Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The fake news problem

440 Responses

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  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Show me the correct numbers then.

    The numbers that matter are:
    - the actual vote totals in each state
    - the actual states that contribute electors to the electoral college

    Mr Asshole wants to give Trump's win extra legitimacy by only counting 44 states and dismissing the excess votes in the others as liberal elites whose votes aren't important.

    Can you not see how that is dishonest? Why should Mr Asshole be taken seriously?

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew R266, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Well MSM can always chose to run good truth checking. Radio NZ has done some. In Australia it looks like ABC and The Conversation were fact check sites to go to in last election. Are these MSM?

    Since Sep 2014 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    I thought that his whole thesis was merely a rejoinder to those who were arguing that Clinton held the moral high ground on the " strength " of having won the irrelevant popular vote.
    Why do you think that it was dishonest?
    Anyway the point was that the facts remained the same: the numbers were not fudged.
    That was the only point of relevance to the discussion we were having.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 778 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Twitter finally takes action against fascists. Bookface next?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to ,

    I had to get the press council growling at the NZ Herald over a bit of bullshit in a story they brought from The Conversation.

    link/s?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green,

    O.K. I’m getting it now.
    Alt- right (WTF?) = misogynist, racist , neofascist.
    That clears that up.
    What does the "alt" signify?

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 778 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Farmer Green,

    But seriously, were the facts being misrepresented? Was what I said that I read somewhere a blatant lie about the facts, or not?

    Yes. The facts were being misrepresented. There is no question Trump won, because he one more electoral college votes due to the rust belt swing states, but the maths in the article is rubbish.

    1) Clinton 62,410,968, Trump 61,248,402. The blog post systematically underestimates clintons numbers by half.
    2) Winning both the popular vote and the electoral college confers a moral mandate you don't get by only winning the electoral college. This is why members of the far right, in the post-truth atmosphere, are claiming "actually, Trump also won the popular vote". He didn't, but there is value to making the claim demonstrated by the making of it. This is why the popular vote is not completely irrelevant- its relevancy is demonstrate by people lying about it.
    3) States, and selective counting of them, is a genuine pointless metric. You will acknowledge that Clinton won a lot more than 6 states, which is not as you remember the article but was the misleading idea that the article successfully conveyed to you. You can see how pointless the metric is by reversing it. Taking Trumps 6 best states winning margins totals, and comparing it to Clinton's lead in the 44 other states, in Trumps 6 "bulwark" (to use the blogs made up definitions) Trump got a lead of 3686806 votes, in the other 44 states Clinton leads by a total of 4111625. By the blogs own logic, Clinton is the winner for being a representative candidate. This is why the blog is misleading bullshit.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Thanks DH.
    Also worth noting: when the article starts and goes on with crude name calling, it's not likely to be reliable.
    The argument that senators and the electoral college are there to protect the rights of individual states is quite true. That was the rationale. It's also fairly obvious its not very democratic - if you believe a key democraric principle is the vote of every eligible adult being more or less equal.
    The constitution was written for very different times. It's a sign of America's weakness and decline that now it is close to impossible to change it.
    Pres Trump might have a go at the first amendment but only because he doesn't get this yet.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

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

  • David Hood, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    It’s a sign of America’s weakness and decline that now it is close to impossible to change it.

    I'm going to have to disagree with that- it would potentially be really, really easy to completely change the constitution in 2 or 4 years, depending on the next election results.

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a50672/state-legislatures-republicans/

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    How feasible would it be to fight misinformation with misinformation?

    "I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it." - George Bernard Shaw

    Leaving that aside, it's hard to see what misinformation would actually be effective. The actual easily verifiable things that Trump said and did had more or less zero effect where it counted. Mexicans are all rapists? Deport all muslims? Bankrupt multiple times, and rips off small businesses? Essentially zero cut-through.

    Where do you go from there? Photoshop him eating a baby?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to ,

    Sustained “alt news" aimed directly at his business empire.

    I suspect that "actual news" exposing his business empire would do just as well. For some reason the media, supposedly beholden to the left, simply won't tackle it (with one or two exceptions, e.g. Farenthold; we'll have to see if they expand their efforts now).

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to David Hood,

    Didnt realise 2/3 of the states were so close. Still reckon it's unlikely but who knows - a hugely popular president trump and a booming economy?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to mark taslov,

    Well it’s not altogether surprising that when we cut the population in half and divisively socialise each half in different ways – primarily according to their genitals – that some people then perpetuate and aggravate this division.

    Trump as victim. He had no choice but to boast about groping women since Hillary is divisive.

    I'm more and more inclined to think that it's misogyny that is playing a very large part in what's going wrong at the moment.

    Since Nov 2016 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Attachment

    some may say that the election was rigged, but I have not seen that contention put forward here.

    Every 'ship of fools' has rigging....
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The church of density...
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/86551648/opinion-brian-tamaki-can-go-to-hell-but-his-followers-can-still-be-saved
    seems to fit here insofar as fake news for modern humans goes....

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    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 ViralLiberty.com, whose nearly verbatim post trended later on Monday.

    By the time DonaldTrumpNews.co’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 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    The US MSM is in a state of virtual melt down over Trump, often simply because he plans to do things differently. They seem incapable of distinguishing between the merely breaking with tradition - living in Trump tower instead of the Whitehouse, not letting the press know every time he takes a dump - to the obviously worrying, like his wierd twitter rants and the obvious cronyism and corruption already evident in his woefully inadequate transition process. As long as the media insists on portraying Trump as a crazy chump on things that are of no consequence those sections of the general population who are not so adept at sifting legitimate news from the fake, the snake and the noise are going to carry on believing the MSM conspiracy against "the Donald" is real - because actually, it kinda is.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    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 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    those sections of the general population who are not so adept at sifting legitimate news from the fake, the snake and the noise are going to carry on believing the MSM conspiracy against “the Donald” is real – because actually, it kinda is.

    I'm not sure that they should really just drop their opinions on his shortcomings because people who can't tell bullshit from reporting need to be looked after. Fundamentally their role is actually to tell the truth, and if bullshit artists have the upper hand for a while, I don't think the sound response is to just throw your hands into the air and get with the program.

    As long as the media insists on portraying Trump as a crazy chump on things that are of no consequence

    There are a lot of people who think that the presidency is an important job which should be approached with seriousness and professionalism, and get really upset that this has been thrown out the window, and won't spin a "crazy chump" into something less ridiculous, as if they were the Apprentice post-production team.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Neil,

    Broadly and pervasively, misogyny plays and has played an inexorable part in what’s wrong with humanity for eons. Your conclusions with regards to the 2016 US presidential candidates are entirely your own, neither accepting the extent of the issue nor adequately addressing a nonpartisan contention.

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

  • Hilary Stace,

    It is Dirty Politics on a global scale. The problem is how to counter it by being even even more astute with technology, psychology, education etc, but also ethical. If you believe that most people are inherently good and moral beings (and I suppose I mostly do) then ethical behaviour is more powerful than dirt and hate.

    I think we will see a whole range of citizenship resistance, local and global, over the next few years. Some new, some old methods. Probably led by courageous young people.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to David Hood,

    The blog post systematically underestimates clintons numbers by half.

    Claiming that interim numbers are lies seems a weak argument
    And rejecting the fact of moral relativism seems somewhat absolutist.

    The point I was trying to make , and which you illustrated, was that agreeing on the facts does not solve this problem, assuming that there is a problem.
    We seem to agree that there are "lies, damned lies , and statistics ".
    You assumed wrongly that I was taken in by the use of statistics, but that is of no consequence. It was just a variation on name-calling to allege ignorance on my part. That had already been done.

    Misinformation and disinformation seem to have equal currency ; this is politics after all.
    The question in my mind was whether genuine dialogue is possible in this climate ; will the U.S. become united?
    There are calls for secession, but that is not new. A civil war would not be without precedent.
    And finally we might agree that electoral systems both can and should change , but before the elction is held.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 778 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Admiral Michael Rogers, head of the NSA and commander of the US Cyber Command, has just described wikileaks as "a conscious effort by a nation-state [Russia] to attempt to achieve a specific effect".

    In other words, he's just openly accused Russia of using wikileaks as a tool to get Trump elected.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Claiming that interim numbers are lies seems a weak argument

    You've utterly missed the point of what David said, and how the story was misleading. And I'm still frankly at a loss as to what your point is.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

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