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"Fake news" is a shitty meme that needs to stop.

If the media truly suggests they be accountable for what they peddle, they will be in for a big surprise.

We are witnessing a mortally wounded animal frantically flailing in a primal, desperate bid to hold onto life.




>"Fake News"

Its a shame humanity keeps needing learning the same lessons over and over.

Anytime I think of the "newspaper" I can't help but think of the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect.

>“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.

>In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”


Precisely this. I don't understand why it's so hard to internalize for most people. Maybe because they feel they have to believe someone, so they don't have a choice but to accept the news as true?

Hint: you don't. Life does not get any worse if you don't stay up to date with the news. This is junk information, at best it will poison your holistic understanding of the world. And most of it doesn't matter. I think one's better off reading a book instead. Or if you really need to follow news, stick to discussions on topical subreddits or HN - there at least you'll get people who don't have a strong incentive lie, and quite often you'll actually find comments by people with first-hand knowledge on the subject.


No, there is a very big difference between professional journos who sometimes have bias - and completely fake news.

'Fake news' sites reports information that is completely fabricated and non-factual.

'News sites' - by and large - are pretty good. Most stories on CNN and Fox are not biased. Go ahead to their web-sites - it's mostly boring stuff.

Some of their headlines, and their choice of words etc. is arguably biased, but it's difficult to pin down.

To fail to differentiate between 'lies' and 'facts presented in a certain way' is wrong.

You don't have to 'fully trust' the MSM, but if you are open minded enough and pull from enough sources, then you'll do ok.

The 'fake news sites' are run by kids in Macedonia trying to get clicks and it's a total fabrication.


http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/06/25/exp-presidential-can...

"Trump doubles down on calling Mexicans rapists". Trump did not call Mexicans rapists. That is an outright lie which is as much fake news as this hackathon project. It's not bias, it's not selective reporting, it's fake news that we're expected to believe as our only source of truth because sometimes people share Macedonian clickbait on their facebook.

A lie is deliberately making someone believe something that you know is false. When George W. Bush made everyone think Iraq had nukes, that was a lie. You can't say it wasn't lying because it was merely 'tricking people into believing something false.' That is literally the definition of lying.


Here are Trump's words:

"When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists."

Trump is absolutely 'calling Mexicans rapists'.

This is undeniable.

Now - you can argue that the way CNN presents it lacks context, because Trump could be referring to 'Mexican migrants to the USA as rapists' - and not 'Mexicans in general' - or even more specifically 'some of them as rapists' - and not all of them.

But this would be a little absurd - it would be like saying:

"Canadians that visit America are rapists"

... and then trying to imply that you meant to say 'some Canadians who come to America are rapists' - which theoretically is probably be true, but the implication is basically absurd.

CNN may not provide the right context for this fact - but it is a fact. Trump called Mexicans rapists.


Man, he was talking in context of illigal immigration from Mexico. He didn't call Mexican rapists, he said there are more rapists/criminals/drug dealers among illigal immigrants than among Mexicans in general (that is among people they "send").

This is intuitively true: among illegal immigrants you will have more criminals because the selection process of becoming illegal immigrant results in people from poor/troubled backgrounds and those with incentives to run from a country (as well as those willing to break the law in the first place to cross the border illegally).

I mean your conviction on this and the language you are using is exactly what put off a lot of people this election season from liberal side and "respected" news organizations. You are aggressively refusing to see the meaning of his message and you are using a language which suggest the other side is dumb for not seeing it. It's really is huge mental gymnastics to find a position from which you can't see the statement is about illegal immigrants and not Mexicans in general.


"When Mexico sends its people" was in reference to illegal aliens. You can't simply say, "you can argue it was out of context." That's idiotic. I can quote you as saying 'Canadians that visit America are rapists' above as well, just like you can quote me as saying it. It doesn't mean I was saying that all Canadians that visit America are rapists.


""When Mexico sends its people" was in reference to illegal aliens. "

A) He did not refer to illegals. He clearly said 'When Mexico sends it's people'. That's pretty clearly referring to 'Mexicans that come to America'.

B) Even if he was referring to people that cross the border illegally - he's still calling illegal migrants 'rapists'. This is super bigoted.

CNN is not out of line here.

Listen:

+ I do think that the press treats Trump unfairly, but he also does some things that give the press all the ammunition they need to mock him without needing to lie about it.

+ Trump is not stupid. He's calling 'Mexicans' rapists, and didn't use the term 'illegals' because he's trying to inflame populist bigotry among the population. It's a really, really sleazy thing to do, and it's basically bigoted.

Listen - I am 100% against illegal migration, 100% against sanctuary cities, and fully realize that the press is biased on this issue - and the press purposefully conflates 'legal' and 'illegal' migrant and tries to infer that 'anyone who is against illegals is racist'. So yes - the press is totally unfair.

BUT - that doesn't mean Trump didn't make a very racist statement, to purposefully incite bigotry. Which I believe he did. His statement does not gain validity because the press is also biased and wrong about him, and immigration as well. His statement is fairly bigoted, even if the press do misrepresent the truth.


Wrong. Trump did not even call all illegal immigrants rapists. He simply said that some of the illegal immigrants are rapists - one of the many groups of people coming over. We know this is true because they have been caught commiting rape here in America, and their home nations have shared their criminal records with us!

It is highly questionable to call trump bigoted for simply bringing up the obvious problems of unvetted immigration. And certainly the lies these fake news sites like CNN write about about Trump do not suddenly become true because of your social justice warrior conspiracy theory about trump's 'racist ulterior motives' for wanting to keep americans safe.


"He simply said that some of the illegal immigrants are rapists"

Listen man - you don't go saying 'Americans are rapists' or 'Black people are racists' and then hide behind this rubbish that 'I meant only some of them'.

If Trump meant only 'some' of them - then why did he make the statement at all?

He called 'Mexicans who come to America' rapists?

Why are you people defending him?

The statement is point-blank bigotry.

Trump is not stupid, in fact, he's a populist genius. He knows exactly what he's doing, and he's enciting populist bigotry - which is really, really a bad thing to do.

Again - I like Trump in some ways, and the press definitely treats him unfairly - and I actually don't think that he himself is a racist - but - this was point-blank racist/bigoted/repugnant - there is no way around it. He did it on purpose to rile up the bigot vote.

Trump played some seriously 'black magic' 'dark arts' cards to win that election - despite the fact that most Americans are not racist - it's pretty easy to get people angry over this stuff, and it takes responsible leadership. Words matter.


And you still have no clue why he won, although the nature of your statements have helped to it.

The more you'll repeat words like "racism" and "bigotry", the more this "black magic" will come to play. They have lost its real meaning by blanket use, people are desensitised by them and this shows with their support.


"And you still have no clue why he won, although the nature of your statements have helped to it. The more you'll repeat words like "racism" and "bigotry", the more this "black magic""

You don't seem to grasp the fact that I am not for or against Trump.

I don't care that he is President - I'm not even American - just a constant observer.

I've articulated a few times, that I don't think Trump is actually racist.

Listen TDKL - you don't get to say: "All n*ers are mongrels" and then say "oh, it's not racist because the press treats me unfairly"

What Trump said is point blank racist - how are you guys even defending it?

'Oh - he only meant immigrants' - still racist

'Oh - he only meant illegal migrants' - still racist

'Oh - he only meant some of them' - really, because 'some of every group' are rapists, ergo, still pretty racist.

And it doesn't matter what he 'meant' - it's going to be interpreted as racist.

So why did an intelligent man, who is probably not racist say such words?

Because he's running for president, and is going to say populist things to 'rile people' up. Including racist statements, to fire up the good chunk of his supporters who are bigots.

It's a dispassionate reasoning of the populist tactics that he's used during the campaign to get elected. That's it.


Of course he only meant some.


CNN's wording is incorrect indeed: Trump essentially said most Mexicans in the United States are rapists ("some [...] I assume" implies a minor percentage of the whole), not that all Mexicans in the US are rapists, or that all Mexicans, including those in Mexico, are rapists.

Now, what's with demanding nuance when reporting about someone who makes a point of eschewing nuance?

I'm wary of this "fake news" scapegoat, and I see how media bias is damaging to the electoral process, but Trump is now The Man, the establishment, the man with the secret codes. Imprecise, brash statements are OK when campaigning, but now that he's President (-elect), I expect the media to call him out on every such statement.

The media being lax on Obama is not an excuse.


Actually, Trump is saying Mexican are rapists and that he assumes some are good people. Presumably the default is that a Mexican is a rapist or drug dealer. Not the other way around. Full quote below:

> “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

It's not that hard to follow and I'm not sure why some of his defenders go to great lengths and creativity to try to explain how he was only referring to actual rapists. The idea itself of "Mexico sending people" is also some weird anthropomorphism of a country, as though Mexican politicians, rather than jailing their criminals and rapists, somehow force them to illegally immigrate into this country. Either way, nothing in his quote refers to the fact that "Mexico" is sending them into the country illegally.


Huffington Post: 80% Of Central American Women, Girls Are Raped Crossing Into The U.S.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/12/central-america-mig...


Are you are simultaneously arguing that he didn't say it, and that what he didn't say was right?


His statement was about illegal immigrants from MExico ("people they send"). Once you accept this point it all becomes clear.


I'm going to jump in here and point out that this is exactly why the claims in the linked story are impossible.

Both parses of the English that Trump spoke and unfalsifiable.

Even the completely made up posts (eg "The Pope endorses Trump") are going to be extremely difficult to distinguish from a piece of actual breaking news.

An algorithm will end up having to look at the source - and yet many in this election campaign argue that many of the traditional media outlets post false news too.

I disagree with this: they may have their slant on news ("Trump did/not say Mexicans were rapists"), but they generally don't post complete fabrications.

I still aren't at all convinced that actual false news is a real problem - I'd say there was a much bigger issue with differing interpretations of events.


Look, Trump is not a lawyer. Linguistic semantics are not his forte, and he doesn't have a committee of operatives review his every word for semantic accuracy and soundbite-proof-ness. That's how you end up sounding like a robot, like Romney and Clinton. Trump, like most adult humans, expects the listener to glean the relevant information and tense from the context of the discussion (or at least, he wants us to believe he expects this).

For example, when Trump says "they're sending", we know he knows that Mexico isn't literally sending these people. They don't pick them up and bus over the border so that they'll become America's problem. Illegal immigrants run the border primarily because the wages in America are so much better than the wages in Mexico, not because someone "sent" them over, except in the metaphorical sense where the country either cannot or does not provide the desired standard of living for its residents, and thus they "send" them away to a place that can and/or does.

Your quote is selectively edited. What is the VERY NEXT sentence after your quote cuts off? "And some, I assume, are good people." How can Trump say they're ALL rapists and then literally in the next sentence say "And some are good people"?

Pretend like you're talking to someone you respect about his position on immigration. Are you going to listen to him say this and take his verbatim statement as his literal meaning, especially when he offers a direct contradiction of that verbatim statement less than one second later? No, you'll do what normal people do, and bridge the gap. You'll know he doesn't think that EVERY Mexican is a rapist. You'll know he meant that a disproportionate quantity of illegal immigrant are criminals of all sorts, including thieves and rapists. You are free to disagree with this all you want, but it's not worth the time to speak to someone who insists on taking the least-charitable possible interpretation. If Trump spoke a bit more quickly and these soundbites were harder to extract, this whole trick would've collapsed a long time ago.

This is really the crux of the matter. Those who are disposed to hate Trump take the crudest possible interpretation, say the surrounding context is irrelevant because it's just trying to throw some ambiguity into the mix so he can pull people off the scent. Those who are disposed to like Trump take the most moderate possible interpretation and look for contextual cues that can exonerate him from the literal meaning, which are available in abundance, because Trump is just a normal guy with an imprecise way of speaking ... ... right?

"Objectivity" is a foreign concept to the human decision apparatus. Humans base decisions almost entirely on the credibility they attribute to the relevant carriers/advocates.

That's why intense hostility is not really justified by either side. The election was really a question of "Which candidate do you feel is more deserving of the benefit of the doubt?", since taken at face value, both candidates were embarrassingly unqualified.

Clinton's campaign strategy was straight up fear-mongering. Legalistically parsing the words of a non-lawyer, stripping context and meaning wherever possible, and using these soundbites to try to frighten minorities into believing that Trump hated them. The American people were not fooled by that strategy, but there are many confused and disgruntled people left in the dust by HRC's divisive methodology. It is now incumbent upon Hillary Clinton to come out and admit that the fears she's planted in the hearts of religious and ethnic minorities are unfounded and were manufactured as a failed political strategy to scare people out of voting for the person they believed could bring them economic prosperity.


"Trump is not a lawyer. Linguistic semantics are not his forte,"

Your arguments are not going to fly given the position that he is running for.

The man was running for the President of the United States of America - to speak for all Americans, wherein his words carry incredible meaning.

"And some, I assume, are good people."

No. This 'qualification' does not make the statement any less racist.

"Black people are stupid mongrels and criminals - but I assume that some of them are good people" <--- That's extremely bigoted. This is basically hate speech.

I'm astonished that people could possibly try to defend this particular statement.

He called Mexicans coming to America rapists.

Full Stop.

You guys are using a lot of gymnastics to try to defend what is a point-blank, obvious-as-the-sky-is-blue racist, bigoted and terrible statement.

Words matter.

If you can't stop yourself from calling an entire nation of people 'racists' - if it requires explaining or context - then you should not be running for PUSA.

I don't Trump is actually racist, likely he was just spinning up the bigot vote - but there is no defence of his statements.

Whatever Trump does - even if he does well as PUSA - his legacy will be pretty stained by some comments he made during the campaign.


It sounds like you are really set on this point. Maybe try considering that to a lot of intelligent people (like me (not US citizen), like my immigrant/minority family (who also happen to have education from top US universities) who voted for Trump, like millions of others who voted for him of various backgrounds, education, ethnicity and political views you sound like you are either incredibly ignorant or dumb on purpose.

I am not saying this lightly, to me people who hold the most morally repugnant positions rarely sound dumb on purpose. I think they are wrong, I think they are not emphatic, sometimes straight up evil but they rarely sound just completely brainwashed. You do though. I rarely see something as wrong and arrogant on HN and I read the comments every day. You are just not getting it at all. Read the comments of people who replied to you and try to understand why his comment is not about all Mexicans. I realize that I sound to you as arrogant ignorant person lecturing you on reading comprehension but I am doing you a favor. You will lose a lot of contacts and opportunities if you continue to argue this way without even seeing where the other side is coming from.


Donald J Trump: "Mexicans coming to America are rapists"

Random Person: "That's pretty much racist"

Trump Supporter: "You're an idiot, ignoramus, shut up stupid, you didn't understand what he meant, he's not a lawyer - why should he have to worry about specific words"

"I am not saying this lightly" - you want to 'lose contacts and friends'?

Go into your office tommorow and repeat Trump's statement. In full - for context if you want.

You will lose your job immediately, and probably a few friends and acquaintances.

It doesn't matter that you voted for Trump, what your ethnicity or education is - that's besides the point.

What I care about is that some people clearly do not seem to understand what point-blank bigotry is when it's right in our faces.

This is not 'leftists overreach' or 'left wing bias' or 'social progressive oppression' - it's just bigotry on the part of Trump.

It's just a very obviously racist statement, something someone in any public office or that has any public position should never ever say. Stop defending it.


>Donald J Trump: "Mexicans coming to America are rapists" >Random Person: "That's pretty much racist" >Trump Supporter: "You're an idiot, ignoramus, shut up stupid, you didn't understand what he meant, he's not a lawyer - why should he have to worry about specific words"

That's not how this exchange with Trump supporters has gone. I believe it's been reasonably polite, despite some rather inflammatory rhetoric from the non-Trump side.


I agree with you to a point, but I don't think you're seeing the reason why focusing on Trump's negatives is unhelpful.

When you vote you don't have to agree with everything someone says in order to vote for them. Some things that are said and done are seen as dealbreakers, stopping support for a candidate. However, the dealbreakers depend on context, and in the case of the recent US election neither leading candidate was particularly praiseworthy so it's very much a case of picking your poison.

What happens when people constantly paint a candidate based on words like 'racist' and 'bigoted' is you end up tarring their supporters with the same brush, whereas in reality those might be things people were willing to look past. In other words, focus on what matters to people in an election, not on the vehicle they've chosen to try to improve their country.

To spell it out even more bluntly, the number one issue in this election for the majority was changing the economy. If you're getting sidetracked by racism you're missing what matters most in the debate.


>The man was running for the President of the United States of America - to speak for all Americans, wherein his words carry incredible meaning.

There is no requirement that every word the President of the United States utters be clean-room engineered. Perhaps this is a value you hold important in a president, but that doesn't mean everyone else does. It seems that a lot of people are willing to consider context over soundbites.

>He called Mexicans coming to America rapists. Full Stop.

No, not "full stop". You can't just say this and expect people to ignore the context of the comments. You're asking people to discard important environmental information that would bridge the communication gap here for your political convenience. That's bad. The election is over now, so we can stop trying to scare minorities out of voting for Trump.

Many people believe that the context indicates Trump was referring only to a disproportionate quantity of Mexicans crossing the border illegally, not every Mexican in the world, nor every Mexican currently in the United States. You are clearly convinced that this is the incorrect interpretation, but that doesn't mean it's implausible. It just means you don't want to like Trump. If you did, you'd give him the benefit of the doubt, because there is a perfectly viable pathway for an interested party to do so.

>You guys are using a lot of gymnastics to try to defend what is a point-blank, obvious-as-the-sky-is-blue racist, bigoted and terrible statement.

No, it's not gymnastics. Again, you can't just say "Stop thinking about everything else, please focus exclusively on my soundbite in isolation, I've carefully stripped it for optimal damage". People are merely aware of the topic Trump was addressing and the vernacular in common use. This is all that's needed to understand that Trump was referring to a specific subset of illegal immigrants, not addressing a nationality as a whole.

If you consider making simple logical connections between the subject of a speech and the statements made within that speech a mental triple-tuck-standing-backflip, it doesn't reflect well on you.

>If you can't stop yourself from calling an entire nation of people 'racists' - if it requires explaining or context - then you should not be running for PUSA.

It doesn't require explanation or context. The media extracted his words from their original context and distorted their meaning because they wanted people to hate and fear him as they do. The people who are repeating this on their behalf are being intentionally obtuse and pretending like they can't understand that Trump was referring to Mexican nationals who illegally enter US territory because he used the contextual shorthand "Mexicans" instead of repeating the full phrase "Mexican nationals entering US territory illegally" for soundbite-proof-ness. Trump is a smart business man and knows that people hate voting for robotic or false-feeling figures. Making yourself sound like a law textbook to avoid criticism from people who'd never vote for you in the first place is not a winning strategy.


"There is no requirement that every word the President of the United States utters be clean-room engineered"

* It's not 'clean room engineered' *

* He called Mexicans coming to America rapists

* Full Stop *

"Again, you can't just say "Stop thinking about everything else, please focus exclusively on my soundbite in isolation, I've carefully stripped it for optimal damage"

No - it's not stripped, isolated, out of context.

* The PUSA called an entire group of migrants coming to America 'rapists'*

That is morally repugnant and nobody in that position should ever come close to making that mistake.

I don't think you understand what it means to have public office, or to have any public image or personae.

100% of CEO's of public companies would be fired instantly for making such a comment.


>No - it's not stripped, isolated, out of context.

If you weren't trying to take it out of context, you wouldn't need to keep dropping cues to try to stop people from processing the contextual information like insisting that your opinion should be considered a "full stop" and mocking the consideration of simple contextual data as "mental gymnastics".

You need to say those things because you're trying to confine people to only the isolated statement you've cordoned off. You don't want them to know that literally the next thing out of his mouth is that some "Mexicans" (meaning non-US citizens entering the United States illegally via the border with Mexico) are good people.

People are wary when they can tell someone is intentionally trying to block their access to relevant information.

----

I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree. We see this situation differently, we've both exchanged our POVs, and there's nothing else productive to do here.

I would simply ask that moving forward, you please recognize this for the friendly disagreement that it is and not attempt to mischaracterize all Trump voters as actually-racist, pro-racist, dont-care-about-racism, etc.

Your private opinion can be that Trump holds racist opinions, but just know that a) that's not the only possible conclusion a reasonable person can make, as thoroughly discussed in this thread; and b) only an infinitesimal fraction of his voters agree that he is actually racist. 99.99999% of his voters would be among the first on the street if some of the actually-racist things that the media pretends Trump wants actually happened.

We may have different perspectives on this issue, but we don't need to be at each others' throats over that. Let's insist that we all recognize the good in one another and politely disagree where necessary. Further, let's hold accountable the conglomerates that are attempting to fan the flames of discord and conflict among the populace.

The reaction to this election does not bode well for the future of the republic. We must heal and come together if we're going to proceed.


When you're the president of the United States, you need to speak precisely and choose words carefully. The stakes are a lot higher than when you're "talking to someone you respect."


It appears that the American public is more forgiving on this than you expect.


> Pretend like you're talking to someone you respect

Excellent advice in general. This would be a happier world were it more often heeded.


Also, CNN said it's illegal to look at wikileaks and only CNN can read them and then tell it to people. This is literally what their announcer said. If this is not fake, I dunno what is.


Go look at CNN's main instagram profile, and count how many posts are negative about Trump vs Clinton, respectively. I did not find a single negative post about Clinton, while numerous negative Trump posts. It is honestly astonishing to me that CNN could be so blatant about their bias. Nothing at all negative to report about Hillary when half the nation voted against her?


We're in dangerous false equivalency waters here. Just because CNN published something negative about Trump that doesnt mean they owe one negative story on Clinton.

Nor should how anyone voted affect CNNs reporting - if all they do is follow what people already believe then what's the point in journalism?

Whether they like it or not, Trump supporters are going to have to move on from Clinton. She doesn't matter any more, and CNN aren't going to be reporting on her. They'll be reporting, in depth, on everything Donald Trump does. As it should be.


CNN is definitely biased - but they are not lying, and they are not an org that just makes up all their news out of thin air - which is the issue here.

CNN: 'Trump is in New York today talking to potential candidates for Supreme Court, rumoured to be Ted Cruz'.

Fake News Site: "Trump's income taxes leaked, indicates he's worth over $1 Trillion dollars, and won a US Olympic Gold Medal while competing under fake name to avoid spotlight"


CNN loves selective editing.

See their editing of a victim's relative calling for people to riot and destroy suburbs vs. CNN's "victim calls for peace":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Drn0Lg5gIRc

What is that other than a lie? And if we can't call it a lie, what's our standard for truth and reality?

That's not the only edit of theirs this this year. Of course they always correct themselves and "apologize" after the fact (or when they are caught), but they have remarkably poor standards for a news organization.


If it was just about kids in Macedonia, it'd be collapsed into Google's ordinary anti-spam techniques and it wouldn't be newsworthy. John Oliver wouldn't have dedicated the half-hour to, ironically and bizarrely, attempting to deflect the blame for Clinton's loss onto social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. It is equal parts hilarious and depressing that they would expect anyone to buy that.

The American people resoundingly rejected the MSM/establishment narrative on Nov 8. The establishment responded by shouting "You kids need to get off your computers! I know what's best for you!" (even more astonishing, the world's tech conglomerates appear to agree). The meltdown here is, frankly, dumbfounding.

For the record, I'm all for shutting down plagiarized and spam sites. But the tech companies have already been doing that for years. "Fake news" is fake news.


Oh come on. The mainstream media make up news all the time. For example, the New York Times manufactured the story of Trump mocking a reporter's disability. Then they sent in their fact checkers to validate the lie. More here: http://newslines.org/blog/lets-talk-about-fake-news/


You're aware that many of us watched it on video, right? EDIT: Context at the time matters, and revising the intention later without regard for behavioral patterns of condescension and shaming is disingenuous.

As for fake news: if your particular vectors don't align with those of fake news readers, Facebook wont show them to you. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.


Read my article. The trump-mocked-a-reporter's-disability meme is total fiction, with plenty of video proof. The reason I chose it is because the narrative power pushed by the mainstream media is so strong that it's extremely difficult for anyone fed this lie to face the facts. Whether you believe it or not is a test of how strongly you were manipulated by the mainstream media into believing their narrative.

These publications deliberately lied to their own readers, then they manufactured this "fake news" story to shift blame for their lies onto Facebook and other new media.


> 'News sites' - by and large - are pretty good. Most stories on CNN and Fox are not biased. Go ahead to their web-sites - it's mostly boring stuff.

Except the ones that you happen to have first-hand knowledge about, or are withing your domain of expertise. Those particular stories are full of bullshit, but the rest are surely honest-to-God truth.

See also https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12991655. I too do not understand why this is so hard to internalize for almost everyone.


Pretending that facts don't exist is a shitty meme that needs to stop.

For example, it's definitely false to claim that Donald Trump won the popular vote yet there are a multitude of fake stories on FB that claim as much.


The primary value proposition of social media is that it utilizes some combination of your social graph and "the crowd" to filter and/or approve content, sending more interesting/important/relevant stuff to the top. Amazing how gushing fantasies about the power of the democratization of media seem to flip into nightmares days after the tech elite's favored candidate loses.

People shouldn't be silenced just because you disagree with them. Many disagreements come down to a different evaluation of "the facts", some element that the one side would say the other side has objectively incorrect. Both sides have the same data, but they have a different interpretation about what's an "objective fact". It is critical that we allow those discussions to play out.

Platform owners becoming the fire companies of Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian horror show. It cannot be emphasized too strongly that users MUST be allowed to choose for themselves and have free range over the marketplace of ideas.


I'm surprised to see so many downvotes on HN for a post that advocates for allowing democratic story selection. I suspect some of the readers here may be confused. What do you think HN is? If you truly believe the platform should have ultimate control over what the audience sees, why are not reading WIRED right now?


Let's see here:

GP says that facts that are false (namely, Trump won the popular vote) made it onto the newsfeed.

You said that there is a "different evaluation of the facts". The popular vote count is a number. How, pray tell, do you disagree with a number?


When people dispute "objective facts" and "hard numbers", it's generally due to a different credibility rating on the source of the information.

First, the entire popular vote has not yet returned. Several states are sitting at 99% reporting, and Utah is sitting at 94% according to NYT. You can say that most of those votes are probable Clinton votes, but the simple fact is that the count isn't finished. The popular vote will continue to change until all the votes have been counted. "It ain't over until the fat lady sings". A Trump supporter could easily make this argument and have the "objective fact" that we don't know the final popular vote tally on their side. You must now convince them that this hard reality is either not so real or not so important.

Second, there are people that believe either faulty or intentionally modified equipment caused many people to vote for Clinton unwillingly. For example, there's a video of a voter unable to select Trump on his electronic ballot; the touches repeatedly register as Clinton though his finger is clearly pressing the Trump option.

That's one anecdote, but a Trump supporter who wants to claim the popular vote could say the election was rigged in Clinton's favor and that while the official numbers show more Clinton votes, the true numbers (which are impossible to measure), i.e., the number of voters that actually wanted Trump to be president, were larger than the number of voters that actually wanted Clinton to be president. The supporter could use a collection of anecdotes similar to the one described above as supporting evidence. They could also use the recording of HRC expressing interest in rigging the Palestinian election as supporting evidence. No "hard numbers" here, but some objective facts that could be used to cast doubt on some of the hard numbers.

Thus, "objective facts" and "hard numbers" become more ambiguous because the other side doesn't believe the entity that is issuing your "objective facts" is credible. You must first convince your opponent that the machines were not altered (which is not possible to prove), that any official tampering with the vote counts was insufficient to push Clinton over the top (also not possible to prove), and that there is an insufficient quantity of votes outstanding to result in a Trump win (possible).

This same thing happens whenever a research study is released. If the audience approves of the study's findings, they say "Yes, this is an objective and good study." If the audience disapproves of the study's findings, they say "This study cannot be trusted because its author holds political views X, Y, and Z, the institution's primary donor is a company that stands to make money from these unpopular findings, the methodology was incorrect because the sample was too small or too large and the control group was not adequately controlled". These are debatable, subjective elements of study design that can't be objectively proven or disproven, and they can be used to cast doubt on any "hard" source you want.

The fact of the matter is that humans are excellent at retroactively rationalizing at least semi-defensible arguments against someone's "objective facts". Every side seems to believe all of the "objective facts" are in their favor. That should tell you that "objective facts" are worth practically nothing when it comes to human decision making.


The false information about him winning the popular vote originated from NYT website which had misleading visualization which suggested they predict he is going to win it. The popular vote count wasn't known for many days after the election (I am not even sure it's known now) so those predictions were what people were using as they were in general very reliable.


Oh, really, so there is no way to tell if the pope endorsed Donald Trump? That is just an undecidable proposition?

I hope you don't do some kind of science or engineering. I'd hate to buy a product from people like that. Maybe it's 24K gold, maybe it's gold-plated, maybe it's just yellow paint? In this topsy-turvy world, who can really know anything?

I thought it was liberals who were supposed to be all squishy and morally relative.

Certain things are falsifiable, and at some level are true or false. Either Hillary sold arms to ISIS or she didn't. If people can't agree on what it means for something to be true, I don't really see how democracy or even basic communication can work if people don't try to share the same reality.

We've reached a level where, the only truth that matters is, if Facebook were to stop presenting nonsense under the rubric of news, it would hurt one party more than another. Truth is what serves the party line and the Great Leader.

Decent people should realize that a society where any lie can be the truth, isn't a society that can lead the world, or one worth having.


Yes, absolutely. The stunning hypocrisy and myopia of this propaganda campaign is driving me up the wall, and the conspirators (several of whom are seen openly volunteering their services to the DNC and/or the Clintons in the Wikileaks) have hardly attempted to hide the coordination. Do we really believe that the execs at tech companies are that interested in John Oliver's opinion that the day after he "exposes" "fake" news as the reason Trump won, they'd all decide they need to ban/quarantine these "fake" outlets? Give me a break. Anyone who buys this is beyond gullible.

This election season has been tough but this meme is bringing me closer to the edge of tolerance than anything else has so far.


I know, it's frustrating as hell. But if we're to build a better future for all of us on both sides of the political abyss, it has to start with someone reaching out. We have to be the ones to do that now. No one else seems to want to. And nothing is more important to our future as a country. It feels right now like division and divisiveness are everywhere. It is incumbent upon us not to exacerbate those problems, but do everything in our power to reduce them. And our power to do that is now greater than it was. This is the role which events have given us the opportunity to play. History will judge our actions in that light.

Don't let the bastards grind you down.


What else do you call this sort of thing? e.g.: http://abcnews.com.co


A better word for this might be counterfeit. This is pretending to be a different website than it really is. The problem is that 'fake' in the current context is being extended to sites that are judged--rightly or wrongly--to have lower journalistic standards. That slippery slope allows more dominant media to dismiss alternative media when they themselves sometimes exhibit bad journalistic standards.


Look. The "wrong" person won.

We did nothing to stop the anti vaxxer bullshit. Or the MLM schemes. Or any fake science news about breakthroughs. All of the new age crap. Any spiritual content. Any gossip site. Any conspiracy theory, medical advice, clairvoyance ad ... and on and on and on. We may even throw religious beliefs as something people think of as truth, that is not entirely substantiated with facts.


I think there's a pretty clear class of things that people are referring to as "fake news" currently. Yes, some people conflate it with more debatable claims about bias, quality or whatever. And yes, even the obvious or verifiable fake news might still be difficult to catch algorithmically. But "fake news" isn't a meme. It's an observed problem.


It's very not clear what people are referring to as fake news. And this is where this conversation leads by the way: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-16/zero-hedge-targeted... Legitimate sites getting labelled as "fake news"


It's as if they were pushing for an online "lie detector" which banned people for telling lies.. It's absurd.


How ridiculously melodramatic




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