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zoogs

#FakeNews

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zoogs    6,223

While trawling through Ann Coulter twitter tonight (I know...), I came across a fairly disturbing story: supposedly Klaus Eberwein, a Haitian official "set to testify against the Clinton Foundation", was found dead in his hotel in an apparent suicide.

Since this was trumpeted by the likes of Mike Cernovich, I wondered what would happen if I tried to read more about it.

Almost every result was an alt-right prop source alleging some variation the following, literally zero of which I have been able to confirm independently:

* He was a vocal opponent of the Clinton Foundation
* He told confidants he feared for his life as a result of his criticisms of the Clinton Foundation
* He was about to testify against the Clinton Foundation

Now, this is not a story nobody reads. I promise you the Cernovich followers on here have already read it. It's been RT'd by Coulter, reported by WND -- which was picked up and summarized by 'Bangladesh News', an outlet that at least to me seems like it has no agenda -- and otherwise disseminated across Facebook, live leak, sports forums, fitness forums, thegatewaypundit, ZeroHedge...

From the Miami Herald: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/haiti/article160983614.html

* Eberwein was facing allegations of fraud and corruption (as the former Hatian government agency head)
* He was scheduled to appear the same day before the Hatian Senate's Ethics and Corruption Commission
* The subject of commission investigation is PetroCaribe, a program by which Haiti gets discounted Venezuelan oil.

Unless I am missing something, the Alt-Right literally made this story out of thin air. This guy may very well have disliked Clinton, but there's not even evidence of that. I tried searching for any sort of connection they might've tried to base this on, and that just turned up the below. I even read the ZeroHedge article, which for sources of all of its explosive claims uses other alt-right articles that came out after his death. The same lie, repeated enough, feeds itself and becomes true:

 

8gIRY8F.png

 

So if you're imbibing this sort of stuff, please, please, PLEASE turn on your brains for a moment. I read through this thread on another CFB fan board since it came up in search, and it was extremely disheartening: http://www.scout.com/college/auburn/forums/2777-toomer-s-corner-tr/16782212-set-to-testify-against-clinton-foundation-not-so-fast/197972052?s=6 (They even posted and copy/pasted the Miami Herald story, apparently without bothering to read it). Friends don't let friends #FakeNews.

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Kiyoat Husker    1,457

I was going to start/ add to a thread like this a few days ago, but got busy. It seems to me that the actual "fake news" has gotten so sophisticated that it is truly a danger.

 

My question is, what can be done about it in ways that aren't unconstitutional? It seems there is a lot of grey area between news, advertising, and propaganda these days. Maybe we need some way of distinguishing them.

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Kiyoat Husker    1,457

Right now it feels like we have a lot more regulations protecting us from misleading product ads than misleading political propaganda.

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BigRedBuster    7,661

IA State....

 

I have wondered this for a long time. I have said for a very long time that the media is more dangerous than people we actually elect. This is because this is where we get our information to decide who to support in those elections.

 

There is a large and growing industry of internet sites who create a persona of being a "news outlet" and all they are there to do is make up stories. Many of these are secretly started and operated by various political powers. Some domestic and many international.

 

So, how do we distinguish between them and how can the be exposed and punished for making up this crap without destroying the constitutional right of the media?

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Kiyoat Husker    1,457

 

So, how do we distinguish between them and how can the be exposed and punished for making up this crap without destroying the constitutional right of the media?

 

I think one of the major issues we are seeing is the rise of the internet as a major news source. The Government, through the FCC, has had a lot more control over television and radio. Like campaign ads having a disclaimer, or "the following is a paid ad"-type disclaimers.

 

Maybe we need to treat the internet more like those types of media? Newspapers have had much more latitude in the past, and their websites are seen as an extension of that. The internet is just so inherently omnipresent that it has too much propaganda power IMO.

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dudeguyy    3,293

The proliferation of the internet and these thousands of news outlets popping up ultimately results in a world in which anyone can find something that supports a position they have. The problem is many folks look for the "news" to backup what they think instead of the other way around. It essentially becomes a gigantic bias reinforcement loop instead of people critically analyzing good news and considering shifting their positions in light of it.

 

We can all have opinions. But they're not all equally valid.

 

zoogs showed that the onus is clearly on the reader right now to distinguish if something is fabricated nonsense created to push an agenda. You have to research it for yourself. But most people are too lazy (or just want to keep their biases intact) so they just skim the article (if they read it at all) and share it on social media instead.

 

IA your solution seems like it would require legislation some how, and I don't know how that happens without people complaining the government is cracking down on their 1A rights.

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zoogs    6,223

I think the only defense is education. This is a consequence of information being free, and that freedom is a good thing. Yet it demands discernment.

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TGHusker    1,232

Maybe PBS has a role to play after all. :o

It would be interesting if it had a conservative news show, a moderate one and a liberal one - insuring all sides are heard. It would

probably blow away fox, cnn, etc. Or bring back the old Point counter Point show - which was on CNN. Put it on PBS.

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BigRedBuster    7,661

I think the only defense is education. This is a consequence of information being free, and that freedom is a good thing. Yet it demands discernment.

Then we're screwed.

 

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Kiyoat Husker    1,457

Maybe PBS has a role to play after all. :o

It would be interesting if it had a conservative news show, a moderate one and a liberal one - insuring all sides are heard. It would

probably blow away fox, cnn, etc. Or bring back the old Point counter Point show - which was on CNN. Put it on PBS.

 

Counter to what you may believe, differing opinions are presented on PBS and NPR quite regularly. Take the Intelligence Squared debates, for example:

 

http://www.pbs.org/program/intelligence-squared-debates/

 

About the Program

Think you know where you stand? Think twice.

Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates invite the world’s leading authorities to debate the day’s most important issues. Two teams of dynamic thought leaders engage in a battle of wit and persuasion to capture your vote.

Recorded live in New York City for NPR and PBS, IQ2US debates are based on the traditional Oxford-style format, with one side proposing and the other side opposing a sharply-framed motion. Audiences vote before and after the debate to declare a winner: the team that changed the most minds. Always civil, respectful and thought-provoking, Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates offers a sharp contrast to the landscape of American debates. Now in it’s seventh live season and premiere season on PBS. Will you “think twice” and consider a new point of view? Now you can watch on PBS and join the debate online.

 

 

You should check it out.

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Enhance    3,317

Some good opinions/conversation in here so far.

 

For starters, I think dudeguyy hit the nail on the head. There's a large amount of pressure on the consumer to dissect the media they're processing. I personally believe this is disappointing. Newspapers/TV networks have always been information disseminators and gatekeepers, but certain outlets have started abusing this responsibility. Others have sought the recent climate as a way to push fake, misleading and/or propagandized news. I always recommend people rely more on their local outlets than the national ones as I personally believe the information is often more reliable, less biased and less opinionated. It's usually the nuts and bolts of what you need to know.

 

Most authentic news outlets are still required to follow digital guidelines when posting certain content. Libel/slander is as real on the internet as it is on TV or in print, and that also extends to social media. Facebook is actively trying to crackdown on pages it deems as pushing a fake or misleading news agenda, but it's ultimately a private company and not a news source, so they're privy to handling the situation as they see fit.

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Kiyoat Husker    1,457

IA your solution seems like it would require legislation some how, and I don't know how that happens without people complaining the government is cracking down on their 1A rights.

 

I agree. Government regulation of any kind is not likely to gain traction with conservatives right now.

 

Here's something interesting, though on the FTC website:

 

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/media-resources/truth-advertising

 

 

Truth In Advertising
When consumers see or hear an advertisement, whether it’s on the Internet, radio or television, or anywhere else, federal law says that ad must be truthful, not misleading, and, when appropriate, backed by scientific evidence. The Federal Trade Commission enforces these truth-in-advertising laws, and it applies the same standards no matter where an ad appears – in newspapers and magazines, online, in the mail, or on billboards or buses. The FTC looks especially closely at advertising claims that can affect consumers’ health or their pocketbooks – claims about food, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, alcohol, and tobacco and on conduct related to high-tech products and the Internet. The FTC also monitors and writes reports about ad industry practices regarding the marketing of alcohol and tobacco.

When the FTC finds a case of fraud perpetrated on consumers, the agency files actions in federal district court for immediate and permanent orders to stop scams; prevent fraudsters from perpetrating scams in the future; freeze their assets; and get compensation for victims.

 

 

 

I'd love to see the same standards apply to fake news. Maybe we could just classify it as advertisement?

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Kiyoat Husker    1,457

http://www.bbc.com/news/video_and_audio/headlines/40598465/fake-obama-created-using-ai-tool-to-make-phoney-speeches

 

Well, this is scary as h@ll. Researchers at the University of Washington created an artificial intelligence tool that allows them to create bogus video of Obama in which they can put any words in his mouth that they would like. All they need is a voice impersonator.

 

Gee, I wonder what falsified video could be made with this tool?

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dudeguyy    3,293

I'm not sure how one would earmark them as advertisements to get them under the authority of the FCC. As BRB stated, many of them are not US outlets in the first place. However, a country can, to a degree, put limitations on the internet usage in their country. You see it in various places . Theresa May was talking about imposing stricter limitations on the UK internet to try to curb terrorism.

 

While I don't nor would I ever support internet censorship, I'd wholeheartedly support a move by the relevant body in the US to slap a big, bright disclaimer on real fake news stories denoting they're of poor quality and questionable veracity. I don't think we should control what people have access to. But from what I'm seeing and hearing of many folks in the US right now (particularly the less tech-savvy who don't know or care to fact check things), people could use a nudge towards the truth and away from the BS.

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Nebfanatic    835

http://www.bbc.com/news/video_and_audio/headlines/40598465/fake-obama-created-using-ai-tool-to-make-phoney-speeches

 

Well, this is scary as h@ll. Researchers at the University of Washington created an artificial intelligence tool that allows them to create bogus video of Obama in which they can put any words in his mouth that they would like. All they need is a voice impersonator.

 

Gee, I wonder what falsified video could be made with this tool?

they already have the website where you can type in sentences and Obama will say it

 

 

Edit: it has 180 character limit though lol

 

http://talkobamato.me/synthesize.py?speech_key=c56cefe27cddfdff18077e2d328c2cd0

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