Browsed by
Month: April 2017

Past week was great demo of power of propaganda

Past week was great demo of power of propaganda

As everyone now knows, last week Sunday evening, United Airlines forcefully removed a passenger from one of their United Express branded aircraft. The initial official statement from United Airlines was that they reluctantly had to remove a belligerent passenger from an overbooked flight, the passenger’s injuries were because the passenger fell and hurt himself, and the airline had every right to do so. Before the week was over, the CEO of United admitted in a televised interview that the passenger…

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Why the news media covered the United fiasco so badly

Why the news media covered the United fiasco so badly

Because they have all adopted the online, social media based publishing model a.k.a. fake news: Profit-centered coverage means that the media wants you to get emotional about stories. They want things that will get people arguing and get your blood boiling. They didn’t investigate Dr. Dao’s background because it was responsible reporting, they did it because it had the potential of increasing profits on this story. They didn’t skip over the contract issue for days because they were lazy, they…

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Oregon’s Pamplin Media goes full fake news

Oregon’s Pamplin Media goes full fake news

This news report is 100% fake and was created by an advertiser. Pamplin Media does not disclose this is a paid product promotion – one that is also making false claims implying it is against the law to buy third party printer ink cartridges. This is pure propaganda intended to confuse customers into not even considering alternatives. The primary methods it uses are fear (fear of violating the law!), appeal to authority (Epson, industry, the legal system), assertion and straight…

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Weaponized social media may rein in abusive practices

Weaponized social media may rein in abusive practices

The viral video of a ticketed passenger dragged forcefully off a United flight is only the latest example of bad behavior exposed in the age of social media. Source: Smartphones and social media are turning consumers into whistleblowers It has been said we should write every email with the assumption it will be printed on the front page of tomorrow’s newspaper. That concept may be extended – every customer interaction – good or bad – may end up on Youtube…

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Using lies to spin a story

Using lies to spin a story

Lies work because people are absurdly trusting of others and surprisingly trusting of authority figures. We saw this during the past week as both Chicago Aviation Police and United Airlines told lies to defend unlawful actions against a paying customer. Much of the media bought the United story without skepticism, reporting initially that a belligerent passenger refused to get off an overbooked flight and then injured himself as police were forced to remove him from the plane. Except none of…

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How bureaucrats use passive language to escape responsbility

How bureaucrats use passive language to escape responsbility

Long article (link below) explains how corporations and governments torture language to escape culpability. By carefully crafting the message, these organizations use propaganda to intentionally mislead the target audience – and they get away with it because it works and rarely does anyone call them out for their malfeasance and lies. What became clear to me in this exchange is that the passive voice is itself unsuited for the lexical landscape of United’s email, which itself is part of a…

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Government cracks down on fake financial news propaganda

Government cracks down on fake financial news propaganda

Many financial “news” sites publish articles pushing stock investments without revealing the articles were secretly paid for propaganda to pump stock prices. Propaganda and fake news are everywhere! Source: SEC targets fake stock news on financial websites | Reuters

How to Disable Microsoft Windows 10 propaganda

How to Disable Microsoft Windows 10 propaganda

Windows 10 uses the Log In screen to display scenic pictures – sometimes with overlay text explaining the photo, sometimes with ads for XBox or other Microsoft products and services and recently, to display activist propaganda messaging. That latter use of the Windows 10 log in screen crossed a line for many – fortunately, you can disable Microsoft Windows 10 propaganda messaging. It is easy to do: Read how to disable the Windows 10 Log in screen display of advertising…

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How social media services manipulate .

How social media services manipulate .

Social media services use tricks to manipulate your behavior. One of the most powerful is to drive the obsession with getting more “Likes”. 500px is a picture sharing web site that uses tricks to inflate your “Likes” count to encourage paid memberships. The way their system works, new users post a few photos and are amazed at how quickly the seem to get liked and promoted in to their “Upcoming” and “Popular” lists. I realized 500px had turned picture sharing…

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Is this why social media outrage is popular?

Is this why social media outrage is popular?

This blog has noted that many social media enthusiasts enjoy the culture of perpetual outrage that seems so prevalent there (and elsewhere too).  Here, Theodore Dalrymple suggests that outrage some how gives meaning to otherwise boring lives: “Outrage is a substitute for religion: It convinces us that our existence has some kind of meaning or significance beyond itself, that is to say beyond the paltry flux of day-to-day existence, especially when that existence is a securely comfortable one. Therefore we…

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Social media’s outrage culture

Social media’s outrage culture

Social media’s “self-affirming feedback loop” encourages “expectations for a custom-made reality” and indignation about anything “that deviates from our preferences. Source: Our national scourge of misinformation: George Will | OregonLive.com

Social media propaganda news round up

Social media propaganda news round up

Survey of college students find that Instagram is “the most narcissistic platform” that is “all-about-me”. Same survey also found that many people delete their social media posts if they do not receive sufficient “Likes”. Germany plans to fine social media firms if they do not remove flagged “hate speech” and “fake news” within 1 to 7 days, depending on the nature of the content. Because the time line is short and the fines are very large, social media companies are…

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Tried to update the web site to https but ended up a disaster

Tried to update the web site to https but ended up a disaster

I tried to update this web site to https by redirecting the social.coldstreams.com address to coldstreams.com/social so I could use my coldstreams.com security certificate. This mostly broke everything. I think the web site might be working again, sort of. It seems the only solution is going to be to purchase another security certificate for the subdomain, which is not worth my time and money for this.

Using outright lies to inflame the target and spread propaganda

Using outright lies to inflame the target and spread propaganda

TL;DR Summary This photo and caption was widely distributed on Facebook. The assertion at the bottom is an outrageous lie. The individual, Major Terri Gurrola, is a Senior Physician Assistant (PA-C), graduate trained in emergency medicine. She provides health care services to service members, and to community members and local children in Iraq and elsewhere. To accuse a health care practitioner of murder, as done in this social media poster, is libel. This is one of the most disturbing and…

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