Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: If this was ever funny, it's not any more

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  • Rob Stowell,

    How do we respond? One thing that sticks out is the role of facebook and twitter. It's probably naive to expect them to police their own users - for bot accounts, or fake news. Yet they are virtual monopolies with great power. That's not a comfortable situation.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    What's eerie is that only - what - a matter of weeks ago, the term "fake news" was used by the MSM to describe what all the bad guys from Russian spies to Breitbart were doing to rack up support for Trump and throw shade on Clinton.

    And now Trump's insane bullshit make the MSM look like corporate charities. Although I suppose in the case of the Guardian, that's not far from the truth.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    It never was funny, its just some are very good at making jokes around it. Plenty of practice I guess. The fuckedupness really kicked off with Uncle Ronnie.

    Its just weird how some USians look back with fondness at that time. I guess they all started building their echochambers about then

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    'Fake Reality' was never going to be far behind this new wave....

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    What’s eerie is that only – what – a matter of weeks ago, the term “fake news” was used by the MSM to describe what all the bad guys from Russian spies to Breitbart were doing to rack up support for Trump and throw shade on Clinton.

    I'd love someone to do some forensics on how "fake news" got turned around. It was really slick and fast.

    A phrase that had one clear meaning – consciously created and propagated false stories, distributed from bogus "news" sites to Facebook – was suddenly being used by Trumpers to describe any and all actual journalism that they didn't like. The phrase ceased to have any real meaning except to the dingbats who hurled it around, meaninglessly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to andin,

    Teddy Roosevelt and William Randolph Hearst: "You furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war"

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    herd it on the grapevine...
    'fey gnus' for the bewilderedbeests?
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Before the US election, they were five-to-one in favour of Trump – many of them Russian. Last week they have been in action in the Stoke byelection – Russian bots, organised by who? – attacking Paul Nuttall.

    If we want to protect our democracy, we need to get our heads around the reality this is a declaration of war from Russia, and we need to teach Putin that war will come with a cost to Russia he can’t afford. Send all the weapons and money we can to the Chechens and every other rebel group in Russia, and let Putin know we won’t stop until he does.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It was really slick and fast

    I still can't tell how much of all this is going ATP from their point of view, or whether it's just a bunch of dicks making the same kind of luck for themselves as a gang member in a sandpit.

    Meanwhile, Jacinda. Yay!

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    It's Muldoon's banning of Tom Scott, but on steroids and P.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Adam H,

    So about a dozen years ago I started building an analysis shop to try and figure out why people did dumb things.

    And as part of my research into "nudge", I became very conscious of how easy it was to make my brain misfire. I took the TV aerial off the roof, threw away the satellite dish and became very careful about my "use" of newspapers.

    I have noticed that English appears to be clumsily but probably successfully using some Trump techniques - today he dropped in some baseless comment about drug testing... the other day it was half a billion dollars for more coppers (because crime must be, like, out of control man). I recall that such methods are especially effective on older brains.

    I guess I'm saying the propaganda mechanisms aren't new. The depressing thing is that maybe we can just see them better now, like when I suddenly started noticing it.

    My defence was to try and turn it off, because the cognitive dissonance can really mess with your head. But what we really need is a way to fight back. Sadly, that probably needs similar techniques, because challenging people on their misconceived notions has no effect...

    I'm in if anyone has a suggestion...

    Auckland • Since Oct 2014 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Adam H,

    Attachment

    See the fnord!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison,

    When I read the Guardian article I am, for the first time, genuinely terrified of these people. They are very nasty.
    How the Republican Congress can sit there blindly is beyond me..
    What can we do? I will always remember what Obama said – the most important office in a democracy is that of citizen. Also, I have NYT and Wash Post subs.

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Adam H,

    English appears to be clumsily but probably successfully using some Trump technique

    ...and then Labour and the Greens (who really should know better) supporting repealing our health and safety laws (specifically brought in to protect people from their own and others stupid) to allow workers to go down Pike River looking for corpses and "evidence".

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Adam H,

    I have noticed that English appears to be clumsily but probably successfully using some Trump techniques – today he dropped in some baseless comment about drug testing…

    It's interesting that Key offered the same bullshit anecdata last year, but I doubt it'll work for English.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    how "fake news" got turned around.

    The same way "dirty politics" did in NZ - organised repetition, message discipline, weakened media, and some useful idiots. Just with better push tools in the US case because they can afford them.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Mick Buckley,

    The Guardian piece is a fascinating read. Researchers have shown changes to search result algorithms can influence voting preferences. We've just had two really weird election results (Trump and Brexit), so maybe we're all being manipulated by a libertarian billionaire computer algorithm genius! I guess it's plausible, but my gut feeling says the Trump White House is still more cock-up than conspiracy. And even if true the Mercer master plan would appear to leave the actual levers of power in the hands of Google and Facebook, the Owners of the Algorithms.

    Northland • Since Aug 2014 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody,

    And the gaggle of friendlies wasn't all that smooth sailing either :-)

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/02/24/press-gaggle-press-secretary-sean-spicer-2242017

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to andin,

    It never was

    Not remotely.

    Through her grief, Dunham talks about being in a better position than most Americans. “It’s a privilege to be heartbroken by the system for the first time at age 30,” she said, adding, “So many people — those in the prison system, those with undocumented American relatives, those who are trans, who are queer, who are people of color, who are Muslim, who are trying to prosecute their abusers — have felt the crushing failure of the system over and over again."

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I still have suspicions as to why this guy got citizenship here and what his links are to the National Party. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/peter-thiel-donald-trump-key-adviser-technology-science-paypal-david-gelertner-steve-bannon-a7600471.html

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3203 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    (OFF TOPIC) Bill English bleating about Kiwis failing 'drug tests' - what are these tests? Is anyone asking? If they are tests for impairment (or even the presence of dangerously addictive drugs) that might make sense (although we need real data, not anecdotes.) BUT if the 'drug testing' Kiwis are failing is for cannabis use - which I believe means any use of cannabis in the last days or weeks - which do not relate to impairment - then this needs to be made explicit. Is anyone in the media asking this question?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    yes - no one seems to have publicly asked if Thiel has contributed anything to the Nats

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    (OFF TOPIC) Bill English bleating about Kiwis failing ‘drug tests’ – what are these tests?

    I have a blog post for you:

    https://publicaddress.net/hardnews/drugs-testing-and-workplaces/

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    ...if Thiel has contributed anything to the Nats

    Access to Palantir Gotham and Palantir Metropolis data-mining perhaps?
    One can only imagine.
    I'm guessing Cambridge Analytica are gonna be swamped with work, going forward...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

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