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Fake news and its effect on the community

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The internet allows anyone and everyone to have their say. It also allows anyone to say almost anything they want with little fear of consequence.

For a long time now it has become clear that a number of people are just making up stuff to trash people, organisations or ideas they want to attack. Or if they don't actually make them up they create a completely distorted story that bears no semblance to what might have happened.

President Obama addressed this issue in a press conference in Germany.

Barack Obama on fake news: 'We have problems' if we can't tell the difference


The US president denounced the spate of misinformation across social media platforms, including Facebook, suggesting American politics can be affected


Friday 18 November 2016 11.03 AEDT
Last modified on Sunday 20 November 2016 07.06 AEDT


President Barack Obama has spoken out about fake news on Facebook and other media platforms, suggesting that it helped undermine the US political process.
Facebook staff mount secret push to tackle fake news, reports say
Read more

“If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not, if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems,” he said during a press conference in Germany.

Since the surprise election of Donald Trump as president-elect, Facebook has battled accusations that it has failed to stem the flow of misinformation on its network and that its business model leads to users becoming divided into polarized political echo chambers.

Obama said that we live in an age with “so much active misinformation” that is “packaged very well” and looks the same whether it’s on Facebook or on TV.

“If everything seems to be the same and no distinctions are made, then we won’t know what to protect. We won’t know what to fight for. And we can lose so much of what we’ve gained in terms of the kind of democratic freedoms and market-based economies and prosperity that we’ve come to take for granted,” he said.

These comments come after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg rejected the “crazy idea” that fake news on the social network swayed voters in the US presidential election. That’s in spite of analysis by BuzzFeed that showed that fake news on the site outperformed real news in the run-up to polling day.

Conspiracy theories and misinformation have flourished on Facebook thanks to a network of highly partisan media outlets with questionable editorial policies, including a website called the Denver Guardian peddling stories about Clinton murdering people and a cluster of pro-Trump sites founded by teenagers in Veles, Macedonia, motivated only by the advertising dollars they can accrue if enough people click on their links.

It’s not the first time that Obama has commented on the problem. At a Democratic party rally on 7 November, he denounced the “crazy conspiracy theorizing” that spreads on Facebook, creating a “dust cloud of nonsense”.

The issue is not unique to Facebook. If you were to believe the top Google result for “final election results” on Monday, you’d think that Trump won the popular vote in the 2016 election. He did not.
What do you think ? Can you tell the difference between truth and BS ? Does it actually matter ? Who cares anyway ?
 
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The internet allows anyone and everyone to have their say. It also allows anyone to say almost anything they want with little fear of consequence.

For a long time now it has become clear that a number of people are just making up stuff to trash people, organisations or ideas they want to attack. Or if they don't actually make them up they create a completely distorted story that bears no semblance to what might have happened.



What do you think ? Can you tell the difference between truth and BS ? Does it actually matter ? Who cares anyway ?
Whenever I read noco I know the difference !

Yes of course it matters. We need to be well informed otherwise the vested interests including politicians will put it all over us.

If something looks bogus, best to try and confirm it from a reputable source. I think a lot of people are too lazy to do this though.
 

CanOz

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It's interesting really, these people that generate false news are using the same sensationalist effects that real news use to drive traffic and therefore ad revenue or potential revenue....we need real effective sites like snopes that can fact check in real time....
 

explod

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Interesting you raise this subject Bas as I had been musing the same of late. A lot on it on social media, this I thought relevant:

nmewn's picture
nmewn Nov 19, 2016 8:48 PM
I would like to take this opportunity to thank (yes, thank) the Establishments Press Corp for being the boorish, venal, closeted, bigoted, self-aggrandizing, condescending, echo chamber inhabiting pack of fools who have ever taken a breath of my air and I would like them to know that they still breathe my air.

However, without them producing their credentials for us to see as the out of touch, busy-body nobodys they are, there would be no alt-right, for that we should all be grateful.

This is the kind of thing they did...

Conservative media giant Breitbart News generated 300 million pageviews and 45 million unique visitors over the last 31 days.

...and so that there is no mistake, our intent really is to crush you like bugs and you should be afraid, very afraid.

You will be made to live in "flyover country" (if you are lucky) when you no longer have your high paying jobs in NY or LA doing the bidding of your masters while mouthing their lies on camera & print. You will be made to know what its like to live like us, lots of hamburger and no arugula ;-)
It seems fairly plain that many of the news reports on the wars, particularly the Middle East are slanted towards US ideals also.
 
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Like most people, there are relatively few things that I know enough about to be certain of the facts based on my own knowledge. Same for everyone - nobody's an actual expert on everything from medicine to engineering to fashion to endangered species.

Whenever I see something in the news that I do know a lot about there's almost always an error or at least missing information of importance in the reporting. Almost always.

On that basis I long ago concluded that if the things I know about are always reported inaccurately or at least with missing information then logically so too will everything else be reported in the same manner unless it's something extremely straightforward (eg sports scores would be hard to misrepresent as would the winning numbers of a lotto draw).

That's for the mainstream media and it won't be any better from another source. There's accurate information out there but there's an awful lot of nonsense around on practically any subject since no matter what the issue there will be someone with something to gain from misrepresenting it and/or those reporting haven't got a clue about the subject anyway.

We live in a world where information about anything is an order of magnitude more accessible than even 20 years ago but where real knowledge and understanding seems increasingly rare. Even where you might expect real knowledge these days that's often not the case.

30+ years ago newspapers could report hard facts but these days that's removed (dumbed down) in favour of generic statements lest anyone can't do basic maths or know which way is up. End result is people think they're well informed when in reality they've barely scratched the surface. :2twocents
 
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Like most people, there are relatively few things that I know enough about to be certain of the facts based on my own knowledge. Same for everyone - nobody's an actual expert on everything from medicine to engineering to fashion to endangered species.
Yes, but there is a difference between lax reporting and deliberately fake news, which is in effect propaganda.

This is becoming more common as journalism is being downgraded and the cub reporters just lap up press releases and report them as fact. Sure it's a fact that these press releases are what the politicians/business/special interest groups have said but people don't seem to be checking the facts, they just print the media release.

The disappearance of the ABC Fact Check is just one example of how the politicians are preventing us from getting the truth.
 
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Yes, but there is a difference between lax reporting and deliberately fake news, which is in effect propaganda.

This is becoming more common as journalism is being downgraded and the cub reporters just lap up press releases and report them as fact. Sure it's a fact that these press releases are what the politicians/business/special interest groups have said but people don't seem to be checking the facts, they just print the media release.

The disappearance of the ABC Fact Check is just one example of how the politicians are preventing us from getting the truth.
Rumpy, you know as well as I do, the socialist left wing ABC fiddle with the true facts......Asking Fact Check to check the ABC is like putting the fox in charge of the chickens.

Control the media and you can control the naive with left wing propaganda....I repeat myself again.....It is in the Fabian DNA......They just keep chipping away.......They are the wolves in sheep's clothing.
 
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The issue of Fake news or lies is broader than slack reporting or an incapacity to accurately understand technical issues.
What we are seeing now is a host of actors who deliberately create falsehoods and incessantly put them into the internet. The more outrageous the lie the quicker it gets circulated . The more lies that are spread the harder it is to work out what is reality any more.

The Birther conspiracy against President Obama. The incessant stories of how Michelle Obama is a guy, that Hilary kills babies for breakfast and reheats them for lunch. The made up stories of Donald Trump. The whole Briebart news site.

From my observations there are many people who now swallow whatever drivel is thrown up because it suits their belief system. They refuse to acknowledge they are believing lies and that the people the now accept as authorities are liars.

Did you know Hilary Clinton is The Devil ?
 
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Rumpy, you know as well as I do, the socialist left wing ABC fiddle with the true facts......Asking Fact Check to check the ABC is like putting the fox in charge of the chickens.

Control the media and you can control the naive with left wing propaganda....I repeat myself again.....It is in the Fabian DNA......They just keep chipping away.......They are the wolves in sheep's clothing.
That didn't stop Coalition pollies quoting Fact Check in Parliament when it suited them.
 
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There are times when I have encountered situations where mainstream media intentionally reported misinformation, usually for political reasons, and at other times for the purposes of protecting large multinational corporate interests.

There's nothing new here. As for anyone being able to express themselves liberally via social media, all I can say is thank God (or whatever entity or nonentity one chooses to believe/disbelieve in).

At least sometimes one can discern some true information (information that is unlikely to ever be published via mainstream media).

As far as I can tell, the mainstream media is far more concerned with influencing the behaviour of the populace, than it is with the transparent and impartial repoorting of events.
 
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That didn't stop Coalition pollies quoting Fact Check in Parliament when it suited them.
Perhaps on that odd rare occasion they may have been right......And what did the Coalition quote may I ask?

I am surprised as Fact Check is an arm of the Labor Party.
 

moXJO

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The media rarely deal with facts. Journalists routinely write bs and I have had a few friends sue them successfully. Journalists are slightly above cockroaches, who are slightly above politicians.
And it's always been a case of never believe anything on the net without checking.
 
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Aren't there laws against misrepresentation in the media ?

If not, there should be.
 

Tisme

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Aren't there laws against misrepresentation in the media ?

If not, there should be.
There was a time a few decades ago when people were touting the advent of the professional journalist via the universities and a new era of unbiased reporting. It quickly became evident that neutral reporting was in itself considered biased by those who thought their cause was not being adequately weighted, especially if you owned a newspaper empire, 35% of dumbf$@k voters and a Liberal Party of Australia. :D

When I was learning how to design computers and how to program them way back when our schooling system was still banning calculators, but allowing slide rules in leaving and matriculation exams, we were taught that data is what you feed into a computer program and after all the contextual bias of the programmer out comes information for fun, profit, benevolence and mischief.... just like how our brains have been programmed by our parents, peers and trauma, etc.
 
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I think this is getting a bit off course.

Certainly the mainstream media has become more careless and more focused on click bait. And it certainly seems easier for rubbish or wrong stories to get a run.

But in 2016 the internet offers anyone the opportunity to be a publisher or tell stories. On top of that anyone else can simply copy these stories onto their website and pass them on with no consequence. How easy is that ?

On top of that many people have turned off the main media and been exposed to internet stories. Facebook in particular has been a medium for spreading many of the false or misleading stories.

The question remains. What effect is this having on our community ?

Hint. Think of the Jerry Springer show
 

Tisme

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On top of that many people have turned off the main media and been exposed to internet stories. Facebook in particular has been a medium for spreading many of the false or misleading stories.
I disagree. Apart from everyone knowing it's "farcebook", the articles that attempt to have value are generally linked just like people do in this discussion board. When you see that it is actually a fabrication from BS factories like Newscorp, News of The World, etc you immediately discard it as fanciful nonsense, once again just like, say when Noco posts his Bolt et al diatribe links.

Twitter is more literal when posted from the horse itself. Once again it's a personal bias that lets you believe it or not; e.g. I follow Abbott, Shorten, Jelly on Plate Turnbull, Rudd, Gillard, etc and even my meagre intellect can tell who the pompous, dirty rotten low down lying b4astards amongst them are: = 1) all of them 2) repeat
 
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I disagree. Apart from everyone knowing it's "farcebook", the articles that attempt to have value are generally linked just like people do in this discussion board. When you see that it is actually a fabrication from BS factories like Newscorp, News of The World, etc you immediately discard it as fanciful nonsense, once again just like, say when Noco posts his Bolt et al diatribe links.

Twitter is more literal when posted from the horse itself. Once again it's a personal bias that lets you believe it or not; e.g. I follow Abbott, Shorten, Jelly on Plate Turnbull, Rudd, Gillard, etc and even my meagre intellect can tell who the pompous, dirty rotten low down lying b4astards amongst them are: = 1) all of them 2) repeat
You forgot to include the BS told by that commo paper the Guardian which many of you lefties refer to from time to time.
 

Tisme

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You forgot to include the BS told by that commo paper the Guardian which many of you lefties refer to from time to time.
Them too. .... have I ever referred to the Guardian articles when my tongue isn't in my cheek? You do know that the Guardian is an LGBTxxxx girls brigade propaganda sheet n'est pas?
 
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Aren't there laws against misrepresentation in the media ?

If not, there should be.
There are laws against many things, and yet somehow crimes still occur and the perpetrators don't always get brought to account.
 
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