61 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2019
  2. Dec 2018
    1. Peter Jukes on problems with BBC news.

      The BBC has a duty to 'inform' but absolutely no obligation to reflect widespread but evidence-free opinions about  MMR vaccines, global warming, fake moon landings, 911 inside jobs, or Obama's birth certificate. The natural and logical corollary to this duty to inform is an obligation to fight misinformation. 

      And what bigger story could there be this year - where is the duty to inform is most pressing - than the subversion of democracy by overspending, illegal coordination and potential foreign funding of the most important constitutional vote in our lifetimes?

      . . .

      This constant political pressure makes the corporation risk-averse, and probably even more so with a subject like Brexit which begs big questions about the future of the country and its national security.  Because of its hierarchical structure and special funding, there is a constant danger that senior BBC execs see their political masters as their most important customers rather than the license-fee paying public. 

    1. A detailed report on Russia's disinformation campaign based on the data released by Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

  3. Oct 2018
    1. Federal prosecutors on Friday alleged that a Russian woman is the chief accountant of Project Lakhta, a sprawling Kremlin campaign to influence politics in the U.S. and European Union. It’s an operation that the FBI, in a criminal complaint, says is ongoing.

      The complaint accuses the woman, Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, of keeping detailed records of payouts to a social-media campaign of which the St. Petersberg-based troll farm, the Internet Research Agency, is just one component. Its chief financing, the FBI complaint continues, comes from Concord Management and Consulting, run by the oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhin, sometimes called “Putin’s Chef.”

  4. Sep 2018
    1. Simply put, the modern economy is evolving beyond the constraints of traditional work models. As a society, we are demanding the freedom of flexible work environments. Collectively, we are breaking barriers and smashing limitations, especially when it comes to making a living. The time is ripe for us to champion our own destiny by harnessing the power of the gig economy to spur lasting social change.

      This is all very "uplifting," but this entire paragraph is devoid of meaning. When is it NOT the time to "champion our own destiny?" What does it even mean to "harness the power of the gig economy to spur lasting social change?" What sort of change? People can't afford to live in Silicon Valley. The ethos of the tech companies show that they don't care about the communities of which they are a part.

  5. Aug 2018
  6. Jul 2018
    1. Gatov, who is the former head of Russia's state newswire's media analytics laboratory, told BuzzFeed the documents were part of long-term Kremlin plans to swamp the internet with comments. "Armies of bots were ready to participate in media wars, and the question was only how to think their work through," he said. "Someone sold the thought that Western media, which specifically have to align their interests with their audience, won't be able to ignore saturated pro-Russian campaigns and will have to change the tone of their Russia coverage to placate their angry readers."
    2. According to the documents, which are attached to several hundred emails sent to the project's leader, Igor Osadchy, the effort was launched in April and is led by a firm called the Internet Research Agency. It's based in a Saint Petersburg suburb, and the documents say it employs hundreds of people across Russia who promote Putin in comments on Russian blogs.
    3. The documents show instructions provided to the commenters that detail the workload expected of them. On an average working day, the Russians are to post on news articles 50 times. Each blogger is to maintain six Facebook accounts publishing at least three posts a day and discussing the news in groups at least twice a day. By the end of the first month, they are expected to have won 500 subscribers and get at least five posts on each item a day. On Twitter, the bloggers are expected to manage 10 accounts with up to 2,000 followers and tweet 50 times a day.
    1. I saw Eliot Higgins present in Paris in early January, and he listed four ‘Ps’ which helped explain the different motivations. I’ve been thinking about these a great deal and using Eliot’s original list have identified four additional motivations for the creation of this type of content: Poor Journalism, Parody, to Provoke or ‘Punk’, Passion, Partisanship, Profit, Political Influence or Power, and Propaganda.This is a work in progress but once you start breaking these categories down and mapping them against one another you begin to see distinct patterns in terms of the types of content created for specific purposes.
    2. Back in November, I wrote about the different types of problematic information I saw circulate during the US election. Since then, I’ve been trying to refine a typology (and thank you to Global Voices for helping me to develop my definitions even further). I would argue there are seven distinct types of problematic content that sit within our information ecosystem. They sit on a scale, one that loosely measures the intent to deceive.
  7. Jun 2018
    1. Reporting, and therefore repeating, Trump’s tweets just gives him more power. There is an alternative. Report the true frames that he is trying to pre-empt. Report the truth that he is trying to divert attention from. Put the blame where it belongs. Bust the trial balloon. Report what the strategies are trying to hide.

  8. Apr 2018
    1. Louis C.K.’s message is clear — white men have nothing to complain about.

      Not only Renee Graham is factually incorrect, she does not understand comedy. What a sad person.

  9. Mar 2018
    1. Mark Galeotti says he regrets coining the term "Gerasimov Doctrine" for Russia's supposed strategy of hybrid warfare. Gerasimov's speech was actually about how the Kremlin perceives US actions in the Middle East and Europe.

      "There is no denying that the West is facing a multivectored, multi-agency campaign of subversion, division, and covert political 'active measures' by Russia"<br> ...<br> "there is no single Russian 'doctrine'<br> ...<br> "There is a broad political objective -- to distract, divide, and demoralize -- but otherwise it is largely opportunistic, fragmented, even sometimes contradictory. Some major operations are coordinated ... but most are not."<br> ...<br> "more emphasis ought to go on counterintelligence and media literacy, on fighting corruption ... and healing the social divisions the Russians gleefully exploit"

  10. Feb 2018
  11. Dec 2017
    1. I was listening today to hearings on the FBI, where the fact that FBI agents gave to Democratic candidates was cited as prima facie evidence of corruption. We saw this in summer 2016 too, where fact that people in the DNC didn’t like Sanders was presented as a massive conspiracy.

      . . .

      There has been a massive conflation of opinion (personal belief), bias (personal action), and agenda (structurally embedded goals). These things often line up, but strong institutions and processes can help stop opinion from becoming bias and bias from becoming an unintentional agenda. And where institutions don’t mitigate these things in appropriate ways they should be reformed.

      But if we collapse this chain, if opinion = bias = agenda, well, then everything immediately becomes corrupt, because everyone has an opinion.

      In the case of Republican congressmen, this isn't a matter of perception. They're lying to protect Trump.

  12. Nov 2017
    1. Mike Hearn, formerly with Google, calls a recent report on Twitter bots promoting Brexit "deliberate lying, or if you like, fake news."

      Without having looked into it further than reading his response, I'm doubtful about his doubtfulness. I suspect the kind of bots he was trying to identify were a different variety. He says he never saw "cyborg" accounts. He doesn't mention that Russia is known to employ people for social media propaganda.

    1. Jonathan Albright says that Instagram is another major channel of Russian propaganda.

      IRA (Internet Research Agency) - a Russian troll factory.

      David Karpf argues that actual user engagement among US citizens can be hard to estimate, since a lot of apparent activity comes from fake accounts.

    1. Kris Schaffer distinguishes bots, sockpuppets, and trolls, and talks about how to identify botnets. Twitter and other social media sites should be able to eliminate many of the bogus accounts. But they don't.

  13. Oct 2017
    1. Twitter took 11 months to close a Russian troll account that claimed to speak for the Tennessee Republican Party even after that state's real GOP notified the social media company that the account was a fake.

      The account, @TEN_GOP, was enormously popular, amassing at least 136,000 followers between its creation in November 2015 and when Twitter shut it down in August

  14. Sep 2017
      1. Talking about these lands as depopulated — size comparisons downplay population
      2. Uplifting Disney music. Contrasting the old with the "modern" new 3. Rural natives — "Cling to their primitive ways" within the "confines of their small world"
      3. Audience: Americans, middle-class men 5. Primary consumers of videos like this: middle-class, business-men in the United States. Looking to invest in businesses in Central America. Sex tourism is also huge.
      4. Gender — Showing a lot of women, exotic. Don't see men represented because your audience is male.
  15. Aug 2017
  16. Jul 2017
    1. What’s the Problem with the Tar Sands?

      No information about who is writing these articles. Sadly, the crawl did not capture the "About" page, and this website no longer exists.

    1. OSFC is supported by a broad coalition of organizations and interests. We may represent many interests, but when it comes to getting the facts out about the promise and potential of responsible oil sands development – about the jobs it makes possible, and the footprint that continues to shrink by the day – well, that’s something every one of us can get behind.

      This is clearly a pro-oil development resource, which is rather vague about who is actually providing the information. Not many citations, either.

  17. Jun 2017
    1. we’re at a pivotal point not just in the life of our democracy, but in how we think, read, and make choices. Selective information is being presented to us in a way that encourages selective reading and offers psychological and social rewards for, to put it bluntly, being stupid and submissive and spreading stupid to submit others.

      ...

      What’s different now is that this propaganda is being gamed by professionals in a massive, orchestrated data campaign at a volume, pace, and consistency that not only muddies the truth, but completely eclipses the truth. Destroys the very notion of truth.

      ...

      The truth about the truth is that we believe because we want to, because our ability to think independently is a point of pride for Americans. The people behind the curtain are telling us the same story we tell ourselves about ourselves. But this is also a vulnerability: Independence is in its purist form a kind of division. If you exploit it the right way, you can turn a democracy against itself.

  18. May 2017
  19. Apr 2017
  20. Mar 2017
    1. Ah, Thema Islam. Merkt man immer gleich, wenn die Kommentare gesperrt sind. Man könnte ja die Autorin darauf hinweisen, dass man Diversivität nicht mit mittelalterlichen Riten verwechseln braucht. Und dass der Staat vielleicht ganz gut daran tut, Säkularität zu fördern, wenn er ein friedliches Miteinander ermöglichen will.

    1. oolf develops a metaphor in which literary art is a horse and "propa-ganda" is a donkey-attempting to mingle the two can produce only sterile off-spring

      Around this time, W.E.B. Du Bois was writing that all art is propaganda and advocated for African American literature that offered favorable depictions of black people. It's interesting that both Du Bois and Woolf were thinking about liberation through writing but had different ideas about the connection between art and propaganda.

  21. Feb 2017
    1. The Russian dissident and chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov drew upon long familiarity with that process when he tweeted: “The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”

      Very well said.

  22. Dec 2016
    1. Selling user data should be illegal. And the customer data a company is allowed to collect and store should be very limited.

      Under the guidance of Jared Kushner, a senior campaign advisor and son-in-law of President-Elect Trump, Parscale quietly began building his own list of Trump supporters. Trump’s revolutionary database, named Project Alamo, contains the identities of 220 million people in the United States, and approximately 4,000 to 5,000 individual data points about the online and offline life of each person. Funded entirely by the Trump campaign, this database is owned by Trump and continues to exist.

      Trump’s Project Alamo database was also fed vast quantities of external data, including voter registration records, gun ownership records, credit card purchase histories, and internet account identities. The Trump campaign purchased this data from certified Facebook marketing partners Experian PLC, Datalogix, Epsilon, and Acxiom Corporation. (Read here for instructions on how to remove your information from the databases of these consumer data brokers.)

    2. Trump's campaign used carefully targeted negative ads to suppress voter turnout.

      With Project Alamo as ammunition, the Trump digital operations team covertly executed a massive digital last-stand strategy using targeted Facebook ads to ‘discourage’ Hillary Clinton supporters from voting. The Trump campaign poured money and resources into political advertisements on Facebook, Instagram, the Facebook Audience Network, and Facebook data-broker partners.

      “We have three major voter suppression operations under way,” a senior Trump official explained to reporters from BusinessWeek. They’re aimed at three groups Clinton needs to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans.”

    3. 100,000 personalized collections of lies.

      Parscale also deployed software to optimize the design and messaging of Trump’s Facebook ads. Describing one such test, the Wall Street Journal reporter Christopher Mims writes that “one day in August, his campaign sprayed ads at Facebook users that led to 100,000 different webpages, each micro-targeted at a different segment of voters.” In total, Trump’s digital team built or generated more than 100,000 distinct pieces of creative content.

    1. Nine Lessons of Russian Propaganda<br> Roman Skaskiw (an American who moved to Ukraine in 2012)<br> [I liked this article enough to google the author. First, I looked at Twitter -- and thought it was either an imposter, or his account had been hacked. But then I went looking at other sites, which are registered to someone using the same name. They shift between reasonable and crackpot.]

      From 27 March 2016.<br> But gosh... This shit is strangely familiar.

      • Use and abuse all factions.
      • Destroy and ridicule the idea of truth.
      • Headlines are more important than reality. They stick.
      • Demoralize, and terrorize.
      • Distract and misdirect.
      • Pollute the information space.
      • Accuse the enemy of doing what you're doing.
    1. An analysis of links among "fake news" sites and mainstream news sites and social media.

      There’s a vast network of dubious “news” sites. Most are simple in design, and many appear to be made from the same web templates. These sites have created an ecosystem of real-time propaganda: they include viral hoax engines that can instantly shape public opinion through mass “reaction” to serious political topics and news events. This network is triggered on-demand to spread false, hyper-biased, and politically-loaded information.

    1. Steve Bannon, founder of Breitbart News and the newly appointed chief strategist to Trump, is on Cambridge Analytica’s board and it has emerged that the company is in talks to undertake political messaging work for the Trump administration. It claims to have built psychological profiles using 5,000 separate pieces of data on 220 million American voters. It knows their quirks and nuances and daily habits and can target them individually.

      Boy, we have problems:

      • Fake news. (Bad, but not as bas as...)
      • Extremist propaganda (increasingly, from government)
      • Disinformation created to cause chaos and distrust.
      • Tracking of individuals to create personalized propaganda.
      • Google, Facebook, etc. merrily amplifying it.
    2. The fact that people are reading about these fake news stories and realising that this could have an effect on politics and elections, it’s like, ‘Which planet have you been living on?’ For Christ’s sake, this is obvious.”

      It's only obvious once you realize how many people are exposed to bullshit daily, and how many people are stupid enough to listen to it.

      If you aren't an idiot, and you don't associate with idiots, you can spend all day on the web every day and rarely see any of this shit.

    1. Leading up to Ms. Tolokonnikova’s trial, Russian news reports carried suggestions that she and her bandmates were pawns of Hillary Clinton’s State Department or witches working with a global satanic conspiracy — perhaps linked to the one that was behind the Sept. 11 attacks, as lawyers for one of their offended accusers put it. This is what we now call “fake news.”

      Pussy Riot became an international symbol of Mr. Putin’s crackdown on free speech; of how his regime uses falsehood and deflection to sow confusion and undermine critics.

      Now that the political-media environment that we smugly thought to be “over there” seems to be arriving over here, Ms. Tolokonnikova has a message: “It’s important not to say to yourself, ‘Oh, it’s O.K.,’” she told me. “It’s important to remember that, for example, in Russia, for the first year of when Vladimir Putin came to power, everybody was thinking that it will be O.K.”

    1. Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human “trolls,” and networks of Web sites and social-media accounts — echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers.

      http://warontherocks.com/2016/11/trolling-for-trump-how-russia-is-trying-to-destroy-our-democracy

      Another group, PropOrNot, is supposed to be releasing their study on Russian propaganda tomorrow, 25 November. [Update: PropOrNot apparently labelled so many sites as "Russian propaganda" that it is practically a piece of disinformation all by itself. Maybe they're Russian. :) http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-propaganda-about-russian-propaganda

  23. Oct 2016
  24. Jul 2016
    1. Here we have a marvelous illustration of the functioning of propaganda in a democracy. A totalitarian state simply enunciates official doctrine — clearly, explicitly. Internally, one can think what one likes, but one can only express opposition at one’s peril. In a democratic system of propaganda no one is punished (in theory) for objecting to official dogma. In fact, dissidence is encouraged. What this system attempts to do is to fix the limits of possible thought: supporters of official doctrine at one end, and the critics — vigorous, courageous, and much admired for their independence of judgment — at the other. The hawks and the doves. But we discover that all share certain tacit assumptions, and that it is these assumptions that are really crucial. No doubt a propaganda system is more effective when its doctrines are insinuated rather than asserted, when it sets the bounds for possible thought rather than simply imposing a clear and easily identifiable doctrine that one must parrot — or suffer the consequences. The more vigorous the debate, the more effectively the basic doctrines of the propaganda system, tacitly assumed on all sides, are instilled. Hence the elaborate pretense that the press is a critical dissenting force — maybe even too critical for the health of democracy — when in fact it is almost entirely subservient to the basic principles of the ideological system: in this case, the principle of the right of intervention, the unique right of the United States to serve as global judge and executioner. It is quite a marvelous system of indoctrination.
  25. Jun 2016
    1. agnotology - the study of willful acts to spread confusion and deceit, usually to sell a product or win favor. (Coined by Robert Proctor of Stanford University.)

      • tobacco companies
      • climate-change deniers
      • politicians

      Withholding evidence and outright lying are just the two most obvious tactics. They also take advantage of people's desire to be reasonable, by claiming there are two sides to a topic that doesn't actually have any reasonable opposition -- the "balanced debate" scam. And they influence people by conflating the main issue with others -- personal liberty, religious beliefs, capitalism vs socialism.

  26. Apr 2016
    1. In my fifth-grade language instruction class in 2002, we would read aloud, in unison, phrases such as "Comrade, stone them!"

      Mo discusses this in her spot on This American Life: "The Poetry of Propaganda: Party On!"

  27. Nov 2015
    1. The key lesson of the post-9/11 abuses — from Guantanamo to torture to the invasion of Iraq — is that we must not allow military and intelligence officials to exploit the fear of terrorism to manipulate public opinion. Rather than blindly believe their assertions, we must test those claims for accuracy.
    2. In sum, Snowden did not tell the terrorists anything they did not already know. The terrorists have known for years that the U.S. government is trying to monitor their communications.What the Snowden disclosures actually revealed to the world was that the U.S. government is monitoring the Internet communications and activities of everyone else: hundreds of millions of innocent people under the largest program of suspicionless mass surveillance ever created, a program that multiple federal judges have ruled is illegal and unconstitutional.
    3. Bodies were still lying in the streets of Paris when CIA operatives began exploiting the resulting fear and anger to advance long-standing political agendas. They and their congressional allies instantly attempted to heap blame for the atrocity not on Islamic State but on several preexisting adversaries: Internet encryption, Silicon Valley's privacy policies and Edward Snowden.
  28. Feb 2015
    1. Hvordan er det mulig å skrive så mye tull samtidig som påstår man står for noe som er så uendelig viktig? Vedtatte fakta? Hvem er det som vedtar fakta og hvordan blir fakta som har vært vedtatt plutselig avslørt som løgn om det var vedtatt faktum? Historien er ikke sann fordi stater sier at slik er det bare. Å vedta noe som fakta burde på ingen måte bety at det ikke kan bli vedtatt som den største løgn like etter. Jorda var flat må man huske. Det var vedtatt fakta,var det ikke?

      For noen er religion vedtatt fakta. For andre er vitenskap vedtatt fakta. Religion har en ting vitenskap ofte mangler,den vingler ikke riktig like mye. Om man bare går 50 år tilbake i tid vil man se at kanskje så mye som 50 % av det som var vedtatte vitenskaplige fakta den gangen,er tilbakevist nå.

      Journalisten skriver her som om han ønsker all ytring velkommen,men snakker åpenbart ikke styresmakter og systemer imot.

  29. Jan 2015
    1. After 2004, I believed the story that the protesters in Ukraine and elsewhere were mobilized through text messaging and blogs.

      believes the story ... it's a story he believes.

    2. We were supposed to be saving the world by helping to promote democracy, but it seemed clear to me that many people, even in countries like Belarus or Moldova, or in the Caucasus, who could have been working on interesting projects with new media on their own, would eventually be spoiled by us.

      Applies to these activities wherever undertaken, including any country in the West, he just so happens to be interested in former Soviet Block countries

    3. But a lot was in the open—cyber-attacks by the US government, for example. Already by 2006 or 2007 it was crystal clear that there were dedicated units within the Department of Defense whose job was to take down the websites of jihadists and other foes, even if there was typically tension between the Pentagon and the CIA, which wanted to derive intelligence from them so didn’t want them taken down.

      Which has grown into something quite else, because while it may not be possible to control the Internet by controlling every router, it is possible to effectively control the Internet by control the volume and direction of propaganda and cyber attacks. In other words it is possible to have a pivotal influence.

  30. Jul 2014