Posts by Russell Brown

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  • Hard News: The fake news problem,

    Shaun King of the New York Daily News on a despicable and misleading Facebook post by Mike Huckabee about a hoax hate crime that happened eight months ago, but which Huckabee portrays as having just happened.

    Most worryingly, Huckabee introduces the entirely false claim that the two students responsible were Jewish (he appears to have picked this up from yet another fake news site). It's Huckabee's most popular post in months.

    This is really chilling.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem,

    This Daily Beast story, 48 Hours in Facebook’s Unreality, is staggering:

    According to Trendolizer, a variation on EndTheFed’s story “Since Donald Trump Won the Presidency… Ford Shifts Truck Production from Mexico to Ohio” trended three times over the last 24 hours.

    Ford shifted its truck production from Mexico to Ohio in August 2015, not this week, and the move had nothing to do with Trump. That didn’t seem to matter for EndTheFed, whose post was shared 15,000 times, or, whose nearly verbatim post trended later on Monday.

    By the time’s headline “BREAKING: Since Donald Trump Won The Presidency Ford Shifts Truck Production From Mexico To Ohio” racked up 20,600 shares, there was a startling development in the real world.

    Ford CEO Mark Fields announced his company was doing the opposite of the viral reports on Facebook. “Ford Motor Co. is moving ahead with plans to shift production of small cars to Mexico from Michigan,” Reuters reporter Alexandria Sage wrote at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

    That story—entirely true—had 233 shares on Reuters’ Facebook page at press time.

    The NY Times’ Zeynep Tifekci says it’s been going on at that intensity for months. The likes of us just didn’t notice. She has a long Twitter thread about it today.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Popping outside of the bubble to see what is in the” other” bubbles is fascinating , and possibly essential in arriving at your own “truth” :-)
    Fretting would seem to be pointless.

    This is way beyond perspectives. It's about empirical facts. Like the one referred to at the top of the original post.Clinton is ahead in the popular vote and will win it by between one and two million votes. Framing as a matter of opinion – or "bias" – is very much part of the problem.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem,

    Here’s another one currently going huge with Trumpers. The theory is that a photo a mum out for a walk got with Clinton, who was doing the same, was “staged”.

    The claims made in this almost unwatchable exercise in blather (you keep wondering when he’s going to get to his “evidence”) are:

    - The photo was “staged”
    - The woman is in fact a “top Democratic operative in New York”
    - She knows Clinton and in fact staged a fundraiser for her
    - Her removal of the picture from her Facebook page is a conclusive “admission of guilt”


    - Margot Gerstner has met Clinton, once, 15 years ago when she was in high school. When her mother held a fundraiser for Clinton’s first Senate campaign.
    - She is not a “top Democratic operative” and there’s no evidence she was involved with the Clinton campaign at all
    - And making her Facebook account private wasn’t “an admission of guilt”, but a wholly understandable response to being deluged with abuse and death threats. She probably didn’t feel great about having her family photos stolen from her Facebook account and abused in this twisted narrative.

    As another fake news cesspit claims:

    Perhaps Gerster was having regrets about this really bad idea to act like meeting Hillary on a hike was all a coincidence, since she deleted her post from Facebook and made her account private. Fortunately, political whistleblower Jack Posobiec caught screenshots of other pictures Gerster has with Hillary before that happened, proving the two know each other since they are seen having dinner together before this “chance” meeting in the woods. CNN didn’t seem to care about that detail since they are still shilling for Hillary and reporting lies on her behalf to help her look good in the aftermath of the election she lost.

    That site’s claim that Gerstner is a “democratic operative” is sourced from this site, which literally made it up.

    Are these people too deranged to notice that Gerstner is a child in her earlier picture? Do they just not care?

    And the Daily fucking Mail reported it as news.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem,


    This Breitbart story is currently spreading like wildfire on Facebook, I gather. The map is fake and the story is intended to mislead.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem, in reply to B Jones,

    I’m pessimistic that even if Facebook do succeed in some quality control, they just get filed by the peddlers of misinformation as The Man, in the same way as I heard someone dismiss Snopes as in the pocket of Hillary or something recently. The real loonies love implying they’ve been censored. But perhaps the volume on their megaphone can be turned down a bit.

    That actually happened already.

    Part of the reason Facebook switched to non-human moderation was a chorus of (poorly-founded, naturally) claims that Facebook was mandating political bias in its "trending topics".

    What was actually happening was that human editors weeded out stories that were clearly garbage. Facebook panicked and assured Conservatives that it would never prevent them seeing what they wanted to see, even if it was hateful garbage. And even though there was no evidence of actual topics being suppressed.

    Snopes? Yeah, I encountered so many idiots who responded to being referred to anything on Snopes by alleging that Snopes was "biased". People literally don't want the truth.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem,

    From Sheera Frenkel on Buzzfeed. The Facebook staff are revolting:

    SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook employees have formed an unofficial task force to question the role their company played in promoting fake news in the lead-up to Donald Trump’s victory in the US election last week, amid a larger, national debate over the rise of fake and misleading news articles in a platform used by more than 150 million Americans.

    The task force, which sources tell BuzzFeed News includes employees from across the company, has already rebutted a statement made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a conference last week that the argument that fake news on Facebook affected the election was “a pretty crazy idea.”

    “It’s not a crazy idea. What’s crazy is for him to come out and dismiss it like that, when he knows, and those of us at the company know, that fake news ran wild on our platform during the entire campaign season,” said one Facebook employee, who works in the social network’s engineering division. He, like the four other Facebook employees who spoke to BuzzFeed News for this story, would only speak on condition of anonymity. All five employees said they had been warned by their superiors against speaking to press, and feared they would lose their jobs if named.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem,

    And on Buzzfeed, RT staff in Britain are upset by a far-right swing in the channel's messaging. Apparently they thought joining a channel controlled by a government rated 143rd on the global press freedom index was gonna be all good.

    There is now a concern among some members of staff that the channel is shifting its political focus. One of the staffers told BuzzFeed News that many British employees had joined the station to challenge dominant right-wing media narratives and now found themselves unhappy with its recent “big shift towards UKIP and Trump” in terms of story choices and presenters.

    “We used to like to challenge dominant narratives from the left but since the migrant crisis there’s been a massive shift to the right,” the source said, suggesting the channel’s bosses have increasingly found it easier to find pro-Russian voices on the right-wing, nationalistic end of the political spectrum while relying on stories highlighted by the likes of the Daily Mail and Breitbart.

    “The policy is a general shift of the channel to be more right-wing and more alt–right. Russia says we’ve got leftists like Owen Jones talking negatively about us and we’ve got right-wingers who want to like us.”

    However, the second RT staff member insisted this was not a recent shift and that the channel was already appealing to right-wing viewers: “Many of channel’s viewers are anti-establishment right-wingers. UKIP-ers or further. They probably love Trump and they all think the BBC is basically a Westminster mouthpiece.

    “The readership of the website in particular is obsessed with Muslims and ridiculously in love with any kind of conspiracy theorist. Their favourite topic, however, is sex. Sex robots, blow job cafés… I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the demographic they are going for.”

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem,

    Hi folks. I've banned Ally Cat. Ridiculous 9/11 conspiracists are just a waste of everyone's time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

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