Showing posts with label lies ans lying. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lies ans lying. Show all posts

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Credlin admits there was no carbon tax under the Gillard Government

Friday, 3 February 2017

"A lie, is a lie, is a lie!"

America’s dilemma writ large on Facebook, 22 January 2017 :
Dan Rather 14 hrs

These are not normal times. These are extraordinary times. And extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.
When you have a spokesperson for the president of the United States wrap up a lie in the Orwellian phrase "alternative facts”…
When you have a press secretary in his first appearance before the White House reporters threaten, bully, lie, and then walk out of the briefing room without the cajones to answer a single question…
When you have a President stand before the stars of the fallen CIA agents and boast about the size of his crowds (lies) and how great his authoritarian inaugural speech was….
These are not normal times.
The press has never seen anything like this before. The public has never seen anything like this before. And the political leaders of both parties have never seen anything like this before.
What can we do? We can all step up and say simply and without equivocation. "A lie, is a lie, is a lie!" And if someone won't say it, those of us who know that there is such a thing as the truth must do whatever is in our power to diminish the liar's malignant reach into our society.
There is one group of people who can do a lot - very quickly. And that is Republicans in Congress. Without their support, Donald Trump's presidency will falter. So here is what I think everyone in the press must do. If you are interviewing a Paul Ryan, a Mitch McConnell, or any other GOP elected official, the first question must be "what will you do to combat the lying from the White House?" If they dodge and weave, keep with the follow ups. And if they refuse to give a satisfactory answer, end the interview.
Facts and the truth are not partisan. They are the bedrock of our democracy. And you are either with them, with us, with our Constitution, our history, and the future of our nation, or you are against it. Everyone must answer that question.

Definitions of some of the terms used in the media to describe Donald J. Trump and/or his words and actions 

lie - a false statement made with intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood; something intended or serving to convey a false impression

dishonest - not honest; disposed to lie cheat or steal; proceeding from or exhibiting a lack of honesty; fraudulent

fraudulent - given to or using fraud, as a person; cheating; dishonest

misleading - to lead or guide wrongly; lead astray; to lead into error of conduct, thought, or judgement

[Paul Hamlyn Publishing Group, 1971, Encyclopedic World Dictionary, editors Hanks, P & Potter S]

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

America is leaderless in 2017

Donald John Trump was not hiding his light under a bushel until after the presidential inauguration.

When during the Republican Party preselection process and then the long national presidential election campaign Trump kept telling the world how smart he was I’m sure there were those who secretly hoped this was so and, that the content of his stump speeches, his social media rants and very limited vocabulary were in combination simply a ploy aimed at the lowest denominator on the voter spectrum.

Unfortunately for those sanguine souls President Trump’s inauguration speech on 20 January 2017, his address to the Central Intelligence Agency the next day, as well as his inflating of swearing-in ceremony crowd size before sending his press secretary out to lie on his behalf, will have dashed theses hopes.

Donald Trump remains exactly as he always presented himself and now America has a predatory oaf as its 45th president.

One so intellectually lightweight, wilfully ignorant, boastful, bigoted, paranoid, vengeful, erratic and work-shy, that effectively the United States of America is a nation which is leaderless as it goes forward.

Who will fill the vacuum is anyone’s guess.

Will it be his immediate family framing policy and making decisions for him to strut before the cameras? Will it be his newly installed far-right captain’s picks in the White House administration running the country in spite of Trump’s inadequacies? Or will it be a combination of family members, captain's picks and Congress racing around putting out political fires as Trump uncontrollably rampages across the economic and social landscape?

The future is unknowable until it becomes the present and by then it may be too late for America.

* Netflix image found on Twitter

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

On the problem of fake news....

Digital Trends, 6 December 2016:

It’s been half a decade since the co-founder of Avaaz, Eli Pariser, first coined the phrase “filter bubble,” but his prophetic TED Talk — and his concerns and warnings — are even more applicable now than they were then. In an era of fake news, curated content, personalized experiences, and deep ideological divisions, it’s time we all take responsibility for bursting our own filter bubbles.

When I search for something on Google, the results I see are quite different from yours, based on our individual search histories and whatever other data Google has collected over the years. We see this all the time on our Facebook timelines, as the social network uses its vats of data to offer us what it thinks we want to see and hear. This is your bubble…..

Filter bubbles may not seem too threatening a prospect, but they can lead to two distinct but connected issues. The first is that when you only see things you agree with, it can lead to a snowballing confirmation bias that builds up steadily over time.

They don’t overtly take a stance, they invisibly paint the digital landscape with things that are likely to align with your point of view.

A wider problem is that with such difference sources of information between people, it can lead to the generation of a real disconnect, as they become unable to understand how anyone could think differently from themselves.

A look at any of the left- or right-leaning mainstream TV stations during the buildup to the recent election would have left you in no doubt over which candidate they backed. The same can be said of newspapers and other media. In fact, this is true of many published endorsements.

But we’re all aware of that bias. It’s easy to simply switch off or switch over to another station, to see the other side of the coin.

Online, the bias is more covert. Google searches, social network feeds, and even some news publications all curate what they show you. Worse, it’s all behind the scenes. They don’t overtly take a stance, they invisibly paint the digital landscape with things that are likely to align with your point of view…..

This becomes even more of a problem when you factor in faux news. This latest election was one of the most contentious in history, with low-approval candidates on both sides and salacious headlines thrown out by every source imaginable. With so much mud being slung, it was hard to keep track of what was going on, and that was doubly so online, where fake news was abundant.

This is something that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has tried to play down, claiming that it only accounted for 1 percent of the overall Facebook news. Considering Facebook has near 2 billion users, though, that’s potentially a lot of faux stories parroted as the truth. It’s proved enough of an issue that studies suggest many people have difficulty telling fake news from real news, and in the weeks since the election, both Google and Facebook have made pledges to deal with the problem.

Also consider that 61 percent of millennials use Facebook as their main source of news, and you can see how this issue could be set to worsen if it’s not stoppered soon…..

While Zuckerberg may not think fake news and memes made a difference to the election, Facebook employee and Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey certainly did. He was outed earlier this year for investing more than $100,000 in a company that helped promote Donald Trump online through the proliferation of memes and inflammatory attack advertisements. He wouldn’t have put in the effort if he thought it worthless.

Buzzfeed’s analysis of the popular shared stories on Facebook shows that while fake news underperformed compared to its real counterparts in early 2016, by the time the Election Day rolled around at the start of November, it had a 1.5 million engagement lead over true stories.

That same analysis piece highlighted some of the biggest fake election stories, and all of them contained classic click-baiting tactics. They used scandalous wording, capitalization, and sensationalist claims to draw in the clickers, sharers, and commenters.

That’s because these sorts of words help to draw an emotional reaction from us. Marketing firm Co-Schedule discovered this back in 2014, but it’s likely something that many people would agree with even without the hard numbers. We’ve all been tempted by clickbait headlines before, and they’re usually ones that appeal to fear, anger, arousal, or some other part of us that isn’t related to critical thinking and political analysis. Everyone’s slinging mud from within their own filter bubbles, secure in the knowledge that they are right, and that everyone who thinks differently is an idiot.

And therein lies the difficulty. The only way to really understand why someone may hold a different viewpoint is through empathy. But how can you empathize when you don’t have control over how the world appears to you, and your filter serves as a buffer to stories that might help you connect with the other side?

Reaching out to us from the past, Pariser  has some thoughts for those of us now living through his warning of the future. Even if Facebook may be stripping all humanity from its news curation, there are still human minds and fingertips behind the algorithms that feed us content. He called on those programmers to instill a sense of journalistic integrity in the AI behind the scenes.

“We need the gatekeepers [of information] to encode [journalistic] responsibility into the code that they’re writing. […] We need to make sure that these algorithms have encoded in them a sense of the public life, a sense of civic responsibility. They need to be transparent enough that we can see what the rules are and […] we need [to be] given some control.”

That sort of suggestion seems particularly pertinent, since it was only at the end of August that Facebook laid off its entire editorial team, relying instead on automated algorithms to curate content. They didn’t do a great job, though, as weeks later they were found to have let a bevy of faux content through the screening process.

While it may seem like a tall order for megacorporations to push for such an open platform, so much of a stink has been raised about fake news in the wake of the election that it does seem like Facebook and Google at least will be doing something to target that problematic aspect of social networking. They can do more, though, and it could start with helping to raise awareness of the differences in the content we’re shown…..

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Is it time to abandon Facebook?

We’ve all heard about “fake news” and how it now pervades our daily life.

What we are not always aware of is how social media sites like Facebook aggregate the news to focus on what our browsing history tells it we may like and, how it indiscriminately serves up these fake sites as genuine news in the feeds it presents online.

Fake news sites are not satire or comedy - they have been deliberately created to sway public opinion and voted intention.

As The Sydney Morning Herald reported on 2 December  2016:

Here's the thing: Facebook is using an algorithm to provide you "news" that it thinks you want to see. So, if Facebook has identified you as someone who supports Trump, it will pump in things like this deceptively-edited clip that you will, almost certainly, take as gospel truth. You likely won't dig deeper into the story to make sure that the clip is legit; it affirms your view that Obama and Democrats are bad and are encouraging illegal behaviour and, therefore, requires no checking.  It's literally too good to check.

This creates a dangerous echo chamber during periods of social or political unrest and even during run-of-the-mill election campaigns.

The mainstream media – now bereft of the financial and journalistic manpower resources in had in former times to explore or fully investigate issues often becomes part of that echo chamber.

Thus we find the likes of Anthony John Abbott and Donald John Trump (who were either enthusiastically promoted in the media or not critically evaluated sufficiently) elected to the most powerful positions in their respective countries.

I have to honestly say that in my opinion Facebook since its inception has been the worst offender when it comes to promoting extreme right-wing or downright fascist politicians, falsely labelled lobby groups and fake news sites.

To date Facebook’s alleged response to public criticism of its news algorithm has been less than effective.

I suggest that Australian readers of online news who wish to keep abreast of genuine domestic and international news reports avoid Facebook until Mark Zuckerberg demonstrates he is serious about delivering legitimate news on his social media platform.