Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Heard it from a friend who...

by Tom Sullivan

Mike Lux put up a lengthy breakdown of just what did last week for Democrats. Digby chewed on some of it yesterday, but recent events have me thinking about another section:

We are in for four years of a president who likely will be worse than Nixon in terms of domestic surveillance and dirty tricks against opponents. Trump and his AG will not care one whit about the rule of law, so we are likely in for wiretapping, electronic surveillance, targeting political opponents with rumors and innuendo, and maybe worse.
As for targeting political opponents with rumors and innuendo, we don't need a Trump administration to do this. We do it to ourselves by spreading fake news:
Mark Zuckerberg says the notion that fake news influenced the U.S. presidential election is "a pretty crazy idea."

The Facebook CEO is finding himself in a unique position in this election cycle. Many news organizations have come under fire for their coverage of the campaign. Now Facebook is getting it too, as a modern media company that does not vet fake news from its News Feed and that, critics argue, allows users to stay in information bubbles that reinforce existing prejudices.
Ya think? If it reinforced what they already believed, friends on the left cheerfully "Shared" this stuff as eagerly as your right-wing uncle "passed it on" to his email list a decade ago. One of my Facebook friends just declared he would unfriend anyone trafficking in this garbage. Mark Zuckerberg says he's working on weeding it out, claiming 99 percent of his news feed is authentic, but:
Earlier on Monday Facebook denied claims that a tool to whittle out fake news had been created before the election, only to be shelved due to concerns it would make Facebook look like it was censoring conservative views.
Weeding out propaganda is bad for business. Zuckerberg wrote:
“This is an area where I believe we must proceed very carefully though. Identifying the ‘truth’ is complicated. While some hoaxes can be completely debunked, a greater amount of content, including from mainstream sources, often gets the basic idea right but some details wrong or omitted. An even greater volume of stories express an opinion that many will disagree with and flag as incorrect even when factual. I am confident we can find ways for our community to tell us what content is most meaningful, but I believe we must be extremely cautious about becoming arbiters of truth ourselves.”
A site called TechCrunch observes:
Zuckerberg’s comment draws a false equivalency between “mainstream sources” of news (including TechCrunch) and political groups masquerading as news brands.

The Denver Guardian was one site that posed as a news publisher to bombarded readers with content full of misinformation meant to sway their opinions about candidates and issues on the ballot. And another group, based in Macedonia, had been posting fake news to Facebook’s News Feed simply to make money.

Fake news circulated virtually everywhere online, and on Facebook, at a time when voters needed facts to inform their decisions, unfortunately.

There is a possibility that Facebook may not even want to become “arbiters of truth,” because doing so could reduce engagement.

As a former Facebook designer named Bobby Goodlatte wrote on November 8th on his own Facebook wall, “Sadly, News Feed optimizes for engagement. As we’ve learned in this election, bullshit is highly engaging.
I bring this up because of a highly engaging story I saw on Facebook last night (although not from a "news" site). It was another nasty, post-election story of a black woman being harassed by two Trumpist white guys in a local grocery store. We're hearing lots of these. It was posted by a friend who said she got it from a friend. A commenter said she'd heard the sams story from an Uber passenger who "knew this woman." Did she really? It certainly reinforces an anti-Trump narrative, but is the story true or not? It matters. Given what's been documented so far, it may well be. But it has the hallmarks of an urban legend. It recalls a post I wrote criticizing e-propaganda back in May:
In the misty past before the dawn of the internet (1980?), I was visiting the home of a friend who told me with some alarm that I should never buy any more products from the Procter & Gamble company of Cincinnati, Ohio. Its president, she said, was on the Phil Donahue Show and said the company gave money to the Church of Satan. As proof she told me, you could look on their packaging and see a small crescent moon and stars symbol, a "satanic symbol."

"When did you see this?" I asked.

Oh, well, she had not seen it. A friend had told her about it. Except, of course, her friend had not seen it either, because it never happened. But because the news came from a friend and confirmed her darkest fears about how the world worked, she never questioned it.
This is going to be a real problem in a Trumpland whipped up by "Denver Guardians" and Macedonians. Especially with "the Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party movement" whispering in Donald Trump's ear and the left primed to believe the worst without questioning sources. If you care about the truth, be careful what you pass around unless you know from whence it came.