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Recognizing Disinformation in the Media - do you have any tips?

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posted on Jun, 25 2005 @ 05:07 PM
Considering the growing use of disinformation in the media to shape public opinion, both here in the US and overseas, we might want to brush up our skills in recognizing disinformation for what it is.

I read this interesting article that states:

To conclude: Remember the following first rule of disinformation analysis: truth is specific, lie is vague. Always look for palpable details in reporting and if the picture is not in focus, there must be reasons for it.

The full article is here:

After reading this article, I realized that I truly don't have the skills to routinely recognize disinformation in the press. So, I thought other conspiracy minded folks might have some examples of disinformation they've recognized, along with tips on how to spot the stuff.

Does anyone have any examples or commentaries they could share to help build our collective skills at recognizing disinformation?

After all, disinformation only works if someone actually believes it.

posted on Jun, 26 2005 @ 07:29 AM
I just usually take what they say and do just the reverse and it seems to work pretty good for me. They will tell you any and everything you want to hear especially those who are inside the Beltway. If they say it is raining, I won't bring an umbrella and go outside an take a look on my own. Now if the tell you we do not or will not be able to have rights as property owners that may be true. Just be cautious because the are a waascally bunch with only their own well being in mind. Never approach one who has his or her hands in another persons pocket because you will be next in line.

posted on Jun, 26 2005 @ 08:09 AM
I always watch for these 'Institute of.....Studies etc' guys who turn up on news shows. An institute can be 200 + years old with many members etc or 3 guys with an agenda and a govt cheque. Their opinions should always be qualified by detailing their background / funding. During Kosovo we had these guys using the news to threaten milosovic with their 'opinions'.

A news comentator here said he always asks himself 'Why is this person telling me this?' - works for me!

But all in all I think it's hard to spot - certainly at the time. They've had over 60 years to perfect their technique.

posted on Jun, 26 2005 @ 09:59 AM

Originally posted by FLYIN HIGH
I just usually take what they say and do just the reverse and it seems to work pretty good for me.

Sadly this can be good advice. The best way to combat disinfo wherever you see it, is to familarize yourselves with as many sources of info. as you can. Kind of like knowing the scriptures in the bible to ward off charletans.

This is a subject I would love to delve into right now, but I don't have time. Hopefully this thread will be alive and kicking when I return and I can offer my input.

posted on Jun, 26 2005 @ 10:08 AM
Don't recognize without finding and hearing from the source and finding a second or third individual source who was there or has done the same as suggested above and has non-gov-biased views and is credible.

In other words, never believe anything your told unless you were there personally to hear it or see it yourself.

Doubt all and believe nothing from Books, Speeches, Straight News articles on TV or any media.

It will, if followed, drive you from your sanity in no time.

When the Gov controls the media, that's when NWO really begins making its move in moving towards world dominance.

edit-typo corrections

[edit on 26-6-2005 by Dallas]

posted on Jun, 26 2005 @ 10:21 AM
Always remember the five W's: Who, What, When, Why, Where, and possibly How.

For example, in a Washington Times article, mentioning French aid to Iraq, it said "France has sold over 100,000 tons of weapons materiale to Iraq."

Gee, that's great - 100,000 tons. France must love Saddam. But - it keeps out the when factor. So, in the 80s France sold 100,000 tons to Saddam.

Also, as mentioned, take info from a variety of news sources.

Paid disinformation agents do exist, and come in all forms - faux protestors, officials from universities, even conspiracy book writers who exert less-than-credible conspiracy theories so that the government can more easily dismiss all conspiracy by using their crappy books as examples.

posted on Jun, 26 2005 @ 11:21 AM

Paid disinformation agents do exist, and come in all forms - faux protestors, officials from universities, even conspiracy book writers who exert less-than-credible conspiracy theories so that the government can more easily dismiss all conspiracy by using their crappy books as examples.

That kinda leads me to the next question, which is how do you recognize the agenda behind the disinformation? It would seem to me that might be as important as recognizing the disinformation itself. Often, if you know what they're about, you can oppose them if what they're doing is not in the best interests of the country.

There was a time when I belived the government would always do what's in the best interests of the country. However, I've seen too much corruption since then. Now I want to understand what they're doing and why so I can decide for myself if what they're doing is in the best interests of the country.

The question is - how?

posted on Jun, 27 2005 @ 10:04 PM
For me I don't specificly try to recognize the dis-information in the media. I just try to take any opinion I've adopted on a subject and back it up with multiple sources and facts, if I find that I was mis-lead then I have no problem re-evaluating my opinion. To me that is the key, be willing to change your mind when new information becomes available. I basicaly say to myself " ok, this seems right, however I'm gonna see if I can back it up and if it's wrong I'll change my opinion".

If you try to see thru all the dis-info out there you'll go nuts, theres too much by too many people. It's not just governments, it's all types of people with thier own agendas to push. I really feel a healthy skepticism of the information we take in is great but you can't go overboard and shut yourself in a room. Taking the time to check things for yourself and be willing to change your mind, that's the best way to deal with the dis-info in my opinion.

posted on Jun, 28 2005 @ 08:36 AM
I don't think you always CAN determine the agenda behind dis-info. Often one can make an educated guess, but you don't really know most of the time. Also, I think jsut as often as dis-info going on is misdirection. The whole "Look at what heinous thing (choose a celebrity) is doing" while Congress sticks it to us alll.

For me, a good place to start was to look at WHO was giving me the info- the whole media oligarchy thing. And what are they really trying to sell me, b/c they are ALWAYS trying to sell something.

Who Owns What

posted on Jun, 28 2005 @ 10:48 AM
One thing that would help is to examine the stories from the critical standpoint. Get familiar with all the common logical fallacies. The media, politicians, commercials and the like use them from time to time [commercials use them almost all the time]. That works well for me anyway. It won't give you an ironclad way of weeding out disinformation but it certainly helps.

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 10:10 AM
^^ ++

Another good tip is to use multiple sources, from multiple viewpoints. If you see something on CNN, check Fox, or ABC. If you can read languages other than english, look at a non-US source, or multiple sources. For example, when I want a good view of what's going on in the Middle East I check through US, UK, French, Belgian, Brazilian and Portuguese news sites.

Also, understand that there is no perfectly objective source of news. While good journalists will try to remove any overt biases from their reports, they will still sort and arrange the information according to their own criteria. This isn't anything sinister, they're trying to present relavant information and to discard unnecessary information. Understanding the biases of your sources, whether they're culturally-biased (US vs French news reports) or simply the biases of the news organization (NBC vs Fox News).

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 10:18 AM
Simple - Disbelieve absolutely EVERYTHING you are told.

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 10:30 PM
Everytime you see a NEWS story, ask how did it get on the news. Most likely, it came from (a) corporate press release (b) think tank (c) government source. If it came from a corporate press release, you can research what that corporation does, and how they plan to benefit from the press release. For a think tank, examine how it benefits their agenda. Do the same with government sources. Furthermore, for government sources, look at which agency it would help get more money, and which agency it would make look good, and which agencies it would make look bad.

Next, ask is the origin of the story in a position to know whether it is true. If they are, ask do they have any good reason to be truthful. What might they be trying to hide? By doing so, you might be able to surmise the agendas of these various agencies. Now, you can surmise what they are doing by knowing their agenda. Assume they fulfill their agenda to best of their ability, unless blocked by obstacles.

Mostly, ignore supposed rivalries, and other ad hominem nonesense. Ignore all supposed moral issues. For instance, if it is about abortion, you ask which politicians benefit from more abortion stories?, and Why would religious organizations want their followers to have more children?. Institutions, corporations, and politicians have no morals; Only agendas. Keep track of the money.

Also, watch who is advertising. The more anyone advertises, the more crooked they probably are. If they say good things about anyone or anything on TV, look into it carefully. They're is probably is something wrong with it. If they denounce anyone or anything vehemently, look at who or what it is threatening.

posted on Jul, 1 2005 @ 03:01 AM
My first and foremost technique for this is to find multiple independent sources and compare what they are saying. Also apply other knowledge you have to what you are hearing. If the media is saying something that doesn't make sense, be suspicious of it. Think about what they are saying, and compare it to what you already know. Also look at how certain the media seems to be. Sometimes they may state something as hard fact; sometimes they might just mention an opinion, or give the best information they have, or even an outright guess.

The other posts before mine say anything else I would have said, plus more.

posted on Jul, 1 2005 @ 03:33 AM
I check many sources but the one news channel I make sure I watch is Free Speech tv, dish satellite channel 9415, direct tv channel 375 it is totally funded by the viewers not one dime comes from the government and no corporate sponsors or commercials. They have a news program you can access at and watch online at
Live streaming begins at 8 AM EST
Real Video: 56k and broadband
Ogg Vorbis audio (what's this?): dialup modem | broadband DSL/cable
streaming mp3: dialup modem | broadband DSL/cable
Need help playing the media? Click here

Headlines for June 30, 2005

- Bush Orders FBI Changes; ACLU Warns of "Secret Police Force"
- Iraqi Knight Ridder Reporter Killed in Iraq
- 17 U.S. Troops Feared Dead In Afghanistan
- UN: Secret U.S. Prisons Must Be Investigated
- Gaza Settlers Clash w/ Israeli Military Over Pull-Out
- Rumsfeld Urged to Launch Do Not Call List Over Recruiting
- Spain Oks Same Sex Marriage
- Congo Marks 45 Years of Independence

posted on Jul, 1 2005 @ 09:50 AM

Originally posted by KhieuSamphan
Simple - Disbelieve absolutely EVERYTHING you are told.

Kind of off topic, but considering my signature it's really ironic that yours is the post immediately below mine

posted on Jul, 1 2005 @ 02:14 PM
If you want to spot disinformation, examine what is being said on your own terms. Ask questions about the subject. Try to find stuff that just dosen't add up or make sense based on what you know. Compare it to similar events or subjects from the past. Look at the subject from all perspectives, trying to figure out any flaws in any of them. This is the best method of figuring out that the information provided on a subject by the media is valid and not manipulated.

To spot disinformation take notes from any Coast to Coast AM show that Art Bell is hosting. Art Bell Gov't Black Ops Payroll?

posted on Jul, 1 2005 @ 02:30 PM
Wonderful example of this on CNN lately...

First, the claim of the Iranian president elect being one of the hostage the claim of the VP being the spokeswoman of them....

posted on Jul, 1 2005 @ 05:44 PM
I agree with Crontabs assessment, look for the reasons why this story is news in the first place. Divide and rule is a grand time honored strategy of politics to use a socially divisive issue such as abortion, prostitution reform, or gay rights to mask other activity which they wish to divert attention from, which we see the Bush administration use when support for military action and attacks on civil liberties wanes.

Organisations such as Fox also have their own clear political agenda, exemplified by the constant haranging of the trade unions movements of the world, in order to force down wages and conditions of workers and hence increase profitability for both themselves and the large corporations who advertise heavily in the Murdoch media.

There are a number of Authorities on disinformation in the media who have done extensive research, notably Noame Chomsky in the US and John Pilger in both Britain and Australia.

A great deal of "News" is not really news at all, but simply an editorial of an issue that has been around since Adam was in short pants, designed to sell copy and hence advertising space.

Remember that it is the job of the media to earn money for their shareholders, not tell it like it is...

posted on Jul, 1 2005 @ 05:59 PM

Originally posted by AWingAndASigh
Does anyone have any examples or commentaries they could share to help build our collective skills at recognizing disinformation?

Diversify your sources.

Keep an open mind.

Learn who is who and what is what.

Learn to identify rhetoric.

Cross reference.

Sorry I'm getting into this late...

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