Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: The fake news problem

440 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 18 Newer→ Last

  • andin,

    there’s a massive conspiracy being proposed

    No, but you just disproved it anyway, and you are right its people acting independently, you can read whatever you like into people’s deeds…
    So what do, we, do about that? Yes both problems.


    Baffle them with billbullshit I say. So 2000 something
    Monologues, thats what some people do best, talk bullshit

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report

  • B Jones, in reply to Ally Cat,

    Because all those unwanted, damned inconvenient nuisance children were no longer being born to uneducated, careless, low income, probably unmarried women who didn’t want them in the first place, wouldn’t care for them and wouldn’t drag them up to be anything more than anti-social at best and deeply criminal at worst.

    Wow, a misogynistic argument in favour of abortions? I'm familiar with the Freakonomics theory, but that's a damned unkind way to express it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report

  • Ally Cat, in reply to B Jones,


    Huh? "[A misogynist is a person who hates or doesn't trust women. Misogynist is from Greek misogynḗs, from the prefix miso- "hatred" plus gynḗ "a woman."]"

    I don't have a copy to hand, but that's pretty much how Freakonomics describes it. Maybe a little more diplomatically, but that's the gist of what it says. I don't see how that makes it misogynistic.

    But I'm sure you'll enlighten me.

    Would it help if I'd mentioned that the sires of those unwanted pregnancies were also probably uneducated, careless, low income, probably unmarried men who behaved a lot like Bill Clinton and many other males, following their small head wherever it wanted to go, and took no responsibility for the children they might have fathered?

    New Zealand • Since Nov 2016 • 8 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ally Cat,

    I just hope you realise that a conspiracy is a secret plan to do something illegal. No matter how “secret,” a plan to change the rules or the law by legitimate political means is not a conspiracy.

    No, a conspiracy need not break the law to be a conspiracy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ally Cat,

    CT 1: Islamic Terrorists hijacked a couple of commuter planes, flew them into the Towers, and that brought them down (for what purpose?)

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say “because they were terrorists”.

    Crazy, I know, compared to the proposal that it was all the work of a sprawling conspiracy among US government officials, air traffic controllers, airlines and many others to attack their own country and kill thousands of people yet still keep everything completely secret, but there you go.

    But “no doubt unmanned drones”. Jesus Christ: would you be willing to tell Alan Beaven’s wife and family you’ve just erased him?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

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

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Neil,

    Trump and Bannon have been scheming together over a few years now.

    Clinton's favourablilities were high when she was Secretary of State. They started to go down just as Bannon began a disinformation campaign against her. He had a book published last year that has been used as a basis to attack Clinton. Lying, corrupt, warmonger etc. It was all from Bannon and repeated endlessly by people who weren't concerned if the Dems won or lost.

    I think it's highly likely they set out to poison the relationship between the Clinton and Sanders camps. There may not have been any collusion with Assange and Putin but they certainly amplified each othes message.

    The meessge Clinton was a poor candidate with unpopular policies was just Republican propaganda.

    Some of this was the usual craziness on the internet but a large proportion was a deliberate and well planned campaign of disinformation.

    I don't believe that on the whole people are sponges that just absorb what the internet tells them. But all of Trump's messages must have fallen on enough fertile ground to swing the election.

    And because of the electoral college system it took a tiny fraction of voters being receptive to that message to overturn the popular vote.

    I'm astonished and dismayed by how well the anti-Clinton campaign worked. It was parroted by many on the left and I'm concerned that Sanders and the DNC will take the wrong lessons from this.

    This nexus of Trump, Bannon, Assange, Putin and Assad is terrifying and one of the unfying factors is misogyny. Many people believe crazy things about Obama but it seems many more were willing to believe a lot more crazy things about Clinton.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report

  • simon g,

    It's the degrees of separation that are so terrifying. In fact, the single degree.

    Clinton hires a large staff and somebody on there hires somebody else who says something stupid sometime. This "proves" she is unelectable, if repeated and exaggerated enough.

    Whereas ... the new President-elect of the USA yesterday personally phoned and thanked Alex Jones of InfoWars for his great contribution to the campaign. And if you don't know who Jones is or what he represents, you can find out easily enough, but it's just as easy to imagine the worst things somebody could possibly say, way beyond the usual fringe, and that will save you the bother. And he is Trump's guy, not only not disowned, but clasped to the bosom.

    If you point this out, you are "elitist", or something. That is where we have got to.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1333 posts Report

  • Tom Semmens,

    Since it is the 75th anniversary of the RNZN, time to work in one of my favourite stories – in 1941 Admiral Andrew Cunningham, when advised the Royal Navy should abandon the Commonwealth troops on Crete to their fate in the face of deadly German air attacks on his ships, said “It takes 5 years to build a ship, but 500 to build a tradition” and sent the Navy back in to rescue the army. Well, in the media, credibility is like that. it takes a long, long time to build your reputation but only one or two stories to wreck it, and the NZ corporate MSM has well and truly trashed their reputation. From the disgraceful orchestrated smearing of David Cunliffe to allowing Mike Hosking 30 primetime minutes everynight to cheerlead National to ZM allowing leighton Smith Breitbart sourced ravings to stay on air to everytime the Herald allows Bernard Orsman to publish another one of his miserable gotcha stories, from every time the Heralds political reporters act as John Key’s fan club to everytime they let John Rougham write an editorial to their regurgitating of pap sourced from the Disgusting Daily Mail – TVNZ, the Herald, ZM etc destroy their credibility. When a pay to publish site like thespinoff – with its cast of whining millenials – can intoxicate people with it’s content you know your MSM is shit. And
    people then think “Hey! – the MSM is just another biased news source! Where is that RT story that makes more sense to me?”

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    regurgitating of pap sourced from the Disgusting Daily Mail

    Must admit I was stunned to see a Herald article on the earthquakes today with this

    - additional reporting Daily Mail

    at the end !!!

    I know SH1 is closed, but that is definitely the scenic route for reporting to take (via the Northern Hemisphere...)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    FFS Ian , nobody WANTS the actual news. Yep ban those ally cats.
    FAKE NEWS . . no redundancy there :-)

    Oh well , off topic again , sigh . . . oops . . . squirrels .

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 778 posts Report

  • B Jones,

    I had a go on Facebook to see how reporting a fake news post worked – it basically gave me the option to block the poster or hide them. The damage isn’t done in it annoying me, it’s done in it scaring people without access to the broader information base to assess it.

    Google seems better – if you ask a question common to a conspiracy field it sometimes comes up with a conspiracy answer as a "featured snippet", if credible people haven’t specifically addressed it. I’ve reported those, and noticed later that they don’t show up as often. It’s not perfect, but something seems to be happening in their little black box of processes.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report

  • Farmer Green, in reply to ,

    The recovery of [ . . . ] is left to a billionaire mortgage banker,

    Make Godzone GRATE . . . . again.!!

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 778 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    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 • 22850 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to ,

    lower income Americans

    who did not vote for Trump. #sigh

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Sex robots, blow job cafés…

    That's anti-dairy !!

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 778 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Ally Cat,

    I know I’m going to be dissed as a Conspiracy Theorist for this!

    Yes you are - and rightly so.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

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

    aw – so much more fun than considering the real world where sexist democrats hated women so much they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Hillary Clinton even in the face of the prospect of Trump becoming president.

    Oh and fucking earthquakes

    geez I could use some insane looniness as a break

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • B Jones,

    Insane looniness would have been a pleasant diversion. It was the nastiness I had a problem with.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report

  • Neil, in reply to ,

    There was a general discontent with the government. The recession hit lower income Americans hard. There are millions of people living hand to mouth over there. It was going to be difficult for the Democrats regardless who fronted them.

    There was a complex entanglement of race and class. Obama managed to overcome this in 2008 but the reasons he did aren’t obvious. He won over white voters but then as you say the recession hit and also the series of killings of young blacks. That brought the racial divide into the spotlight and most likely shifted some white voters away from Obama as they didn’t appreciate the position he took – in support of young blacks.

    So how the Dems go about creating s coslition to win in 2020 is a diliemna. The first step is to capitalise on demographic changes in states like Florida. But of course Trumo is set to stop Latino immigration.

    The last thing the Dems should be doing is believe Sanders could have won and base their next move in that.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to B Jones,


    Yeah no problem with the ban - sadly many of these people believe there is no harm in spreading lies and nonsense whereas real people are both invalidated/dismissed and directly harmed.

    But man I still have to agree with John Oliver - Fuck 2016.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    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 • 22850 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Neil,

    It was going to be difficult for the Democrats regardless who fronted them.


    There was a complex entanglement of race and class.

    Nope sorry you're both overthinking this. There is a real temptation to look for a complex explanation, but all the pre- and post- vote analysis is pretty clear.

    Most people had no clue about any real policy - it barely registered on any of the voter decision analysis.
    People had a huge fixation on Hillary Clinton's gender it was enormously high in all the terminology used by people to discuss their voting choices.

    Short answer is, Americans, particularly those democrats who chose not to vote, were making the choice to not elect a woman.

    Yes there was a layer of bias by the MSM by focusing on "those e-mails" but in the end it looks like the vote was against a woman. And that sexism coloured every story about her and the election.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • 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.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report

  • B Jones, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    And that sexism coloured every story about her and the election.

    Overt sexism is still more socially acceptable than overt racism, I think, which suggests that implicit sexism will last longer than implicit racism. It's a bit frightening the extent to which overt racism has roared back into acceptability in the US, but it's also pretty damn alarming the number of lefty guys currently stroking their beards and wondering whether the US will ever be ready for a female leader, or locally, whether female politicians should be promoted in case someone thinks they might be getting special treatment.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 18 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

This topic is closed.