Monday, January 2, 2017

Fake news

I don't know how many people followed the "fake news" furore following the outcome of the US election, where it was found that all sorts of media platforms were publishing what was essentially totally false crap in order to try to manipulate public opinion by making the situation seem like a foregone conclusion.

(Yeah, the Hillaroid was always going to win by 98%.  Yeah, right.)

Here's an example of a fake news expose:

What's particularly funny is that story quotes as an "authoritative source" in terms of fact checking.  Here's the snopes ministry of truth:

Hmm... two left-leaning libtards from the-land-of-fruit-and-nuts California, including bonus Crazy Cat Lady and cheating husband who fraudulently used company profits to see hookers on the side, before dumping the wife for a prostitute called Vice Vixen who is still apparently working.

Yeah... I think I'm going to be relying on some slightly more... authoritative sources of news for my daily state-of-the-world education, then a couple of randoms who decide the "truth" is what suits their own political point of view.  Or the one of who pays them the most.

Now, where would we go for such an authoritative, well balanced, researched source of news gathered and published by a hard working set of professional and impartial reporters?

I know, I'll use the Rupert Murdoch controlled press!  Surely that will meet criteria, right?

Um... yeah, until you realise that News Corp basically scrapes its content of social media and regurgitates it as content.  And I demonstrate:

Exhibit 1: reddit thread about an apparent scumbag landlord installing a coin-operated flush toilet in a property in Thornbury, Melbourne.  Much discussion and angst, and in depth legal opinions from people whose knowledge of the law has been gained from watching US courtroom drama on TV.

Exhibit 2: front-page article on showcasing this scourge, and actually quoting reddit as a source.

Exhibit 3: reddit thread exposing the stunt as an example of how easy it is to hack the "mainstream media" by exploiting the current generation of lazy, credulous "reporters" whose opinions have been formed not by education by by the inbred process of reading social media and following the mood of the crowd.

Bonus points:

Collage of evidence of one of the redditors hacking News Corp polls with a bot.

Media Watch finally waking up and realising, in their usual self-righteous, holier-than-thou, publicly funded tone of voice.

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