To some extent it's still going on. Protests are still happening (and it's really bad) so lately I've been noticing a bunch of - what I think are - shill accounts. Couple of days before I went through some of the posts in news post about the protests and identified several profiles with no personal pictures, no posts, posting in broken Romanian about:
- anti-EU and basically nationalistic bullshit
- religion and how that will solve everything
- government does nothing wrong and protesters are a bunch of thugs
- links to well-known fake news websites
- inciting violence while appearing to be pro-protest
Groups of accounts such as these are brigading some popular news postings and I don't really find them inside the anti-protester echo rooms.
the accounts look and feel similarly to the spam profiles which were prevalent a few years back having supermodel headshots as profile pictures.
I reported about 12 such profiles and the response from Facebook was that I should block these accounts as a resolution, as they aren't doing anything wrong per Facebook community guidelines and they are legit accounts.
In contrast, 'famous' people who are famously anti-government (and trolls, that's true, like this guy: https://www.facebook.com/macacaur) are getting their accounts disabled every couple of weeks and require photo ID proof to re-enable.
Imagine if the Iraq WMD story broke now. All those Russian trolls spamming Facebook running around saying it was bullshit. That would be total chaos! Why don't people trust the mainstream?
The reality is that propaganda works. You think you know what fake news is and what's reality, but we never did and most people follow the time-honored tradition of letting our chosen authority figures tell us who is conspiring with the bad guys. This frees us from the cognitive pain of considering their arguments and evidence because they are puppets of some nebulous evil forces and therefore safe to ignore.
Your example actually undermines your argument.
If anything, we need honest actors around to poke holes in narratives produced by authorities, not ones with the goal of weakening society.
This goes for nations that experience interference from the US as well. It makes sense that Iranian society should protect itself from covert US attempts at influence.
The bottom line was, the MSM was on board and played a key roll in the WMDs snow job.
I will buy the criticism that some media definitely did stick too obediently to the administration line, the question is how much did media influence opinion? Post-9/11 "feelings" were involved after all. From my viewpoint, Abu Ghraib and the "Mission Accomplished" statement that wasn't, among other things, were needed to change many people's minds.
_that_ is the key. If The Fourth Estate is doing their job you shouldn't have to turn down the MSM noise to hear The Truth. Facts should be the majority not some passing fringe moment.
And don't forget Bush's follow up lie "Mission Accomplished" wasn't scrutinized as it should have been.
I see this happening frequently even where there is zero motive for Russians to be involved, but it is no less effective as we've let the authorities do our thinking for us for so long.
> I see this happening frequently even where there is zero motive for Russians to be involved, but it is no less effective as we've let the authorities do our thinking for us for so long.
Everybody gets involved, everybody, because it's so easy and relatively cheap and because the stakes are so high (controlling the public discourse, world-wide). It's just that at the moment the Russians are better at this internet-influencing game compared to the Americans and their allies (imho the Israelis are the best, but they only get involved when there's talk about Gaza and the West Bank). I guess this is payback for Radio Free Europe and Radio Voice of America, when the US used to have the upper hand.
I would rather that instead of the US government responding in kind with sockpuppets, it would do the much harder work of coming up with an enormous transparency initiative that would nullify the effectiveness of foreign and domestic attempts at sowing discord and propagating falsehoods.
The best Soviet propaganda successes used instances that were genuine weaknesses for the US, such as civil rights and suspicion over US intelligence agencies’ abuses.
I think this may be one of the most simple and insightful comments I have read recently. Thank you.
My only thought is how do you find bedrock to base ideas when you can't trust any of it?
This link is from 6 years ago. In the past 5 years, I'm sure it's been refined and weaponized.
China does. And we have documented proof of their MAJOR interference in US elections in 1996. They also have recently stolen nuclear secrets and billions worth of weapons research.
How come nobody is talking about them? Did China magically stop being the bad guys after their last controversy... in 2008?
If we were really as critical thinking as we think we are, we'd be wondering why Russia is so important, and yet China is completely absent from the national discussion. You can learn more from what isn't covered in the news, than what is.
And I'm not saying Russia ISN'T important. I'm saying ALL nation-state actors are important and should be discussed. Anything and everything Russia has done, China is currently doing. So why aren't we trying to stop them just as much? Why aren't we digging up dirt on them, just as hard? Why aren't we probing our senators for connections to China?
Could it be they own a significant fraction of US interests? Hmmm...
NK and China both directly interfered in our 2016 election:
Did you know that already? Or are you enacting the entire flaw I'm talking about? That everyone is so focused on ONE country that they're forgetting the others that are doing the exact same thing.
And when China isn't apart of the discussion, my second point is this: Who has the most to gain by keeping the discussion on a DIFFERENT country (Russia) than themselves? China. I would not be surprised at all to know that the kings of nation-state hacking themselves, would also be fanning the "Russia is the threat (so don't look at any other threats!)" narrative to keep the heat off themselves.
I've got sources and logic on my side here. Are you really going to continue arguing that other nations don't matter, because "somehow" Russia is an even bigger threat--even when they do the same evil actions as Russia? At that the country with the largest military on the planet that is "at technological/effective parity" with US forces, doing the same evil actions, is somehow not a threat to us?
So is this really about politics and logic, or is this simply a matter of projecting still bitter wounds about the Trump election, and you don't "know" that China got him elected so they don't matter? What if you found out China DID get him elected, will you suddenly care then? I just proved that China interfered in our elections. So is this really about elections, or, simply, a Russia hate bandwagon and sharing the limelight with China would dilute it?
Be honest. When was the last time you saw a major discussion on HN, or the news, about China's interference in our elections? Did you even know it happened? If you found out Uber/Dick Cheney/Facebook/whatever skewed the elections and wasn't reported anywhere, wouldn't you wonder why there's that omission?
> Priebus did not cite any evidence to back up his apparent bombshell.
> The White House said in a statement to the Daily News that Priebus "was addressing hacking generally, not election manipulation."
> But none of the intelligence reports have officially said China or North Korea played a part in that, calling into question where Priebus got his information.
The second article does not even mention election interference or even swaying public opinion AT ALL, even slightly. Did you read past the headline? Because by "China Just Won The U.S. Election" the article describes that Trump's policies would be "a win" for China. Not that they got Trump elected.
You are deliberately muddying the waters in bad faith. I'm not that stupid. Goodbye.
To me, it's all just differences of degree, not kind. To suggest there's a magical barrier that gets crossed when this sort of thing suddenly becomes unethical is, in my view, the insane position. Either it's all fair game, or... well, it IS all fair game, and the only people who would say that it ISN'T are the suckers. If you disagree with the state of affairs, take it up with Facebook and Twitter, who have DESIGNED their systems to be gamed, not with the people who are using them as designed.
Hate the game, not the player.
Well before then, it's greatest impact has been on the climate change "debate" which I think was the first major deployment of the conept and they've got it down to a fine art these days. They just sow the seeds of doubt by getting the sock puppet accounts to ask seemingly innocuous questions, if you follow through with answers it quickly becomes obvious that there was no genuine curiosity, there wasn't just "one thing they don't understand about climate change" but a whole hosting of common denier talking points.
Sounds like hi tech version if voter ID and serving basically the same purpose.
That's essentially what Facebook is doing out in the open.
If somebody like Rush Limbaugh had a nationwide radio show where day by day he created content based on RNC talking points.
Or a network like Fox or MSNBC went all in on party loyalty and based all their content on party talking points.
Or a media conglomerate like Sinclair or Clear Channel pushed out political messaging to their affiliates in small markets that had to be aired during prime viewership.
This is also what Facebook is doing. However, since they have the advantage of being able to complete personalize your feed to give you what you want, they can provide 100% coverage across all demographics.
It's about providing validation and reassurance.
Which doesn't always require telling people what they want to hear, but it certainly helps.
Rush and Fox and Breitbart exist because there is a need -- millions of people who are seeking emotional validation that their worldviews are correct.
It's the same reason left-leaning publications exist. Emotional validation disguised as news.
This social push is a function of a community. If you happen to not feel any pressure to behave a certain way, you're very likely already behaving in line with the norms of the community you're in.
When they bought every bait and switch from him
When they blew several of his tweets out of proportion
When they demonized some of his opinions or sided with the more extreme ""leftist"" opinions
Whenever someone tries to imply that the "enemy" is perfectly evil or malicious, as you are attempting to do here, you can be certain that someone is trying to propagandize you. I'm going to be charitable per HN guidelines and assume you're not commenting in bad faith, but just in case you are, my advice would be to dial back the hyperbole just a wee bit if you want to accomplish anything more than incel virtue-singaling.
(I don't think these "lies" really make Obama or Clinton stand out from the rest of the political flock, for what it's worth, I'm a fan of Obama).
Fox News is an an outreach of Trump's political apparatchik. MSNBC was never particularly close to Obama.
But Fox News literally coordinates with the Trump team and he lavishes them personally with praise via Twitter almost every week. It's far more akin to campaign outreach rather than independent news. This never happened with Obama or the DNC.
MSNBC also does have independent journalists e.g. Chuck Todd and right-wing commentators e.g. Hugh Hewitt, Joe Scarborough etc. So it's not entirely liberal.
Except of course when CNN gave the debate questions to Hillary in advance.
Now it pushes the Trump line, but this is due to the fact that Fox News rightly recognizes that its viewers want their biases confirmed.
CNBC is business news; did you mean MSNBC?
MSNBC has the least viewership of the three and I would not consider it particularly influential. It is biased towards a minority ultra-Democrat position, hence its relatively lower viewership due to its fringe editorial content.
Lest ye be Roy Moore’d (or Anthony Weinered), it is a mistake to take a bad actor and extrapolate isolated statements or conduct to the greater organization without evidence of a trend.
However, CNN is the topic. Don’t think for a minute if Trump or another Republican achieves greater than 50% popularity, CNN won’t swing that way. Negative coverage of Trump was en vogue before CNN started doing it, not the other way around.
If MSNBC wasn’t close to Obama, it’s certainly in alignment with many progressive thought leader types. Fox and MSNBC are similar animals, it’s just that the Republican platform is simpler and smaller than the “big tent” Democratic platform.
For example, Sinclair broadcast group that owns a huge amount of local broadcasting in every media market in the US. Their national corporate governance literally requires all subsidiaries run blatant pro-Trump hyper conservative propaganda pieces.
Cable news and entertainment fawned over Hilary, not Bernie.
Here he's just an average left-leaning politician, we elect plenty of people like him all the time. US politics are so absurdly shifted right it's mind blowing.
Edit: Does anyone here actually disagree with this or am I just being downvoted because people are upset this is the case?
Comparatively, Europe is shifted left for sure, but you can't start doing something differently and then claim others are the ones doing it differently.
I'm a huge fan of having a principled, Conservative, political group. They are there to help provide measured, sane, grounding and represent the status-quo in opposition to those who would change it.
That's actually a good thing for Progressives - it helps test the ideas, to forge them into concrete and reliable policy, as well as get rid of ideas that aren't fully formed or have terrible knock-on effects.
I'd love a Conservative group like that. But the Republicans are not it. Some channels are more left-leaning that others but - speaking as someone left wing - only barely.
It's like the show Newsroom - the lead character in that espoused traditional Republican ideals. He was very much a 60s-70s Republican. Yet he was often criticized for being "too liberal". Things that got Regan elected, but not proposed by Democrats, are "too liberal".
News will have bias, obviously. There is no such thing as news without bias, ever. However to someone from originally outside the US the US media is at best centrist. At worst it's absolutely maddeningly right-wing.
If conservatives can notice that the government has made massive incursions into liberty they have to challenge the status quo and try and roll back some of these restrictions
Trumps Administration right now, obviously, but the PATRIOT Act, the NSA wiretap program, the entire Regan administration... etc.
So yet, it IS the right way to think about conservatives in the US because that is what they do.
I submit that what you are talking about has zero to do with conservative vs progressive and a lot to do with authoritarianism. Unfortunately the worst offenders for that are US “conservatives” (but not the only offenders).
More so than the media leaning "left", I think they lean populist. Human interest stories, people falling on hard luck, natural disasters, terrorism. Some of these things 'feel' left-leaning, some 'feel' right-leaning.
Quite the opposite actually. As the contemporary left has taken over mainstream culture and turned into the de facto "establishment" that it originally railed against, it's grown intellectually soft and dishonest.
Both sides play to populist emotional appeals and sentiments, but the left-wing outrage industry and identity politics has left them intellectually vulnerable.
I mean, if you want a case study on this vulnerability just head on over to the major liberal think-piece sites and read some of the essays (Salon, Slate, The Atlantic).
Last night I read a piece in The Atlantic that bemoaned the fact that some people expect their neighborhoods to be orderly and not riddled with crime, drugs, and gangs, arguing that these attitudes unfairly discriminated against minorities. This, from a "respectable" magazine!
We have stop perpetuating this narrative that the media is in anyway 'left' leaning because it is not. When was the last time you read an opinion piece that called for the nationalisation of some private industry?
I specifically said that the dominant culture is left - and it most certainly is, not the economic order.
Virtually every major newspaper in every major city is left-leaning, almost every single cable news network, and all the major tech giants, who are a gateway to content, are undeniably liberal. And academia...well that goes without saying - half are card carrying communists, while the other half are in the ballpark.
In fact, it's heresy to even be conservative at most major tech companies.
I've found more self-professed libertarians in this field than I've found of their left-leaning counterparts.
All these hot button issues that divide conservatives/liberals would evaporate if each side just tried, in each interaction to treat the other with dignity and according to their needs.
You know, the golden rule: Treat others like you would like to be treated? That's a good start, but we really need the platinum rule: to treat people how they would like to be treated.
Attempting to walk this path is a much harder task than relying on a dusty old book or on an enumeration of freedoms. It requires one to try to develop humility and wisdom.
I believe there are no moral absolutes, and that only by paying attention the entire situation in the moment can you tell what you should do.
When you adopt this point of view, you see that labels like liberal/conservative are just a set of received ideas that people use to avoid the difficult work described above.
They are just an interrelated set of heuristics allowing you to take shortcuts in our day to day interactions with others.
Have you even read Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky?
What do you even mean by conservative? Liberal?
You do realise that liberal and liberalism means keeping the government out of people's lives. The USA is a liberal nation by definition, for example 'The separation of church and state' and your 'right to bare arms, in a well regulated malitia'
I'm not familiar with Australian politics, but as for the others, what do you mean? We have had both liberal and conservative governments the last 30-40 years. This, again, has little to do with the mainstream culture, which was my original point.
As for explaining to you why neoliberalism has triumphed, well I recommend that you start here:
>Have you even read Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky?
Yes, and it had quite an effect on me when I was in college, and utterly ignorant of history. A lot has changed now, and while much of the book is still good, Chomsky has lost his credibility as a cultural critic following the embarrassment of his analyses about a few corners of the world...:
Not to mention the Cambodia/Khmer Rouge situation, which should have tipped me off earlier. But I was naive then.
>You do realise that liberal and liberalism means keeping the government out of people's lives....
I understand well what the words mean, friend-o.
I don't think you can really compare Australian Politics with US Politics the situation here is probably more similar to the UK than the US. Our parlimentry system is influenced by the UK 'Westminster system' we do not have a directly elected head of state. If you want to be technical the Govenor General appointed by the Queen is our Head of state. Sitting Prime ministers can be replaced by another member of their own party has happened several times in last 10 years.
To put my biases up front I am a left leaning voter who dislikes both major parties - voted for Greens most recently. Anyway here is my attempt to summarize it:
Our two major parties are the Labor party and the Liberal party.
"Liberal" in Australia has a different meaning to how the word is used in US. Calling someone a liberal or accusing them of holding liberal views has a very different meaning then in US. Here it refers to ecconomic Liberalism (support for private ownership and free trade). The Liberal party typically has a conservative stance on social issues.
Labor party has traditionally drawn it's support from Union movement it's policies mostly align with social democracy. In recent years labor has drifted more right-ward similar to Tony Blair led "New Labour" in UK. Labor party's stance on social issues has boggled my mind in recent years they tend to ping-pong all over the place. In general they take a more populist approach rather than standing on principles (i.e Kevin Rudd walking away from climate change action after declaring it the moral challenge of a generation during his election campaign) which in my opinion plays a big roll in growth of Greens (winning seats in state/federal parliament etc) as the 'inner city left' has somewhat abandoned Labor.
To call either party "insanely excessive" is inaccurate and I say that as someone who disagrees with both parties.
Calling anyone who disagrees with your political philosophy "insane" is....I don't even know what word to use.
EDIT: Perhaps instead of a downvote, you could give a few examples of the insanely excessive things right wing governments in Canada have done recently (extraordinary claims and all that....).
In no way, shape or form does that "bemoan" efforts to fight _serious_ crime in changing neighborhoods. It DOES take into account the impact of gentrification on the less affluent residents. Is actually discussing that impact considered "liberal"?
If you want to criticize liberalism honestly, then you probably shouldn't grossly mischaracterize your evidence.
This is a tangent about that article, as I hadn't read it before, but I live in that part of Brooklyn, have for a few years.
Last year on J'ouvert, 2 people were shot about two and a half blocks from my apartment building. This happened every J'ouvert until this most recent one. I'm fine with the extra police presence for that one. When I moved in, there were drug dealers on every corner, including mine. Going to work, I had to go past their pitbulls in the morning or walk in the street as they all crowded the sidewalk. That ended a few months ago.
I've seen more police, and more police called for things like a drunk beating up and robbing another drunk where that used to just be let go - it's not all minor crimes, it's an attitude change as people move in that don't expect to have dangerous people and violence around them. Sure, they shouldn't necessarily call the cops on the guy barbecuing in the street at midnight, but honestly? I don't think it's a really bad thing.
* uppity liberals and fringe left-wing protestors
* "the rest of us"
Interesting. Lots of people on both sides of the aisle admit that there are uppity conservatives and fringe right-wing protestors, but you neglected to mention them.
Do you feel that you're "in the middle" and not a conservative?
I was painting broadly the social demographic of the people that push this sort of nonsense - it usually is uppity liberals and fringe radicals.
People who actually care about their neighborhoods call the police when there are homicides, drug dealing, and violence occurring.
> there are uppity conservatives and fringe right-wing protestors
Yes, and I'm one of those uppity conservatives. I hold the fringe right-wing guys in contempt, but I don't see the relevance? If you want me to rail on them, I will gladly.
>Do you feel that you're "in the middle" and not a conservative?
Libertarian I guess? Grew up in a poor neighborhood much like the one described in the article, so I feel quite strongly about this sort of stuff. A larger police presence would have been a gift from God.
It opens with:
>"But having been marred by gang violence in recent years, this J’ouvert was markedly different, as The New York Times described. The event, which derives its name from a Creole term for “daybreak,” was heavily staffed by the New York City Police Department.....an overwhelming show of force in response to a comparatively small number of bad actors."
The author conveniently omitted the specifics of that "gang violance" - an aide to Gov. Cuomo was murdered at the event a couple years ago, there have been multiple stabbings, there have been homicides the past two years, and just few days before the festival this year, multiple people were shot and killed:
Do tell me, how much violence and killing is acceptable for you before you call for, as the author put it, an "overwhelming show of force"?
And guess what, that police presence did nothing but make the event safer, as per the New York Times:
I can go on if you want, but I don't see the point. The article is an absurd framing of the situation, and completely omits the perspective of all the minorities who APPRECIATE the police presence, and who work with the police on a day-to-day basis, serving in community watch groups, and coordinating with and calling the police whenever they see problems. But no, that doesn't fit the narrative, so it's not in there.
You chalk that up to the writer intentionally ("conveniently") omitting that. Then you cite the NY Post, widely acknowledged as a sensational tabloid, presumably as an example of the coverage you prefer?
Then, you take fault with the author expressing their opinion that the festival had "an overwhelming show of force."
Is that all the author complained about in this respect? They didn't say "damn fascists!" or anything else? They didn't attach any value judgment -- YOU did. The author just pointed out that it was an "overwhelming show of force" which you admit did make the event safer.
If this is the awful, biased "liberal" media you're worried about, you should probably stick to the Post. That way all of your existing biases can be reinforced.
>Then, you take fault with the author expressing their opinion that the festival had "an overwhelming show of force.
No, I take issue with the authors insinuation that it wasn't warranted, hence:
"overwhelming show of force in response to a comparatively small number of bad actors."
>Is that all the author complained about in this respect?
Have you actually read the article? It's probably one silliest pieces of journalism I've ever read. Just read something of quotes:
>“The gentrifiers are not wanting to share—they’re wanting to take over.” One of the tools they can use to take over public spaces, he argues, is law enforcement.
Yes, law enforcement is a tool of the "gentrifiers" to move poor people out. This is ridiculous.
It's not the crimes that are the problem (homicides, assaults, drug dealing, public intoxication), but rather the "criminalization" of the criminals.
I guess the solution is just stop calling the cops?
>If this is the awful, biased "liberal" media you're worried about, you should probably stick to the Post. That way all of your existing biases can be reinforced.
EDIT: Wow, I didn't even criticize one side or the other, but simply pointed out a fact of human nature, and here we go with the downvotes as usual. Another excellent illustration of the "either you're with us or against us" philosophy. At least people can agree with ole George on one thing.
The attitudes you speak of in some opinion pieces may be laughable in some ways but thought-provoking in others. Is it not true that some crime-fighting techniques disproportionately affect minority communities? Eg, not in proportion to the rate at which those communities commit crimes? You can't tell me that considering these factors is without merit, even if you disagree wholeheartedly with the conclusions.
It's difficult to honestly compare a perhaps laughable premise or conclusion from one end of the political spectrum, with outright disregard for basic facts, truths, and reason-based discourse on the other. I will not participate in calling these things equivalent, however many points it may score with folks who are too afraid to offend. (We won't go into the irony of the great offense felt by folks who are hostile to truth itself, who expect their hurt feelings to entitle them to being treated as if their (lack of) ideas have merit).
You just assume everyone is a Democrat that doesn't agree with you and you can't think of such a list without serious time investment.
Progressivism works as a sort of pushing against the order of things, for better or worse. Its development being the result of our ability to manipulate and change our environment to an extraordinary degree, much more so than any other animal.
I remember being a kid in 1992 and being told that by this point in my life I would have to wear a special suit because the hole in the ozone layer would get so bad the suns rays would start frying us. The same is happening today. People are crying wolf about everything to the point where it's become impossible to take the alarmism seriously anymore.
Ivar Giaever and Freemason Dyson have done a great job illustrating the problems with the current dialogue around climate change.
The people crying wolf back then prevented us from depleting the ozone layer.
You probably recall being told about endangered species when you were a kid too. The fact that they still exist does not indicate that you experienced alarmism but that people actively protected those species.
"...the opinions of old men about life have been accepted as final. All sorts of allowances are made for the illusions of youth; and none, or almost none, for the disenchantments of age. It is held to be a good taunt, and somehow or other to clinch the question logically, when an old gentleman waggles his head and says: “Ah, so I thought when I was your age.” It is not thought an answer at all, if the young man retorts: “My venerable sir, so I shall most probably think when I am yours.”
Because I have reached Paris, I am not ashamed of having passed through Newhaven and Dieppe. They were very good places to pass through, and I am none the less at my destination. All my old opinions were only stages on the way to the one I now hold, as itself is only a stage on the way to something else. I am no more abashed at having been a red-hot Socialist with a panacea of my own than at having been a sucking infant. Doubtless the world is quite right in a million ways; but you have to be kicked about a little to convince you of the fact. And in the meanwhile you must do something, be something, believe something. It is not possible to keep the mind in a state of accurate balance and blank; and even if you could do so, instead of coming ultimately to the right conclusion, you would be very apt to remain in a state of balance and blank to perpetuity. Even in quite intermediate stages, a dash of enthusiasm is not a thing to be ashamed of in the retrospect: if St. Paul had not been a very zealous Pharisee, he would have been a colder Christian. For my part, I look back to the time when I was a Socialist with something like regret. I have convinced myself (for the moment) that we had better leave these great changes to what we call great blind forces: their blindness being so much more perspicacious than the little, peering, partial eyesight of men. I seem to see that my own scheme would not answer; and all the other schemes I ever heard propounded would depress some elements of goodness just as much as they encouraged others. Now I know that in thus turning Conservative with years, I am going through the normal cycle of change and travelling in the common orbit of men’s opinions. I submit to this, as I would submit to gout or gray hair, as a concomitant of growing age or else of failing animal heat; but I do not acknowledge that it is necessarily a change for the better — I daresay it is deplorably for the worse. I have no choice in the business, and can no more resist this tendency of my mind than I could prevent my body from beginning to totter and decay. ...
When the old man waggles his head and says, “Ah, so I thought when I was your age,” he has proved the youth’s case. Doubtless, whether from growth of experience or decline of animal heat, he thinks so no longer; but he thought so while he was young; and all men have thought so while they were young, since there was dew in the morning or hawthorn in May; and here is another young man adding his vote to those of previous generations and rivetting another link to the chain of testimony. It is as natural and as right for a young man to be imprudent and exaggerated, to live in swoops and circles, and beat about his cage like any other wild thing newly captured, as it is for old men to turn gray, or mothers to love their offspring, or heroes to die for something worthier than their lives."
Does this mean you think all viewers are democrats (or even most) and that republicans are the enemy?
I believe betting on "most side with Democrats" is a safe bet
> On the Netflix subscriber, likely to watch new shows demographic
- How many people don't have internet?
- How many people won't/can't sign up for Netflix? (think also in Urban/Rural demographics)
- How many people have Netflix but are not interested in a new show?
I'm not saying no Republican watches House of Cards, I'm saying it is biased towards Democrats
 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Long (example of conservative sitcom writer)
 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Sandler (example of conservative movie actor/producer)
Now, I don't subscribe to conservative politics myself. But it is simply a moral wrong to assume an entire profession is united in political views. Nor is it a good thing to invoke such identity politics. Let's move forward and focus on the real issues at hand.
It doesn't imply outright bias but it certainly seems like an unlikely co-incidince.
That's... quite a leap. You could easily argue Robin Wright plays a fictionalized Hillary Clinton on "House of Cards."
Personally, I think that the free market that the conservatives love to salivate about is making this happen. It cracks me up to imagine Hollywood producers saying "Well, I COULD make more money by making a super-conservative show but I just NEED to get my liberal views out there in the American brain!" Nope. They know that conservatives are going to stroke it to Duck Dynasty and that's about it.
The show also started around the same time as her incredibly popular tenure as Secretary of State.
Wow, blond AND from the Midwest? A dedicated and caring public servant? Shit, I guess NBC is lucky that Hillary didn't sue them for such a blatant rip-off.
Oh wait, one is a real person who served as Senator and Secretary of State and the other is a fictional bureaucrat who served 3 months on her small city's council and loves waffles.
If you don't want to be banned on HN, you're welcome to email email@example.com and give us reason to believe that you'll follow the rules in the future.
That wouldn't happen, because on the one hand no amount of money from the Republicans would persuade ABC/CBS/NBC to support them, and on the other hand they're quite glad to provide free support to the Democrats. The situation is reverse with Fox 'News,' of course.
This isn't for any nefarious reason: it's just that pretty much everyone associated with mass media believes that the Republicans are evil and the Democrats are good. There's no amount of money which could persuade me to claim that all murder should be legal; likewise, there's no need to pay me to say that murder should be illegal. The situation is the same for the vast majority of showrunners & news anchors: they really are doing what they believe is right.
Al Gore - 30 Rock
Joe Biden/Michelle Obama - Parks and Rec
Newt Gengrich - Murphy Brown
Donna Brazil - Good Wife
The 30 Rock/Al Gore example in particular happened years after he was done running for public office.
And even Parks and Rec wasn't so much advocating for Joe Biden/Michelle Obama as having a left leaning, political character be excited about the opportunity to meet them. I can also remember John McCain appearing on Parks and Rec.
I think the fall from grace narrative arc was very entertaining. Most political candidates get to do hits on Late Night shows in a relaxed atmosphere whenever they want. I think it's a great part about America.
So think what you will of that.
Parks and Rec also featured Newt Gingrich, Olympia Snow, and John McCain.
I wasn't quite aware of this myself until a few years ago. Now I see it in almost every crime/spy/military-related show or movie. I've stopped watching several shows because of it and never started watching others.
And you realize that a movie about the horrors of the Vietnam War isn't necessarily anti-military, right? America lost tens of thousands of young men and hundreds of thousands more were injured -- the country was torn about the war, with people literally dying in protests. It was a BIG DEAL. Which is why tons of movies and tv shows have dealt with those issues in the ensuing 50 years.
If your movie says "the Vietnam War sucked" or even "Lots of American soldiers came back from Vietnam with incredibly severe mental and physical problems" -- that's not anti-military. That's the truth.
If you want rah-rah, "go Army!" then there are plenty of archived Army recruitment and propaganda films from the 40s, 50s, and 60s on YouTube.
Then they hire or allow groups to enforce rules who also cant tell the difference, and allow the "Kill Jew" statements to stay.
Yet, seems, most of US can see both "kill xxx" statements are equally bad and should be removed. I don't think most of us have any special skills that make us enlightened, just not so partisan heavy in attitude.
Imagine a social platform with a nice API, no moderators, no global filters, and you're looking at a thread focused on a particular political issue.
Now imagine there is a chatbot that can enumerate every position a person could possibly take about this issue and generates a couple hundred thousand slightly unique strings of words that express each of these positions, and floods the thread with these "comments".
Lets say the volume of content produced by the chatbot is so high that if a user were to randomly browse comments in this thread, there is no statistically significant bias in favor of a particular position.
Now the question is how can you enable the users to find "truth", or learn anything, or even meaningfully communicate with other users within this context?
>Now imagine there is a chatbot that can enumerate every position a person could possibly take about this issue and generates a couple hundred thousand slightly unique strings of words that express each of these positions, and floods the thread with these "comments".
If there are hundreds of thousands of strings then I absolutely can't. But I'd say on most issues there are probably max a few hundred positions. If I have to crawl through the same positions restated different ways over and over then truth is lost, if I can quickly browse one unique string for each position then it will take dedication but I can suss out what I believe and have some sort of backing for it.
Dealing with information overload is sort of the unique problem of our times I suppose.
It was a bad idea to think that you could do that generally before the chatbot got there.
If the cost to the chatbot is close enough to $0, or if its a state-level chatbot attack, then you're meaningfully communicating either because a) nobody who owns chatbots has an interest in disrupting you atm, or b) sheer luck.
Facebook with all its flaws is still a much more open system compared to traditional media. If you have fake news campaigns you can also make fact news campaigns, whereas with traditional media outlets, you'd have to setup expensive paper or tv channels to actually even begin to address a problem with the existing industry.
This is felt quite sharply in India, about which this article complains. The person who killed the journalist in the article is yet to be found. Her own brother gave a statement that it might have been the doing of left-wing extremists in India. Unless you know who is culpable how can you insinuate it was due to some 'nationalist right wing trolls'? This article is just another witch hunt.
We're tribal animals, but we're almost herd-like when we get caught up. It's important that the institutions that whip up the herd and point it around have some kind of checks and balances. We try and get by with the notion of offending public decency, of using concepts like honesty and integrity to shame people into doing the right thing, but it doesn't come naturally - it needs to be chosen, repeatedly and maintained.
It's just too powerful.
On one side it's propaganda, on the other it's illegal hiring practices (eg only advertising to young, able bodied men). I can't imagine a democratic world will tolerate this much longer.
Within 24 hours I apparently had ticked someone off who had reported me, because my account was locked until I scanned a photo ID of myself and uploaded it.
If that happened to me, why isn't it happening to _everyone_?
facebook kinda sucks
I commented with this account for a few weeks before getting into a heavy argument with a Trump supporter in a comments thread who even accused me of being a fake account because I had no picture uploaded.
Not saying your scenario isn't plausible, just unlikely.
It doesn't really matter that it was a shitty, gross joke. That's not the criteria for removal, and they told you that before you reported it again.
Though, a temp-ban might be a little harsh. If the only problem was with reporting, they could easily have dealt with that by silently ignoring future reports from your account.
Facebook has the right to moderate content on their platform however they choose. I think that saying that Facebook is "dirt" and "too powerful" because they moderate the content on their own website according to their own rules is a bit excessive, although I might agree with those descriptors with respect to some other things that they do.
You can find Facebook's standards on this topic here: https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards#nudity
I was surprised at how explicit their community standards are. After a thorough read, it seems that in this case, they exercised them with consistency and even-handedness. I also find that to be something to like about your story. 24 hour account suspension seems like reasonable sanction for abuse of the reporting system. Abuse of the reporting system makes moderation difficult and obviously has to be penalized to prevent users from taking down non-violating posts just because they are in disagreement. Allowing users to do that is certainly not a recipe for healthy discourse.
I do, however, draw a line when there is material circulating that normalises the rising trend of boys and young men using their cellphones to take unauthorised snapshots of women’s underwear and sometimes genitalia without their consent. Such photos would clearly violate Facebook’s Community Standards, but a cartoon does not?
My reference to them being “dirt” and being “two powerful” were separate sentences for a reason. I wanted there to be a bit of distance between the two statements. They are ‘dirt’ because they remove photos of breastfeeding mothers (probably the least offensive form of partial nudity one can think of, and the most natural thing in the world) as being somehow offensive, but they apparently they give this smut a free pass.
They’re too powerful because they have no competitors that could really supplant them. There’s plenty of alternative social networks to choose from, yes, but moving to a social media network without your contacts totally disrupts your habits. To a very real extent, we who use Facebook are a captive audience.
The irony of all this is that in less than an hour my account was reactivated and the cartoon was gone. I suspect I wasn’t the only person who reported it, perhaps multiple times each, and eventually Facebook had to capitulate and as a token of apology released me early from my suspension.
But think of that... in a working, democratic institution, you know what you are held guilty of, what the process is, and what the penalties might be. You get a chance to argue your case (or better still, have it argued for you). This is citizenship in a democracy with institutions. On Facebook, we’re all little serfs, and then there’s the feudal lord (the company itself) that gets to degree by fiat what is and what isn’t wrong (often not even bothering to explain the motivation so that it might become doctrine or at least a heuristic to use when making decisions) .
So in short, no: I am against more censorship by faceless incommunicado Facebook contractors sitting in their cubicles half way across the world with minimal pay. I the power to censor to be returned to the people.
They have the legal right. But any ubiquitous service should lose that right and be subject to the First Amendment.
One's a cartoon depiction, another is a real photograph taken without consent. Why would they take down the former but leave the latter to proliferate?
Looks like it's the turn of social networks now.
> In India, the company helped develop the online presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who now has more Facebook followers than any other world leader.
...Seriously? How about another article on SEO companies training political campaign managers how to gain better ranking in Google?
Left wingers wish to link that murder to the state whereas the lady had a reputation of defamation and the courts had ruled her to apologize for abusing people without proof.
Her family & her brother had disowned her due to her lies and was actually involved with mafia elements.
please follow her twitter posts asking for peace among her friends who were "warring".
Overall Modi government is voted by Majority Indian population and FB just came into lobby against the Net Neutrality which was rejected by The Indian Government rightly.
Attributing Modi government success to FB is spreading news without substance. FB might be meddling in Indian affairs but thats FB's problem.
Exactly, an elected position would come with even more publicity, actual responsibilities and the possibility of being held accountable for his actions.
It's far more convenient and efficient for him to stay out of that system and just play it from the outside.
Owning a bunch of hotels is a fundamentally different type of power than owning a demographic database + messaging system used to manipulate people's moods.
Having full control of the platform a large portion of the population depends on for news and communication could help him evade much of that.
The only reason he would want to go for public office, at least I could think of, is to influence government policies. But he already has an army of experienced and well-paid people doing exactly that.
The theory, of course, being that we build up immunities to certain kinds of advertising; there's always a race between us humans building up that immunity, and advertisers striving for novelty.
If that theory holds, advertisers have a huge advantage every time a new platform rolls out, and that advantage is slowly eroded over time, as we humans get used to the new medium.
Is it true? i don't know.
Trump talked about things people cared about in a straightforward, albeit bombastic, way. You may disagree with his approach, but others appreciated he was at least talking about things they cared about. Sure Hillary talked about those issues too, but she wasn't able to set a clear vision or ground her campaign in clearly defined and solid themes.
We can only learn from failure by accepting it and studying it, not by dismissing it as a fluke.
Even in discussions with people who could calmly talk about it, Trump supporters would cite obviously fake blog posts and other completely fake information that could easily be discredited with quick online searches. Even when shown that the information was fake they would not change the opinions that the fake information had created in their minds. He was talking about things that they cared about, because they had little grip on basic facts about reality. They cared about the wrong things.
Media talked about Trump being terrible all the time. He was bashed at every opportunity on many of the big networks. All the free publicity he got probably helped him, even if much of it was negative.
Once Trump won the R nomination, media began to take him seriously and do their best to discredit him and his positions.
It really depends on what problem you're trying to solve:
If crime is your issue, illegal immigration is probably the wrong focus. If general health of the economy is the issue, probably also the wrong focus. If competition for manual labor is your issue, illegal immigration might be a cause for concern, though in order to be a good candidate/official, it's best if you've got a policy that's likely to actually help (building a wall might help the big construction companies who can land the contracts for it, but it's not likely to help anybody who isn't helping build the wall itself).
> Media talked about Trump being terrible all the time. He was bashed at every opportunity on many of the big networks.
Welcome to politics. You run for office, you're going to get criticized. Is there anything more boring at this point than a persecution complex over that fact? Particularly when (a) we're talking about Donald Trump, who isn't exactly a stranger to dishing it out himself, and (b) it comes from a side of the spectrum that also often seems to make a fuss about safe spaces and snowflakes vs robust free speech.
But even assuming Trump drew more criticism than usual -- why is it that so many Trump supporters assumed that was a matter of bias rather than a matter of professionals seeing genuinely troubling thing in Trump's character and policy? Particularly when so many of the newspaper outlets that refused to endorse him were traditionally backers of Republicans?
I don't think that this would be a productive format for discussing it in depth though.
Quite a few things were different.
My impression was that the man rarely said the same thing twice.
My theory was that he campaigned in the style that was popular before national media, wherein you say different things to different audiences, and that this meshed really well with facebook style targeted advertising, as he could, at least on facebook, give people the message tailored to what they wanted to hear.
My theory is that because most of my media still doesn't come from facebook, and the national media outlets I follow would report everything he said, to me? he seemed like a man who didn't have any coherent beliefs.
(This, assuming that Trump is cleared of collusion with the Russians, is what I feel was wrong with the current election. I feel that having the national media point out when a candidate makes conflicting statements is a good thing; I think it was a big step forward over what came before.)
My theory is that the average Trump voter made more than the average Clinton voter. There is some evidence for this:
Being in governance gives you power that you can only glance at as a private citizen. Being a billionaire and president of the US will make you far more powerful than merely being a billionaire.
But AFAIK he is not interested in politics at all.
It's just a bunch of organized paid trolls with fancy ideas about themselves and what they do, because it's all secret-y and covert-y, but really, they're incompetent people who after slamming their head against the problem many times have group-devised by trial-and-error rather nifty ways of manipulating online conversations.
Any place where you can add a comment is manipulable, but their manipulations only work if people aren't aware of their existence in the comments section and of their good-cop / bad-cop group tactics, the methodological flaws of anonymous online voting and why noise-flooding works.
Nationalists are rising or at least becoming more vocal in at least Britain, India, United States, Austria, Germany, Korea, and Japan.
They are direct threats to the established status quo. Censoring their political speech will cause a "Streisand Effect" and only further galvanize a backlash against the establishment.
Social Media will probably be broken up by country (Ex. The chinese model), so that national laws on speech can be enforced.
However pros and cons of the new political groups must be debated on a public stage.
There is increasing number of evidence that points to the ex-KGB officer now leading a nuclear armed 2.5 world country.
If they can pull one on the US, the rest of Eastern Europe, or frankly any country facing an authoritarian government will face this new 'hybrid war'--combining cyberattacks, psy-ops on social media and backing separatists in the said country.
I fear for both of my countries Korea and Canada as they are on the trajectory of colliding with Russian & Chinese interests...and we cannot even trust the US while it's going through an internal conflict.
We've collectively realized just how powerful these social media platform is....people are heads down on their smartphones consuming low-dopamine hits that eventually overrides critical thinking.
I also think that Facebook and Twitter are going to be facing a political and legal uphill battle once the establishment has thoroughly finished analyzing exactly step by step what happened.
Honesty, regardless of his outside image, Putin is sweating. Instead of lifting sanctions he's earned the exact opposite. Instead of keeping former soviet blocs in check he scared them to the arms of US & Nato. This unrest he caused will fade as the US media ramps up their own psy-ops against Putin.
I will go far as to predict that the Russian Federation will be broken into multiple countries in the near future as their economy is destroyed by the West....with China picking up scraps and benefiting greatly from the brain drain.
Yes, the 73 pence spent by Russia on covering Brexit (the paid tweets were RT twitter promotions ) were responsible for Brexit. Not that Britain has had a vocal euro-sceptic contingent for over 40 years, satisfaction with the EU has been minor and the EU's handling of the refugee crisis.
None of that. It was due to the 73p of Russian promoted tweets.
Nothing scares me more than unfalsifiable claims like this. "The vote didn't go my way, so it must have been illegitimate. If only people weren't entranced by Russian propaganda! My side would have won!"
Truly disgusting. We're already seeing justifications for limiting speech. This is a very dark road we're going down.
I suggest you to read the facts and decide for yourself. I'm sure HNers are more than capable of connecting the dots.
But hey: HNers are typically good critical thinkers, so I'm sure they've seen spin before and know to take it with a grain of salt.
"How X enables the Dark Art of Digital Propaganda" would be an issue of interest and concern NO MATTER WHAT THE X IS.
There's a simple solution to this, which is to write legislation to ban commercial political ads.
The point about Facebook anyway, singling them out, is that it happens to be an article about Facebook and how they in particular do this. A similar article on "How Fox News…" or "How ESPN…" or "How the NYT…" would be appropriate also in the case that any of those places had a dedicated political unit which was interesting to report about, especially if it contradicts the way the entity prefers to present itself.
Of course, it's reasonable to focus on Facebook merely in their dominance.
And finally, it's possible at least that Facebook is actually worse in some ways (or just more effective at spreading propaganda etc), and I'm not ready to rule that out.