Tag Archives: occupydemocrats

In spite of the propaganda spin, it really does take 60 votes, not 51, to approve the Federal budget

Online, social media-based, for profit, fake news publisher Occupy Democrats sent out another false meme for viral distribution on social media. This item was shared into my Facebook news feed.

The Republicans have a 52 seat majority in the Senate, with one absent for medical treatment, giving them a 51 seat majority.
The problem with this propaganda is that due to Senate rules and how the political parties work in real life, it takes 60 votes, not 51.
CSPAN understood this with this graphic after the vote to continue funding the government failed on January 19, 2018 – note the reference to “60 votes needed to limit debate”.

CNN explained this in a news report just prior to the vote:

“Sixty votes were needed to advance the bill. Republicans only control 51 seats, so GOP leaders needed Democratic votes to cross that threshold. As of 11 p.m. ET, the vote was still technically ongoing but enough senators had voted against the plan to prevent it from advancing. “

CNBC noted that it takes 60 votes to pass.
The day after, the Associated Press described the situation with this headline:

Which is the opposite of the propaganda poster, above.
In 2012, Obama’s Chief of Staff said that it took 60 votes. Politifact took issue with the exact wording Obama’s Chief of Staff used and said a budget resolution can technically pass with 51 votes, but agreed that in reality, it takes 60 votes to move past the resolution phase.
Because of wide spread propaganda from fake news sites, social media on Twitter and Facebook are filled with posts saying 51 votes or 60 votes are sufficient, depending on the partisan bias of the poster. The battle crossed onto social media where it basically slid down hill from there.

The least and most trusted news sources in the United States

Which ones are the most widely shared on social media? (Story doesn’t answer that question)

Something you can do for fun – visit any of these organizations’ Facebook pages and FB will tell you which of your friends “like” that page. Kinda scary to see which friends like pages that are among the least trusted sources of news.

Source: These are the most — and the least — trusted news sources in the U.S. – MarketWatch

The survey was conducted by the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri.

Twitter launches tweet censorship program

Today, some tweets appearing on Twitter are accompanied by the following warning:

I did a search on Twitter for #DrudgeReport and found several (but not all) tweets mentioning #DrudgeReport had this warning. Drudge Report is a right leaning news aggregator that specializes, typically, in using inflammatory headlines to hook readers.

A search for #DrudgeReport using the “Latest” option presents this:

That is weird – it appears Twitter is fully censoring searches for items related to Drudge Report.

A search for #InfoWars for tweets related to the InfoWars conspiracy theorist displays tweets, without warnings.

A search for proven fake news service #OccupyDemocrats displays a long list of tweets, without warnings.

The algorithm used by Twitter is not clear to the user –  all we can tell at this point is that Twitter has censored Drudge Report.

Twitter, of course, like Facebook, is an unreliable source for any sort of information. Yet Twitter does not display a warning on itself, nor does it display a warning regarding links to Facebook.

Social media, as this blog has extensively documented, is a frictionless platform for the spread of propaganda. This blog, at times, intentionally searches for propaganda on social media to better understand how it works. By establishing a censorship program, Twitter blocks research into the use of their platform for propaganda messaging. Twitter is therefore no longer an information conduit but a publisher that uses censorship to control messaging.  In the blink of an eye, Twitter is itself an official propaganda publisher.

Rather than allow users to think for themselves, Twitter now does the thinking for you and is choosing what you are readily able to see or not see. Do you want to outsource your thinking to an unreliable social media propaganda platform?

The first story is the one that is remembered, even if wrong

TL;DR Summary

  • A media outlet ran a story with the headline “”Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point Scholarship“, based in part on muddled comments from Ben Carson that were not clear.
  • The false version of the story was picked up by media and spread rapidly on social media.
  • The story was eventually shown as incorrect and prominent media called the story a “lie”.
  • But the damage was done. Propagandists know that the first message received by the target, even if later found to be false, is the message mostly likely to stick with the target. This is why elegant lies are effective in persuading others. (Update: There are contemporary examples from the Trump administration saying things that are not true. I wrote this post, originally, in late 2015 but did not publish until January 2017.)
  • This post is not about Ben Carson but is about a propaganda method that is illustrated well by this story involving Ben Carson and Politico. Even though the initial headline and story were not correct, this is the “message” that will live on in the minds of the targets.

Kyle Cheney at Politico.com wrote a story titled “Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point Scholarship“. After spreading online, both CNN and Washington Post  noted this headline was not true; Politico later revised the article and rewrote the headline.

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