Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The fake news problem

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  • Farmer Green, in reply to David Hood,

    The U.S. government is at war with terrorists.
    Ergo , U.S.- backed “rebels ” , trying to overthrow the Syrian government, are not terrorists?
    Perhaps they are "good terrorists" - shades of Doris Lessing :-)

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

  • David Hood, in reply to Farmer Green,

    There is a civil war going on, you can call the non-government parties terrorists if thats what you want to do. All I am commenting on is that in you earlier statement calling the ones that the US has been backing ISIS, the ones the US has been backing are not ISIS.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to David Hood,

    the ones the US has been backing are not ISIS.

    Got it .
    So the suggestion that the “moderates ” (U.S.-backed) have a non-aggression pact with ISIS is misleading, at best.

    ” The US has come to the defense or has given aid to three rather unlikely groups in the past few weeks.

    Iranian Revolutionary Guard
    Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), which directly supports the YPG, on Washington’s list of proscribed terror groups
    “Moderates” fighting to overthrow Syrian president Assad. Those moderates just signed a non-aggression pact with ISIS. ”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/12/isis-deal-syria_n_5814128.html

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

  • David Hood,

    When you wrote "Moderates” fighting to overthrow Syrian president Assad. Those moderates just signed a non-aggression pact with ISIS. ” did you get that from some rather questionable sites from 2014?

    There are between 5 and 50 (maybe more) factions in Syria depending on how you want to count them. In 2014 some factions of the Free Syrian Army signed a non-aggression pact with ISIS, but this did not apply to all members of the Free Syrian Army. The US said that none of the members of the FSA that signed were supported by the US. Wether you believe that or not is up to you, but it is indicative that the non-aggression was not a global re-alignment (and was one that broke-down over time).

    It is like the times that units of the Syrian Government forces co-operated with ISIS in fighting the FSA. In a big messy multi-force civil war all depends on shifting alliances and who is stronger at the time.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to David Hood,

    you can call the non-government parties terrorists if thats what you want to do.

    Wether you believe that or not is up to you,

    I'm reminded of a discussion with Tom Bestor of the Massey Philosophy dept [in the latter half of last century :-) ] as to whether the Philosophy Department should simply close up shop and move over to the Psychology Department where the topic might be Semantics and Psycho-linguistics.
    He might have been on to something.

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

  • Bruce Ward,

    Now that the Public Address WoY is 'post-truth', it seems pertinent to post here a link to an article published nearly 37 years ago - 'A Cult of Ignorance' - Isaac Asimov (pdf).
    Granted that it is somewhat caustic and maybe 'elitist', but it is possible that someone in 1980 noted a trend which might, in part, have led to our 'post-truth' and 'fake-news' environment today.

    Nelson • Since Jul 2011 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    I was putting together a playlist for New Years, and as I contemplated Tubthumping, I was struck by the social-media + media self-reinforcing hype around "did the cast of Hamilton address the Vice-President elect sufficiently respectfully" compared to the lead singer of Chumbawamba pouring a pitcher of water over the Deputy Prime Minister in the pre social media days.

    It just feels to me as a really good example of the way social media amplifies everything.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=uGASeG-p9PY

    I find this so disturbing. Putin funds media aimed at the US public that makes crazy allegations of Obama funding Al Qaida. And it’s working.

    The smearing of Obama and Clinton along with the minimising of the brutality of Assad and Putin must be one of the most effect propaganda campaigns in recent years.

    Since Nov 2016 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Neil,

    The smearing of Obama and Clinton along with the minimising of the brutality of Assad and Putin must be one of the most effect propaganda campaigns in recent years.

    Nothing's changed much since the Soviet-era Active Measures programme. You can take Putin out of the KGB, but not the KGB out of Putin.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    Since Nov 2016 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,


    (2013)

    Within 24 hours of its release, Grand Theft Auto V generated more than $800 million in worldwide revenue, equating to approximately 11.21 million copies sold for Take Two.[…]As of 7 February 2017, the game has shipped over 75 million copies across all platforms

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

  • Dennis Frank,

    The BBC has an excellent report on one of the pioneers of fake news. The guy has become so successful that he’s actually earning a living from it! “Once his stories go viral, the Facebook comments burst forth. And that’s when Christopher Blair the fake news writer becomes Christopher Blair the crusading left-wing troll.” https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/the_godfather_of_fake_news

    Christopher Blair is “a committed liberal Democrat”. “Blair spent more than two decades as a construction worker, a trade that took a toll on his body. In the late 2000s, when the Great Recession hit and his industry slumped, he started looking for another source of income in liberal political blogging.”

    “He loved to write and found that he had a flair for making words come alive. He began a blog, the first of many. He found it liberating being able to say what he wanted – arguing in favour of a range of positions on the left-hand side of American politics. But although it was fun and a few people started reading, blogging didn’t pay. And so he tried another tactic. He began to write fabricated tales that looked like real news headlines… once his fake news started to get clicks, he was able to use Google’s advertising platform to convert page views into money. In 2014, he quit his day job.”

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    How do we know this isn't fake news?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank,

    Good question, but it applies to anything reported as news, doesn't it? Ultimately, we all form our own subjective opinions of each report we hear or see. In this instance, faith in the medium is a factor: folks are more likely to believe a BBC report than most other media reports due to high standards of reportage over a very long period of time.

    Another consideration is the fact that it's an in-depth report. Very long. A feature article. It goes into the psyche of the guy, fills out the context for the reader, in terms of his history and background, social niche. As someone who had a career making news & current affairs stories, I can assure you that time is so valuable to any reporter that they shift from one story to another constantly. Large media orgs are very intensive in their process.

    To get a long feature like this published you don't just have the reporter deciding the story needs to be long to tell it fully, their editor needs to agree. The editor deletes any bits deemed insignificant or irrelevant. Usually the next one up the hierarchy to assess it is a producer (tv news) or editor-in-chief, then sometimes with contraversial stories an exec producer will make a decision to authorise publication (or not). So it has survived passage through several filters to achieve publication.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

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