Fake News

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Cittasanto
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Fake News

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:17 pm

Hi All
It is of growing concern to myself that there seems to be a right and wrong information source, opinion, and source of opinion. I have seen, to both myself and others, that they should not use suttas to show the how they are (in part) of such a world view, or one source of news is more justified than another because of reliability, or bias... Lets face it all news organisations are bias, we should expect to have to look at the source of the information when it is available.

But onto two articles on recent moves to censor freedom of expression, and press

https://www.article19.org/resources.php ... erspective
Recently, Facebook has been blamed for spreading “fake news” and contributing to the election of Donald Trump as the next US president. There have since been calls for Facebook to take action to address the issue and be treated as a media company in this regard. While tech giants hold considerable power over media and civic space, assigning them the mission of sorting out what constitutes “true” information is a dangerous route to take. What’s more, in the complex world we live in, even journalists and other contributors to the news should never be held liable for reporting “fake news” unless they have failed to dedicate reasonable efforts to verify information.
https://theintercept.com/2016/12/09/a-c ... eaks-docs/
Complaints about Fake News are typically accompanied by calls for “solutions” that involve censorship and suppression, either by the government or tech giants such as Facebook. But until there is a clear definition of “Fake News,” and until it’s recognized that Fake News is being aggressively spread by the very people most loudly complaining about it, the dangers posed by these solutions will be at least as great as the problem itself.
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/On_Liberty/Chapter_2
If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. Were an opinion a personal possession of no value except to the owner; if to be obstructed in the enjoyment of it were simply a private injury, it would make some difference whether the injury was inflicted only on a few persons or on many. But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
Kind regards
Cittasanto
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

SarathW
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Re: Fake News

Post by SarathW » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:27 pm

Most verbal fabrications are fake. (written or media)
It varied only on degree.
So the listener should be intelligent enough to sort out the mess.
Even the highly regarded Tipitaka should be read with open mind.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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retrofuturist
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Re: Fake News

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:58 pm

Greetings Cittasanto,

Yes, I too am concerned about the war on "fake news"... in particular, I question the omniscience and independence of whoever it is that would decide what constitutes "fake", on what basis they would declare it "fake" (in contrast to "unfavourable to my agenda"), and how they would then intend to control these "fake" news sources. It's hard to image it being anything other than Orwellian.

I believe it's best to allow freedom of the press, to let different publications exist, and to allow each to develop their own reputation and audience. Those that are genuinely fake and of poor quality will show themselves as such in the fullness of time, and will see their market share and profitability collapse as a result.

:reading:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

chownah
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Re: Fake News

Post by chownah » Tue Dec 13, 2016 2:56 am

Fake news has always been an issue....only historically it has been mostly been of concern only in cases of libel and slander.....seems that in the age of mass communications it has broadened its importance. I wouldn't call the libel and slander laws "orwellian" and while freedom of the press is a concern there so far has not been any overt "orwellian" reactions.

Something very similar to fake news is HG Well's "War of the Worlds" radio presentation which was mistaken to be a live news report and which caused mayhem:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_o ... dio_drama)

chownah

Buddha Vacana
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Re: Fake News

Post by Buddha Vacana » Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:34 am

retrofuturist wrote:on what basis they would declare it "fake" (in contrast to "unfavourable to my agenda")
Well, when it is not factual. Or do you mean "there is no such thing anymore as facts"?
Here is a pretty obvious example.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Fake News

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:47 am

Greetings,
Buddha Vacana wrote:Or do you mean "there is no such thing anymore as facts"?
No. I'm saying I don't trust any single person or organisation to be the arbitrator of what constitutes public "facts" and "falsehoods", and therefore would not imbue any such authority with any powers to curtail information they deemed to be false.

For example, This Professor’s List of ‘Fake News’ Sites Goes Predictably Wrong...

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Mr Man
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Re: Fake News

Post by Mr Man » Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:00 am

The wikpedia entry "Fake news website" is worth a read.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_news_website

Fake News, in my opinion, refers to a fairly specific thing (with a little blur at the edges).

Buddha Vacana
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Re: Fake News

Post by Buddha Vacana » Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:50 am

retrofuturist wrote:I'm saying I don't trust any single person or organisation to be the arbitrator of what constitutes public "facts" and "falsehoods", and therefore would not imbue any such authority with any powers to curtail information they deemed to be false.

For example, This Professor’s List of ‘Fake News’ Sites Goes Predictably Wrong
So, basically, if I am following this logic, there should also be no justice department because misjudgments happen?
This whole article is based on the premise that whatever organization would be in charge of turning off fake news would follow lists such as that professor's. This is very unlikely to happen on facebook because they would lose a lot of users, and that would be to the profit of alternative platforms.
Facts are not so difficult to establish, and just as perjury is a crime, the deliberate creation and spread of non-factual news should also be a crime and the concerned outlets should be closely monitored and shut down if they turn out to repeat the offense.

Also, quite ironically, the news article mentioned on that blog now reads:
UPDATE: Nov. 17, 5:52 p.m.: The professor who created the list has taken down the Google doc. She said it was a safety measure in response to threats and harassment she and her students and colleagues had received. She is continuing to work on it and plans to release it in the future in a format other than a Google doc.
Mr Man wrote:Fake News, in my opinion, refers to a fairly specific thing (with a little blur at the edges).
agreed

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Cittasanto
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Re: Fake News

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:50 am

chownah wrote:Fake news has always been an issue....only historically it has been mostly been of concern only in cases of libel and slander.....seems that in the age of mass communications it has broadened its importance. I wouldn't call the libel and slander laws "orwellian" and while freedom of the press is a concern there so far has not been any overt "orwellian" reactions.
Liable and slander are restrictions on free expression simply because of truth and fact claims and their (or there?) effects on a persons liberty and justice, Although in the first link the "fake news" isn't slander or liable, it is falsely calling into question information which should stand on its own merits, perjury is also a crime, and false advertising is also restricted, freedom of expression is limited to the truth (although there are exceptions like comedy, plays... but these are to be understood in that light, not as claiming truth). and in the accusation & solution brought up in the links, in the op, are also having an effect. The mere call for such solutions, and the willingness of people to go along with and use the accusations as legitimacy for disregarding publications is the start. As is Youtube heroes (which started about 2 - 3 months ago) where someone can mass flag a channel without help (mass flagging has been an issue for a long time), or regard for the truth (false DMCA claims).

To go onto a little rant as to the reason fake news comes about, which we have talked a little about. although I will bring up other things also.

There is a history of the left and the right having issues in reporting. And there are reasons the public (in the US at least) are distrusting the media, more and more. A few examples that spring to mind are
Gamergate where journalistic integrity was squarely put into question by gamers who then got nothing but accusations of misogyny, and articles like "gamers are dead".
Climategate where emails were quote mined and a narrative formed around those, rather than the data and context which showed something different to the claim being reported.
And lastly (which I shall deal with more here as it covers allot of the concerns with fake news) is the article by rolling stones "a rape on campus" where inconsistencies were not accounted for, facts were not checked, and the account of the accuser was believed even when the doubts were related to the truthfulness. To bring in what has previously been said elsewhere. When training to investigate, interpret data, interview, write clearly, developing sound arguments/reasoning in writing... are taught with a framework of how to analyse the data/the story, the risk of confirmation bias, and fitting the facts to the conclusion (or investigating backwards) is very real and has an effect. One thing feminists have advocated is "believe the survivor" which is quite an innocuous principle, until, the assumption that the accuser is the survivor regardless of evidence, and investigator (police, journalist...) practices to establish context and facts are seen as victim blaming will of played a part in the failings of the retracted story, and play a role in the publics trust in the media generally, along with other areas of journalism education I mention.

Journalists are not the only ones who use these skills and there are occasions when there are failings in these other professions also, but these are working the majority of the time or reliable enough without a new framework, or failings are down to other factors (insufficient data/evidence...), the failings are not increasing with excuses like some at fox news, or the young turks... who hide behind being opinion guys, which for me isn't an excuse, the news is there, and there are facts... they should not speculate beyond that and to the point of distorting/ignoring the facts. for comparison, Newtonian physics is good enough to still be in use even after Einstein's equations were developed. However, this is not the case in journalism's reliability, there has been no new method or framework developed to more accurately understand data, evidence, develop interview questions, understand answers, fact check. That said there is evidence that ideologies lead to wrong conclusions based on confirmation bias, leading questions.... To use homicide as an example, law enforcement have a working definition of what homicide is, and it is a journalists and academics responsibility to talk about homicide in relation to that definition, not create a new definition. however, some confuse homicide with murder, when in reality murder and homocide psudonyms in law, however all murders are homicides, just not all homicides are murders.

Kind Regards
Cittasanto
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Cittasanto
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Re: Fake News

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:07 pm

Mr Man wrote:The wikpedia entry "Fake news website" is worth a read.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_news_website

Fake News, in my opinion, refers to a fairly specific thing (with a little blur at the edges).
and what is this fairly specific thing?

Kind Regards
Cittasanto
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Cittasanto
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Re: Fake News

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:09 pm

SarathW wrote:Most verbal fabrications are fake. (written or media)
It varied only on degree.
So the listener should be intelligent enough to sort out the mess.
Even the highly regarded Tipitaka should be read with open mind.
Agreed
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

Buddha Vacana
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Re: Fake News

Post by Buddha Vacana » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:24 pm

Cittasanto wrote:And lastly (which I shall deal with more here as it covers allot of the concerns with fake news) is the article by rolling stones "a rape on campus" where inconsistencies were not accounted for, facts were not checked, and the account of the accuser was believed even when the doubts were related to the truthfulness. To bring in what has previously been said elsewhere. When training to investigate, interpret data, interview, write clearly, developing sound arguments/reasoning in writing... are taught with a framework of how to analyse the data/the story, the risk of confirmation bias, and fitting the facts to the conclusion (or investigating backwards) is very real and has an effect.
All these are real problems and real concerns. But they are not about "fake news", they are about inaccurate news. As you put it yourself, all fake news are inaccurate, but not all inaccurate news are fake news. Fake news are non factual events deliberately fabricated out of no credible source to mislead the readers. And it is all the more dangerous that it disproportionately attracts the attention of the public:
"“Denzel Washington Backs Trump in the Most Epic Way Possible,” the headline read. “Denzel is now Team Trump!” The story was shared 10,000 times from a single source—American News’s Facebook page—in its first six hours on the web. The post garnered 80,000 likes in a half of a day. Nothing about the post is true, but that didn’t seem to matter to American News, which has 5.5 million followers and an account verified by an employee at Facebook. American News ... has 700,000 more subscribers than The Washington Post on Facebook."

Buddha Vacana
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Re: Fake News

Post by Buddha Vacana » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:28 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
Mr Man wrote:The wikpedia entry "Fake news website" is worth a read.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_news_website

Fake News, in my opinion, refers to a fairly specific thing (with a little blur at the edges).
and what is this fairly specific thing?
I would suggest something in the lines of "non factual events deliberately fabricated out of no credible source to mislead the readers".

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Re: Fake News

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:35 pm

Buddha Vacana wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:I'm saying I don't trust any single person or organisation to be the arbitrator of what constitutes public "facts" and "falsehoods", and therefore would not imbue any such authority with any powers to curtail information they deemed to be false.

For example, This Professor’s List of ‘Fake News’ Sites Goes Predictably Wrong
So, basically, if I am following this logic, there should also be no justice department because misjudgments happen?
This whole article is based on the premise that whatever organization would be in charge of turning off fake news would follow lists such as that professor's. This is very unlikely to happen on facebook because they would lose a lot of users, and that would be to the profit of alternative platforms.
Facts are not so difficult to establish, and just as perjury is a crime, the deliberate creation and spread of non-factual news should also be a crime and the concerned outlets should be closely monitored and shut down if they turn out to repeat the offense.
I agree with you on facts, however, current legislation requires proof that it was "deliberatly misleading/false" which is a high standard to prove on top of simply being inaccurate, misleading,or false.

Block bots are in use http://reason.com/blog/2015/04/10/areyoublocked . The first time I heard of them was around the Atheism+ where they were used to automatically block discenting views to the maker of the bot, regardless of other content someone created. Thunderf00t was a notable victim simply for his views on a topic, regardless of the validity of other content.

Kind regards
Cittasanto
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Fake News

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:14 pm

Buddha Vacana wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
Mr Man wrote:The wikpedia entry "Fake news website" is worth a read.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_news_website

Fake News, in my opinion, refers to a fairly specific thing (with a little blur at the edges).
and what is this fairly specific thing?
I would suggest something in the lines of "non factual events deliberately fabricated out of no credible source to mislead the readers".
I would agree. However, when does inaccurate reporting turn into fake reporting? or is someone saying something which could be verified but isn't be included? quote mining to make something look a certain way when it isn't? or false accusations simply because the reporter doesn't like the reaction their readers have to their actions, constitute fake news?

Denzel made a good point when asked about it, it does end with silly music and meme's though
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWNE2ih9wKY

kind Regards
Cittasanto
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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