jm + fake-news   21

Welcome To The Dystopia: People Are Arguing Whether This Trump Press Conference Video Is Doctored Or Not
To sum it up: A historically unreliable narrator who works for a conspiracy website tweets out a video in order to show alleged bad behavior on the part of a journalist. The clip goes viral. The White House picks up and disseminates that video and uses it as proof to ban the journalist from reporting at the White House. Outraged journalists decry the White House's use of a video taken from a historically unreliable narrator. Then, users attempt to debunk the video as "actual fake news." Others, unclear if the video is fake, urge caution, suggesting the media may be jumping the gun. An argument breaks out over the intricate technical details of doctoring a clip.

The entire ordeal is a near perfect example of a scenario disinformation experts have predicted and warned of, where the very threat of video manipulation can lead to a blurring of reality. "These technological underpinnings [of AI and photoshop, and editing programs lead] to the increasing erosion of trust,” computational propaganda researcher Renee DiResta told BuzzFeed News in early 2018. “It makes it possible to cast aspersions on whether videos — or advocacy for that matter — are real.”
twitter  disinfo  disinformation  buzzfeed  video  reality  fake-news  photoshop 
5 days ago by jm
Notes on some artefacts
Five or six years ago, around the time most people seemed to be spending almost all of their time on the internet, I began to notice a particular kind of online phenomenon, one that I did not have a terminology for. I started to call these moments “artefacts”, borrowing a term from photography that describes the machine-created distortions and ghosts that corrupt digital imagery. “An unintended alteration in data” is one definition, but this new kind of “artefact” was expanding beyond sporadic instances and becoming a persistent sub-theme in discourse at large.

The result was a type of semiotic collapse, one that first found its fullest expression in the absurdity of the 2016 presidential campaign, when news stories fabricated in Macedonia found a wider reach than The Washington Post. Countermeasures to interference in the coming 2018 congressional election look ineffectual, perhaps deliberately so.
artefacts  fake-news  bots  weird  2018  trump  politics 
8 weeks ago by jm
'The Internet of Garbage' by Sarah Jeong
Sarah Jeong's 2015 book is now free:

'I think The Internet of Garbage still provides a useful framework to begin to
talk about our new dystopia, and it continues to be surprisingly relevant in many
ways. But I wrote the book with a tone of optimism I did not feel even at the time,
hoping that by reaching the well-meaning policy teams across Silicon Valley, I
might be able to spark change for the better.
Not only did that change never quite solidify, but the coordinated,
orchestrated harassment campaigns of Gamergate that I very briefly touch on in
Chapter Two have since overtaken our national political and cultural
conversations. These twisted knots of lies, deflection, and rage are not just some
weird and terrible online garbage. They shadow executive orders, court rulings,
even the newly appointed judiciary. They will haunt us for years to come. We are
all victims of fraud in the marketplace of ideas.
I hope that in the very near future, I will be putting out a second edition of
The Internet of Garbage. In that future edition, I hope to grapple with advertising
incentives, engagement traps, international propaganda wars, the American crisis
in free speech coinciding with the rise of platform power, and search engine
optimization as the new paradigm of speech.
In the meantime, I am putting out The Internet of Garbage 1.5 as an interim
edition. I wish it were more helpful in our present reality. But as imperfect a tool
as it is, I figure we all need as much help as we can get. '
dystopia  fake-news  internet  spam  harrassment  abuse  twitter  gamergate  politics  books  free  to-read 
9 weeks ago by jm
How my research on DNA ancestry tests became "fake news"
I was not surprised to see our research twisted by fake news and satire websites. Conspiracy theories are meant to be just as entertaining as they are convincing. They also provide a way out of confronting reality and reckoning with facts that don’t confirm preexisting worldviews. For white nationalists and racists, if test results showed traces of African American or Jewish ancestry, either the tests did not work, or the results were planted by some ideologically motivated scientists, or the tests were part of a global war against whites. With conspiracy theories, debunking is rarely useful because the individual is often searching for an interpretation that confirms their prior beliefs.

As such, DNA conspiracy theories allow white supremacists to plan new escape routes for the traps they laid for themselves long ago. With DNA testing, the one-drop rule—a belief made law in the 1900s that one drop of African blood makes one Black—becomes transmuted genealogically into the one-percent rule, according to which to remain racially white, an individual’s results must show no sign of African or Jewish origin. Through the genealogical lens, American white nationalists consider “one hundred percent European” as good results, which in turn substantiates their “birth right” to the United States as a marker of heredity and conquest.
racism  science  fake-news  conspiracy  genealogy  dna  dna-testing 
july 2018 by jm
How Ireland’s Abortion Referendum Became a Test Case for Democracy in the Social Media Age
Exploring the "fake news" merchants attempting to subvert the Irish abortion referendum.
On 4chan, a number of users who identified as Irish attempted to infiltrate the online conversation and tarnish the pro-repeal campaign. Operation Zyklon encouraged users to spread awareness of a connection between Amnesty International Ireland and the philanthropist George Soros, who donated €137,000 to Amnesty’s My Body My Rights campaign in 2016. Operation Trojan Horse saw users sharing templates of fake pro-repeal posters with extreme captions such as, “There should be no limit on abortion up to birth”. Users were encouraged to print and spread these posters around college campuses and share them across social media. A particularly curious operation called Operation Drunken Monkey aimed to stifle student voter turnout by organizing club nights on May 24 in the hope that students would be too hungover to vote the following day.
4chan  repealthe8th  abortion  referenda  politics  fake-news  amnesty 
june 2018 by jm
How Ireland Beat Dark Ads – Foreign Policy
In practice, while these recognizable attempts to disrupt the democratic debate with microtargeted ads, bot activity, and misinformation were active, they appear to have been relatively ineffective and may even have turned voters away from those employing them.

Given the battleground online discourse has become in democracies across the world, this small country’s resistance to it may offer some cause for hope. The resilience offered by the small size and close-knit nature of the Irish electorate may be difficult to reproduce in larger democracies. But the active measures taken by media, volunteer groups, and campaigners against potentially corrosive techniques can be a powerful inspiration.


+1 -- it's heartening that we were able to defeat these 21st century dirty tricks after the damage they did with Trump and Brexit.
brexit  elections  trump  fake-news  propaganda  bots  dark-ads  facebook  social-media  repealthe8th  referenda  abortion  ireland  repeal-shield  twitter 
june 2018 by jm
If only Brexit had been run like Ireland’s referendum | Fintan O’Toole | Opinion | The Guardian
Good postmortem review on how the abortion referendum evaded Trumpian "fake news" tactics.
Irish voters were subjected to the same polarising tactics that have worked so well elsewhere: shamelessly fake “facts” (the claim, for example, that abortion was to be legalised up to six months into pregnancy); the contemptuous dismissal of expertise (the leading obstetrician Peter Boylan was told in a TV debate to “go back to school”); deliberately shocking visual imagery (posters of aborted foetuses outside maternity hospitals); and a discourse of liberal elites versus the real people. But Irish democracy had an immune system that proved highly effective in resisting this virus. Its success suggests a democratic playbook with at least four good rules.
trump  fake-news  abortion  referendum  repealthe8th  democracy  ireland  fintan-o-toole 
may 2018 by jm
TheJournal.ie FactCheck is first Irish outlet to officially tackle misinformation on Facebook
TheJournal.ie FactCheck project has signed on to carry out third-party fact-checking on Facebook. This will involved testing the veracity of articles posted on the platform and attaching a rating and contextual information to contested items.


Awesome. nice one TJ
the-journal  fact-checking  facebook  fake-news  facts  journalism 
april 2018 by jm
He Predicted The 2016 Fake News Crisis. Now He's Worried About An Information Apocalypse.
“In the next two, three, four years we’re going to have to plan for hobbyist propagandists who can make a fortune by creating highly realistic, photo realistic simulations,” Justin Hendrix, the executive director of NYC Media Lab, told BuzzFeed News. “And should those attempts work, and people come to suspect that there's no underlying reality to media artifacts of any kind, then we're in a really difficult place. It'll only take a couple of big hoaxes to really convince the public that nothing’s real.”
fake-news  reality  news  ai  propaganda  future  black-mirror  media  hoaxes  dystopia 
february 2018 by jm
'Fiction is outperforming reality': how YouTube's algorithm distorts truth
"no matter which political side the researcher started from, the platform pushed pro-Trump, anti-Clinton videos."
youtube  truth  fake-news  conspiracy-theories  google  algorithms  politics  brexit  trump 
february 2018 by jm
What Gamergate should have taught us about the 'alt-right'
Spot on, from a year ago:

Prominent critics of the Trump administration need to learn from Gamergate. They need to be prepared for abuse, for falsified concerns, invented grassroots campaigns designed specifically to break, belittle, or disgrace. Words and concepts will be twisted, repackaged and shared across forums, stripping them of meaning. Gamergate painted critics as censors, the far-right movement claims critics are the real racists.

Perhaps the true lesson of Gamergate was that the media is culturally unequipped to deal with the forces actively driving these online movements. The situation was horrifying enough two years ago, it is many times more dangerous now.
politics  fascism  gamergate  history  alt-right  milo  fake-news  propaganda  nazis  racism  misogyny 
december 2017 by jm
Tech Leaders Dismayed by Weaponization of Social Media - IEEE Spectrum
“We have passed the fail-safe point,” McNamee said. “I don’t think we can get back to the Silicon Valley that I loved. At this point we just have to save America.”
propaganda  fake-news  facebook  twitter  social-media  us-politics  brexit  internet  russia  silicon-valley  usa 
november 2017 by jm
Kremlin info-ops measured to have a total reach of 340 million with dark, divisive ads
when the virality and resharing is measured, it's far higher than previously estimated, according to this Washington Post article
virality  news  fake-news  facebook  politics  russia 
october 2017 by jm
Prior Exposure Increases Perceived Accuracy of Fake News
In other words, repeated exposure to fake news renders it believable. Pennycook, Gordon and Cannon, Tyrone D and Rand, David G., _Prior Exposure Increases Perceived Accuracy of Fake News_ (April 30, 2017):
Collectively, our results indicate familiarity is used heuristically to infer accuracy. Thus, the spread of fake news is supported by persistent low-level cognitive processes that make even highly implausible and partisan claims more believable with repetition. Our results suggest that political echo chambers not only isolate one from opposing views, but also help to create incubation chambers for blatantly false (but highly salient and politicized) fake news stories.


(via Zeynep Tufekci)

See also: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/perspectives/PE100/PE198/RAND_PE198.pdf , _The Russian "Firehose of Falsehood" Propaganda Model_, from RAND.
propaganda  psychology  fake-news  belief  facebook  echo-chambers  lies  truth  media 
may 2017 by jm
UW professor: The information war is real, and we’re losing it
Starbird sighed. “I used to be a techno-utopian. Now I can’t believe that I’m sitting here talking to you about all this.”


Yep :(
journalism  media  news  fake-news  infowars  twitter  facebook 
march 2017 by jm
Facebook, patient zero in fake news epidemic, proudly advertises ability to sway elections
The online social network is highlighting the Toomey campaign's ability to make ads that performed exceptionally well on Facebook even as it downplays the ability of the site to influence elections. In the days following the President Donald Trump's election, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to the potential influence of fake news on the election as "a pretty crazy idea."

Taking Facebook at its word means holding two contradictory beliefs at once: that the site can sway an election on behalf of paying customers, but doesn't exert influence when it comes to the spread of misinformation by independent profiteers.
facebook  fake-news  elections  news  pat-toomey  republicans  advertising 
march 2017 by jm
Hacking the Attention Economy
Can't help feeling danah boyd is hitting the nail on the head here:
The Internet has long been used for gaslighting, and trolls have long targeted adversaries. What has shifted recently is the scale of the operation, the coordination of the attacks, and the strategic agenda of some of the players.
For many who are learning these techniques, it’s no longer simply about fun, nor is it even about the lulz. It has now become about acquiring power.
A new form of information manipulation is unfolding in front of our eyes. It is political. It is global. And it is populist in nature. The news media is being played like a fiddle, while decentralized networks of people are leveraging the ever-evolving networked tools around them to hack the attention economy.
danah-boyd  news  facebook  social-media  gaslighting  trolls  4chan  lulz  gamergate  fake-news 
january 2017 by jm
Trump’s lies have a purpose. They are an assault on democracy
Donald Trump's media strategy as a form of Surkovian control via post-truth 'destabilised perception', through deliberate flooding with fake news:
By attacking the very notion of shared reality, the president-elect is making normal democratic politics impossible. When the truth is little more than an arbitrary personal decision, there is no common ground to be reached and no incentive to look for it.

To men like Surkov, that is exactly as it should be. Government policy should not be set through democratic oversight; instead, the government should “manage” democracy, ensuring that people can express themselves without having any influence over the machinations of the state. According to a 2011 openDemocracy article by Richard Sakwa, a professor of Russian and European politics at the University of Kent, Surkov is “considered the main architect of what is colloquially known as ‘managed democracy,’ the administrative management of party and electoral politics.”

“Surkov’s philosophy is that there is no real freedom in the world, and that all democracies are managed democracies, so the key to success is to influence people, to give them the illusion that they are free, whereas in fact they are managed,” writes Sakwa. “In his view, the only freedom is ‘artistic freedom.’”
post-truth  lies  donald-trump  surkov  breitbart  pr  media  news  propaganda  fake-news 
november 2016 by jm
Facebook's Fight Against Fake News Was Undercut by Fear of Conservative Backlash
Well fuck this and fuck Facebook.
One source said high-ranking officials were briefed on a planned News Feed update that would have identified fake or hoax news stories, but disproportionately impacted right-wing news sites by downgrading or removing that content from people’s feeds. According to the source, the update was shelved and never released to the public. [....] “They absolutely have the tools to shut down fake news,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous citing fear of retribution from the company. The source added, “there was a lot of fear about upsetting conservatives after Trending Topics,” and that “a lot of product decisions got caught up in that.”
facebook  politics  us-politics  trump  fail  fake-news  hoaxes  news  newsfeed 
november 2016 by jm

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