It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Help ATS via PayPal:
learn more

Fake News is Not a Problem

page: 1
31
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join
share:
+14 more 
posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 07:11 PM
link   
Much is being made about “fake news” in the news lately. This is especially true of the Washington Post, who has been on a steady "fake news" tirade since the end of the election (I counted 15 different articles on the subject from WaPo before I stopped counting. It seems they are overcompensating).

This has everyone talking. A headline from USA Today reads “Fake news threatens democracy, Obama says”. When the leader of the free world says something like this, it might do us well to listen.

But reading the article, and reading the transcript of the speech it references, one finds that “fake news threatens democracy” is exactly what Obama didn’t say. In a fit of contradiction, yet without the necessary irony, the USA today article is exactly the fake news Obama might have been talking about if he was in fact talking about fake news. And this from one of the highest circulated newspapers in America.

Sure, there is something troubling about the rise in “fake news”; and there is something equally, if not more troubling, about real news agencies passing themselves off as anything but fake news. But fake news isn't the main problem. It is only a symptom of it.

Wading past the misinformation to the same speech misrepresented by USA Today, Obama pointed to an underlying problem of "fake news":


“If we are not serious about facts and what's true and what's not -- and particularly in an age of social media where so many people are getting their information in soundbites and snippets off their phones -- if we can't discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems.”


He is exactly right. Without mentioning or even hinting at fake news as a problem of democracy, he points instead to the readiness to believe the out of context snippets, the soundbites and the headlines, whether from USA Today or SuperMegaTrueNews.com as the real problem. Though their headlines are “fake”, or at any rate, untrue, it isn’t the journo's fault if others believe their assertions without considering the arguments and the evidence. Believing is a property of the believer and not the cheat, the charlatan or the propagandist. The only fault of garbage journalism is the publishing of sensationalist rubbish.

Besides, if we don't take responsibility for the dissemination of information, someone else will. Worse than the media's diagnosis of the problem is their proposed solutions for it—worse than the presence of piffle and nonsense is a war on piffle and nonsense.

There is talk of platforms remedying the problem of fake news. This is a bad idea for two reasons. Not only is corporate curation of information oppressive, but also fallacious. For one, the merit of an argument and the evidence is found in the argument and the evidence, and not in who or where they come from. Even the National Enquirer gets things right. Even a pathological liar can tell the truth and it is up to the reader to decide whether he is or not. Second, the pressure put on Facebook and Google to tackle the problem of “fake news” on their platforms is a slippery slope, and a dangerous one, for it makes them like a corporate version of the Ministry of Truth, the authority on what is or isn’t true news, leaving them open to corruption, and from there, censorship and propaganda. Censors with a built in profit motive will never operate according to principle, but to bottom line. Now that is a threat to democracy.

What’s best for all of us is to follow Obama’s advice: Be serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not. If we take responsibility for what we should and should not believe, there will be no demand for sensationalist news items, and no bogeyman for the media to blame for their inconsistency. So much for the fake news.

Thank you for reading,

LesMis




posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 07:16 PM
link   
I was trying to find the source of the fake new is bad narrative earlier. No luck so far. Google responds. Twitter responds. Facebook responds. Responds to who?



posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 07:20 PM
link   
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Can you please define "fake news", for us?



posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 07:24 PM
link   
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

The actual "fake news" is CNN, ABC, NBC, etc



posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 07:27 PM
link   
How about all those stories on right-wing sites claiming that Obama (and now HIllary) are the antichrist or the devil??

I think Fox is fake news. How many times has Hannity lied to America and gotten away with it? I'm still waiting for Obama to take away all the guns and institute the fairness doctrine like Hannity said he was.



posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 07:28 PM
link   
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I can't be alone in seeing the irony. Those who suddenly have taken up the flag of battling "fake news" have, for the past several months, been the main purveyors of "fake news." Fake polls (or polls biased in their creation and presented as "balanced). Fake narratives (or narratives that perpetuate what "the country" is thinking).

I despise (what at least my perception of) "fake news" is. That being said, no matter how hard I try, I'm only human and at the moment I'm unable to take my eyes off the sources of the rallies against "fake news" at this moment in time... a few days away from an allegedly "shocking" election.

Edit to Add: I don't want you, LesMisanthrope, to think that I believe you to be a purveyor of "fake news" now or in the past.

edit on 21-11-2016 by eluryh22 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 07:38 PM
link   
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

It'd be interesting to see the correlation between different age groups and their ability to differentiate between real and fake "news".

I only say that because some of the older members of my family like and repost every fake news story in existence on their Facebook timelines. To them and a lot of older people, news is news.

It seems only relatively recently with everyone having blogs, and blogs turning into "news" sites that this has been an issue.



posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 07:56 PM
link   
Says the guy who gave us this little delight....


www.businessinsider.com...

The newest version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes an amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on the American public, reports Michael Hastings of BuzzFeed.

The amendment — proposed by Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and passed in the House last Friday afternoon — would effectively nullify the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at influencing U.S. public opinion.



posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 08:26 PM
link   
Yes!!

This was precisely my takeaway from Obama's comments I typed a similar but not as eloquent reply in another thread only to have it disappear into the aether or should I say ether.

Unfortunately as seen in the replies so far the nuance is being lost as posters get hung up on this false "fake news" outrage.


Please people take the time to read and absorb what Les so eloquently explained. Take the time to digest the points and then reply instead o fthese quick knee-jerk comments that are missing the meaning of the OP.
edit on 11/21/2016 by Kukri because: typos



posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 08:36 PM
link   

originally posted by: underwerks
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

It'd be interesting to see the correlation between different age groups and their ability to differentiate between real and fake "news".

I only say that because some of the older members of my family like and repost every fake news story in existence on their Facebook timelines. To them and a lot of older people, news is news.

It seems only relatively recently with everyone having blogs, and blogs turning into "news" sites that this has been an issue.


You've made an interesting observation which can be explained simply by the fact the fourth estate at one time was trusted to tell the unbiased truth (for the most part) and still is by the older generations. Sadly journalism has become yellowed and resembles more of the turn of the 20th century sensationalism designed to grab the readers eye and penny at the news stand.



posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 08:37 PM
link   
There is no such thing as fake news for Republicans.

You are not a Republican unless you think your opinions ARE facts!



posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 08:46 PM
link   

originally posted by: CB328
How about all those stories on right-wing sites claiming that Obama (and now HIllary) are the antichrist or the devil??

I think Fox is fake news. How many times has Hannity lied to America and gotten away with it? I'm still waiting for Obama to take away all the guns and institute the fairness doctrine like Hannity said he was.


It's like the second coming of Jesus. Everyone thinks it's going to happen in their life times. But I bet anyone who thinks that will be long dead and gone before Jesus ever shows up. I'm pretty sure the Rapture happened in 2000 and the people still here are in denial.



posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 08:48 PM
link   
I agree with the OP.
Fake news is not a problem. Unless enough people believe it.

Like Hale Bopp is going to take us to a wonderful new world.
Like Nibiru is going to be here...any day now.
Like...the Maya were right but their calendar was off a little bit.



posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 09:03 PM
link   
"Fake news" is a trendy term and rather misleading and minimizing in my opinion. In fact just using the word "news" in the descriptive is something I find personally problematic.

Let's be honest and call it what it actually is - propaganda. Lies told with the deliberate intention of causing a measurable, often political effect.

In fact I don't think it would be hyperbolic in the least to offer another word to describe it:



As an American I sit here, watching utter madness and highly irrational conclusions being drawn far too often - and wonder if the average, non political person realizes that it's not accidental that things have changed so much - so quickly. After all until 2012 there were laws to prevent this nonsense.

But those laws are gone now. Nobody knows who to trust for information any longer and they're not to blame for that. Our government is.

People are angry. Our nation is a powder keg of discontent and fear - and misinformation and propaganda certainly are dangerous. Just as it was during the French Revolution. Just as it was at the dawn of the 20th Century.

Absolutely the onus for fact checking always falls upon the reader. But in practice, how common is it for the average person to live up to that responsibility? We live in a world of media mass consumption of unprecedented proportions. A society of like and share self publication where facts are rarely checked, the desire to post first is nearly all consuming, conformation biases and echo chambers are more common than discourse and where the average person has come to understand and interact with society in the same manner that they interact with college football - a team based sport.

In such an environment I'd argue that fake news isn't just A problem... It's THE problem.



posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 09:05 PM
link   
a reply to: Hefficide




People are angry. Our nation is a powder keg of discontent and fear - and misinformation and propaganda certainly are dangerous.

Seems a bit of a circular situation. No?



posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 09:07 PM
link   
a reply to: Phage

Absolutely.

Now we are left to decide, as our house burns around us - do we fill our buckets with water or with gasoline?



posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 09:08 PM
link   
a reply to: Hefficide

Halon.



posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 09:09 PM
link   

originally posted by: windword
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Can you please define "fake news", for us?



Fake as in counterfeit, pretend, sham. News as in a broadcast or publishing of recent information.



posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 09:10 PM
link   
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Maybe it's just me, but is anyone else getting sick and damned tired of the patronizing attitudes from the political bastards and the media trying to tell us what to effing believe and think?



posted on Nov, 21 2016 @ 09:12 PM
link   
a reply to: DBCowboy

Going on 250 years. Damn right I am.
I'm not going to take it anymore!



new topics

top topics



 
31
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join