23 votes

How do we tackle this epidemic of misinformation

I was on Facebook today and saw a video being sent around with the background and caption on the image I captured: https://i.imgur.com/uUvN7JS.png

I took a look at the comments on the post, and as expected found this sort of stuff: "She must hoping trump will come and give her a pickle tickle or a medal. These are the people who should be thrown out of the country."

So, I look it up and it turns out that this video is from 2014 (source of news report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0UUmTARaOc) which was during the Obama administration and has nothing to do with "Trump's america'". And watching a news report and the original video never shows anything about the black individual having a white mother, that's just further perpetuating race baiting to get people angry and heated over this as they're also trying to make it seem like it just happened. They even captioned the Facebook post "Think racism is dead in America? Watch this."!

What do we do about things like this where this is so clearly being used to further an agenda, but the actual content isn't indicative of that agenda at all? This is apart of an epidemic of misinformation used to drive opinions that sickens me to see so many people falling for, it really does.

25 comments

  1. [9]
    tyil
    Link
    Call them out on it. Tell them you did some further research in to the topic, show the proof you have and show them that they're incorrect in their conclusion. Sadly, this is what we've arrived...

    What do we do about things like this where this is so clearly being used to further an agenda

    Call them out on it. Tell them you did some further research in to the topic, show the proof you have and show them that they're incorrect in their conclusion.

    an epidemic of misinformation used to drive opinions

    Sadly, this is what we've arrived at. Governments and people alike share information that is blatantly false when you look at the story behind it, but it sounds good at first sight to those who want to believe a certain narrative. It's not something new, either, it's been in widespread use for ages.

    that sickens me to see so many people falling for

    All you can do is try to educate people, but I can warn you up front that there will be a number of people who have no interest in education. They just want to feel good, and they do that best when they have their narrative confirmed. It's like they lust after misinformation (or fake news), just so they don't have to think about other things.

    14 votes
    1. [8]
      ContemplativePanda
      Link Parent
      I mean I see people on the facebook post saying that and they get likes but it doesn't matter. This Occupy Democrats page posted it and it is being shared all over as truth and people don't look...

      I mean I see people on the facebook post saying that and they get likes but it doesn't matter. This Occupy Democrats page posted it and it is being shared all over as truth and people don't look past the video and just become angry and believe that it is true. Now don't get me wrong I'm sure this stuff happens but this video is not representative of it, especially not under "Trumps America" because it was actually during "Obamas America".

      It just feels so infuriating that as an individual we are powerless to educate the masses, so why bother?

      6 votes
      1. [5]
        tyil
        Link Parent
        Well, I don't consider people using Facebook to be very smart about many things to begin with. You might just be hanging out with the wrong crowd if you dislike this kind of behaviour. That's the...

        I mean I see people on the facebook post

        Well, I don't consider people using Facebook to be very smart about many things to begin with. You might just be hanging out with the wrong crowd if you dislike this kind of behaviour.

        people don't look past the video

        That's the intended effect of the video, I think. Make something outrageous enough that people will think they're morally obligated to speak out against it. It doesn't try to spark a debate or anything. Put a small narrative around it, which doesn't even need any grain of truth to it, and people who like being upset to feel better about themselves will be upset. They don't read "your propaganda", because that's how the evil Trump voters get to you.

        It just feels so infuriating that as an individual we are powerless to educate the masses, so why bother?

        I can certainly understand this feeling, but it's not quite correct. Generally, we as "regular" individuals don't have the power to rile up a crowd as large as you're seeing. But we're not powerless to educate the masses, we just need a lot of time, and work in small steps. The good news is, if you can educate even one person, you now have someone to help you to educate others. Your reach expands, slowly but surely, but you'll have to have faith in what you're doing.

        As I'm personally very big on technology, I often try to educate people about the danger that Windows poses to end-users, but rarely I find someone interested in learning more about it. They believe it's all right, so they don't really want to hear about different opinions. But sometimes, someone does show interest. They ask something in reply, we start a discussion. We can teach eachother new things, and generally this leads to the other person taking action. Once people around that person see that it's not some unholy contraption pushed forward by Stalin's secret service, they too become more receptional to learning about it.

        I think it's similar to trying to educate people about other things, in this case, fake news. Most of them won't be interested, but if you believe in your cause, and there's evidence that your cause is right, you can educate people. You have to start small, but at some point you can reach the "masses" you want to educate. The hardest part is not to give up.

        4 votes
        1. [4]
          ContemplativePanda
          Link Parent
          Haha that could be true, I normally just browse Facebook to catch up with friends and family but ended up seeing this shared. And yeah that is unfortunately the whole point of the video. They...

          Haha that could be true, I normally just browse Facebook to catch up with friends and family but ended up seeing this shared. And yeah that is unfortunately the whole point of the video. They accomplished exactly what they set out to do and it worked on so many people. I just don't understand how we got to this point.

          I think you're right honestly, but it just feels so hard to fight such an uphill battle when it's so hard to go and make convincing arguments to people only interested in soundbites who will likely just disregard your argument anyway if it opposes their views. Though, I am generalizing a bit because not everyone is like that no matter their side.

          I'd love to hear about your Windows opinion if you'd ever like to DM me some things.

          1. [3]
            tyil
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            That's what I did when I was younger. Once you stop using Facebook, you'll realize how harmful it actually is. That feed that you're reading because you think you stay in contact with friends is...

            I normally just browse Facebook to catch up with friends and family but ended up seeing this shared.

            That's what I did when I was younger. Once you stop using Facebook, you'll realize how harmful it actually is. That feed that you're reading because you think you stay in contact with friends is just trying to show you things to keep you hooked to the platform. It's generally not things that make you feel good overall, but enough good/funny things to keep you scrolling. Leaving Facebook has honestly been the best thing I've done on the Internet, it made me a much more positive person.

            it just feels so hard to fight such an uphill battle

            That it is, which is why you also need to have a strong belief in yourself, and have convincing argumentation. It will take a while before you have argumentation with proof that is strong enough to hold up as well, since you don't know their reasoning behind their stance yet (which won't follow logic as you're used to most of the time).

            I'd love to hear about your Windows opinion if you'd ever like to DM me some things.

            Sure thing, check your inbox.

            1 vote
            1. userexec
              Link Parent
              There's so much truth in this. A huge change I noticed when I left Facebook was that I still shared most of the same moments with people, but instead of that sharing being a mechanical post->like...

              That feed that you're reading because you think you stay in contact with friends is just trying to show you things to keep you hooked to the platform.

              There's so much truth in this. A huge change I noticed when I left Facebook was that I still shared most of the same moments with people, but instead of that sharing being a mechanical post->like interaction to everyone, it became a natural part of many individual conversations with the specific people who would actually care. Neatly posting things to a broad audience had stifled so much potential conversation and cheapened my connections with everyone.

            2. ContemplativePanda
              Link Parent
              Honestly I'd like to believe that I filter out most of the crap Facebook sends. I certainly try to. The only reason I even paid attention to this video was because I had seen it before and knew it...

              Honestly I'd like to believe that I filter out most of the crap Facebook sends. I certainly try to. The only reason I even paid attention to this video was because I had seen it before and knew it wasn't under Trump - or at least I suspected there was fuckery afoot. I honestly don't use Facebook much, and probably will continue to decrease my usage of it because when I do go on there and see stuff like this I just wonder how we got to where we are.

              The problem is that sometimes even with a convincing argument people don't care because they never wanted truth in the first place. They really just wanted to be lied to because it feels better that way. I don't know what to do about that.

              Great, thanks!

      2. [2]
        SaucedButLeaking
        Link Parent
        The Occupy Democrats page is garbage, and has been for a long time. "US Democratic Socialists" is going that way too, but they have better memes. I look at the baity stuff like this and see...

        The Occupy Democrats page is garbage, and has been for a long time. "US Democratic Socialists" is going that way too, but they have better memes.

        I look at the baity stuff like this and see evidence that there are easily exploitable idiots everywhere, and that beliefs do not inoculate you against misinformation.

        2 votes
        1. ContemplativePanda
          Link Parent
          Yeah it really seems that way. I don't actually follow it I just saw this post shared and felt the need to do some digging. These FB pages are pretty bad.

          Yeah it really seems that way. I don't actually follow it I just saw this post shared and felt the need to do some digging. These FB pages are pretty bad.

  2. [4]
    Silbern
    Link
    Well, nothing to do is disingenuous I think. There's no doubt that Trump has made life much easier for racists by at best restraining the government's ability to curb it, and sometimes putting in...

    has nothing to do with "Trump's america'"

    Well, nothing to do is disingenuous I think. There's no doubt that Trump has made life much easier for racists by at best restraining the government's ability to curb it, and sometimes putting in blatantly racist policies himself (muslim ban comes to mind), encouraging people who openly profess racist beliefs like the white supremacists you will see hanging around /r/the_donald, and he has used slurs himself (most notably the way he speaks of mexican immigrants as "rapists and murderers"). That's not to say I don't agree with you, this is at best a highly misleading and tbh more truthfully absolute garbage, but the suggestion that Trump has made this kind of think more common / easy isn't wrong.

    They even captioned the Facebook post "Think racism is dead in America? Watch this."!

    Check out the account. Does it look like a bot or farm account? The Russian trolls on Facebook are a legit thing. My dad was targeted by a large swarm of them before (granted from the other end of the political spectrum), and this kind of thing is part of their textbook. Misinformation is nothing new to Russia, unfortunately...

    What do we do about things like this where this

    Not sure. Personally, in the future where I am the president (lol), I'd be for establishing an independent agency that's responsible for publishing detailed articles on false or misleading stories and require providing them for free in subscription form to anybody who wants them. Maybe adding it as a department under the USPS. I'd also like to see internet political advertisements be placed under the same legal scrutiny as TV and radio ads are, with requirements for who is publishing the ad, as well as stricter enforcement on ads that are blatant misrepresentations or intentionally inflammatory (perhaps with the assistance of a judge or other qualified legal expert). But under a president where 70% of the things he says can be classified as "at best" a half lie, and a political party that controls all three branches of government and has made clear strongly opposes any restrictions on speech of any kind, my solution will never come to pass. A more realistic solution? Hope that Twitter and Facebook voluntarily introduce stricter controls, thereby shutting down one of the main routes this bullshit comes through. And asking a large corporation to limit speech voluntarily that it directly profits off of is, uh, pretty unlikely to be enforced very strictly...

    One of the really scary things is, I use the NoScript script blocking extension for Firefox. Browse nearly any website that publishes this false clickbait, and look at the sometimes nearly 20 generically named or anonymous tracking scripts embedded in these. I didn't even want to watch your video outside of private browsing mode because otherwise I'd start to see those same suggestions in my regular Youtube feed. Frightening how efficient it is.

    12 votes
    1. [2]
      tyil
      Link Parent
      No, OP is correct in his assertion that this particular video, made in a time before Trump was even considered a candidate has nothing to do with "Trump's America". I disagree wholeheartedly on...

      Well, nothing to do is disingenuous I think.

      No, OP is correct in his assertion that this particular video, made in a time before Trump was even considered a candidate has nothing to do with "Trump's America".

      There's no doubt that Trump has made life much easier for racists

      I disagree wholeheartedly on this point. As far as I'm aware, there's been no laws passed that say that racism is okay now. I'm quite sure that racism (and almost every other form of discrimination based on factors that a person is born with) is still illegal.

      sometimes putting in blatantly racist policies himself (muslim ban comes to mind)

      Muslims aren't a race. Islam is an ideology, one which doesn't go well with liberal western values. When we take a peek at other western countries that have allowed a flood of Muslims into their countries, we see child rape gangs in the UK, no-go zones in Germany, grenades being used on police officers in Sweden, hostage situations in France. It's hard to see Islam as the "religion of peace" as some people would like to see it.

      (I don't keep a list of sources on everything, these were just the first results I got after a search query on the Internet.)

      encouraging people who openly profess racist beliefs like the white supremacists you will see hanging around /r/the_donald

      Any article where Trump is quoted saying "I am in favour of the white supremacists on Reddit's /r/the_donald"? I'm not aware of this, but it would be interesting to read.

      he has used slurs himself (most notably the way he speaks of mexican immigrants as "rapists and murderers")

      This is your most convincing point against Trump thus far, in my opinion.

      Trump has made this kind of think more common / easy isn't wrong.

      Trump has not made any policies excusing racist ideology, nor has he set up any of the platforms in use to promote it. The "mainstream" media is also great at flinging poop at the people they disagree with. What actual policies has he endorsed that didn't exist before his time that has made this more common?

      Misinformation is nothing new to Russia

      Nor anywhere else in the world. Russia is not the great evil entity that is the cause of everything bad in the world.

      I'd be for establishing an independent agency that's responsible for publishing detailed articles on false or misleading stories and require providing them for free in subscription form to anybody who wants them.

      And how will this work in practice? How will you ensure the agency is independent, and will never try to push a narrative that they consider is better for the public? Will they have to censor certain topics because they hurt certain ideals that the current status quo things is good? What is considered false or misleading, to begin with? Is saying "milk is good for you" misleading? There's an uncountable number of possible issues with this idea. It's great in theory, next to impossible in practice.

      But under a president where 70% of the things he says can be classified as "at best" a half lie,

      And who verifies politifact?

      strongly opposes any restrictions on speech of any kind

      That's called the USA constitution. It's literally his job to uphold the rules in that piece of paper.

      Browse nearly any website that publishes this false clickbait, and look at the sometimes nearly 20 generically named or anonymous tracking scripts embedded in these.

      This is nothing special on the current Internet. Some sites use dozens of scripts just to fulfill their primary function of showing text or a video. A site that is using many 3rd party scripts is a badly developed website, but it says nothing on the actual content nor it's political agenda.

      4 votes
      1. Silbern
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        It isn't if we're talking about the related subject. Here's the FBI's crime data for hate crimes; as you can see, they've published up to 2016. In 2014, 48.3% of hate crimes were as a result of...

        No, OP is correct in his assertion that this particular video, made in a time before Trump was even considered a candidate has nothing to do with "Trump's America".

        It isn't if we're talking about the related subject. Here's the FBI's crime data for hate crimes; as you can see, they've published up to 2016. In 2014, 48.3% of hate crimes were as a result of race; in 2015, 59.2;and in 2016, 58.9. Furthermore, in 2014, there were 6,727 victims; in 2015, 7,173; and in 2016, 7,615. Not only has the proportion of victims been rising due to race, but the entire number of people subjected to hate crimes has steadily increased as well. This particular article may be from before his time, but the data does clearly show that "in Trump's America" there are indeed many more victims of hate crimes due to race then there used to be. That's backed by hard data collected by an independent source.

        I disagree wholeheartedly on this point. As far as I'm aware, there's been no laws passed that say that racism is okay now. I'm quite sure that racism (and almost every other form of discrimination based on factors that a person is born with) is still illegal.

        Racism is not illegal, acting on it in certain contexts is, and that's not what I said in the first place. I said he's made life easier for them; he repeatedly uses and tries to legitimize many of the same sentiments they spread. He literally hired Steve Bannon, and open racial supremacist who is proud to call himself a racist and claims the number of asian ceos in the US is an affront to civic society. This is a man who Donald Trump happily took advice from, praised many times on Twitter, and invited into the white house, and it's safe to say he'd be willing to do this for anyone else that holds Mr. Bannon's views if they praised him.

        Trump has not made any policies excusing racist ideology, nor has he set up any of the platforms in use to promote it. The "mainstream" media is also great at flinging poop at the people they disagree with. What actual policies has he endorsed that didn't exist before his time that has made this more common?

        He's enforcing a ban he admits himself is based primarily on religion, he's spending (or at least trying to spend) millions of dollars and thousands of manhours to pointlessly replace existing border protections with a wall in a middle of a desert because he thinks the people there come from "shithole countries", he spent far more resources and reacted far more quickly to help Texas instead of Puerto Rico, and he's repeatedly tried to cut visas and other methods to allow legal immigration based on vague premises about "them" killing us. He absolutely codifies his social views (and only very recently his economic ones) into policy, as nearly all presidents do.

        Nor anywhere else in the world. Russia is not the great evil entity that is the cause of everything bad in the world.

        Honestly man, with the amount of goal posts you've been shifting, you should consider working for FIFA. I never said Russia is the cause of everything bad in the world, and if you're going to keep intentionally misrepresenting what I say in bad faith, I don't really want to continue talking with you. I did say this is nothing new to that country, and I stand by that statement. Russia has had active misinformation campaigns like this dating back to the founding days of the USSR in the 1920's, and it's made especially strong use of this compared to most other countries. I've personally observed from Facebook's notification that is does indeed happen, and I have yet to see the Dutch or Maltese have any largescale misinformation campaigns.

        And how will this work in practice? How will you ensure the agency is independent, and will never try to push a narrative that they consider is better for the public? Will they have to censor certain topics because they hurt certain ideals that the current status quo things is good? What is considered false or misleading, to begin with? Is saying "milk is good for you" misleading? There's an uncountable number of possible issues with this idea. It's great in theory, next to impossible in practice.

        The same way many countries run independent government funded or run newspapers. Separately funded, with the funding evaluated by an independent commission, so no person with direct political power has an influence in resources. Since it would focus exclusively on political stories or advertisements, whether milk is good for isn't a question that would enter its scope.

        And who verifies politifact?

        You do. If you are confident that it's published wrong information, point it out to us. It seems well researched to me, but I'd be open to seeing if that impression is incorrect.

        That's called the USA constitution. It's literally his job to uphold the rules in that piece of paper.

        The constitution does not grant you absolute free speech, this was a question settled centuries ago. For example, it does not protect speech that directly threatens the life or safety of another person, and it does not protect speech in ordinarily privileged circumstances - like lawyer's advice or doctor's visits - if that speech is used to plan or commit crimes. Furthermore, we have lawfully enacted legislation that places additional restrictions on speech beyond the base constitution; for example, laws surrounding libel or false advertising. Perhaps I'm in error here, as Donald Trump has made many claims wanting to strengthen libel laws (only for himself though, naturally), but the Republican, or I guess I should say the Tea Party, has made pretty clear they view nearly any restriction of speech as illegal. As an example, I'd cite the recent case of the gay couple and the baker, where many Republicans were saying that he was entitled to refuse service because it infringed on his free speech. Whether or not you agree he did the right thing, and whether or not you think his religious rights were infringed, making a product that you sell to someone else who customizes it themselves is not an expression of speech. It's akin to a paper company refusing to sell them reams because what they might write on the paper is an affront to the natural free speech of a blank sheet of paper the company would no longer on. Perhaps that analogy makes my point clearer?

        And since I missed these up top:

        Muslims aren't a race. Islam is an ideology

        Islam is a religion and like any other. As an atheist, I would say all religions are ideologies, and muslims in the US don't practice the extreme parts of their religion, just like Christians in the US do not stone divorcees or abstain of wearing mixed fiber clothing. Christians in Nigeria most certainly do stone gay people. And seeing as Christianity was a force against western liberalization for centuries, your statement is ironically self-defeating in that regard. Secularists and moderates are the only reason you're not sentenced to exile for criticizing the church today. Christianity was used as an excuse for genociding millions of native americans and enslaving millions of native africans, and I'd argue far more harm has been caused in human history as a result of Christianity. Again man, I know most Christians in western countries today are not like this, but if you really want to make blanket assumptions based on the prior results of what that religion has done, you do not want to bring Christianity to the table. But let's assume for a moment, that we play into that (wrong) argument; muslims living in the US are significantly more likely then evangelicals to agree with the statement "Homosexuality is okay and should be accepted by society". So even in your, at best strongly misguided, view, you're still incorrect, in your statement that "islam doesn't go well with western civilization". People reflect the environment they were raised in, and a Muslim who lives in or immigrates to the US isn't going to be much different then any other religious person who moves here. Furthermore, conservative Christians are also behind most domestic terrorism in the US, and not a single first generation refugee from any islamic country in Trump's ban has ever been behind a terrorist attack in the US, so yeah. If you really wanna go down this route...

        12 votes
    2. ContemplativePanda
      Link Parent
      I mean in another comment I think I touched a bit on it because I did realize that it is still relevant today. Racism isn't gone today by any means. But, the video they used is an absolute falsity...

      I mean in another comment I think I touched a bit on it because I did realize that it is still relevant today. Racism isn't gone today by any means. But, the video they used is an absolute falsity and they could've used one to legitimately show it but they didn't! I mean... What, why?

      I wish we did have an independent agency or someone that was focused on facts. But I just can't see companies being forced to control this information because everyone has bias and these companies will just use it to promote their agenda - whichever gives them the most profit.

      I feel so defeated thinking about it right now.

  3. [4]
    epitten
    Link
    OP, I wanted to ask for clarification: when you ask what "we" should do, do you mean we as the Tildes community (i.e., how we should combat misinformation on Tildes) or we as general citizens...

    OP, I wanted to ask for clarification: when you ask what "we" should do, do you mean we as the Tildes community (i.e., how we should combat misinformation on Tildes) or we as general citizens (i.e., how we should combat misinformation in general)?

    So far (at the time of my writing this comment), most of the discussion seems to be focused on the second question, but personally I would be interested in discussing the first (if that was your intent), since it's something that we as a community can have more of an influence on.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      ContemplativePanda
      Link Parent
      Very interesting point. It has mostly been discussing it as general citizens, which is what I wanted an answer for, but then again I am posting it to the Tildes community and am actually...

      Very interesting point. It has mostly been discussing it as general citizens, which is what I wanted an answer for, but then again I am posting it to the Tildes community and am actually interested in how we can work to combat this as well. What are your thoughts on that?

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        epitten
        Link Parent
        In the case of combatting misinformation on Tildes, I contend that the limited nature of the community (if done in the long-term) will be a double-edge sword. On one hand, the invite-only system...

        In the case of combatting misinformation on Tildes, I contend that the limited nature of the community (if done in the long-term) will be a double-edge sword.

        On one hand, the invite-only system will make it difficult for someone to create many accounts to systemically spread misinformation in the way you describe in your post (e.g., posting media with deliberately misleading headlines or context). On the other hand, as the subject matter gets increasingly complex, the likelihood of misinformation being detected will decrease, especially with an invite-only community. For example, if I post a study whose claims are (incorrectly) validated by a seldom-used statistical method with little publicly-accessible material, I think it would be unlikely that I would get called out unless a statistician familiar with that method happens to (1) see the comment, (2) read the study, and (3) understand and explain why this method doesn't work in this context. This can be a very high barrier to fighting misinformation.

        There has been some talk about a future reputation system on Tildes. At a risk of increasing complexity unnecessarily, I would suggest that we consider a reputation system that tracks (1) reputation in terms of the community guidelines (e.g., citing sources, using well-reasoned arguments, acknowledging holes in their knowledge) and (2) expertise in one or more specific fields (as evidenced by comments validated by others knowledgeable in the field). Unfortunately, this will place a great deal of work on the users to check and evaluate each other, though perhaps this may just be the cost of maintaining a high-quality community.

        2 votes
        1. ContemplativePanda
          Link Parent
          I'm afraid that too many users will feel that if no one else has complained about the source then it must be reputable. A sort of free rider problem, if you will. I agree with what you're saying,...

          I'm afraid that too many users will feel that if no one else has complained about the source then it must be reputable. A sort of free rider problem, if you will. I agree with what you're saying, but doubt anyone will be consistently willing to check all the sources they come across. Perhaps if we foster a culture that values citing the validity of sources for everyone we can, as a community, help each other out with these things. So, if someone misses it someone else is willing to step in and help let everyone know that source isn't reputable and why.

          1 vote
  4. rain1
    Link
    Stop using facebook!

    Stop using facebook!

    2 votes
  5. [2]
    userexec
    Link
    I don't know that there's any quick fix for this issue. Ideally the education system could take care of this by teaching media literacy and explicitly covering disinformation, which I still think...

    I don't know that there's any quick fix for this issue. Ideally the education system could take care of this by teaching media literacy and explicitly covering disinformation, which I still think needs to happen, but that would only really start to pay off a decade or two down the road from a bird's eye view of the population.

    As for what can be done right now to have an immediate effect, I want to say providing factual information or reasoning with people is a good start and a necessary part of the solution, but I don't think it's enough. In my own family I've seen that some people enjoy being lied to when it backs up their identity, don't bother to fact check even the most obvious lies, and will get agitated if you do a simple search and show data clearly proving they were just lied to. Quality, well-researched information doesn't reach these people--as they say, you can lead a horse to water.

    I wonder if leaning in and turning the fire hose pressure up would work better as a rapid effect. Would countering disinformation with an overwhelming magnitude of additional and increasingly absurd disinformation snap people back to reality, or just do even more damage? What if instead of telling the truth to people who had internalized a lie, you just provided them more outrageous and conflicting lies from sources that appeared to have the same amount of authority? Would they eventually seek out quality information, or would they double down on only believing specific authorities?

    I ask because of things like the National Enquirer that you see in grocery store checkouts. For a product I've never in my life seen anyone buy, they have an insane breadth of distribution. I've always wondered if those were actually some program to inoculate people against disinformation by repeatedly and visibly providing clear and egregious examples of it. I don't actually think that's the case, but still it makes me wonder if that would be a workable idea.

    Does anyone know of research that's been done on countering disinformation using this or other methods? It seems like this topic would have some fun reading material.

    1 vote
    1. ContemplativePanda
      Link Parent
      I certainly hope the education system starts teaching things like this, but I have doubts that it will even be effective honestly. How many of them will care if they want to be lied to? I think...

      I certainly hope the education system starts teaching things like this, but I have doubts that it will even be effective honestly. How many of them will care if they want to be lied to? I think that's part of the problem, people like being lied to if it fits in with their world view or makes them feel better.

      Honestly, I think countering it was absurd disinformation could work. For those who want actual facts this would make them decide to either stop listening to anything, or seek out true facts on their own without trusting anything. That sort of skepticism would certainly help. But then, there would still be others who don't care and just want to be lied to honestly.

  6. [2]
    acr
    Link
    Usually if you point out the error they just ignore you or double down. Someone posted a video about Obama on my Timeline when I had FB. The video had obviously been cut. It had a section cut out,...

    Usually if you point out the error they just ignore you or double down. Someone posted a video about Obama on my Timeline when I had FB. The video had obviously been cut. It had a section cut out, but people kept saying, "No! Obama said that! In that context! Just like that!" So I posted a link to the full video and everyone just ignored it.

    1 vote
    1. ContemplativePanda
      Link Parent
      Yep, because a lot of people just don't care about the truth. They want whatever narrative they currently hold to be true and will remain ignorant to make it so.

      Yep, because a lot of people just don't care about the truth. They want whatever narrative they currently hold to be true and will remain ignorant to make it so.

  7. DonQuixote
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    Not trying to be arrogant, but I use an excuse to others that I don't have time for Facebook. I let others inform me personally if something important happens. For those that have the time to...

    Not trying to be arrogant, but I use an excuse to others that I don't have time for Facebook. I let others inform me personally if something important happens. For those that have the time to browse, I usually suggest other forums.

    I used to occasionally dabble in Twitter, especially for news, but honestly it's gotten so bloated that it's not a go-to for me any more. Fortunately I'm old enough now that people just regard me as anti-social and eccentric, LOL. So I get somewhat of a pass on Facebook.

    If I were a researcher on culture and society I'd certainly use Facebook as a source. It's obviously a fantastic resource on the people of our age, one of the important components of our Noosphere.

    1 vote
  8. saydie
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    My feeling is the we as a species have no idea how to handle to the incredible amount of propaganda that's posted on Facebook. From every side. I really don't know what the solution is and I'm not...

    My feeling is the we as a species have no idea how to handle to the incredible amount of propaganda that's posted on Facebook. From every side. I really don't know what the solution is and I'm not even sure if we're beings capable of handling the type of large group interactions that are the norm on Facebook pages. So I don't use Facebook. My husband made me an account in 2008 and I've largely ignored it, even for family stuff. I just don't want that type of input. I'm not sure why sites like reddit are different for me. Maybe it's the anonymity.

  9. CashewGuy
    Link
    So, I have a few thoughts on this. Primarily, we need to revisit the Fairness Doctrine. I think the lack of this guiding hand has significantly impacted the development of public-media-politic...

    So, I have a few thoughts on this.

    Primarily, we need to revisit the Fairness Doctrine. I think the lack of this guiding hand has significantly impacted the development of public-media-politic interactions for the last decades in severe ways. Without it, we have largely formed echo chambers, and until that problem is examined, everything else is secondary.

    Which begs the question, how do we apply something akin to the Fairness Doctrine to social networks? I am not a legal scholar. My ideal would be to penalize social media companies for allowing obviously misleading advertisements, to have stricter privacy controls, and to take a more strict stance to hate speech. There is a lot of potential hiccups there because what I define as hate speech and what others define are not the same.

    Another part is to value education and intelligence. The Republican party used to really, really, value these traits. While I may despise the man's beliefs, William F Buckley was intelligent and well spoken and did a good job of representing his beliefs. Echo chambers have created a rather severe form of identity politics and it is hard to even get people to sit at the same chamber.

    If I were a programming director at Fox, CNN, or MSNBC, I would be organizing countrywide tours for one on one political/economic conversations both in the town hall and one-on-one format. I would have experts available to explain difficult concepts. It is important that some, if not all, of those participating, are laypeople, "regular citizens". With an empathetic approach, a sense of universality quickly develops. I think this could have strong positive implications in social organizing and civics.

    I often find myself enviously watching the Buckley v Vidal debates, wishing that we had that kind of elevated discussion, where what insults were had were minuscule compared to today, and had less to do with the person than policy. (Though certainly there are examples of personal attacks in there, I'm not trying to do a rose colored glasses thing).