First the Kennedy clan, then the Bush Family, followed by the Clinton's, they've even mentioned Obama's Daughters (and Michelle) for that matter.

I think Trump was looking to put his "stamp" on history, and being PotUS is a hard one to top. He's going to try to "fix" the myriad problems he had taken notice of from his perch in Trump Tower while he's staying the White House. Maybe help build up the "Trump" brand for his children, and clear away a lot of the Red Tape that would prevent them, and the many other Million and Billionaires he knows, from making money.

I doubt he's pursuing any kind of particularly deep agenda. Although if he turns out to be a Ferengi in  disguise we might have something to discuss on a wide range of other issues.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDeamon on February 26, 2017, 01:54:13 PM
Maybe help build up the "Trump" brand for his children, and clear away a lot of the Red Tape that would prevent them, and the many other Million and Billionaires he knows, from making money.

This should probably be expanded on a bit more: On the immigration front, Trump's Circle may not give two *censored*s about ethical, but they are concerned about legal. Which brings us back to Lincoln's maxim about the best way to get a bad law repealed is to strictly enforce it.

You need to pay more attention to some of the immigration rhetoric Trump has used, he supports legal immigration. What he doesn't like is the illegal stuff, because as a business who tries to keep his operations legal, the overabundance of illegal immigrants seeking work(and being reasonably effective at faking legal identities) makes it hard to keep his own organization compliant(as the media has verified). As well as making it harder for his company, and the companies of his associates, to compete against firms that are less scrupulous about legal compliance.

Trump knows full well that he can make money off of immigrants, but it is the legal side of things that creates the problem. He also knows the Democrat's attempted method of resolving things is nearing the definition of insanity(trying the same thing over and over again expecting a different result). As well as the illegal inflow also presenting valid national security concerns, which does seem to be something he does pay at least some attention to. Which means being the businessman he is, he's going to try a different approach, and break the log jam with a different approach, one with a seemingly eager support base. Well, they might be learning "be careful what you wish for" with Trump.

I'm still not convinced Trump is any kind of right-winger in any meaningful way beyond possibly being a "hardcore capitalist" as the Soviet Union would have labeled him. Which isn't as much of the Republican Party, or "the conservative masses" as some in here may want to believe. He's a Registered Republican who has lived in NYC for almost his entire life, and spent most of his Adult life as either Registered Democrat, or independent, his switch to republicanism came late in life. Of course, the same could be said of Ronald Reagan and his past interests in Communism.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Seriati on February 27, 2017, 10:41:08 AM
There is an obvious reason why Trump wants to discredit major news sources as being "fake news."

If he can discredit them, then no one can question his version of facts, events, outcomes, and reasons.  Then he can control our perception of reality and mold it into whatever he wants.

Or, he could be tired of watching the "neutral" media manipulate and guide stories to try and recreate the terms of the debate in ways that are completely hostile to his goals?

If you don't understand the power or the point of media manipulation, then why have you ever complained about Fox? 

Quote
But molding the perception of reality can keep you in power for quite a while if done right.

It certainly kept Obama in power for an extra term and almost put Hillary there instead of in prison, so I guess I have to agree with you.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: cherrypoptart on February 27, 2017, 04:18:04 PM
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/huppke/ct-paid-protesters-huppke-20170227-story.html

http://www.weaselzippers.us/224034-more-proof-of-paid-protesters-ad-asking-for-protesters-to-travel-to-protest-list-of-payouts-to-ferguson-protest-organizers/

I couldn't read the first story because it seems like you have to pay but the second one seemed good enough. The first is just a better source though I'm not sure it's the same story. Anyway, we were talking about paid protesters earlier. Maybe this is some information on how to sign up, where, and with whom. As they say, if you can get paid for doing what you love, or for doing what you were going to do anyway for free, you never have to work a day in your life.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: NobleHunter on February 27, 2017, 06:41:50 PM
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/huppke/ct-paid-protesters-huppke-20170227-story.html

http://www.weaselzippers.us/224034-more-proof-of-paid-protesters-ad-asking-for-protesters-to-travel-to-protest-list-of-payouts-to-ferguson-protest-organizers/

I couldn't read the first story because it seems like you have to pay but the second one seemed good enough. The first is just a better source though I'm not sure it's the same story. Anyway, we were talking about paid protesters earlier. Maybe this is some information on how to sign up, where, and with whom. As they say, if you can get paid for doing what you love, or for doing what you were going to do anyway for free, you never have to work a day in your life.
The first article is mocking the idea of paid protesters. The second one has some real convincing plain printouts showing alleged payouts. The amounts don't make the activity sound profitable if there's any real travel involved.

The real question regarding "paid protesters" is why now? If the left had the ability to pay for protests on the scale we've seen the last few weeks, why did they wait until they were frozen out of government to launch them? If they'd spent the last six years like this, they probably could have done a lot better at getting concessions out of the GOP.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDrake on February 28, 2017, 12:07:08 PM
Offering travel funding is a far cry from "paid protestors". Art supplies, permits, and t-shirts are normal things any group has to do - I certainly authorized those things when campaigning for FairTax. If you think nobody going to a tax day rally got their parking reimbursed, you'd be wrong. People in a picket line are getting help with food and necessities while on strike. Is the union "paying protestors"?

Also, assuming for the moment the veracity of an unsubstantiated printout in plain font, Take a look at the dates. There are about 40 line items for 3 months time. Do we really think that was the bulk of those protests?

The idea of the paid protestor argument is much like the Citizens United complaints. A very few are controlling and manipulating the masses. I don't see either one in that light.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Seriati on March 03, 2017, 10:53:51 AM
I mentioned, on another thread, about the Fake News connected with Session's "Russian contacts."   I found this article today, which bothered me because of the way the headline, "Could Attorney General Jeff Sessions face legal trouble?" implies that he could, whereas the article itself pretty much states he couldn't

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/jeff-sessions-attorney-general-recusal-legal-consequences/ (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/jeff-sessions-attorney-general-recusal-legal-consequences/)

The whole point of writing that article is not to accurately report on the controversy, in which case based on the substance you'd have to label it fake news, but to create additional implications that there is something real here.

The media's power to make up a controversy is really without control.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Seriati on March 03, 2017, 11:02:49 AM
I seem to recall the incoming Obama administration being heavily involved in many many executive activities, including foreign policy, and they got nothing but praise for being pro-active.  I can't easily find any express references to them meeting with non-citizens about it, but I thought I recalled a number of such meetings occurring and being positively referenced by the press.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: NobleHunter on March 03, 2017, 11:10:25 AM
Trump's people talking to foreign agents are a run of the mill scandal. Good for clickbait but not likely to come to anything. Trump's people lying about talking to foreign agents are what's causing real trouble.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Fenring on March 03, 2017, 11:17:31 AM
I was eating in a restaurant last night and there was a television on in the background. I heard some familiar types of sounds coming from it and realized, to my dismay, that I was being treated to some CNN coverage of Trump. It had been a little while since I'd observed CNN on the air, since I avoid television in general and especially 'news' channels, and it never ceases to amaze me how awful it is to listen to what they say on channels like this. It's really propaganda city, they don't even pretend anymore. I guess it's no surprise that CNN would be at war with Trump in particular, but I always found something smarmy and smug about how CNN personalities discuss issues. It's possibly even worse than FOX, at the risk of making this sound like hyperbole. Then again I've not seen all that much of FOX so maybe I avoided the worst of it.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDrake on March 03, 2017, 12:06:47 PM
That's a pretty bad headline, along the level of push polling.

The headline should have read "Sessions unlikely to face legal trouble"

Looking at BBC headlines:

Democrats Call on Jeff Sessions to Quit
Sessions Steps Aside From Russia Investigation
Trump defends under-fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Unequivocally true, neutral tone, real journalism. Full disclosure, I didn't evaluate the articles, just the headlines.

Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: NobleHunter on March 03, 2017, 12:48:20 PM
I think headlines are a good indicator of spin, well, headlines and the first few paragraphs. It's really noticeable with the Daily Mail which will have an outrage-grabbing and scandalous headline and makes inflammatory accusations in the first paragraphs but burying the boring details several paragraphs in. So the school mandating daily Islamic prayers turns out to just be giving students permission to go pray if they want.

Journalistic integrity isn't dead, it's just buried under the lede.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDrake on March 03, 2017, 01:27:44 PM
It would be like making a headline - "New England Patriots Blown Out for Most of Superbowl"

Yeah, it's true, but....

Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDrake on March 03, 2017, 02:05:54 PM
Dang it. Spoke too soon. Just saw a side bar on BBC: Mike Pence's email 'hypocrisy staggering'

The linked article headline doesn't match the promo: Mike Pence accused of hypocrisy for hacked private emails

Somebody punched it up a little for the <click>.

And within? ....

But former US President Bill Clinton's adviser Paul Begala said Mr Pence was guilty of "staggering" hypocrisy.
"I'm trying to choke down the vomit," Mr Begala told CNN. "I'm sickened. It's too spectacular. Irony has not only died, it drank a gallon of antifreeze, climbed to the top of the Washington Monument and threw itself off.

You're BBC. Who cares about what somebody told CNN? Also, Begala hasn't been mentioned in over a week on CNNs site, though I did find the interview.

Meanwhile, Begala seems to know about as much about what the word irony means as Alanis Morissette

Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Seriati on March 07, 2017, 11:20:42 AM
So this caught my eye, in an article about whether black people are wrongfully convicted at a greater rate than white people, CNN threw this "fact" out:

Quote
While black people represent 13% of the US population, they represent a whopping 47% of the 1,900 exonerations in the registry.

Okay, sounds bad right?  But when you consider that the prison population is roughly 40% black people, 40-47 is not quite such a dramatic difference.  With only 1900 samples, it could be the result of random variation (it could also be the result of deliberate activism).

The point of the article is good, and the argument may have merit, there may in fact be bias at play leading to more wrongful convictions.  In fact they do discuss one source of that bias, there are more black on white crimes than the reverse, and there is a special risk of misidentification in cross-race situations.  However, ignoring the most relevant comparison in favor of what is really a completely irrelevant comparison undermines the case being made, and earns a "fake news" label from me for today.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/07/politics/blacks-wrongful-convictions-study/index.html (http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/07/politics/blacks-wrongful-convictions-study/index.html)

Edited to add:  I probably should have done a write up on CNN labeling Trump's wiretapping claims "baseless," initially.  "Unsubstantiated," would have been appropriate but baseless is a conclusion that wasn't supportable.   I note as a matter of comparison, they never labeled the claim that the video caused Benghazi as baseless.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Pete at Home on March 07, 2017, 04:03:27 PM


I doubt he's pursuing any kind of particularly deep agenda. Although if he turns out to be a Ferengi in  disguise we might have something to discuss on a wide range of other issues.

If?  Disguise?  What disguise? http://2w6kxc22rrr9mabqt1mglgait6.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Donald-Trump-Ferengi-ears.jpg

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ClshNh4UoAAGCsc.jpg
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Gaoics79 on March 08, 2017, 07:50:27 AM
Quote
It's really propaganda city, they don't even pretend anymore. I guess it's no surprise that CNN would be at war with Trump in particular, but I always found something smarmy and smug about how CNN personalities discuss issues. It's possibly even worse than FOX, at the risk of making this sound like hyperbole. Then again I've not seen all that much of FOX so maybe I avoided the worst of it.

I used to watch CNN incessantly. It was on almost non stop in my house while I cooked or cleaned or whatnot. Since I'd say around Ferguson I have found it harder and harder to watch. Now if I so much as watch for a few seconds by accident I have to race to change the channel to pretty much anything else - it's like acid on my brain.

Note: not all news has this effect on me. I can watch, say, CTV or CBC or other Canadian news channels without much problem.

I think CNN and other channels like it are simply not "news" channels as we would understand it. I am not sure what they are, but whatever you want to call it, I can't watch. It's like an allergy you develop to something that never bothered you before. One day you wake up covered in hives and can't tolerate it.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Pete at Home on March 10, 2017, 03:28:18 PM
CNN is just doing to African Americans today what they did to white Americans during the LA riots.  Gathering a core viewership of self-pitying fear slaves and outrage bitches.

But for CNN that was a matter of survival, not of politics.  After CNN basically invented the 24 hour news cycle, Fox News displaced CNN as the masters of white panic, so CNN had to find new groups to parasitize.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Fenring on March 24, 2017, 02:22:03 PM
I'm not sure if this is the right thread since there is a lot of cross-posting on the topics of Trump, the media, and Russia. But anyhow here's an article I just read on the topic of Crowdstrike's reliability and the "fact" that Russia "hacked" the DNC and Podesta:

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/03/23/rush-to-judgment/

Quote
Crowdstrike published an analysis that claimed a malware program supposedly unique to Fancy Bear, X-Agent, had infected a Ukrainian targeting application and, using GPS to geo-locate Ukrainian positions, had turned the application against the Ukrainians, resulting in huge losses:
[...]
The only problem with this analysis is that is isn’t true. It turns out that Crowdstrike’s estimate of Ukrainian losses was based on a blog post by a pro-Russian blogger eager to tout Ukrainian losses: the Ukrainians denied it. Furthermore, the hacking attribution was based on the hackers’ use of a malware program called X-Agent, supposedly unique to Fancy Bear. Since the target was the Ukrainian military, Crowdstrike extrapolated from this that the hackers were working for the Russians.

All somewhat plausible, except for two things: To begin with, as Jeffrey Carr pointed out in December, and now others are beginning to realize, X-Agent isn’t unique to Fancy Bear.

Adding this account to the fact that Wikileaks themselves claimed the data was not hacked but rather was leaked, and additionally the fact that one of the leaks had an insider admit that he was the one who leaked it.

For those still afraid that Russia 'hacked the election', I would suggest considering that you are being maneuvered into being afraid of Russia for reasons others than protecting the American election process.


Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Gaoics79 on March 24, 2017, 07:30:17 PM
Fenring, I don't know the truth of this obviously nor could I possibly have an informed opinion (nor can anyone, really, outside of the intelligence community and some rare experts with intelligence experience).

But, after watching US intelligence lie to us, blatantly, directly, and without remorse concerning mass surveillance programs (those lies being fact, not conjecture), I'm not overly inclined to trust pronouncements coming from that quarter - just the opposite.

Moreover, it is obvious to anyone who has watched news in the past few years that parts of the US government, for whatever reason, are intent on attacking Putin and Russia. Note, I am not saying they are necessarily wrong about Putin in anything they say about him. I am just saying they obviously have alot of desire (completely apart from election hacking), to attack him, which in my mind gives them ample motive to villify him, regardless of who hacked or didn't hack the election.

All that said, my gut tells me that we're being manipulated alot. I don't really trust the news anymore, not on this subject.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: linuxfreakus on March 29, 2017, 10:00:17 AM
I agree without inside info we can't have a truly informed opinion... but my opinion of crowdstrike has been pretty low ever since the CEO went on the interview circuit (I happened to see him on CNN) claiming they "caught them in the act".  Which seems absolutely ridiculous since they were never brought on until after the leaks (or the DNC lied about that *also*).  They could not have caught them in the act if they weren't watching yet.... and all his explanations for how they supposedly knew who they were watching were just a whole lotta technical nothing sauce.

I don't know how we are supposed to be able to believe anything anymore.... I don't know *what* happened, but I know that what we've been told cannot be true, at least not in the narrative sense (bits and pieces maybe).
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Seriati on March 29, 2017, 11:11:35 AM
I don't know how we are supposed to be able to believe anything anymore.... I don't know *what* happened, but I know that what we've been told cannot be true, at least not in the narrative sense (bits and pieces maybe).

Start by remembering the old adage, actions speak louder than words.  Try to parse self interest and never trust anyone when they are claiming high principals, that by chance, happen to align with their naked self interest (which unfortunately is most of politics).

We can't get truth out of public accounts where the truth was never present, but we can rationally weed out a bunch of falsity.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: LetterRip on March 29, 2017, 04:37:33 PM
I agree without inside info we can't have a truly informed opinion... but my opinion of crowdstrike has been pretty low ever since the CEO went on the interview circuit (I happened to see him on CNN) claiming they "caught them in the act".  Which seems absolutely ridiculous since they were never brought on until after the leaks (or the DNC lied about that *also*).  They could not have caught them in the act if they weren't watching yet.... and all his explanations for how they supposedly knew who they were watching were just a whole lotta technical nothing sauce.

I don't know how we are supposed to be able to believe anything anymore.... I don't know *what* happened, but I know that what we've been told cannot be true, at least not in the narrative sense (bits and pieces maybe).

It is quite common for those who have compromised a system to continue accessing it and continuing to slurp up data until the system has been patched, etc., so they could be 'caught in the act' of accessing the system and stealing more data.

Here is a post by crowdstrike,

https://www.crowdstrike.com/blog/bears-midst-intrusion-democratic-national-committee/

Rather than accuse anyone of lying, you might consider that you misheard or misunderstood....  crowdstrike had been responding to instrussions on the DNC network back to 2015...
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: linuxfreakus on March 29, 2017, 11:46:11 PM
It is quite common for those who have compromised a system to continue accessing it and continuing to slurp up data until the system has been patched, etc., so they could be 'caught in the act' of accessing the system and stealing more data.

Here is a post by crowdstrike,

https://www.crowdstrike.com/blog/bears-midst-intrusion-democratic-national-committee/

Rather than accuse anyone of lying, you might consider that you misheard or misunderstood....  crowdstrike had been responding to instrussions on the DNC network back to 2015...

It doesn't say that.  It says they "identified intrusion" going back that far.  Although it doesn't say how, nor does it say that they were inside the DNC servers and monitoring that far back.  According to their own statements and statements by DNC representatives, they were hired after the leaks came out.  Frankly, there is no way they could know for sure when any previous "intrusions" took place.  Once someone has access to a server, they can take data off or put data on it to make the appearance of anything they like.... perhaps they are looking at logs which have been preserved, but that still doesn't prove a lot....

Quote
Their tradecraft is superb, operational security second to none and the extensive usage of ‘living-off-the-land’ techniques enables them to easily bypass many security solutions they encounter.

Yet the malware they supposedly used was outdated and poor quality  ::)

They're acting like these intrusions took place over and over in order to steal emails... that simply is not the case.  The data was archived centrally, it was downloaded all at once.  The fact that it has lots of gaps just goes to show that the leaker or hacker (we still don't definitively know if the source wasn't a person who had access who simply saved them off) did not have prolonged access.  The server had a policy in place that deleted items older than 30 days unless they were placed in folders that preserved them, so you see a lot of missing data, but then there are tidbits of older threads that people had placed in folders to avoid having them deleted.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: LetterRip on March 30, 2017, 03:55:33 AM

It doesn't say that.  It says they "identified intrusion" going back that far.

You are correct, my mistake.

Quote
Although it doesn't say how, nor does it say that they were inside the DNC servers and monitoring that far back.  According to their own statements and statements by DNC representatives, they were hired after the leaks came out.  Frankly, there is no way they could know for sure when any previous "intrusions" took place.  Once someone has access to a server, they can take data off or put data on it to make the appearance of anything they like.... perhaps they are looking at logs which have been preserved, but that still doesn't prove a lot....

With ISP cooperation they could likely do so.  Also depending on the setup they won't necessarily own the whole system.  Things can be set up with seperate logging.  Compromising for copying data can much lower priveleged than compromising to manipulate logging.

Quote
Quote
Their tradecraft is superb, operational security second to none and the extensive usage of ‘living-off-the-land’ techniques enables them to easily bypass many security solutions they encounter.

Yet the malware they supposedly used was outdated and poor quality  ::)

I assume you are talking about the claims by 'Wordfence' about the FBI report on Grizzly Steppe? That was analysis of a single snippet of PHP included in the FBI report.  So comparing the opinion of Wordfence on what the FBI was willing to publicly release in a report as an example piece of code vs the complete forensic examination by counterstrike is idiocy.

Also a common bit of tradecraft for hacking is to use the least sophisticated and oldest tool that works that is publicaly available because it makes the forensic tracking job more difficult.  If you use a sophisticated piece of code it is far easier to track back to a specific group so you save them for only when you absolutely must use them.  This is also why extremely sophisticated hacking tools have ancient exploits that have been long patched on most systems rather than only using their zero day exploits that are garunteed to work on everything - it gives away far too much information.

Quote
They're acting like these intrusions took place over and over in order to steal emails... that simply is not the case.

There could be multiple intrustions for a variety of reasons.  The group that is claimed to have done the hack are known to take efforts to update their intrusion to maintain access and avoid detection.

Quote
The data was archived centrally, it was downloaded all at once.

Source?

Quote
The fact that it has lots of gaps just goes to show that the leaker or hacker (we still don't definitively know if the source wasn't a person who had access who simply saved them off) did not have prolonged access.

Or that they were trying to avoid detection.  It is common to use slow techniques for exfiltration to reduce risk of detection.

https://www.vthreat.com/2016/09/14/dns-tunneling/

Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: linuxfreakus on March 30, 2017, 04:25:06 AM

With ISP cooperation they could likely do so.  Also depending on the setup they won't necessarily own the whole system.  Things can be set up with seperate logging.  Compromising for copying data can much lower priveleged than compromising to manipulate logging.


Even with ISP cooperation, I don't see how they could make the conclusions they have ostensibly made.


I assume you are talking about the claims by 'Wordfence' about the FBI report on Grizzly Steppe? That was analysis of a single snippet of PHP included in the FBI report.  So comparing the opinion of Wordfence on what the FBI was willing to publicly release in a report as an example piece of code vs the complete forensic examination by counterstrike is idiocy.


No, that was part of the blog post you cited.  But I agree, the grizzly steppe report is a joke. Nothing in it provides useful evidence.


Also a common bit of tradecraft for hacking is to use the least sophisticated and oldest tool that works that is publicaly available because it makes the forensic tracking job more difficult.  If you use a sophisticated piece of code it is far easier to track back to a specific group so you save them for only when you absolutely must use them.  This is also why extremely sophisticated hacking tools have ancient exploits that have been long patched on most systems rather than only using their zero day exploits that are garunteed to work on everything - it gives away far too much information.


If that is the case, then how are they so sure that these publicly available tools are really used only by this group?  Thats exactly what I was getting at.  The supposed hacking in this case was very mundane and unsophisticated. Could have been done by a high school kid... but even if it had been more sophisticated how can just looking at the malware really tell you much when you know that tools exist for "fingerprinting" to make it look like one type of attack or another.


There could be multiple intrustions for a variety of reasons.  The group that is claimed to have done the hack are known to take efforts to update their intrusion to maintain access and avoid detection.


*Could* be.  But also could be that they simply watched the news and wondered what else might be there for the taking.  One could speculate for months!  And many people are!

Quote
The data was archived centrally, it was downloaded all at once.

Source?

There is no source, it just seems obvious based on the bulk delivery and missing chunks due to the auto-deletion policy.

Quote
The fact that it has lots of gaps just goes to show that the leaker or hacker (we still don't definitively know if the source wasn't a person who had access who simply saved them off) did not have prolonged access.

Or that they were trying to avoid detection.  It is common to use slow techniques for exfiltration to reduce risk of detection.


That doesn't make any sense. They knew or should have known that there was not much in the way of security in place. If they were constantly monitoring and sending a few at a time that just leaves *more* chances to be detected and increases the chance that you'll miss out on the big score, and the deletion policy is a much more likely reason... better to just pull the data and have it in your hands to peruse at your leisure.  If they went back and kept taking more, then either they didn't send that stuff to wikileaks or they were not wikileaks source IMO.... and if they were planning to leak it they obviously had to know that the DNC was going to find out there was a leak/hack.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: LetterRip on March 30, 2017, 02:23:24 PM
linuxfreakus,

you seem to think the PHP code was the only thing used, and concluding the hackers were unsophisticated, what is your basis for that belief?

Quote
Even with ISP cooperation, I don't see how they could make the conclusions they have ostensibly made.

It would confirm the content of any logs as far as the from where and when.  Also as I said the logs weren't necessarily compromised.

Quote
No, that was part of the blog post you cited.  But I agree, the grizzly steppe report is a joke. Nothing in it provides useful evidence.

Please feel free to quote the report, I didn't notice anything in the report that said or implied what you did.

Quote
If that is the case, then how are they so sure that these publicly available tools are really used only by this group?

Because sometimes the hackers have to bring out the more sophisticated tools and leave traces.  They do as much as they can with the tools that aren't specific to themselves, but usually that isn't sufficient to compromise the target to the degree required.  Also hackers are often careless and leave other traces - such as the times that things are carried out and not carried out.  It is also often the case that hackers have hubris and will leave signatures that they figure the investigators will be too dumb to figure out.

There are also nondeliberate signatures such as order that commands are carried out; what directories are explored first; etc.  Decisions that don't matter but there is no reason for any two hackers to choose the same order - but the same hacker will tend to stick to whatever order they happen to choose.

 
Quote
*Could* be.  But also could be that they simply watched the news and wondered what else might be there for the taking.  One could speculate for months!  And many people are!

The logs would provide a signature of what was being done, that a forensic investigator would be able to determine.  That is one of the points of logs...

Quote
There is no source, it just seems obvious based on the bulk delivery and missing chunks due to the auto-deletion policy.

It is also consistent with exfilitration designed to limit risk of detection.

Quote
That doesn't make any sense. They knew or should have known that there was not much in the way of security in place.

They knew or should have known nothing of the sort. There is different security at different layers.  Abnormal traffic is often an ISP level feature, whereas the type of security they compromised is a hosted system.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Fenring on March 30, 2017, 03:58:05 PM
Because sometimes the hackers have to bring out the more sophisticated tools and leave traces.  They do as much as they can with the tools that aren't specific to themselves, but usually that isn't sufficient to compromise the target to the degree required.  Also hackers are often careless and leave other traces - such as the times that things are carried out and not carried out.  It is also often the case that hackers have hubris and will leave signatures that they figure the investigators will be too dumb to figure out.

There are also nondeliberate signatures such as order that commands are carried out; what directories are explored first; etc.  Decisions that don't matter but there is no reason for any two hackers to choose the same order - but the same hacker will tend to stick to whatever order they happen to choose.

LR, anyone like me who isn't a data security analyst cannot possibly parse the details of a conversation such as you're having, but I can tell you for sure that I've never read any report, claim or evidence that any kind of 'signature' was left that could possibly identify the party responsible for the "hacks". Right from the horse's mouth their methodology was to track back to unidentifiable Russian source code, which they assume was used by Russians, and which they then claim had to have been orchestrated from the top-down because they (incorrectly) surmised that no operation not affiliated with the Kremlin could have pulled off that job. It's a long chain of reasoning involving several degrees of freedom, and even they never claimed their evidence was "hard". Going from this kind of claim - even if totally correct! - to "the Russians hacked the election" was already disingenuous bordering on propaganda.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: LetterRip on March 30, 2017, 04:50:28 PM
Post removed at user's request. -OrneryMod
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: LetterRip on March 30, 2017, 05:07:25 PM
Fenring,

the evidence for attribution hasn't been released or even thoroughly disscussed in public.  We simply don't know what evidence there is (or isn't).  All we know is that experts in the FBI, CIA, and NSA who have seen the evidence are convinced.

Quote
There is no mention of the focus of attribution in any of the White House’s statements. Across multiple statements from government officials and agencies it is clear that the technical data and attribution will be a report prepared for Congress and later declassified (likely prepared by the NSA).

(Excellent critique and discussion of the Grizzle Steppe report here..)

http://www.robertmlee.org/critiques-of-the-dhsfbis-grizzly-steppe-report/

Neither the Grizzly Steppe nor crowdstrike reports are really evidentiary, so it is fine to be skeptical.  My objections are those who are insistent that there is good reason to believe it wasn't the Russians.

So far all I've seen are bogus claims and analysis with major misunderstandings of how hackers work and how the forensics is done.

If you want to say - "we the public don't have enough information to confirm the findings of CrowdStrike and the intelligence community" - I'm fully in agreement.

That isn't what is being claimed though.  Instead there are claims that it wasn't the Russians and evidence points to it not being the Russians, and it is all a liberal fantasy and conspiracy.

As to your question regarding 'signatures' - I'm talking of generalities here.  We don't know the findings of the report or what forensic evidence was available so all I can speak of is what would generally be available for forensic attribution not what was specifically available in this instance.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Pete at Home on March 30, 2017, 05:15:46 PM
LR, even for sake of argument the Russians were behind this, it still would be a left wing media conspiracy to focus on this to obfuscate and distract from the actual contents of the spilled emails.  E.g. Obama and Clinton knowing that the Sauds and other "allies" are directly funding DAESH.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: yossarian22c on March 30, 2017, 08:15:51 PM
LR, even for sake of argument the Russians were behind this, it still would be a left wing media conspiracy to focus on this to obfuscate and distract from the actual contents of the spilled emails.  E.g. Obama and Clinton knowing that the Sauds and other "allies" are directly funding DAESH.

The whole world basically knows the Saudi's fund all that stuff and spread the seed of Jihadi Islamism through Wahhabism. Therefore it isn't exactly shocking that Obama and Clinton are aware of those facts as well.  We don't talk about it much because of all that gooey black stuff the have under their sand.  The only real way (long term) to cut off the funding for Islamism is to develop an energy source that eliminates the need for oil.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDeamon on March 30, 2017, 11:34:35 PM
The only real way (long term) to cut off the funding for Islamism is to develop an energy source that eliminates the need for oil.

Or failing that, find ways to produce it and bring it to market that undercuts what it costs them to extract and transport it. Either road leads to the process being unprofitable for them so long as it can be sustained.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Pete at Home on March 31, 2017, 12:28:42 AM
LR, even for sake of argument the Russians were behind this, it still would be a left wing media conspiracy to focus on this to obfuscate and distract from the actual contents of the spilled emails.  E.g. Obama and Clinton knowing that the Sauds and other "allies" are directly funding DAESH.

The whole world basically knows the Saudi's fund all that stuff and spread the seed of Jihadi Islamism through Wahhabism. Therefore it isn't exactly shocking that Obama and Clinton are aware of those facts as well.  We don't talk about it much because of all that gooey black stuff the have under their sand.  The only real way (long term) to cut off the funding for Islamism is to develop an energy source that eliminates the need for oil.

That helps, but ceases to be a complete fix when Obama expedites immigration from Muslim areas where Christians are being murdered, while allowing only 0.5% of Christians from those areas to immigrate.  Plus like you said, the fact that most of our Muslim communities have some degree of funding from Saudi wahabist rascals, means that we get "home grown" Islamist terrorism in proportion to a growing Muslim population.

And there's a difference between funding Islamism generally, and funding DAESH specifically.  At least a difference of plausible deniability, since Obama (like Bush and Clinton before him) refused to ever acknowledge the problem of Islamism.  Ironically, by embracing the right wing turd "radical Islam", Trump avoids dealing with the Wahabist funding disease and Islamism generally, just as deftly as Obama and the BushClintons.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Fenring on March 31, 2017, 12:33:50 AM
The whole world basically knows the Saudi's fund all that stuff and spread the seed of Jihadi Islamism through Wahhabism. Therefore it isn't exactly shocking that Obama and Clinton are aware of those facts as well.  We don't talk about it much because of all that gooey black stuff the have under their sand.  The only real way (long term) to cut off the funding for Islamism is to develop an energy source that eliminates the need for oil.

I wish that this was the extent of the relationship with the Saudis. But the petrodollar consists of far more than "we need oil". It would be more accurate at this point to say that it is one of the fundamental bases of the currency and that the balance of trade relies on weapons exports to places like Saudi Arabia. The current configuration of political alliance in the mid-East is also fixated on Saudi Arabia being pitted against Russia, Syria and Iran, whilst simultaneously allowing proxy armies to operate out of Saudi Arabia that can do various dirty work that official governments don't have a local mandate to do any more (such as attack Syria). And this is without getting into the really nasty stuff!
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Pete at Home on March 31, 2017, 01:19:38 AM
LR, even for sake of argument the Russians were behind this, it still would be a left wing media conspiracy to focus on this to obfuscate and distract from the actual contents of the spilled emails.  E.g. Obama and Clinton knowing that the Sauds and other "allies" are directly funding DAESH.

The whole world basically knows the Saudi's fund all that stuff and spread the seed of Jihadi Islamism through Wahhabism.

Actually there are several forum members who pretend at least not to believe this, at least while arguing with me.  Some even say that it violates "freedom of religion" to block immigration of people who think that DAESH is Allah's authorized Califate.

Quote
Therefore it isn't exactly shocking that Obama and Clinton are aware of those facts as well. 

But it was certainly shocking to see them acknowledge it in actual words.  Bear in mind that these guys never even use the word "Islamist" in their whole freaking reign.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: linuxfreakus on March 31, 2017, 02:20:10 PM
Wow I've been away from this board for too long.  So refreshing to say things and actually have people give thoughtful responses.  Have been getting used to getting flamed on social media :P

you seem to think the PHP code was the only thing used, and concluding the hackers were unsophisticated, what is your basis for that belief?

Sorry, definitely didn't mean to imply that, and even if code is PHP that in no way intrinsically implies it is not sophisticated.  I'm very language agnostic myself, you can write good or bad code in any language.... though for low level stuff, you certainly can get to it easier in C or C++ which have long been my languages of choice.  The reason I conclude that the Hacks were unsophisticated is mainly from public statements and reports which indicate that simple tools were used that are easily obtained and require little experience to use.

It would confirm the content of any logs as far as the from where and when.  Also as I said the logs weren't necessarily compromised.

But what would you expect to find in said logs?  IP addresses?  I've already looked at what they put forward for such evidence, and it looks very contrived.  Unless the ISPs were actively sucking up a lot of data on all these IPs you'd still have no idea about what data was going back and forth or who was behind those IPs.  ISPs don't log that level of detail on a large scale.  It would be outrageously expensive.

Please feel free to quote the report, I didn't notice anything in the report that said or implied what you did.

Which report, the blog post by Counterstrike or the Grizzy Steppe report? My citation was cut and pasted from the blog post.

Because sometimes the hackers have to bring out the more sophisticated tools and leave traces.  They do as much as they can with the tools that aren't specific to themselves, but usually that isn't sufficient to compromise the target to the degree required.  Also hackers are often careless and leave other traces - such as the times that things are carried out and not carried out.  It is also often the case that hackers have hubris and will leave signatures that they figure the investigators will be too dumb to figure out.

Sure, I understand that.  But also, it would be easy to use these same tools to generate false signatures, just like the CIA has been doing as documented in the recent "vault 7" wikileaks stuff.

There are also nondeliberate signatures such as order that commands are carried out; what directories are explored first; etc.  Decisions that don't matter but there is no reason for any two hackers to choose the same order - but the same hacker will tend to stick to whatever order they happen to choose.

Again, all stuff that could easily be replicated using automation tools.  I don't see what this proves.


The logs would provide a signature of what was being done, that a forensic investigator would be able to determine.  That is one of the points of logs...

Logs don't necessarily provide a lot of info unless you've gone to painstaking effort to audit the slightest details on your system.  Based on what I've seen, I don't think the IT folks in charge of this stuff put that much work or effort into security.  I don't think they have a lot to go on there.  Certainly in the case of Hillary's private server, the contractors were so inept that they had to go on reddit asking how to do stuff.  Not as much is known about the setup at the DNC, but considering how easy it was to get in... I'm assuming it was not better.

It is also consistent with exfilitration designed to limit risk of detection.

Quote
That doesn't make any sense. They knew or should have known that there was not much in the way of security in place.

They knew or should have known nothing of the sort. There is different security at different layers.  Abnormal traffic is often an ISP level feature, whereas the type of security they compromised is a hosted system.

No, I'm gonna have to disagree.  Abnormal traffic at least in the small amounts it would represent to transfer a relatively small compressed email archive is NOT anything that is a normal ISP feature would flag or stop.  The signal to noise ratio on something that inconsequential would not be worth dealing with.  Yes there could be machine learning algorithms that might flag stuff that isn't normal for a specific connection, but even that stuff makes way more noise than they want to deal with.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: linuxfreakus on March 31, 2017, 04:02:06 PM
IMO, the bottom line is that computer forensics can (if properly planned before there is a problem which seems highly doubtful here) provide a lot of insight into what was accessed and when.... but it is exceedingly difficult to answer questions about who did it (impersonation is not that hard) or most especially why an event took place.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: LetterRip on March 31, 2017, 05:17:39 PM
IMO, the bottom line is that computer forensics can (if properly planned before there is a problem which seems highly doubtful here) provide a lot of insight into what was accessed and when.... but it is exceedingly difficult to answer questions about who did it (impersonation is not that hard) or most especially why an event took place.

The 'who' in this case is derived from what exploit code/tools were left behind - if tools are proprietary to a particular hacking group (say a tool that exploits a previously unknown zeroday in a particular way), then if that code is used for an attack it is a good indicator that that group carried out a specific attack.  The Grizzly Steppe report provided hash signatures of tools that were unique to active campaigns previously attributed to FancyBear and that importantly the knowledge of these campaigns and tools was classified and therefore unless the someone recently hacked by FancyBear during these recent campaigns is doing a false flag operation (basically the CIA or NSA but possibly there are a few other nation states such as China; but also our allies such as Israel, France, UK that could do it) then there is high confidence of the attribution.

What was lacking in the Grizzly Steppe report was the origination of the knowledge of these tools and why they can be uniquely attributed to FancyBear - that is because the report was meant to be advisory (check for these hash signatures of all software on your server, if you find them it means you were probably targeted by FancyBear and should contact the FBI) rather than evidentiary (here is the chain of reasoning for why we uniquely associate these hashes with FancyBear).  Of course once the hash signature is made public the coder can change the code such that the tool will generate a unique hash signature (although I'm surprised that this isn't common practice already ... but then many hackers are lazy).
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: linuxfreakus on March 31, 2017, 06:50:08 PM
So where do they say that they've never seen these particular tool(s) other than from the two groups they're looking at? ... and how do they know the precise hashes? the stuff that ends up on a server isn't always the same stuff that granted you access...   I've not seen any such claims or evidence.  What I've seen are generic explanations of how phishing and malware attacks work, which makes me think thats what happened (if not straight up leaks from insiders)... but not specific evidence or information.

Hiding behind claims of "trying to protect methods and information" are ridiculous.  They already named the groups and if they aren't pulling it out of thin air, those guys know full well what they used to gain access and if they were made, then they already know what tools to not use going forward if they don't want to leave "fingerprints".
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Seriati on April 03, 2017, 02:39:07 PM
So Fox News is reporting that Susan Rice ordered the unmasking of the Trump associates and that they were monitored for over a year.  No headlines on CNN or CBS, maybe they are asleep at the switch?  lol.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDrake on April 04, 2017, 10:09:26 AM
Actually, it was Bloomberg that reported it, and it is on CBS as of 3 hours ago.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Seriati on April 04, 2017, 10:27:31 AM
I wasn't trying to say who got the scoop, just that it was being reported on a major network and ignored on others.  Taking almost a day to report on what could be a major scandal is bizarre, especially in an environment where they are leading with unconfirmed anonymous reports when they are critical of the President.  It's pretty clear that the delay was almost completely for spin purposes.

I note CNN's "response" (can't call it a report anymore) hangs its hat on a single anonymous source disputing what happened.  Best part here is with how hard Fox went one way and CNN and CBS the other way, someone owes us a retraction down the road.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: linuxfreakus on April 04, 2017, 02:26:55 PM
Yeah, CNN is pretty much instructing people to ignore it.  Chris Cuomo said it was "demonstrably untrue"... they did the same thing with wikileaks in the leadup to the election... told people not to look and just leave the reporting to them.  We know how that worked out.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDrake on April 04, 2017, 02:44:21 PM
This is in most ways, a prematurely reported possible scandal. BBC's Zurcher sums up as follows:

Quote
Former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice says that while she did request the "unmasking" of some Americans in contact with foreign subjects under government surveillance, she did not do so for "political purposes".
If that's where the story ends, then she was almost certainly legally exercising the broad powers high-level US national security officials have to review reports produced by the intelligence community. There were growing indications that the Russian government was attempting to influence the US presidential election, and a national security adviser would be remiss not to closely inspect any information about possible American involvement.
If, on the other hand, Ms Rice widely disseminated information about US citizens or leaked it to the press, as some Republican critics allege and she adamantly denies, then the picture grows much darker.
The bottom line is that someone, somewhere did reveal details about conversations Michael Flynn, Ms Rice's successor as national security adviser, had with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak. That leak, while it revealed that Flynn was being less than truthful with the US public, was illegal.

I think this is a good even handed report. I wouldn't read CNN as anything but entertainment these days, and I would expect news organizations to take their time and do some research for at least 24 hours before blasting a bunch of unconfirmed information.

This is especially true when the original article is written by Eli Lake, who contributes to Daily Beast, Washington Times, and other highly partisan sites.

Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Fenring on April 04, 2017, 03:08:00 PM
Maybe the solution to this situation is to rigorously define what "news" means in legal terms, and require any media outlet to follow those stringent rules if they want to include the word "news" in their self-description. This may sound a bit trivial, but I think the populace puts a lot of trust in the letters "n-e-w-s" and there is power in perceived meaning. I think it could make a big difference if you had some networks like CNN forced to use descriptors other than news, and for other ones to have to 'pass muster' in qualifying for the descriptor "news" to be used in their title, advertising, descriptions, and web options. There could then be a list of "approved" news networks, and I think a good chunk of the public would probably try to get their information from them rather than from "information sources" that are not news sites.

Right now it seems like people get their information from all over the place, including Facebook, stupid sites, and who knows where else. Part of that is laziness, but I think part of it is also that "news" has become so watered down that there is a general perception that since there is no gold standard there is basically no standard at all, and so people will gravitate towards whatever media source will say what they want to hear. But I think it would be a lot harder to fool oneself if the site where you were getting your info is blatantly "not a news station". The difficulty, of course, would be in setting some basic controls so that "news" stations didn't devolve into partisan clearinghouses, and part of that goes into budget constraints and having to get information second-hand, which is often from partisan sources. It's hard to solve all of this at once, and to an extent it's a technological problem of having easy access to an audience but very little access to primary information.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: DonaldD on April 04, 2017, 03:54:00 PM
Quote
Fox News is reporting that Susan Rice ordered the unmasking of the Trump associates
If that's what Fox is reporting, then Fox needs to make a correction, don't you think?

And if Fox isn't reporting that, maybe you should correct your attribution..?
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: linuxfreakus on April 04, 2017, 05:02:39 PM
I don't know how far this story will go either, and secondly whether or not it was illegal, and thirdly whether anyone would actually "go down" over it are completely different issues.  It takes a LOT for it to get to stage 3.  There is so much grey area in the laws that they can basically do whatever they please as far as I can tell, so aside from public outrage, I don't know what else can come of this unless a whole lot more info is yet to come. Rice sure has changed her story quite a bit as details unfold :P

The part that is unsettling about CNN (in this example) and much of the rest of the MSM is that they *are* taken seriously by a lot of people, and the stuff that gets broadcast/published is often full of wrong information, speculation presented as facts, etc, etc... and the coverage more closely resembles a sporting event than documentary.  We end up with an awful lot of people who believe things that aren't true, or at least do not deserve nearly the level of credibility/certainty that is attached.

This is in most ways, a prematurely reported possible scandal. BBC's Zurcher sums up as follows:

Quote
Former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice says that while she did request the "unmasking" of some Americans in contact with foreign subjects under government surveillance, she did not do so for "political purposes".
If that's where the story ends, then she was almost certainly legally exercising the broad powers high-level US national security officials have to review reports produced by the intelligence community. There were growing indications that the Russian government was attempting to influence the US presidential election, and a national security adviser would be remiss not to closely inspect any information about possible American involvement.
If, on the other hand, Ms Rice widely disseminated information about US citizens or leaked it to the press, as some Republican critics allege and she adamantly denies, then the picture grows much darker.
The bottom line is that someone, somewhere did reveal details about conversations Michael Flynn, Ms Rice's successor as national security adviser, had with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak. That leak, while it revealed that Flynn was being less than truthful with the US public, was illegal.

I think this is a good even handed report. I wouldn't read CNN as anything but entertainment these days, and I would expect news organizations to take their time and do some research for at least 24 hours before blasting a bunch of unconfirmed information.

This is especially true when the original article is written by Eli Lake, who contributes to Daily Beast, Washington Times, and other highly partisan sites.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDeamon on April 04, 2017, 05:48:21 PM
The part that is unsettling about CNN (in this example) and much of the rest of the MSM is that they *are* taken seriously by a lot of people, and the stuff that gets broadcast/published is often full of wrong information, speculation presented as facts, etc, etc... and the coverage more closely resembles a sporting event than documentary.  We end up with an awful lot of people who believe things that aren't true, or at least do not deserve nearly the level of credibility/certainty that is attached

As I think about it, that is probably one of the most apt descriptions of CNN I've seen in a while. It IS almost like watching a sporting event broadcast, brought to you by one of the teams involved.

Substitute Democrat and Republican with Patriots and Falcons (in any sequence), and have the Anchor announce that the Patriots are down by 6 point, are in a 3rd down and 12 yards to go, and cut to analysis of what the Falcons can do to prevent a first down.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: LetterRip on April 04, 2017, 07:26:02 PM
Maybe the solution to this situation is to rigorously define what "news" means in legal terms, and require any media outlet to follow those stringent rules if they want to include the word "news" in their self-description.

I was thinking either consumers should be able to sue companies that have news in the name for fraud/false advertising when they behave like some of the cable 'news' channels.  Or actual news organizations such as BBC should be able to sue Fox, etc. for damaging the reputation of actual news organization.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: Wayward Son on April 07, 2017, 06:20:35 PM
Right now it doesn't sound like the "unmasking" accusation will go far.  Unmasking requests can't be used by themselves to spy on an American citizen, from what I understand. (http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/apr/06/tom-cotton/tom-cotton-its-unusual-white-house-officials-susan/)

Quote
The FBI and NSA regularly produce reports for government customers. The customer could be another investigating agency, Congress, the Justice Department or the White House. If an American’s name appears in a piece of intelligence — for example, if agents intercept a conversation between two foreign nationals who mention an American friend in passing — those preparing the report generally "mask" the American’s name, replacing it with something like "U.S. Person."

The recipient of the report might decide that in order to fully understand the intelligence, they need to know the "U.S. Person’s" identity. So they make a request for the name to be unmasked, and the agency that produced the report either approves or denies the request. The NSA approved 654 requests in 2015, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

It’s not just agencies conducting criminal or counterintelligence investigations that make the unmasking requests, as Cotton said. It’s anyone who consumes intelligence reports.

So the person requesting the unmasking doesn't know from the report who will be unmasked.  So unless she has prior knowledge of who's name will be unmasked, it is useless for finding out any particular individuals who might be in the reports.

Quote
The official who wants to abuse the process would have to get agency workers on board with her plan because they would have to make sure she receives reports about the American in question. They would also have to make sure that any unmasking request would be granted, said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty & National Security Program at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, a civil liberties group.

"It’s certainly not an easy or direct route to spying on political opponents," she said, adding that there are other provisions of surveillance laws that are far more susceptible to abuse.

Stonekettle Station (http://www.stonekettle.com/2017/04/unpresidented.html) goes into more detail (or at least uses more words :) ).

So no one can say that Susan Rice purposely unmasked Trump associates names, because she wouldn't have known the masked names were their names until she unmasked them.  And while not usual, it would be part of her job if she had reason to find out who the mysterious, masked person's name was.

So until they find evidence that she had prior knowledge of those names, I don't see anything to this story.
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: D.W. on January 07, 2019, 10:20:51 PM
Took me awhile to find this original post. 
The AI generated fake puppet show video is back in the news.  Or at least the social media. 

This time it was Scarlet Johansson raising awareness of people pasting whoever they want onto porn star's bodies.  Maybe this will be the thing that gets attention to this threat? 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/business/technology/deepfakes-how-a-new-technology-is-being-used-to-put-womens-faces-on-porn-stars-bodies/2018/12/30/af0cff27-f7d1-4fcc-bb4f-011e6e086f30_video.html?utm_term=.231f04fc44f3 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/business/technology/deepfakes-how-a-new-technology-is-being-used-to-put-womens-faces-on-porn-stars-bodies/2018/12/30/af0cff27-f7d1-4fcc-bb4f-011e6e086f30_video.html?utm_term=.231f04fc44f3)
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: TheDeamon on January 12, 2019, 12:39:58 PM
Good thing CNN can spot fake news so readily. Don't want a misinformed populace.

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/local-san-diego-tv-station-schools-cnn-on-reality-that-border-walls-worksan-diego-tv-station-schools-cnn-on-reality-that-border-walls-work.amp (https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/local-san-diego-tv-station-schools-cnn-on-reality-that-border-walls-worksan-diego-tv-station-schools-cnn-on-reality-that-border-walls-work.amp)
Title: Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
Post by: D.W. on January 14, 2019, 11:02:29 AM
While that is interesting, and I'm all for highlighting news distortion for political ends, that's not the kinda thing I was talking about.

Unless I missed it and they turned the hosts of the station into digital sock puppets against their wishes and made them say exactly what they wanted, when the real reporting didn't line up with the political goal?

We're approaching, or already at a point that any scandalous accusation can be furnished with a believable fake video.  Selective reporting and biased propaganda will soon be "the good ol' days" of media manipulation.