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[flagged] Clip shows misinformation still has a home on Facebook (bbc.com)
47 points by ghobs91 21 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 41 comments

> Misrepresented occurrences such as this are used to energise lies that have bubbled around in the far reaches of the internet for a while, waiting for their moment.

You don't need to wait for the Internet, most large media groups are propaganda tools for their own political side. No need to do any "deep fake", "selective editing" is all that's needed to take things out of context and publish a different narrative based on what you want to portray.

Now the question is, what do we do about propaganda, regardless of the medium?

Sorry, do you have an example of a "large media group" "selectively editing" a video to make someone look drunk for the purposes of propaganda? Anything equivalent?

This sounds like a clever attempt to "both sides do it" a way out of actually admitting that this video and its pushing by a bunch of partisans (right up to and including the office of the President of the United States) was awful.

You agree this is awful, right?

> Sorry, do you have an example of a "large media group" "selectively editing" a video

You don't have to look too far to see large media groups selectively editing videos, or at least choosing to not display portions of video that exonerate someone. Nicholas Sandmann, the MAGA-hat wearing teen, was said to be part of a group confronting a Native American protester. When you look at the full video, it was the Native American who was confrontational. He walked over into the middle of the group rather than the group confronting him.

>When you look at the full video, it was the Native American who was confrontational.

Absolutely false.

This was a group of students who were using their free time to protest the reproductive rights of others, and in the midst of doing this did incredibly racist stuff to a Native American protester who was merely trying to keep balance of peace in these stressful engagements.

There is direct video evidence of students

* Shouting "go back to Africa"

* Doing the tomahawk chop

* Harassing other (even white) groups of women (https://twitter.com/roflinds/status/1087486166939680768)

All in a situation where they greatly outnumbered these people in the first place, and all of them wearing MAGA hats.

Basically your post is either extremely dishonest or ignorant about the actual facts. Not only does all available video evidence most definitely not exonerate the group, it puts them squarely right where people initially pegged them, and on top of all that no point is the Native American being the confrontational one.

He walked up to them. They did not walk up to him. Therefore he was being the aggressive one, end of story.

> This was a group of students who were using their free time to protest

Because you disagree with what they were protesting, they had no right to be there? Absolutely wrong.

>He walked up to them.

That's not aggression. Don't be stupid.

>Because you disagree with what they were protesting, they had no right to be there?

I never said they didn't have the right. Where did I say that? But allow me to help clarify whatever misconceptions you have about what I plainly stated in very few words: It's at best a fundamentally baseless position that has extremely negative consequences for society. At worst its downright an act of evil because you believe you should control other people based on faulty religious grounds.

They were using their free time to support this position. Not really a good look for them.

So I am absolutely correct in totality with my assessment of the situation. And if you think otherwise, allow me to make the claim that you need to evaluate some critical aspects of your perspective on this. If all you can say about what's being said is that it's a disagreement, then you're better of not saying anything at all. It makes you look better.

I noticed you couldn't or simply decided to not address the factual negations to your assumptions. Might want to work on that.

>> He walked up to them.

> That's not aggression.

Getting in someone's face is an escalation of physical aggression beyond merely saying something.

> Don't be stupid.

This will be my last interaction with you because you can't discuss ideas without hostility. Try discussing things like an adult.

> [them protesting abortion is] at worst a downright act of evil

You have no tolerance of opposing opinion yet claim to be the one with critical perspective. You've just proved my point: People wanted to believe that the Covington kids were aggressive and evil and so jumped to that conclusion without seeing the totality of what actually happened.

> Getting in someone's face is an escalation of physical aggression

It's literally not. That's not what "physical" means. It's... provoking. The guy with the drum was... I dunno, he was an asshole.

It's certainly possible that he knew the kids were loose cannons and was hoping that by "getting in someone's face" he could get one of them to throw a punch on camera. Could be. I mean, the guy clearly had an agenda, and it probably doesn't align with your politics. But that's still not "aggression" by any reasonable definition. Stop being a snowflake.

I noticed you still could not address the negations to your original claims, and instead decided to call other people childish because you did not like the critique being levied at you. Definitely the sign of a mature adult.

>You have no tolerance of opposing opinion

If all you can say about what's being discussed is that it's a simple difference of opinion, you are far better off just not saying anything at all. You are effectively trying to debase constructive conversation and turn it into a meta argument, because you can't actually make a real one.

> "selectively editing" a video to make someone look drunk

No, I don't have anything that specific in mind, but there's enough examples even in recent history of "selective editing" clearly aimed at taking people down, out of context. And yes, let me say it again, "on both sides".

This is probably driven by the fact that outrage brings views, and views bring money + influence to such media groups, and then it's just an extra step to manufacture outrage for your own benefits. That's why all sides do it: same incentives at play.

So, all sides do it except only one side actually did it but you're pretty sure the other side did too because you personally believe they'd want to so therefore it must have happened ... ?

> all sides do it except only one side actually did it

Selective editing? There's abundance of videos on youtube compiling Trump being unable to pronounce things and Obama missing a few words - all compiled to make them both of them look stupid. How is that not both sides? Not sure what your point exactly is.

You think compiling a video of real-world malapropisms is somehow the same thing as ... fabricating evidence like this? Seriously?

I mean, Obama and Trump actually said that stuff. Yes, it's misleading, but it's "true" in some kind of abstract sense.

This video of Pelosi was a straight up lie. She didn't say that stuff that way. You get that there's a moral difference here, right?

The fact that people can be fooled with cleverly structure and possibly misleading factual argument is not a license to lie like a sumbitch whenever you want. And that you seem to think so is horrifying.

> fabricating evidence like this?

Are we talking about the same thing? Slowing down a video 25% is not fabricating anything, it's just "slowing down the actual video", and people found it very quickly so it was rather obvious. Fabrication involves changing what the person actually says in my book.

And what do we do about propaganda that we don't see as propaganda because it reinforces our view of the world.

"One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" translates to "one person's information is another person's propaganda."

It's an insolvable problem, I think, and censorship is certainly not the right way to approach it. I may be wrong, but I believe a combination of 1) severe distrust of any form of media, 2) a healthy dose of criticism, 3) a wide range of sources of information, can somewhat help to reduce the issue. 1) and 2) require proper education, and 3) is about having a healthy journalistic landscape (i.e. lots of viewpoints and many ways to exchange them).

How do you suppose one should function, if one approaches every single sentence of every published news (which I think includes research as well) as being possibly untrue (which, I assume, is what's meant by severe distrust)? If there are no credible sources, how can you know anything about this world with any degree of certainty, then?

It is an extraordinarily difficult problem.

I have taken to reading a large number of individual sources, identifying the more trustworthy ones over time, and trusting primarily those sources. When one of them shifts to publishing propaganda (it is often a sudden unexplainable shift) then I write them off and remove them from my feed. Often I'll discover new sources through the networks of trusted sources.

This is very inefficient and I wish there were a better way to do it. It's not a perfect system, but it works well enough for me.

You used to be able to trust media institutions, as long as you knew their biases, but even basic facts are in question now and a great deal of so-called news is completely factless. (Headline: "Why politician X might be doing something illegal, maybe" with of course no facts to back up the supposition)

Media is flailing around searching for a sustainable business model, but it isn't working yet. Until they find something, I think we're stuck with bought-and-paid-for propaganda.

> If there are no credible sources

To me the answer lies in having access to a large variety of sources. The probability of false information goes down as decentralization of information goes up. For example, if you watch 10 people doing a live streaming event of a demonstration, you are probably going to have a better understanding of the event than from a single reporter on a major TV channel.

Of course, this means you can't fact-check everything because it would be way too much time consuming. So personally I live largely by ignoring the mass media and admit that I dont really know what is going on in most places besides very basic piece of news, and I certainly dont have enough information to have an opinion either.

This is not biased news. It is absolutely fake being passed as true. Not Donald Trump’s definition of fake (news you don’t like), but actually not factual. The two are not equivalent. Pizza gate is not real, the earth is not flat, vaccines do not cause autism. These and other false claims are being passed off as facts by a few bad actors and propagated through fake accounts to sow discontent. It’s working, and it has to stop. Facebook, Twitter, and other tech corporations have to put an end to this for the good of humanity, or humanity needs to put an end to these corporations.

It is always deeply ironic to me that unpopular sentiments about censorship are routinely censored on HN (the parent post is getting downvoted, which is censorship here)

It might be more accurately thought of as teaching the pro-censorship side a lesson about the consequences of their own principles. Surely those who advocate the deplatforming of bad ideas, of all people, have no right to protest when the public decides their views are bad ideas and deplatforms them?

Or whomever has the most fake accounts wins.

> most large media groups are propaganda tools for their own political side

No, most "large media groups" are not.

I'd welcome an example if you can find a media group that's neutral and factual about everything they cover.

NPR, BBC, Reuters, PBS, C-SPAN. You may have also heard of the Associated Press.

You know what would be REALLY neat? Like it'd absolutely tickle my pickle? For people trying to blandly "both sides" this to provide substantial evidence this is an endemic, inherit problem and that's it not really just one side who consistently misrepresents scientific and civic issues? Because even if you take the claim at face value, there is clearly a very appreciable gap in how these biases are applied and used.

This style of rhetoric and view point is irritating to see and engage with, because it's just cynicism masquerading as wisdom or insight, and it completely stifles constructive progress around these subjects.

Geez, is this an op-ed or news? The article goes on and on about it being too late, energizing lies, human instinct, blah blah. It's clearly written to encourage censorship yet it's at a /news URL written by someone with the title of "reporter". Gross.

It's the BBC, they are not known for their quality.

> In other words, we allow people to post it as a form of expression, but we’re not going to show it at the top of News Feed.

So back to the mantra of, "trust us, we'll show you what you need to know"? I thought that was exactly the attitude that got them in to this mess in the first place?!?

For more context, see this piece by Renee DiResta highlighting the difference between free speech and free reach (previously, there was little distinction between the two at Facebook):


"a lie will fly around the whole world while the truth is getting its boots on"

- misattributed to Mark Twain, 1921

I think it's not Facebook's responsibility to censor stuff on that's posted in their network but still:

Whoever receives and watches this video on Facebook is engaged in right-wing groups/pages/circles and was unlikely to vote for Pelosi anyway.

(I'm not American so I don't know who she is, I guess the continuation of Clinton?)

We know it is facebook's job to censor "stuff" because they already do it. Can you put a nude photo on facebook? No, because they censor it. They are already deciding what we get to see and what we don't.

> (I'm not American so I don't know who she is, I guess the continuation of Clinton?)

She has represented San Francisco in the US congress since the late 80s, and has been in national democratic congressional leadership for about 20 years, so, legislative rather than executive.

For that same 20ish years Republicans have been trying to use her as a symbol of vilification in various media or campaign material, in my opinion it's all very over the top.

> For that same 20ish years Republicans have been trying to use her as a symbol of vilification in various media or campaign material, in my opinion it's all very over the top.

Both sides are guilty of smear campaigns. One little flub or gaffe and a video taking it out of context will start circulating.

Just go to /r/politics if you want examples of the left smearing the right

Have Democratic presidents ever tweeted/emailed/promoted/sent out doctored videos that make their rivals look bad?

The video Orange man posted on twitter wasn't doctored. Media has changed the definition of doctored to suit them. It was edited to show only relevant parts but there was nothing fake about it.

Why not let media show the original so called undoctored version?

The reporting I saw on this was:


Video at top has her speaking at normal pace, and then shows a slowed-down version. Is this something you dispute? I have not followed the story at all, beyond seeing that article.

Can you give an example that's on the scale of Pelosi?

Trying to take myself away from my own biases, perhaps you can say Trump but coming from the executive branch you could say he's not that comparable, also people on both sides have called him outrageous.

More direct comparisons would be Paul Ryan, Boehner, Newt Gingrich. I didn't see them getting Pelosi-scale smearing.

You mean something like "If you like your health care plan you can keep it"? ...or how about the "anti-muslim video that spurned spontaneous protests" across the middle east? In any event, by and large, most doctoring / half-truths are initiated by major news sources, and the majority of these defame Republicans and/or Republican ideals. It would be redundant for democratic politicians to get involved.

Honestly, I believe it is facebook's job to censor.

They already tailor exactly what everyone sees on their feed. If they are going to decide exactly what people see, we can restrict exactly how they do that.

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