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Month: January 2017

“I’m leaving social media” is becoming popular

“I’m leaving social media” is becoming popular

Seems like this is becoming a movement: many are leaving social media or thinking about it. What happened? Many discovered social media does not make them happy – instead, it often makes them sad, upset or angry. Read the stores that appear at the link. Some blame divisive vitriol of online political activists but its not just them. I saw someone post a polite question on a photography group and then get trashed for asking a “stupid question”. Social media…

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False: President Roosevelt on why the minimum wage must be a living wage

False: President Roosevelt on why the minimum wage must be a living wage

TL;DR Summary A true quote but taken out of context – the quote is  referring to something completely different than a modern day “minimum wage”. As a propaganda message, this has  been widely shared, which makes for successful propaganda, even though the message is untrue. Roosevelt did say this quote, but it was not about the minimum wage but about creating opportunities to become skilled, employable and have the ability to earn good wages. The speech was about the need…

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Accurate quote, but the quote itself is false

Accurate quote, but the quote itself is false

TL;DR Summary Good, simple design, good eye contact, simple message, easily processed. Former President Bill Clinton really did say this in a speech in 2013. The Washington Post, however, says the claim is not true: Three Pinocchios. As a propaganda poster, this uses  the “Appeal to Authority” method. The poster was shared on Facebook. I like the poster design – clean with a simple message. Bertrand Russell noted that facts are either true or false, and their truthfulness is independent…

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How “public relations” uses propaganda

How “public relations” uses propaganda

While much social media propaganda is created by amateurs, much is also created by professionals who have titles like “Public Relations Officer”, “Communications Director”, “Press liaison”, “Spokesperson” and what not. Here is an example of how the MPAA planned to organized a propaganda campaign against Google (because Google searches enabled people to find copyrighted material): “Media: We want to make sure that the media is at the NAAG meeting. We propose working with MPAA (Vans), Comcast, and NewsCorp (Bill Guidera)…

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Fake headlines?

Fake headlines?

For a matter of seconds today, sfgate.com, the online web site for the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, had a headline at the top of the page, highlighted in bright red, as if it was a “breaking news” headline: “27 Trump Brands to Boycott” Moments later, a page refresh on two computers and a tablet showed this headline had vanished. I intended to grab a screen capture but the headline story was gone within seconds.  (I was testing an iPad2 tablet…

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Lengthy list of “fake news” web site URLs

Lengthy list of “fake news” web site URLs

Professor Melissa Zimdars, at Merrimack College in Massachusetts compiled a lengthy and updated list of known “fake news” web sites, including categorizing them in terms of why they are on the list. The linked document is 32 pages long and contains 944 sites! Yet I did a quick review and see that some well known fake news sites and groups are not listed. Listing them all is an impossible task!  

The term “fake news” is “an instrument of propaganda and censorship”

The term “fake news” is “an instrument of propaganda and censorship”

TL;DR Summary This poster appeared on social media. The quote is accurate: “The phrase “Fake News” has exploded in usage since the election, but the term is similar to other malleable political labels such as “terrorism” and “hate speech”; because the phrase lacks any clear definition, it is essentially useless except as an instrument of propaganda and censorship. The most important fact to realize about this new term: Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively…

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President Obama Warns Social Media Is Becoming a Threat to Democracy

President Obama Warns Social Media Is Becoming a Threat to Democracy

Spot on: “…increasingly, we become so secure in our bubbles that we accept only information, whether true or not, that fits our opinions, instead of basing our opinions on the evidence that’s out there.” Source: President Obama Warns Social Media Is Becoming a Threat to Democracy | Vanity Fair That would include subscribing to social media groups, such as on Facebook by Liking or Following their page or group, that focus on political advocacy and fake news, in order to…

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The Fairness Doctrine never applied to cable TV

The Fairness Doctrine never applied to cable TV

TL;DR Summary A long time ago, there was a law known as the Fairness Doctrine that required over the air broadcast stations to give equal time to different perspectives, typically meaning left versus right on political topics. This rule applied only to over the air broadcasters and never applied to cable television “broadcasters” who do not use the over the air spectrum. This propaganda poster asserts that Fox News came about because Reagan vetoed a bill to re-instate the already…

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The purpose of fake news is to sell stuff

The purpose of fake news is to sell stuff

After Trump calls Buzzfeed a “failing pile of garbage” regarding their distribution of a  discredited intelligence report, Buzzfeed responds by selling t-shirts saying “Failing pile of garbage”. Source: BuzzFeed Now Selling Merchandise Emblazoned With Trump Insult – Christine Rousselle The definition of a fake news web site is, basically, selling garbage content for profit.

Tips to avoid spreading fake news

Tips to avoid spreading fake news

Simple rule: Do not post items on social  media that contain links to content you did not create yourself. You might post a link to your photo on Flickr, but only to photos that you created. Or you might link to your own blog, assuming it contains content you created. If you follow this rule, you help prevent the spread of fake news and propaganda. Due to the high volume of noise on social media, it is difficult to determine…

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Facebook announces “The Facebook Journalism Project”

Facebook announces “The Facebook Journalism Project”

Facebook aims to “give people information so they can make smart choices about the news they read”. Their intent is to promote “news literacy” to “help people … make decisions about what sources to trust.”  (Source: Introducing: The Facebook Journalism Project | Facebook Media) Facebook hopes their initiative will help to “reduce the spread of news hoaxes” by educating news consumers, provide ways to report fake news and to “disrupt the financial incentives for spammers”. The latter, if successful, would…

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Philippines president uses a “social media army” for propaganda

Philippines president uses a “social media army” for propaganda

President Rodrigo Duterte…. allegedly deployed a sort of “social media army” to not only push out pro-Duterte propaganda but to keep his critics in check. Source: The Filipino president has deployed a ‘social media army’ to push his agenda | Public Radio International And it works well, in part, because for financial reasons, everyone reads only the inflammatory headlines and never clicks through to read the story behind the headline. Why? Because most have free Facebook on their mobile phones…

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Companies automatically evaluate your social media posts when you call customer service

Companies automatically evaluate your social media posts when you call customer service

Companies are data mining your social media posts and attributes when you contact their customer support services. In a matter of seconds, before you are connected to support staff, the systems evaluate who you are based on your caller ID – and your public social media posts. This information is then used in how they provide support services to you. Source: How Companies Use Your Social Media Data When Taking Your Call This is not quite the propaganda focus of…

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