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Fake News in Alberta Politics

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  • Fake News in Alberta Politics

    Curious what your thoughts are on the rapid increase in fake news and general deceit on social media. Is this new to Alberta politics? If it is, are folks just more gullible, or is social media lending false authenticity that is consumed by stupid people? If it isn't, has social media altered the delivery? Are Canadian news outlets doing a better job than our southern neighbours to avoid it? What about fake news and rage generators like Rebel?

    Here's the latest. Accusing the NDP of planting anti-gay activists in the crowd as if it's fact, to rile up idiots. Which is all rather absurd considering if you go look at the feeds from when the rally was actually happening and you can see all the anti-gay support from Rebel and conservative followers. Groups like Rebel have no problem saying one thing, and then saying the exact opposite in the next sentence, and pretending like the first thing never happened.

    Considering fake news about a pizza joint keeping child sex slaves in basement tunnels for pedophiles and backed by Hillary resulted in a man shooting up the place with a fully automatic weapon, I think there needs to be a larger dialogue about the consequences of fake news and what the fake media outlets are attempting to achieve by producing it.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  • #2
    I'm trying hard to figure out if "fake news" is just another word for "unsubstantiated rumours", which have been an aspect of politics since time immemorial, or if there really has been a substantial development in the way dubious information is circulated.

    As for Levant's allegations, it's not uncommon for politicians and activists to claim that some seemingly embarrassing comrades are in reality provocateurs. So that's probably not really connection to any post-Donald trend toward fake news.

    Comment


    • #3
      Do you see a difference now in how people are reacting to it? Do you feel it's just a minority of idiots that believe it, or pretend to go along with the game?
      "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Chmilz View Post
        Do you see a difference now in how people are reacting to it? Do you feel it's just a minority of idiots that believe it, or pretend to go along with the game?
        Hard to say. I'm not really "on the ground", so to speak, when it comes to western-world politics.

        I will say that Trump didn't even win a majority of the vote, so it seems unlikely to me that most Americans believe that Hillary Clinton was running a child-sex ring out of a pizza restaurant. Probably a lot of Republican don't believe that either, but just go along quietly with the nutbars because they're glad the Democrats are gone, and are happy to support anything that keeps them out.

        I know a few people in Canada who are always latching onto any rumour that portrays the politicians they hate in a bad light, regardless of how credible the story may or may not be. It's possible that, with the adent of social media, the fantasies are being spread to a wider audience in a much shorter amount or time, whereas in the past you had to wait a while to get it via word-of-mouth.

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        • #5
          My personal fear is that the fake news and the rise of provocateurs using social media makes it easier for unstable, desperate, or mentally ill folks to get caught up and do crazy things. Do the sources then take any responsibility for that? Of course not. They seemingly encourage it as it somehow legitimizes their accusations that the world is falling apart under the leadership of others, though ironically they tend to not only offer no solution, but believe that cutting those people off to fend for themselves is in society's best interest.
          "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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          • #6
            An interview from a fake news writer about the US Election, take from it what you will...:

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.8bef3ee66e8e

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Chmilz View Post
              My personal fear is that the fake news and the rise of provocateurs using social media makes it easier for unstable, desperate, or mentally ill folks to get caught up and do crazy things. Do the sources then take any responsibility for that? Of course not. They seemingly encourage it as it somehow legitimizes their accusations that the world is falling apart under the leadership of others, though ironically they tend to not only offer no solution, but believe that cutting those people off to fend for themselves is in society's best interest.
              I don't see this as anything new. Propaganda, marketing, spin, word smithing, bias, incomplete information, etc have all been common throughout my life. In recent times just look at the misinformation that has been spread by traditional media regarding middle eastern wars and terrorist attacks (as in naming names - of wrongly identified people). Then there's CNN's seemingly monthly "War on ___{whatever}___ " approach to hyping up news. CNN only lost its former credibility as a result.

              Traditional text media frequently used subtle spin through emotive language or words with positive or negative connotations. It also often presented factual data with selective and subjective interpretations of the data. So if anything, any flood of "fake news" will cause people to be less guilible and trusting of any news.

              Eg. I used to receive emails with fake news but someone in the distribution group always fact checked the stories to snopes and then embarrassed the sender for being so guilible. I receive far fewer such emails today.
              Last edited by KC; 05-12-2016, 01:09 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by seamusmcduffs View Post
                An interview from a fake news writer about the US Election, take from it what you will...:

                https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.8bef3ee66e8e
                He possibly actually thinks people are dumber. I doubt that. People start with their beliefs and selectively read to support their beliefs. There's nothing new there. Fake news was just more ammo in their battle to get what they wanted. The numbers voting democrat va republican didn't change all that much. It was all just preaching to the converted. The few swing voters are the ones to focus on.


                From that article:
                Excerpt:


                Honestly, people are definitely dumber. They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything anymore — I mean, that’s how Trump got elected. He just said whatever he wanted, and people believed everything, and when the things he said turned out not to be true, people didn’t care because they’d already accepted it. It’s real scary. I’ve never seen anything like it.
                Last edited by KC; 05-12-2016, 01:22 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by KC View Post
                  Originally posted by Chmilz View Post
                  My personal fear is that the fake news and the rise of provocateurs using social media makes it easier for unstable, desperate, or mentally ill folks to get caught up and do crazy things. Do the sources then take any responsibility for that? Of course not. They seemingly encourage it as it somehow legitimizes their accusations that the world is falling apart under the leadership of others, though ironically they tend to not only offer no solution, but believe that cutting those people off to fend for themselves is in society's best interest.
                  I don't see this as anything new. Propaganda, marketing, spin, word smithing, bias, incomplete information, etc have all been common throughout my life. In recent times just look at the misinformation that has been spread by traditional media regarding middle eastern wars and terrorist attacks (as in naming names - of wrongly identified people). Then there's CNN's seemingly monthly "War on ___{whatever}___ " approach to hyping up news. CNN only lost its former credibility as a result.

                  Traditional text media frequently used subtle spin through emotive language or words with positive or negative connotations. It also often presented factual data with selective and subjective interpretations of the data. So if anything, any flood of "fake news" will cause people to be less guilible and trusting of any news.

                  Eg. I used to receive emails with fake news but someone in the distribution group always fact checked the stories to snopes and then embarrassed the sender for being so guilible. I receive far fewer such emails today.

                  Geraldo's 1988 documentary on Satanism

                  Never mind some redneck waving a gun at a pizzeria, the late-80s Satanism stuff was believed by social-workers, psychologists, cops, prosecutors, and judges, and led to dozens if not hundreds of people being dubiously jailed in the US, the UK, and Canada.

                  And anybody remember Nancy Reagan's War On Drugs? That was hardly an exercise in fact-based advertising.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "Fake news" is the new excuse that governments are using in order to justify their censoring of dissenting or opposing views.

                    Every media outlet is pushing an agenda of some sort. Who gets to determine what's "real" and what's "fake"?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ^ When it's factual false information that is spread as the truth, instead of simply being satire or something? For example in the article I posted, trumps campaign manager reposted a fake story about a protester being paid $3500. How is that ok? It is not censorship to stop the spread of lies.

                      There is a line between "real" and "fake". Some things actually happened and some actually didn't. Stopping the spread of misinformation isn't some infringement on freedom of speech.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MrOilers View Post
                        "Fake news" is the new excuse that governments are using in order to justify their censoring of dissenting or opposing views.

                        Every media outlet is pushing an agenda of some sort. Who gets to determine what's "real" and what's "fake"?
                        I haven't heard any government official even mention the fake news issue. Everything I've heard and read about it has come out of various media and individuals.

                        You may have fallen for some fake news saying government has any covert or overt position on it.

                        Maybe some ratings systems are needed but then again many people fail to read critically. Facts and opinions regularly get mixed together and ratings would have to ask readers to separate a news item's facts from the article's opinions and not mix the two.
                        Last edited by KC; 05-12-2016, 03:40 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KC View Post
                          Originally posted by MrOilers View Post
                          "Fake news" is the new excuse that governments are using in order to justify their censoring of dissenting or opposing views.

                          Every media outlet is pushing an agenda of some sort. Who gets to determine what's "real" and what's "fake"?
                          I haven't heard any government official even mention the fake news issue. Everything I've heard and read about it has come out of various media and individuals.

                          You may have fallen for some fake news saying government has any covert or overt position on it.

                          Maybe some ratings systems are needed but then again many people fail to read critically. Facts and opinions regularly get mixed together and ratings would have to ask readers to separate a news item's facts from the article's opinions and not mix the two.
                          Bolding mine. This is actually the problem. Garbage gets spread on Facebook as fact, and, for some unknown reason, it seems a majority of people (in the US anyway) are actually getting their news from Facebook. So it gets spread and believed as true. You see it all the time here from some right wing types. Completely baseless garbage. They're struggling with the same crap from the left over in Toronto with those fairiekin xe gender-fluid idiots trying to make it illegal to not inherently know they identify as a non-binary attack chopper. Those of us with critical thinking skills and a healthy level of skepticism are getting squeezed from both sides.
                          "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MrOilers View Post
                            "Fake news" is the new excuse that governments are using in order to justify their censoring of dissenting or opposing views.

                            Every media outlet is pushing an agenda of some sort. Who gets to determine what's "real" and what's "fake"?
                            This is post-truth. There are in fact things that happen, and things that do not happen.

                            We as a society will eventually have to deal with the fake news issue. I just don't know how it will be done.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Chmilz View Post
                              Originally posted by KC View Post
                              Originally posted by MrOilers View Post
                              "Fake news" is the new excuse that governments are using in order to justify their censoring of dissenting or opposing views.

                              Every media outlet is pushing an agenda of some sort. Who gets to determine what's "real" and what's "fake"?
                              I haven't heard any government official even mention the fake news issue. Everything I've heard and read about it has come out of various media and individuals.

                              You may have fallen for some fake news saying government has any covert or overt position on it.

                              Maybe some ratings systems are needed but then again many people fail to read critically. Facts and opinions regularly get mixed together and ratings would have to ask readers to separate a news item's facts from the article's opinions and not mix the two.
                              Bolding mine. This is actually the problem. Garbage gets spread on Facebook as fact, and, for some unknown reason, it seems a majority of people (in the US anyway) are actually getting their news from Facebook. So it gets spread and believed as true. You see it all the time here from some right wing types. Completely baseless garbage. They're struggling with the same crap from the left over in Toronto with those fairiekin xe gender-fluid idiots trying to make it illegal to not inherently know they identify as a non-binary attack chopper. Those of us with critical thinking skills and a healthy level of skepticism are getting squeezed from both sides.
                              Define: right wing types please

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