How Did Misinformation Become So Believable?

This world is awash in misinformation and the people lick it all up as fact and true……

The question is just how did this happen?

I blame the availability of social media and the ease that it (misinformation) can spread like a wildfire.

But there are other reasons for the popularity of crap…..

Bad information isn’t new. Propagandists and scam artists have been selling their brand of proverbial snake oil for ages, all to bend people’s thinking to their goals. What’s different today is that the digital world flings information faster and farther than ever before.

Our brains can’t always keep up.

That’s because we often rely on quick estimates to figure out whether something is true. These shortcuts, called heuristics, are often based on very simple patterns (SN: 9/20/14, p. 24). For instance, most information we come across in our daily lives is true. So when forced to guess, we often err on the side of believing.

Other shortcuts exist that encourage information — true or false — to find its way into our minds, research on human psychology shows. We take notice of information that is new, that fires up our emotions, that supports what we already believe and that we hear over and over.

A few simple tricks make fake news stories stick in the brain

Sadly it appears that Repubs fall for bullshit more often than not…..but most Americans cannot spot fake news…..

A new study revealed Monday indicates that 3 in 4 Americans have overinflated views of their ability to spot fake news — and that the worse they are at spotting fake news, the more likely they are to share it, CNN reported.

“The study of surveys involving 8,200 people, which published in in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also showed Republicans are more likely to fall for fake news than Democrats are,” reported Ryan Prior. “The team, led by Ben Lyons, a professor of communications at the University of Utah, showed study volunteers headlines presented in the format of how news articles would look if they appeared in a Facebook feed. They were also asked to rate their ability to determine whether stories were true.”

In the surveys, 90 percent of Americans rated themselves proficient at spotting fake news — but most of them weren’t.

https://www.rawstory.com/republicans-fake-news/

Armed with a little knowledge can help one browse through crap and get to the rest of the story….

But will we?

My guess is NO.

We will believe whatever reinforces our erroneous thinking….we choose to not look beyond the manure for the truth.

How sad for a once great country…dumbing down the population is destroying what is left of our country as it was envisioned by the Founders.

Be Smart!

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Cancel Culture

A new buzz term for the media and politicians to seize upon for political spin…..it is being used liberally these days…..it has replaced the word “jab” for vaccination…..

So much written and spoken but just what is this phenom we call ‘cancel culture’?

But what the Hell is this?

Cancel culture refers to the popular practice of withdrawing support for (canceling) public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive. Cancel culture is generally discussed as being performed on social media in the form of group shaming.

Within the turbulent past few years, the idea that a person can be “canceled” — in other words, culturally blocked from having a prominent public platform or career — has become a polarizing topic of debate. The rise of “cancel culture” and the idea of canceling someone coincides with a familiar pattern: A celebrity or other public figure does or says something offensive. A public backlash, often fueled by politically progressive social media, ensues.

Then come the calls to cancel the person — that is, to effectively end their career or revoke their cultural cachet, whether through boycotts of their work or disciplinary action from an employer.

To many people, this process of publicly calling for accountability, and boycotting if nothing else seems to work, has become an important tool of social justice — a way of combatting, through collective action, some of the huge power imbalances that often exist between public figures with far-reaching platforms and audiences, and the people and communities their words and actions may harm.

But conservative politicians and pundits have increasingly embraced the argument that cancel culture, rather than being a way of speaking truth to power, has spun out of control and become a senseless form of social media mob rule. At the 2020 Republican National Convention, for example, numerous speakers, including President Trump, addressed cancel culture directly, and one delegate resolution even explicitly targeted the phenomenon, describing it as having “grown into erasing of history, encouraging lawlessness, muting citizens, and violating free exchange of ideas, thoughts, and speech.”

https://www.vox.com/culture/2019/12/30/20879720/what-is-cancel-culture-explained-history-debate

This is nothing more that a trendy slogan and jingosim….Jingoism, an attitude of belligerent nationalism, or a blind adherence to the rightness or virtue of one’s own nation, society, or group, simply because it is one’s own. The term is the approximate equivalent of chauvinism (in one of its meanings), originally a French word (chauvinisme) denoting excessive or irrational patriotism.  (britannia.com)

A look at our ‘Cancel Culture’ Conundrum….

But what is cancel culture? Isn’t that a rightwing term used to excuse bigoted behavior and avoid accountability for said behavior? Yes, that’s how the right uses the concept — as a weapon against the rest of society.

And that’s all I’ll say about that. Now to the left. Cancel culture on the left also exists. The people claiming otherwise are part of the left’s version of cancel culture. (Note to anarchists: when I use the term “left,” this includes you, too. We can argue about the semantics of that later.)

Who are these people?

Cancel culture on the left is not easily described or easily dismissed. It takes on many forms, and of course my use of the term “cancel culture of the left” is intentionally provocative. There are many different reasons why people gravitate towards simplistic solutions to complex problems, but I’ll keep using the term anyway, because, at the same time as it may provoke, the term is perfectly appropriate to use to describe a significant element of the left — whose significance is often wildly amplified by the algorithms and other properties of social media, and by the fear or acquiescence of the rest of us.

Cancel Culture Conundrums

Just another diversion by the Right to cease all debate on the problems and solutions this country faces daily.

All this cultural divide started with the slug Reagan and the progress of cultural crap by the GOP has lead us to this moment in our history.

All this is just the use of social media to pass around propaganda and misinformation to further divide the country in the hope of electoral successes.

A sad indictment of a once proud country.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Do You Spread Misinformation?

Boy is there a wealth of this sort of BS these days thanx to social media that gives every little plot legs to grow into a narrative.

I know it is difficult to separate truth from the manure….and how do you keep from help spread the fertilizer of discontent?

Well there is a way to know the difference….

Sorting through the vast amount of information created and shared online is challenging, even for the experts.

Just talking about this ever-shifting landscape is confusing, with terms like “misinformation,” “disinformation” and “hoax” getting mixed up with buzzwords like “fake news.”

https://theconversation.com/misinformation-disinformation-and-hoaxes-whats-the-difference-158491

I have written about this stuff before….for misinformation is just one tool of propaganda……these are good posts that can help you as well….

What Is Propaganda?

Propaganda 2.0

There is a technique to help you from being a spreader of misinformation…..

The problem of misinformation isn’t going away. Internet platforms like Facebook and Twitter have taken some steps to curb its spread and say they are working on doing more. But no method yet introduced has been completely successful at removing all misleading content from social media. The best defense, then, is self-defense.

Misleading or outright false information – broadly called “misinformation” – can come from websites pretending to be news outlets, political propaganda or “pseudo-profound” reports that seem meaningful but are not. Disinformation is a type of misinformation that is deliberately generated to maliciously mislead people. Disinformation is intentionally shared, knowing it is false, but misinformation can be shared by people who don’t know it’s not true, especially because people often share links online without thinking.

Emerging psychology research has revealed some tactics that can help protect our society from misinformation. Here are seven strategies you can use to avoid being misled, and to prevent yourself – and others – from spreading inaccuracies

https://theconversation.com/7-ways-to-avoid-becoming-a-misinformation-superspreader-157099

These are simple steps that if taken can keep you from being a super spreader of manure.

But then you may ask just how was all this manure made possible?

Bad information isn’t new. Propagandists and scam artists have been selling their brand of proverbial snake oil for ages, all to bend people’s thinking to their goals. What’s different today is that the digital world flings information faster and farther than ever before.

Our brains can’t always keep up.

That’s because we often rely on quick estimates to figure out whether something is true. These shortcuts, called heuristics, are often based on very simple patterns (SN: 9/20/14, p. 24). For instance, most information we come across in our daily lives is true. So when forced to guess, we often err on the side of believing.

A few simple tricks make fake news stories stick in the brain

There is more than enough misinformation on social media…..do not become one of the liars that keep this country divided.

Don’t spread manure

Question everything!

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You KNow

“lego ergo scribo”

Biden’s Minister Of Propaganda

Closing Thought–18Nov20

We all are well aware just how much lying the president and his butt boys can do…..I have labelled it propaganda……and yet Biden has hired a dude that is proud of his propagandizing….

Richard Stengel, the top state media appointee for US President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, has enthusiastically defended the use of propaganda against Americans.

“My old job at the State Department was what people used to joke as the chief propagandist,” Stengel said in 2018. “I’m not against propaganda. Every country does it, and they have to do it to their own population. And I don’t necessarily think it’s that awful.”

Richard “Rick” Stengel was the longest serving under-secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs in US history.

At the State Department under President Barack Obama, Stengel boasted that he “started the only entity in government, non-classified entity, that combated Russian disinformation.” That institution was known as the Global Engagement Center, and it amounted to a massive vehicle for advancing US government propaganda around the world.

A committed crusader in what he openly describes as a global “information war,” Stengel has proudly proclaimed his dedication to the carefully management of the public’s access to information.

Biden state media appointee advocated using propaganda against Americans and ‘rethinking’ First Amendment

Do not trust someone because they are tied to Obama in some way.

I have tried to help my reader understand and identify propaganda in all they see and hear…..

https://lobotero.com/2013/01/11/what-is-propaganda/

https://lobotero.com/2014/01/06/propaganda-2-0/

The 24 hour news cycle and social media have turned propaganda into something”noble”…..that is where I draw the line…propaganda is lies used to persuade…..PERIOD!

Now we have a dude that thinks propaganda is a ‘good thing’…..that is not better than the fools in the outgoing administration.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Here Comes The Disinformation (Again)

It is that time of the political cycle…the Silly Season….less than 90 days prior to the general election….and the propaganda/disinformation/fake news abounds…..with NO letting up until November.

Joseph Goebbels (an infamous Nazi propagandist) said “If you lie tell a big lie and repeat it often until it becomes truth”….sounds like American politics to me.

My good friend and fellow blogger John over at Lines By Liming recently wrote about the “fake news” stuff…….his post can be read here….https://linesbyliming.com/2020/08/09/shenanigans-and-happenings/

Have been watching to proliferation of disinformation.fake news for years now and I have even been trying to educate my readers on how to spot the use disinformation.propaganda. fake news……just a couple of my endeavors…..

https://lobotero.com/2019/09/03/what-is-disinformation/

https://lobotero.com/2013/01/11/what-is-propaganda/

https://lobotero.com/2014/01/06/propaganda-2-0/

Those post of mine here on IST will help the reader understand and identify the use of disinformation….or propaganda….or fake news…call it what you like it is all the same.

But if you do not trust my take on the identifying of disinformation then maybe this will be more to your liking…..

Social media was a wonderful evolution of the digital world when it emerged in the 2000s in the form of companies like MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. Connecting with old friends or family members, broadcasting your latest thoughts on Penn State football or sharing a new recipe … social media made that easy and fun to do.

But while it was winning us over by connecting us with long-lost members of our high school graduating classes, social media was also being used to share news and, just as importantly, opinions about news. Almost one-fifth of American adults (18%) “say they turn most to social media for political and election news,” according to the Pew Research Center. And what’s worse, Pew found, is that these same adults are less likely to know about topics in the news, especially involving topics like politics.

So right away, we know that people who get their news from social media are less informed than their peers who listen to news on the radio, watch it on TV or read reliable print or online publications.

https://papost.org/2020/08/07/how-you-can-spot-disinformation-online-and-on-social-media/

The MSM is losing its place as the 4th Estate…..it is no longer the trusted source for news and information……

A report released this week indicates the majority of Americans believe the media plays a critical role in democracy—and think United States news outlets are failing to deliver accurate coverage.

“That’s a bad thing for democracy,” John Sands, director of learning and impact at the Knight Foundation, which conducted the study in conjunction with Gallup, told the Associated Press. “Our concern is that when half of Americans have some sort of doubt about the veracity of the news they consume, it’s going to be impossible for our democracy to function.”

According to the report,

Less than half of Americans, 44%, say they can think of a news source that reports the news objectively. Republicans who can name an accurate source overwhelmingly mention Fox News, while Democrats’ responses are more varied.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/08/04/impossible-democracy-function-study-reveals-growing-mistrust-american-media

Hopefully this will help my readers understand and be able to tell when they are being fed manure dressed up as “news”……

I always return to what that Nazi Goebbels said about a lie…..tell it big and repeat that lie many times and it will become truth (paraphrase)……

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Who Would Have Thought?

Closing Thought–10Feb20

As an old fart I remember the Soviet Union (do you?) and then when some talked anything positive about the Soviets they were spouting Russian propaganda and should be shot for treason (some felt that way but not all)……

I cannot understand this blind obedience to Russia these days (especially the old farts that now defend Russia)……or the allowing Russia a free hand in our society……or the wholesale spreading of Russian propaganda by fellow Americans…..

This is what got me ranting or as some would call it “bitching”…..

Kansas City radio lovers can now hear six hours of Russian state-owned media per day, the Hill reports. That’s because a Florida-based company, RM Broadcasting LLC, has agreed with Radio Sputnik to broadcast its Russian media through the Alpine Broadcasting Corp, which airs on three frequencies around Kansas City and in Washington, DC. The Kremlin mouthpiece can be heard from 6am-9am and 6pm-9pm every day of the week. According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Sputnik and another Russian state media outlet played a role in influencing the 2016 federal election.

Now Arnold Ferolito, the man behind RM Broadcasting, is chafing under a federal requirement that his company register as a foreign agent. “Ninety percent of the programming is generated right here in the United States,” Ferolito tells the Kansas City Star, which broke the story. “I just sell airtime that’s all I do. The government put a gun to my head and forced me to sign.” When registering in 2019, RM Broadcasting said it made $1.43 million in the deal, though Ferolito insists he’s not turning a profit. “The American dream is dead in a lot of ways,” he says. “There’s people hell bent on Russia, Russia, Russia. One of these days it’s going to be China.”

These are the very same people that use to hate and rail against Russia and its minions that attempted to infiltrate American society and now we are inviting them to come in and spread their foul propaganda.

What has this country become?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego erego scribo”

Character Assassination

This is a political tactic as old as politics…..It was used against Jefferson and it has continued unabated…….

In case you are not sure of the definition…..

Character Assassination refers to the slandering or vicious personal verbal attack on a person with the intention of destroying or damaging that person’s reputation or confidence. In other words it is malicious verbal assaults designed to damage or tarnish the reputation of a person. Once done, these acts are often difficult to reverse or rectify

It involves a deliberate attempt to destroy a person’s reputation, especially by criticizing them in an unfair and dishonest way when they are not present. It can also involve exaggeration or manipulation of facts to present an untrue picture of the targeted person, double speak, spreading of rumors, innuendo or deliberate misinformation on topics relating to the subject’s morals, integrity, and reputation. It is a form of defamation

Does any of that sound at all familiar?

This character assassination is kinda like the play by Shakespeare, “Othello”…..(Remember him from high school?)

Iago is an unexampled Shakespearean villain. From the outset of the play, he is after both his general Othello and lieutenant Michael Cassio. He resents Othello for promoting the younger Cassio above him; he says he suspects both of sleeping with his wife. He seeks revenge and self-empowerment. His acquaintance Roderigo is a suitor of Desdamona, a beauty whom he learns has married Othello. Iago convinces the distraught and dissolute paramour he can win Desdamona through an elaborate scheme that begins by Roderigo’s baiting of Cassio, causing his downfall and Iago’s elevation.

At a feast on the isle of Cypress, Iago tells dinner guests on the sly that although Cassio is great soldier, drink is his unappeasable vice. Iago helps get Cassio drunk. Roderigo baits him. A brawl ensues. Cassio injures Roderigo and a young soldier. Othello appears in a fury and ends the fighting. The general demands an explanation from his ensign. Iago acts stunned and distraught by the chaos he secretly engineered, and feigns concern that the disturbance might frighten the townsfolk (they are defending Cypress from the Turks). After Iago’s explanation, Othello fires Cassio. Once everyone else has gone, Iago affects concern for Cassio, who is disconsolate. He cries out to Iago,

Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial.–My reputation, Iago, my reputation! (2.3.216-19)

American Iago: On Washington’s Character Assassins

The Realty Star President is an expert of character assassination……”Little Marco”, “Lying Ted”, “Pocahontas”, “Crazy Joe”, Shifty Schiff and a wealth of other short lived insults.

It should get thicker the closer we get to the 2020 election…..I have never been a fan of negative campaigning or voted for a candidate that is filled with negativity.  My thought is if you cannot run on your issues then making wild accusations does not make you a better candidate.

Check out Propaganda 2.0……..https://lobotero.com/2014/01/06/propaganda-2-0/ or if you prefer a more academic approach……https://www.physics.smu.edu/pseudo/Propaganda/ipatypes.html ……..http://www.rbs0.com/propaganda.pdf

Why be truthful when a lie is more effective?

Ask Trump he should know.

“I Read, I Wrote now You Know”

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

More Control Over The News

These days we can find “news” almost anywhere across the internet……you can find any interpretation that suits your fancy.

I read something that took me aback.  The Pentagon is looking for more control over the news…..you saw that right …the military wants to control you news…..

If there’s a worse idea than the Pentagon becoming Editor-in-Chief of America, I can’t remember it. But we’re getting there:

From Bloomberg over Labor Day weekend:

Fake news and social media posts are such a threat to U.S. security that the Defense Department is launching a project to repel “large-scale, automated disinformation attacks,” as the top Republican in Congress blocks efforts to protect the integrity of elections.

One of the Pentagon’s most secretive agencies, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is developing “custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories, photos, video and audio clips.”

Once upon a time, when progressives still reflexively distrusted the military, DARPA was a liberal punchline, known for helping invent the Internet but also for developing lunatic privacy-invading projects like LifeLog, a program to “gather in a single place just about everything an individual says, sees, or does.”

DARPA now is developing a semantic analysis program called “SemaFor” and an image analysis program called “MediFor,” ostensibly designed to prevent the use of fake images or text. The idea would be to develop these technologies to help private Internet providers sift through content.

The Pentagon Wants More Control Over the News. What Could Go Wrong?

I have written several times about the loss of the Freedom of the Press……..read it for yourself…..https://lobotero.com/2018/08/16/censorship-by-any-other-name/

Since Clinton the Pentagon through the defense lobbyists control the news for the most part…..why?  Most outlets are owned by corporations that are heavily invested in the M-IC.

They, the Pentagon, has been controlling the news coming out of our endless and countless wars…..no more unlimited access that they had in Vietnam now they can only report what the Pentagon says they can report.  And that is called censorship.

Not to worry….just make shit up and say it enough times and then it becomes believable….that describes the Trump technique to a tee.

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

What Is ‘Disinformation’?

In the era of social media and the claim that it is ‘fake news’ how can we be sure what is true and what is just manure?

Disinformation?

Disinformation is a type of untrue communication that is purposefully spread and represented as truth to elicit some response that serves the perpetrator’s purpose.

Disinformation is sometimes confused with misinformation but the two are distinguished by their intention. The purpose of disinformation is to deceive. Although misinformation is also false, it is  presented as truth only because the communicator does not have the facts straight.

The relative anonymity of the Web and the affordability of creating websites have made it easy for people to post disinformation online. Sites developed for the purposes of disinformation typically share several characteristics. For example, such a site usually either has no clearly stated purpose or has little content related to its stated purpose. The majority of content on a disinformation site is usually related to a particular agenda, is likely to be very contentious and may contain blatantly false information that is easily disproved. The most common characteristic of disinformation websites is an absence of contact information or any “About us” page. 

Sorry about boring you to slumber….but there is madness to my method…..

The department in the DoD that researches stuff has been given a task to fight ‘disinformation’…..this is almost laughable….

The US military may soon be deciding what is considered fake news on social media. The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), an agency of the US Department of Defense, announced the development of a new program to combat “disinformation” on social media.

The Semantic Forensics program will “develop technologies to automatically detect, attribute, and characterize falsified, multi-modal media assets (e.g., text, audio, image, video) to defend against large-scale, automated disinformation attacks.”

DARPA is looking to develop software that can detect fakes amongst 500,000 stories, photos, videos and audio clips. The plan is to undergo four years of trials until the software is ready, so the program will not be used in the run-up to the 2020 election.

Only time will tell how accepting social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will be of the DoD determining what is considered fake news.

The program is likely a reaction to the claim by Robert Mueller that the Russian company, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), led a social media campaign with the aim of “sowing discord” to help President Trump get elected. Although Mueller claimed the IRA was taking orders from the Kremlin, he provided no real evidence to link the IRA to the Russian government.

The actual influence of the IRA is much smaller than what Mueller alludes to in his 2018 indictment of the company. According to a Senate commissioned report by the firm New Knowledge, just “11 percent” of the IRA’s total content was election related. The IRA’s posts were “minimally about the candidates” with “roughly 6% of tweets, 18% of Instagram posts, and 7% of Facebook posts” having “mentioned Trump or Clinton by name.”

(antiwar.com)

I am all for the fight against ‘disinformation’….but I ask if the agency that puts out more such propaganda is the agency to fight it…..has anyone thought about who helped spread the Iraqi WMDs?

Answer that question then ask if they are the ones to fight it.  Or why not get the PsyOps people to develop this fight after all they generate most of the governmental ‘disinformation’.

God I love this stuff!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Rush To Condemn

By that I am talking about the West’s belief in anything said about North Korea…..and then the lack of correction by the media after they make a false report….for instance….recently it was reported that North Korea’s Kim had executed his negotiator on nukes because of the failure of the Hanoi “summit”….and then the person in question was spotted a week later very much alive,,,,and that false report was not corrected by most of the MSM.

I have often question some of the claims by the government and their propaganda arm, the Mainstream Media….

Why do we so easily believe the false reports? Have we been programed to do so?

The American Conservative answers this question……

Perhaps the greatest bottleneck in creating a stable and self-sustaining peace regime on the Korean Peninsula isn’t North Korea’s nuclear weapons or missiles but something much simpler: making peace with what we feel in our hearts is “evil.”

Case in point: last week, a right-leaning South Korean publication, The Chosun Ilbo, published a bombshell story that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had “purged” Kim Hyok-chol, Pyongyang’s lead negotiator in working level talks leading up to the Hanoi summit, executing him a month later. Another even more senior official close to Kim himself, Kim Yong-chol, was “sent to a labor and reeducation camp.”

That’s big news. And from there it gets even more interesting. Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, had “not been spotted in public since the Hanoi summit” some 50 days ago, said a South Korean government official. She was reportedly ordered to “lay low.”

 
Americans are easy to rush to condemnation…..they have had years even decades of programming to get the society pleasingly numb to reality.
 
The real story is the “Squid Wars”……this is a battle for squid harvest in the Sea of Japan…..
The Japanese coast guard says its patrol boats have been pushing back hundreds of North Korean boats trying to poach in fishing grounds rich with squid off Japan’s northern coast. Coast Guard officials say they have forced more than 300 North Korean boats out of Japan’s exclusive economic zone near Yamatotai since May, the AP reports. The patrol boats used water cannons on 50 North Korean boats that ignored warnings. Coast Guard footage obtained Tuesday showed North Korean crewmen on a wooden boat abandon a fishing rope after being sprayed with water. Japanese authorities have stepped up patrols in the area as North Korean poaching has surged in recent years. Experts say Pyongyang’s campaign to boost fish harvests has increased poaching by North Korean boats.
Have you ever smelled dried squid?