petej + misinformation   176

The confidence men | Richard Seymour on Patreon
For a similar reason, the centre has been battered and bewildered in the domain of meaning. How does it come to be, that facts and reason are no match for sheer confidence? For falsehoods expressed with the salesman-like bark of a commodities trader, or a real estate agent? Indeed, how have the terms of 'facts' and 'reason' become the idiom of the alt right, the brand name for their ideology, their mode of rightist 'common sense'? Why are they so impervious to fact-checks? Hannah Arendt tells us that the followers of far-right leaders actually don't mind being lied to, because they expect politicians to cheat. They just want their guys to lie more effectively. They also want to be in on it, but even if they discover they've been lied to, they will just pretend to have known all along, and it will only renew their admiration for the tactical savvy of their cheating, lying leaders. Not to mention their contempt for the stupid, conned masses. Above all, to recall Karl Rove's point, beliefs create realities, they don't reflect them. "The true goal of totalitarian propaganda," Arendt says, "is not persuasion but organisation". It orchestrates and puts into motion the believers, whether they believe or not.
UK  USA  politics  TrumpDonald  FarageNigel  IslamicState  confidence  voluntarism  misinformation  dishonesty  alt-right  ArendtHannah  myths  nationalism  Barthes  fragility  dctagged  dc:creator=SeymourRichard 
11 weeks ago by petej
Facebook extremism and fake news: How Facebook is training us to be conspiracy theorists — Quartz
And the problem is that—unlike previous social sites—Facebook doesn’t know, because from Facebook’s perspective they have two goals, and neither is about the quality of the community or well-being of its members. The first goal is to keep you creating Facebook content in the form of shares, likes, and comments. Any value you get out of it as a person is not a direct Facebook concern, except as it impacts those goals. And so Facebook is designed to make you share without reading, and like without thinking, because that is how Facebook makes its money and lock-in, by having you create social content (and personal marketing data) it can use.

The second Facebook goal is to keep you on the site at all costs, since this is where they can serve you ads. And this leads to another problem we can talk about more fully in another post. Your average news story — something from the New York Times on a history of the Alt-Right, for example — won’t get clicked, because Facebook has built their environment to resist people clicking external links. Marketers figured this out and realized that to get you to click they had to up the ante. So they produced conspiracy sites that have carefully designed, fictional stories that are inflammatory enough that you *will* click.

In other words, the consipiracy clickbait sites appeared as a reaction to a Facebook interface that resisted external linking. And this is why fake news does better on Facebook than real news.

To be as clear as I possibly can—by setting up this dynamic, Facebook simultaneously set up the perfect conspiracy replication machine and incentivized the creation of a new breed of conspiracy clickbait sites.
Facebook  socialSoftware  bias  design  extremism  conspiracyTheory  belief  businessModels  truth  trust  familiarity  whiteSupremacism  misinformation 
march 2019 by petej
Zuckerberg’s new privacy essay shows why Facebook needs to be broken up - MIT Technology Review
By narrowly construing privacy to be almost exclusively about end-to-end encryption that would prevent a would-be eavesdropper from intercepting communications, he manages to avoid having to think about Facebook’s weaknesses and missteps. Privacy is not just about keeping secrets. It’s also about how flows of information shape us as individuals and as a society. What we say to whom and why is a function of context. Social networks change that context, and in so doing they change the nature of privacy, in ways that are both good and bad.
Facebook  socialMedia  ZuckerbergMark  communication  privacy  business  businessModels  advertising  encryption  secrecy  context  misinformation  attention  walledGarden  monopoly  control 
march 2019 by petej
The endless Brexit lies have left us in an Orwellian nightmare
Anyone remember the days when the EU could "go whistle" for its divorce bill? When we weren't going to have a transition or, if we were, keep it to a few months and concede it as a favour to the EU? When free movement of people would end before that transition began? When we weren't going to sign a backstop that put a border in the Irish Sea or kept us in a customs union? When we were going to sign a backstop, but only so we could move on to negotiate our trade deal? When that trade deal was going to be ready to sign a "nanosecond" after leaving? When the transition was to be an "implementation" period to put that trade deal into effect?
UK  EU  Brexit  negotiations  dishonesty  misinformation  delusion  lies  exceptionalism  dctagged  dc:creator=LisJonathan 
march 2019 by petej
From red pills to red, white and blue Brexit: how The Matrix shaped our reality | Film | The Guardian
Baudrillard died in 2007, a year before the financial crash saw the wheels come off hypercapitalism. He may not have been surprised that confronted by a genuine rip in the fabric of the system, the response among both public and politicians was a frantic attempt to go back to normal and never mention it again. Instead, a bogus new reality arose – the reanimated far-right. With awful irony, the stunted boys of 4chan and Reddit appropriated The Matrix. To “redpill” became a verb, opening the eyes of new recruits to their hated oppressors – feminists, people of colour and progressives. Morpheus became the face of memes that asked: “What If I Told You Hitler Was A Socialist?”

And here we are now, in the Britain of 2019. It is, of course, pure Baudrillard, a country manically returning to an earlier version of itself that never existed. Our unreality is operating at a heightened pitch. Global leaders lie so openly as to mock the very notion of truth. We exist as plots of online data, the last real things in an internet otherwise home only to bots and deepfakes. There is even an updated model of the brain in the vat – “simulated universe” theory, in which you are, right now, part of a computer program. Elon Musk is a believer.

Inevitably, as the 20th anniversary of the film has approached, plans have emerged for a Matrix reboot. Reports have suggested that after last year’s cancellation of their Netflix project Sense8, the Wachowskis may retire from filmmaking. But Warner Bros, as the owners of the movie, did not seem to be involving them anyway. Instead, it was said, the studio would take their intellectual property and create an expanded “multiverse” of related characters and storylines. A whole set of new Matrixes, in other words – all accompanied by the ghost of Jean Baudrillard.
TheMatrix  film  reality  BaudrillardJean  Wachowskis  redPill  metaphor  alt-right  misinformation  Brexit 
january 2019 by petej
A nation ‘bored of Brexit’ risks sleepwalking into disaster | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian
In the event of another referendum, should the remain side belatedly improve upon the hopeless campaign that led to disaster in 2016, people might finally hear about things that should have always defined the national conversation surrounding this country and its place in the world: the inarguable benefits of an open economy; the complex and often fragile trading arrangements that keep the economy in business and people in work; the fact that our history is not one of isolation from Europe but of being at its heart.
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  noDeal  disengagement  scepticism  misinformation  alienation  dctagged  dc:creator=HarrisJohn 
january 2019 by petej
Brexit is a class betrayal. So why is Labour colluding in it? | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian
These things are part of a vast charge sheet not only against the modern Conservative party, but an alliance of old and new money that has set the basic terms of British politics for the past 40 years. Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson were educated at the same exclusive school as the prime minister whose idiotic decision to hold a referendum gave them their opportunity. Nigel Farage and Arron Banks are archetypal examples of the kind of spivs who were given licence to do as they pleased in the 80s. For all their absurd bleating about “elites”, we all know what these people represent: the two faces of the modern English ruling class, who have long combined to be nothing but trouble.
UK  Brexit  Leave  ToryParty  deindustrialisation  austerity  referendum  misinformation  dishonesty  Thatcherism  opposition  LabourParty  withdrawalAgreement  noDeal  PeoplesVote  class  dctagged  dc:creator=HarrisJohn 
november 2018 by petej
Donna Zuckerberg: ‘Social media has elevated misogyny to new levels of violence’ | Books | The Guardian
While there is animosity between some factions of the manosphere – Zuckerberg shows us, for instance, the petty conflicts online between PUAs and the men’s human rights movement – the common denominator, she says, remains “the use of ancient literature to represent an aspirational ideal of a world they wish they inhabited. They idealise a model that erases much of the social progress that has been made in the last 2,000 years.”
ZuckerbergDonna  misogyny  anti-feminism  hatred  PetersonJordan  stoicism  misinformation  conspiracyTheory  victimhood  manosphere  classics  pseudo-intellectualism  socialMedia  incels 
november 2018 by petej
The Bannon-Frum Munk Debate: What Really Happened - The Atlantic
The story ends, then, in a great irony. Integral to the liberal project, again in the broad sense of the word liberal, is confidence in the power of reason. Words and arguments can overbear ignorance and prejudice. Over the long term, words and arguments can even overcome oppression and violence. That’s why liberals in the broad sense are so uniquely horrified by official lying: How can reason prevail unless words connect to reality? How can we argue against people who will spread fictions, if serviceable to them, without a qualm?

Illiberals and anti-liberals, on the other hand, appreciate the dark energy of human irrationality—not merely as a fact of our nature to be negotiated, but as a potent political resource. People do not think; they feel. They do not believe what is true; they regard as true that which they wish to believe. A lie that affirms us will gain more credence than a truth that challenges us. That’s the foundational insight on which Trump built his business career. It’s the insight on which Trump’s supporters built first their campaign for president and now their presidency itself.
USA  politics  BannonStephen  populism  misinformation  manipulation  emotion  rationality  reason  liberalism  FrumDavid  debate 
november 2018 by petej
New study shows Brexit is drenched in fake news
The truth is that the public are grotesquely misinformed about European immigration. And that's not compared to data by a pro-immigration body but to a report which goes out of its way to justify a draconian policy.

No-one really wants to talk about this. It is unfashionable to suggest that the public can be wrong about things.

Instead of grappling with this reality, the response of the political class - including journalists and think tankers as well as politicians - is to act like the falsehoods are real. The public cannot be wrong so the whole earth must shift on its axis to behave as if they're right. And that is how we have found ourselves here, threatening to detonate our trade and diplomatic status to reduce European immigration, even though the political class knows that it doesn't actually do us any harm. It is a truly insane situation to be in. Future history students will be baffled and aghast at the mass mania we have fallen into.

There is another way, of course. It is to ask how print, broadcast and online media failed so spectacularly that the public could have ever become so ill-informed. It is to think up new ways of challenging populist rhetoric, by combining evidence and reason with passion and narrative-storytelling instead of treating them as mutually exclusive. It is by addressing the root material causes of people's discontent.
UK  Brexit  immigration  statistics  freedomOfMovement  pay  wages  unemployment  MAC  misinformation  dctagged  dc:creator=DuntIan 
october 2018 by petej
The Suffocation of Democracy | by Christopher R. Browning | The New York Review of Books
The fascist movements of that time prided themselves on being overtly antidemocratic, and those that came to power in Italy and Germany boasted that their regimes were totalitarian. The most original revelation of the current wave of authoritarians is that the construction of overtly antidemocratic dictatorships aspiring to totalitarianism is unnecessary for holding power. Perhaps the most apt designation of this new authoritarianism is the insidious term “illiberal democracy.” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey, Putin in Russia, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, and Viktor Orbán in Hungary have all discovered that opposition parties can be left in existence and elections can be held in order to provide a fig leaf of democratic legitimacy, while in reality elections pose scant challenge to their power. Truly dangerous opposition leaders are neutralized or eliminated one way or another.

Total control of the press and other media is likewise unnecessary, since a flood of managed and fake news so pollutes the flow of information that facts and truth become irrelevant as shapers of public opinion. Once-independent judiciaries are gradually dismantled through selective purging and the appointment of politically reliable loyalists. Crony capitalism opens the way to a symbiosis of corruption and self-enrichment between political and business leaders. Xenophobic nationalism (and in many cases explicitly anti-immigrant white nationalism) as well as the prioritization of “law and order” over individual rights are also crucial to these regimes in mobilizing the popular support of their bases and stigmatizing their enemies.
USA  politics  history  1920s  1930s  fascism  TrumpDonald  nationalism  isolationism  protectionism  authoritarianism  Nazism  Hitler  polarisation  Weimar  democracy  McConnellMitch  KavanaughBrett  judiciary  Germany  Italy  totalitarianism  misinformation  control  funding  lobbying  tradeUnions  illiberalism 
october 2018 by petej
How feelings took over the world | Culture | The Guardian
These two distinctions – between mind and body, and war and peace – now appear to have lost credibility altogether, with the result that we experience conflict intruding into everyday life with increasing regularity. Since the 1990s, rapid advances in neuroscience have elevated the brain over the mind as the main way by which we understand ourselves, demonstrating the importance of emotion and physiology to all decision making. Meanwhile, new forms of violence have emerged, in which states are attacked by non-state groups (such as Islamic State), interstate conflicts are fought using nonmilitary means (such as cyberwarfare), and the distinction between policing and military intervention becomes blurred. Our condition is one of nervous states, with individuals and governments existing in a state of constant and heightened alertness, relying increasingly on feeling rather than fact.

When reason itself is in peril, there is an understandable instinct to try to revive or rescue something from the past. It has become a cliche to celebrate the rugged individualism, cold rationality and truth-seeking courage of the scientific pioneers. But in our current age, when intelligence and calculation are performed faster and more accurately by machines than by people, an alternative ideal is needed. Perhaps the great virtue of the scientific method is not that it is smart (which is now an attribute of phones, cities and fridges) but that it is slow and careful. Maybe it is not more intelligence that we need right now, but less speed and more care, both in our thinking and our feeling. After all, emotions (including anger) can be eminently reasonable, if they are granted the time to be articulated and heard. Conversely, advanced intelligence can be entirely unreasonable, when it moves at such speed as to defy any possibility of dialogue.
emotion  rationality  OxfordCircus  panic  misinformation  socialMedia  fear  instinct  rumours  virality  Germany  refugees  Facebook  populism  psychology  violence  policing  militarisation  terrorism  experts  trust  elites  resentment  inequality  exclusion  disenfranchisement  dctagged  dc:creator=DaviesWill 
september 2018 by petej
How social media took us from Tahrir Square to Donald Trump - MIT Technology Review
Rather, the problem is that when we encounter opposing views in the age and context of social media, it’s not like reading them in a newspaper while sitting alone. It’s like hearing them from the opposing team while sitting with our fellow fans in a football stadium. Online, we’re connected with our communities, and we seek approval from our like-minded peers. We bond with our team by yelling at the fans of the other one. In sociology terms, we strengthen our feeling of “in-group” belonging by increasing our distance from and tension with the “out-group”—us versus them. Our cognitive universe isn’t an echo chamber, but our social one is. This is why the various projects for fact-checking claims in the news, while valuable, don’t convince people. Belonging is stronger than facts.
socialMedia  politics  activism  communication  ArabSpring  Egypt  TahrirSquare  Tunisia  Syria  Iran  Twitter  MubarakHosni  authoritarianism  power  control  ObamaBarack  targeting  technoUtopianism  bigData  misinformation  polarisation  NSA  security  Facebook  Google  monopolies  YouTube  algorithms  attention  insults  TrumpDonald  USA  Russia  trolling  interference  corruption  accountability  filterBubble  surveillance  platforms  personalData  inequality  precarity  insecurity  dctagged  dc:creator=TufekciZeynep  recommendations 
august 2018 by petej
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