Category Archives: Truth

Am guessing we never hear another word about "Russia hacked the election" after today

Cambridge Analytica:

  • The full scale of their pivotal work in Trump’s election win

  • How they avoid Congressional investigations into their foreign clients

  • Setting up proxy organisations to feed untraceable messages onto social media

  • Using a secret email system where messages self-destruct and leave no trace

  • Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in the “Defeat Crooked Hilary” brand of attack ads

Source: Exposed: Undercover secrets of Trump’s data firm – Channel 4 News
Cambridge Analytica is claiming they threw the election for Trump, using potentially stolen personal data on 50 million Americans and social media propaganda.
I am thinking a very large number of Americans may want to consider deleting their Facebook accounts.

Facebook aims to be less useful to you

Had this announcement in my notifications today:

Facebook intends to stop showing me content that I actually want to see. You can turn this off but it requires manual intervention to regain control over what you want to see, rather than what Facebook thinks you want to see.

  • First, when Facebook decides what you see, Facebook is acting as an editorial director.
  • Second, when Facebook decides what you see, Facebook is potentially promoting propaganda. It does not matter that this editorial selection is conducted by algorithms.

I learned long ago that working in any field for a period of time warps our thinking.
After two decades in the computer software industry, my brain was brainwashed into thinking all the world’s problems could be solved with software solutions. Everyone in tech sincerely believes that everything is just a software or tech problem!
After those two decades, I went to grad school and earned an MBA. I spent my time hanging out with people who did not work in the tech sector and discovered that not everything is solved with tech. I also learned many others believe that most of the world’s problems can be solved with what ever their expertise is in!
Indeed, all the way back as an undergraduate in computer science, in a private conversation with a professor of statistics, he said, “When you get down it, life is nothing but statistics. Everything in life is statistics!” Like all of us buried in a specialty, we only see the world through the eyes of our specialty
It’s as if, when all you have is a hammer, the entire world starts to look like a nail – hah hah.
Many years ago I attended a public community meeting where there were 22 people in attendance – 21 of which worked in health care, plus me, who did not. 21 of the attendees believed every community problem was a health care problem! Seriously, crime was a health care problem! Public bus transportation was a health care problem! By the time the meeting was over with, probably four dozen community problems were identified and each and every one of them could be solved through better access to health care and more subsidy money spent on health care.
And on and on.
The point is that Facebook, Google, and Twitter all believe any problems they have in their propaganda platforms being abused is just a software problem. More software will solve this! That’s because to them when all they have is software, the whole world looks like a software problem.
The tech sector needs to get out of its Get Smart-level Cone of Silence bubble and recognize that problems require a multi-disciplinary approach and solutions. For now, they are proceeding down the nonsensical, inward focused “it’s just a software problem”. 
They and many others do not yet realize that the propaganda problem on social media is not the messages, it’s the medium.

Snopes rips the media for fake news stories

An in-depth analysis of the false allegations and misleading claims made against the 45th President since his inauguration.

Source: The Lies of Donald Trump’s Critics, and How They Shape His Many Personas

Read it, please.

I am not a fan of President Trump, did not support him and I am not involved with either the Democrat or Republican parties. I have watched with disbelief, however, as the full power of propaganda messaging has been brought to play by “professional journalists”. There are many, many, many negative things that can be reported accurately and get the point across – but as Snopes documents, reporters have crossed a line into fantasy writing, as if it is their intent to interfere with democracy itself. I have not previously written about this specific topic – propaganda versus Trump – because the topic is overwhelming in scope.

Thankfully, Snopes does an excellent job addressing the absurd levels to which propaganda messaging has become the default position and concludes:

It has to be acknowledged that since January, many of Trump’s opponents, and even lukewarm supporters, have found considerable fault with his policies and behavior, based on accurate facts. There have been many occasions when Trump himself, undistorted and unfiltered, contributed mightily to the four personas we have outlined.

….

[but regarding poorly produced news stories] these sorts of massive exaggerations and gross distortions are even more corrosive and destructive than fake news about diarrhea on the golf course, because they bear some distant relationship with the truth.

Which is precisely how the best propaganda operates – it has at least some link to truth, but bends and distorts that truth to motivate the target to adopt and agenda or take action.

Years ago, I observed the use and power of propaganda to persuade others to adopt someone’s agenda. That led to much study on the subject and to the creation of this blog and Facebook page.

Politics is a minefield of propaganda messaging not only from politicians but also from their fanatical devotees on social media plus their friends in the mainstream media whose bad reporting is shared on social media as confirmation of allegations.

In the linked post, Snopes eviscerates the credibility of professional media (and some of the professional fake news web sites, especially those on social media) due to the media’s having morphed into a full time propaganda operation. In the future (which could be next week), when the Media screams “Wolf!”, few people will believe them anymore.

Remember, there are many, many issues regarding Trump that can be reported accurately and are quite negative for Trump or his policies. There is plenty to bash by just sticking to facts and policies. But the media, as Snopes documents, has become a giant propaganda messaging operation. Discerning truth from such overwhelming propaganda firepower is difficult.

We worry about allegations of foreign nations interfering in our elections but ignore media actually doing so through lies, distortions and inaccurate reporting.

Leave social media to improve mental health

“I noticed that Twitter, Facebook and other digital forms of communication fed and nurtured my very real anxiety until it consumed me. Whenever I turned to the internet for a distraction, and even a possible sense of reassurance, I was instead sent reeling to the worst corner of my psyche. Only when I consciously stepped away from the screen, did I regain some sense of calm and perspective.”

Source: In these turbulent times, take a break from social media to find comfort | David Sax | Opinion | The Guardian

This is what I noticed too – the world of social media has turned awful.

Once more, as I have said repeatedly, social media acts as an amplifier of the anxiety inducing click bait of mass mainstream media. The MSM’s job is to sell advertisers to eyeballs. Emotional content engages readers and viewers for longer, and while emotionally connected, readers and viewers are also more susceptible to advertising messages.

Public relations staff, governments, politicians, activist groups, marketing organizations, non-profits, main stream news and fake news publishers – all know how the system works. Nearly everything we see or hear, every day, is a piece of propaganda often clothed as a “news report” (only some of which we label “fake news”).

They launch stories into the media. Then the story gets shared on social media where echo chambers amplify the message and share some more.

Then, commenters chime in. Soon, even nonsense turns into a politically correct “fact” that must not be questioned.

Anyone who disagrees or notes errors in logic is quickly branded with numerous nasty terms.

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