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> Has a left leaning media benefited Democrats?, Media bias and it's effect on the public. (Trump, protest, electio
net2007
post Dec 8 2016, 08:00 PM
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This thread will surround what this election has meant for what many have seen as a predominately left-wing media. I'll also touch some on how a slanted media can lead to misconception or at worst incite violence.

For years left-wing media bias has been viewed, by some, as a conspiracy theory pushed by conservatives who don't like their ideas challenged. Back in the Bush and Obama years this lead me to seek some form of reliable substantiation for this in polling data, such as with this PewResearch Poll from 2013...

http://www.people-press.org/2013/08/08/ami...ole-stands-out/

QUOTE
Overall, about seven-in-ten (72%) see news organizations in ideological terms. A 46%-plurality says news organizations are best described as liberal, another 26% say they are conservative. Just 19% say news organizations are best described as neither liberal nor conservative.

Most Republicans See a Liberal News MediaThe balance of opinion on this question has changed little in recent years, with a plurality consistently describing news organizations as liberal, and about a quarter saying they are conservative.

Not surprisingly, there are wide partisan divides in perceptions of news organizations’ ideology. By a 65%-17% margin, more Republicans say news organizations are liberal than conservative. By contrast, Democrats are divided: about as many say the press is liberal (36%) as conservative (37%). By about two-to-one (47%-23%), more independents say news organizations are better described as liberal than conservative.


If you deduct the often fixed opinions of the far right and left, you can see here that it was often those undecided independents who held this opinion.

With this election I feel liberal media bias has been exposed to the point that it's an argument that's difficult to counter, this due largely to the media siding with Hillary Clinton and other Democratic nominees all while Donald Trump remained persistent in calling them out in a way that hasn't been done before. In retrospect what good did it do liberals to have a media that speaks to the strength of one candidate so much? According to MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, it gave a false sense of confidence that lead to some Democrats staying home on election night, comfortable with their belief that Hillary Clinton was far ahead.

In his words.... (edited for length)

QUOTE
“The Clinton campaign believed until 9 o'clock that they had a lock on this, that they were going to win. The fault of that, actually, lies with the media. There is some self-reflection, Jim Rutenberg today writes a fascinating article where the New York Times editor and others basically come to terms with the fact that they stopped being journalists for the past month, and began being cheerleaders, and began being people who had a conclusion that they reached, and then searched for facts that Hillary was a 92, 93, 99.999 percent chance winner of this campaign...............It was there the entire time, they didn’t want to hear it, they didn’t want to see it........You were trying to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump because you thought Donald Trump would be such a malignant cancer on our Constitutional Republic. It was much easier for you to stay in Manhattan and say “they're all voting for Trump because they're racists and bigots." If you really do believe that then you believe that over 50 million people are racists and bigots.......The first thing you did was you put liberals and Democrats and independents who thought like you – you put them in a position where they were complacent, where they really did believe not only in New York but across America and the world – that Hillary Clinton had a 98.99% of being elected president."


If interested watch the full video here....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-8EPmM8Ijk

You also had Michael Moore, who isn't conservative by any stretch, lay out a four-point post-election plan where he's suggesting, more or less, not to trust the media because they weren't acknowledging conservatives and what was really going on. He hasn't turned conservative, my guess is that he's saying this because he thinks the best way to keep the Democratic party strong is for them to acknowledge their opponents and what they really want, he was suggesting that they felt neglected which has been true for the better part of the last 8 years.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-12/l...onest-reporting

For some it may seem redundant to suggest the media is generally left leaning but there are those who don't believe this is accurate so I want to bring it up in the debate questions regardless. The larger purpose of the thread is to talk about what effect this is having. I've mentioned above that I believe it's lead to overconfidence in politicians who are underperforming but I think it goes beyond that. If someone genuinely believes what their news source is telling them, and that news source is telling them that their opponents are racist simpletons, what effect would this have?

For me, it means that someone such as this would be more prone to developing issues of their own. Take the liberal protesting machine, when I look at it, it seems obvious that acts of violence or discrimination are amplified when compared to conservative protest. This will likely be hotly debated because the consensus among Democrats has been the opposite, where for many conservatism is seen as a warning sign for bigotry or problems surrounding racism. To be up front I don't think a political affiliation will define a persons temperament, but when I look at trends, as it stands right now I think Democrats and liberals have a problem they need to address fast.

When I look at this election and the protest that resulted from it I just don't see the same degree of proactive arrogance from the right that I see from the left. I've seen left-wing extremist block up traffic for miles by protesting in the middle of the street, I saw a man sprint at Donald Trump during one of his rallies, he jumped over a barricade and tried to get on stage, bodyguards had to tackle him to stop him. I saw protesters rioting in cities after the election, destroying public property. Then there was this, here you have several people team up on an old man, and this wasn't even at a rally...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9snWgbVt5w

They kick in and punch him in the head while screaming at him for voting for Trump. While I don't think this is a fair representation of all liberals or Democrats, I think this kind of thing is a problem that goes unacknowledged by many. What does all of this have to do with the media? I think discrimination often starts from the top down, you do have these ridiculous things that conservatives say, so there are racist conservatives who don't care. However when you have media pundits who concentrate on this without revealing that this is an issue shared by liberals, and when they fail to reveal the good characteristics of those who think differently then naturally you'll have some who develop a warped view without perspective. I think it starts with our politicians and the media, it then filters down onto parents and college professors who teach a younger generation what others have taught them.

This would be true of conservatives as well, you have media pundits who teach their listeners to distrust or despise their opponents but what I'm looking at here are numbers and percentages. When you have polls coming out that suggest the media is largely left leaning and you have liberal columnist and news organizations acknowledging that it's a problem, the question for me becomes will more people catch on?

So that's my take on it. Regardless of who's at fault more, I see this as an issue that liberals will need to take seriously to move forward. When talking about equality, living by example is the best way to promote that and this election has had a drastic change on how effective it is for prominent Democrats to promote equality if they can't take responsibility for things happening within their own party.

Questions for debate...

1. Does the media favor liberals?
2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?
3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Bonus..

4. Share, what you believe to be the worst thing demonstrated by either the Republicans or Democrats (the one you oppose the most), and share something you feel was an act that promotes unity.


This post has been edited by net2007: Dec 8 2016, 08:04 PM
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Gray Seal
post Dec 8 2016, 11:05 PM
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1. Does the media favor liberals?

The Republicans and Democrats have this game they play upon the voters. Democrats are out-in-the-open progressives. Media favors progressives. If the public at all rejects progressive policy they are told the Republicans are the small government party. The Republicans being for small government is a ruse. Actually, Republicans are progressive light. Republicans really do want more progressive centralized controls, just not as aggressively increased as the Democrats. There are a few other tweeks the Republicans have such as appealing to the religious right. Still, the Republican typically claim to the protectors of rights while enhancing the scope and power of government.

As media favors progressives, they favor both the Democrats and Republicans. It is a game. Lots of money involved. Gullible voters included.

2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?

We have viewers (the public) who are ill informed. The voters have incorrect information, trivia information, and are not told important information. Voters lack knowledge nor have the ability to understand the important issues. (This last point is not the result of media.)

3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Two reasons. People were voting against the status quo which Hillary Clinton exemplified. Clinton also matched and surpassed Trump in negative traits.
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Dingo
post Dec 9 2016, 03:38 AM
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1. Does the media favor liberals?
The media favors ratings and keeping their advertisers happy.

2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?
The print media apparently very little. TV and radio and internet faux news, considerably.

3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?
Donald Trump offered what the minority he represents wanted, including bigotry.

4. Share, what you believe to be the worst thing demonstrated by either the Republicans or Democrats (the one you oppose the most), and share something you feel was an act that promotes unity.
I'd say if you took the 50 worse things in Trumps rhetoric and behavior they would "outshine" the worst thing you could attribute to Hillary. The public's taste for or indifference to the grotesque gives us a window into the future.

On the unity front Donald is managing an unprecedented unity between his business and political operations.

This post has been edited by Dingo: Dec 9 2016, 03:41 AM
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akaCG
post Dec 9 2016, 10:15 PM
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3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Because a majority of the voters (a sizable proportion of whom had voted for Obama in '08 and/or '12) in 30 states (e.g. Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania) saw right through the ridiculousness of said claims.


EDITED TO ADD some excerpts from a Nov 21 Boston Globe piece that offers an important clue in regards to the reason why Trump won (bolding mine):
QUOTE
WHEN I WAS growing up outside of Philadelphia in the ’60s, a friend lived in Wilkes Barre, Pa., and so I was excited this past July to be on the phone with George, a 58-year-old Democrat from the same town, who was undecided about which presidential candidate would get his vote on Nov. 8.

George was one of the many “friends” I made over the last four months, while working on special assignment for the Clinton campaign. My task was to help her campaign understand undecided voters in swing states. Finding them and getting insights from them was right up my alley — a skill I honed over my 14 years as CEO of C Space — and when I got a call to help, I couldn’t resist. I left my job as CEO of Startup Institute, and was off and running.
...
Over the summer, I found and interviewed over 300 undecided voters, and 250 of them agreed to stay in touch, to send me weekly diary entries about their emotions, what they were thinking about both Clinton and Trump, and how they were leaning when it came to their vote. I had no responsibility to change their views; instead, I synthesized the data that I was collecting, and reported in to the campaign. I also added the insights that I had and made regular suggestions about how the campaign might better articulate its positions and modify its strategies.
...
Last week, I reread all of my notes. There was one moment when I saw more undecided voters shift to Trump than any other, when it all changed, when voters began to speak differently about their choice. It wasn’t FBI Director James Comey, Part One or Part Two; it wasn’t Benghazi or the e-mails or Bill Clinton’s visit with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the tarmac. No, the conversation shifted the most during the weekend of Sept. 9, after Clinton said, “You can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.”

All hell broke loose.


George told me that his neighborhood was outraged, that many of his hard-working, church-going, family-loving friends resented being called that name. He told me that he looked up the word in the dictionary, and that it meant something so bad that there is no hope, like the aftermath of a tsunami. You know, he said, Clinton ended up being the biggest bully of them all. Whereas Trump bullied her, she bullied Wilkes Barre.
...

Link: https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/11...8ziI/story.html

===========================================================
ps:
QUOTE(Dingo @ Dec 8 2016, 10:38 PM) *
...
4. Share, what you believe to be the worst thing demonstrated by either the Republicans or Democrats (the one you oppose the most), and share something you feel was an act that promotes unity.
...
On the unity front Donald is managing an unprecedented unity between his business and political operations.

+

QUOTE(Dingo @ Dec 6 2016, 04:46 PM) *
...
I voted for Hillary. ...

=

Priceless. laugh.gif



This post has been edited by akaCG: Dec 9 2016, 10:15 PM
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net2007
post Dec 10 2016, 06:29 AM
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QUOTE(Dingo @ Dec 8 2016, 10:38 PM) *
1. Does the media favor liberals?
The media favors ratings and keeping their advertisers happy.


This seems a lot like a dodge to me, we all know the media likes good ratings, but is it prone to having a liberal bias?

QUOTE
2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?
The print media apparently very little. TV and radio and internet faux news, considerably.


How about CNN, and MSNBC? You can say faux news, but do you think there's a reason people are saying Clinton News Network? I've never been one to suggest Fox News doesn't have a degree of conservative bias but I think they're outnumbered which explains the polling data and some in the media coming forward about how they've contributed to this problem.

QUOTE
3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?
Donald Trump offered what the minority he represents wanted, including bigotry.


When you say minority, you're referring to Trump losing the popular vote by one or two percent, (attributed primarily to California). I think it's important to point out that it's a minority of those 60+ million Trump voters involved in hateful rhetoric. When a whopping 50 reporters show up to meet a small group of under 300 White Nationalist, to me that shows how much they want to make that an issue. While that can be an issue, I think being fair and addressing good traits of Trump supporters, not participating in these activities, is something that should be happening.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/lets-p...m=.b2fdbe60cdc1

I didn't vote for Trump but do feel the amount of bigotry he displays, and particularly that of his followers is overstated. He says divisive things but much like media seems prone to doing, they focus on this first and foremost. Rachel Maddow and The Young Turks being prime examples, they do this intentionally.

QUOTE
4. Share, what you believe to be the worst thing demonstrated by either the Republicans or Democrats (the one you oppose the most), and share something you feel was an act that promotes unity.
I'd say if you took the 50 worse things in Trumps rhetoric and behavior they would "outshine" the worst thing you could attribute to Hillary. The public's taste for or indifference to the grotesque gives us a window into the future.

On the unity front Donald is managing an unprecedented unity between his business and political operations.


I don't see it, I'd say at minimum both have been equivalent in terms of vile rhetoric. I'd also make it a point to say that trends fluctuate, but from my observations what Joe Scarborough said was very accurate...

"You were trying to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump because you thought Donald Trump would be such a malignant cancer on our Constitutional Republic."

This not only accelerated media deception, I think it's true of many liberal protesters and extremist as well. What they're doing is performing preemptive strikes on a man they fear or hate. The problem is that some of them are doing things that are as bad or worse than Trump and in doing so they're sacrificing their core principles. In other words, they're fighting to combat a man they view as divisive and discriminatory while being divisive and discriminating against other groups, that kind of thing has backfired on the left. Some of them won't change, so it's up to reasonable Democrats to rebuild the party. You can launch a criticism and be proactive, yet be fair.

All of this is over a man who's viewed as a monster, but if they want to combat their opponents they'll need to take the time to understand them. I do understand the concern somewhat, the reason I didn't vote for Trump is because I felt he was too divisive, but I think some perspective is necessary as well. I've watched entire rallies and saw interviews where nothing offensive or obnoxious was said at all so there is a side to him that the left is missing or intentionally blocking out. I'd take up a challenge that may help put a human face on him, where for every offensive thing he says I could show two or more examples where he's doing the opposite. I can do this because the ratio of offensive things he says is much less than that. So I feel he can be divisive, but I'm also realistic and think his more extreme comments are often cherry picked. This was true of Bush Jr. as well (who I did support) comments he made which made it easy for his opponents to label him as ignorant were cherry picked, but that approach failed from preventing Bush from being elected just the same.


Gray Seal

QUOTE
1. Does the media favor liberals?

The Republicans and Democrats have this game they play upon the voters. Democrats are out-in-the-open progressives. Media favors progressives. If the public at all rejects progressive policy they are told the Republicans are the small government party. The Republicans being for small government is a ruse. Actually, Republicans are progressive light. Republicans really do want more progressive centralized controls, just not as aggressively increased as the Democrats. There are a few other tweeks the Republicans have such as appealing to the religious right. Still, the Republican typically claim to the protectors of rights while enhancing the scope and power of government.

As media favors progressives, they favor both the Democrats and Republicans. It is a game. Lots of money involved. Gullible voters included.

2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?

We have viewers (the public) who are ill informed. The voters have incorrect information, trivia information, and are not told important information. Voters lack knowledge nor have the ability to understand the important issues. (This last point is not the result of media.)

3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Two reasons. People were voting against the status quo which Hillary Clinton exemplified. Clinton also matched and surpassed Trump in negative traits.


Most of that I agree with, addressing the answer you gave for question 1. It can be viewed as the media favors progressives, but I also think that since Republicans are "progressive light" that they receive a lighter blow from the media than the Democrats who have a strong progressive majority. I've become a bit disconnected from the party personally, although I'm fiscally moderate, for me it's more along the lines of them making bad decisions. It's a waiting game to see how Trump does, his poll numbers have increased by double digits. Hopefully, he does something good with the chance he has.

___________________

To give the heads up, I'll be out for a few days but if there are more replies here, I'll get to as much as I can soon.

This post has been edited by net2007: Dec 10 2016, 07:00 AM
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Dingo
post Dec 10 2016, 06:17 PM
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Rather than respond to the whole post I think this kind of sums it up

QUOTE(net2007 @ Dec 9 2016, 11:29 PM) *
QUOTE(Dingo @ Dec 8 2016, 10:38 PM) *

4. Share, what you believe to be the worst thing demonstrated by either the Republicans or Democrats (the one you oppose the most), and share something you feel was an act that promotes unity.
I'd say if you took the 50 worse things in Trumps rhetoric and behavior they would "outshine" the worst thing you could attribute to Hillary. The public's taste for or indifference to the grotesque gives us a window into the future.

On the unity front Donald is managing an unprecedented unity between his business and political operations.


I don't see it, I'd say at minimum both have been equivalent in terms of vile rhetoric.

How you can say that with a straight face is beyond me. Kind of hard to just out right endorse Trump isn't it? Apparently this game of pretending balance between shop lifting and murder is what we can look forward to. I notice Trouble tried that same stunt recently on another thread.
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Hobbes
post Dec 11 2016, 06:08 PM
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QUOTE(Dingo @ Dec 10 2016, 01:17 PM) *
Apparently this game of pretending balance between shop lifting and murder is what we can look forward to.


I'm curious who in your scenario is the shop lifter and who is the murderer? Because this mainly boiled down to things Trump *said* vs. things Hillary *did*. Actions trump (pun not intentional) words every time. So, Hillary must be the murderer?

This post has been edited by Hobbes: Dec 11 2016, 06:09 PM
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Julian
post Dec 12 2016, 01:27 PM
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QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Dec 8 2016, 11:05 PM) *
1. Does the media favor liberals?

The Republicans and Democrats have this game they play upon the voters. Democrats are out-in-the-open progressives. Media favors progressives. If the public at all rejects progressive policy they are told the Republicans are the small government party. The Republicans being for small government is a ruse. Actually, Republicans are progressive light. Republicans really do want more progressive centralized controls, just not as aggressively increased as the Democrats. There are a few other tweeks the Republicans have such as appealing to the religious right. Still, the Republican typically claim to the protectors of rights while enhancing the scope and power of government.

As media favors progressives, they favor both the Democrats and Republicans. It is a game. Lots of money involved. Gullible voters included.

2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?

We have viewers (the public) who are ill informed. The voters have incorrect information, trivia information, and are not told important information. Voters lack knowledge nor have the ability to understand the important issues. (This last point is not the result of media.)

3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Two reasons. People were voting against the status quo which Hillary Clinton exemplified. Clinton also matched and surpassed Trump in negative traits.


I agree with a lot of Gray Seal's post (a mutual first, I suspect!), with some nuanced differences


1. Does the media favor liberals?

I think it favours the political establishment. And it's true that the establishment is 'liberal', specifically, 'neoliberal' (internationalist; socially progressive; fiscally somewhat conservative - when it comes to levels of taxation and welfare spending, but not when it comes to diverting public monies towards big corporations that they often give paid speaking engagements to. That kind of thing.)
Recent changes to the corporate media (i.e. all of the "MSM" plus networks like Fox and such) mean that they don't have a heck of a lot of reporters on the ground any more. They are mainly about recycling press releases and social media feeds now, so they tend to miss ground-level changes in mood. This benefits the 'liberals' to a greater degree than it does 'conservatives' but only up to a point. It isn't outright left-leaning - most of the coverage running on the Dem nominations process was supportive of Clinton (the 'establishment candidate') at the expense of Sanders (like Trump, an 'outsider' to a degree, or certainly easier to portray as such).

2. What effect do you believe media bias can have on its viewers?

I think it's easy to see reporting bias, and most of the complaints of bias are along those lines. More insidious, to my mind, is editorial bias (i.e. choosing which stories to cover and which ones to ignore), and I think there is (again) a big bias towards 'the establishment' much more than liberals in general in the corporate media. Fox might cover stories from a conservative viewpoint, but they are mostly covering the same stories as the rest of the media.

What's even more insidious is the unintended editorial effect of the algorithms used by Google, Facebook, and the like. You get shown stuff that's similar to the things you've already liked, or browsed, or otherwise engaged with. Hence the 'echo chamber' effect that's been talked about a lot in the 'liberal' media (not least because they don't control it, but also because it's a real concern.)

3. Why do you believe Donald Trump was able to win despite the claims of racism and bigotry against him?

Protest votes plus Republican party loyalty, and a willingness to ignore (or ignorance of) the accusations of racism and bigotry (which are not imaginary, IMO) in favour of the perceived higher prize of 'taking the country back' 'making America great again' etc.
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AuthorMusician
post Dec 12 2016, 08:57 PM
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QUOTE(Julian @ Dec 12 2016, 09:27 AM) *
What's even more insidious is the unintended editorial effect of the algorithms used by Google, Facebook, and the like. You get shown stuff that's similar to the things you've already liked, or browsed, or otherwise engaged with. Hence the 'echo chamber' effect that's been talked about a lot in the 'liberal' media (not least because they don't control it, but also because it's a real concern.)

While I agree in general that Google algorithms could skew news towards the user's preferences, I don't know of any evidence that they do. Are you maybe thinking of the advert analytics that keep trying to sell me the exact same stuff that I just bought? Or maybe the ones that put up NYT due to me having read the NYT?

However, there have been recent stories on the use of algorithms to combat fake, malicious news meant to skew votes this way and that. There seems to be enough evidence that even conservative congress-critters want further investigations, and of course Trump & Crew thinks this is a big waste of time because he won. Or did he? Could he be afraid of what might be discovered?

Might explain why he's trying to discredit US intel agencies. Well, until that old hefty gal warbles, it's just speculation, except for those with the clearances. Meanwhile, all I know is what Google, Bing and a few other sources feed me. I can see the potential for abuse, but until there's real evidence on it, I'll continue to trust my own bullcrap detector when fake news tries to pass itself off as realty. It's really not that difficult.

Anyway, the Trump win, assuming there wasn't any real fraud going on, shows that if the general media have liberal bias, it doesn't work. Yet outrageous lies did work, so that says something about humanity. When a guy like Trump has that to work with, why bother with algorithms or fraud? Just sell the beans to the right people, and bing bing bing-bing, Mr. Prez!

Still, it's starting to feel like the original Watergate of the RMN period. At first, not much of anything. Then someone spills the guts, and along comes holy hell to pay. Or to be with the season, Holly Hell's Bells santa.gif
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Julian
post Dec 13 2016, 01:54 PM
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QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Dec 12 2016, 08:57 PM) *
QUOTE(Julian @ Dec 12 2016, 09:27 AM) *
What's even more insidious is the unintended editorial effect of the algorithms used by Google, Facebook, and the like. You get shown stuff that's similar to the things you've already liked, or browsed, or otherwise engaged with. Hence the 'echo chamber' effect that's been talked about a lot in the 'liberal' media (not least because they don't control it, but also because it's a real concern.)

While I agree in general that Google algorithms could skew news towards the user's preferences, I don't know of any evidence that they do. Are you maybe thinking of the advert analytics that keep trying to sell me the exact same stuff that I just bought? Or maybe the ones that put up NYT due to me having read the NYT?

However, there have been recent stories on the use of algorithms to combat fake, malicious news meant to skew votes this way and that. There seems to be enough evidence that even conservative congress-critters want further investigations, and of course Trump & Crew thinks this is a big waste of time because he won. Or did he? Could he be afraid of what might be discovered?


That wasn't so much what I was getting at. It's an issue, but not really what I was talking about.

What these websites and apps do, really really well, is show you search results based on your usage history. It's what they are selling to advertisers, after all - finely drawn market segments. So if you like 'liberal' news sources and visit lots of their sites (especially via intermediaries like FB or the Google Chrome browser), thye will put sites that fit those criteria close to the top of your search results. To the point where a simple Google search gives different results for different people (certainly, differently-ordered search results), based on what they've looked at in the past.

So if you're a liberal, or prefer sites with a liberal slant, it's unlikely you'll get shown any sites that don't fit that profile, even when you're not specifically looking for a particular news story
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Dec 13 2016, 02:03 PM
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QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Dec 12 2016, 04:57 PM) *
QUOTE(Julian @ Dec 12 2016, 09:27 AM) *
What's even more insidious is the unintended editorial effect of the algorithms used by Google, Facebook, and the like. You get shown stuff that's similar to the things you've already liked, or browsed, or otherwise engaged with. Hence the 'echo chamber' effect that's been talked about a lot in the 'liberal' media (not least because they don't control it, but also because it's a real concern.)

While I agree in general that Google algorithms could skew news towards the user's preferences, I don't know of any evidence that they do. Are you maybe thinking of the advert analytics that keep trying to sell me the exact same stuff that I just bought? Or maybe the ones that put up NYT due to me having read the NYT?


Before the elections, I did believe there was some sort of complex algorithm that shaped the news in the direction of my google searches. I've since become more dubious.
It was a rare day I didn't see Hillary with some sort of light-trick that made is look like she had a halo around her head, and a positive spin piece (or really tempered, partial information version of the truth). That wouldn't have happened if the news pieces were tailored just for me. My husband's news was similar. And there was always a really sinister article on Trump...and my husband did vote for Trump, since I'm on the Democratic e mail list as a donor (from Christmases past), I can see why they might get it wrong with me, but they'd be far less likely to get it wrong with him. But then again, we never get our news from FOX...he has taken to only CNN.

I think the "echo chamber effect" has more to do with social media and what people choose to read. And people are kind of programmed to be tribal (this is a key survival mechanism). So they gravitate toward information they agree with, and groups with whom they agree. For most of the history of humanity when we were living on the pointy edge of survival, assumptions and tribal instinct mattered more than anything else. That's because assumptions are usually correct. So if you act on your gut instinct with partial information, you are going to be right a good portion of the time...and when there is no time to deliberate and dissect information this reflexive instinct will increase your chances at survival (and more opportunity to carry on your genetic legacy). So, we're all programmed to make assumptions and to be very uncomfortable when our world views are challenged.
We are programmed to seek out and join our tribe.

This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: Dec 13 2016, 02:03 PM
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Hobbes
post Dec 13 2016, 03:22 PM
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There have been several from within the media, who proclaimed themselves Democrats (not surprising, something like 98% of all journalists are), who have spoken out against the crush of negative media against Trump. It isn't what is covered, it is how it is covered. Raising various issue is fine...providing a uniformly negative slant to them is not. That is what has been the case.

QUOTE(Julian @ Dec 13 2016, 08:54 AM) *
QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Dec 12 2016, 08:57 PM) *
QUOTE(Julian @ Dec 12 2016, 09:27 AM) *
What's even more insidious is the unintended editorial effect of the algorithms used by Google, Facebook, and the like. You get shown stuff that's similar to the things you've already liked, or browsed, or otherwise engaged with. Hence the 'echo chamber' effect that's been talked about a lot in the 'liberal' media (not least because they don't control it, but also because it's a real concern.)

While I agree in general that Google algorithms could skew news towards the user's preferences, I don't know of any evidence that they do. Are you maybe thinking of the advert analytics that keep trying to sell me the exact same stuff that I just bought? Or maybe the ones that put up NYT due to me having read the NYT?

However, there have been recent stories on the use of algorithms to combat fake, malicious news meant to skew votes this way and that. There seems to be enough evidence that even conservative congress-critters want further investigations, and of course Trump & Crew thinks this is a big waste of time because he won. Or did he? Could he be afraid of what might be discovered?


That wasn't so much what I was getting at. It's an issue, but not really what I was talking about.

What these websites and apps do, really really well, is show you search results based on your usage history. It's what they are selling to advertisers, after all - finely drawn market segments. So if you like 'liberal' news sources and visit lots of their sites (especially via intermediaries like FB or the Google Chrome browser), thye will put sites that fit those criteria close to the top of your search results. To the point where a simple Google search gives different results for different people (certainly, differently-ordered search results), based on what they've looked at in the past.

So if you're a liberal, or prefer sites with a liberal slant, it's unlikely you'll get shown any sites that don't fit that profile, even when you're not specifically looking for a particular news story


Yes, they do that. BUT the 'algorithms' that they use to filter out 'fake' news are almost by definition highly biased, and almost certainly so when you realize they are 'blue' companies, and also if you look at the results of what gets filtered. Having information censored like this is highly problematic to start with...what divine providence does 'Google' have that allows them to determine what is 'fake' and what isn't? None. Heck, even supposedly objective sources, like those that fact check what politicians say, end up being misleading. They will list something as 'false' even though in their analysis they say it is correct, but potentially misleading. Uhhhh...wouldn't that essentially apply to anything that any politician says about anything?
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post Dec 13 2016, 04:27 PM
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QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Dec 12 2016, 02:57 PM) *
QUOTE(Julian @ Dec 12 2016, 09:27 AM) *
What's even more insidious is the unintended editorial effect of the algorithms used by Google, Facebook, and the like. You get shown stuff that's similar to the things you've already liked, or browsed, or otherwise engaged with. Hence the 'echo chamber' effect that's been talked about a lot in the 'liberal' media (not least because they don't control it, but also because it's a real concern.)

While I agree in general that Google algorithms could skew news towards the user's preferences, I don't know of any evidence that they do. Are you maybe thinking of the advert analytics that keep trying to sell me the exact same stuff that I just bought? Or maybe the ones that put up NYT due to me having read the NYT?


There's plenty of evidence that Google (in particular) skews search results, though it's difficult to gauge intent. Here's an interesting article specific to Google search (but also touches on targeted messaging).

QUOTE
And ordering of search results does influence people, says Martin Moore, director of the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power at King’s College, London, who has written at length on the impact of the big tech companies on our civic and political spheres. “There’s large-scale, statistically significant research into the impact of search results on political views. And the way in which you see the results and the types of results you see on the page necessarily has an impact on your perspective.” Fake news, he says, has simply “revealed a much bigger problem. These companies are so powerful and so committed to disruption. They thought they were disrupting politics but in a positive way. They hadn’t thought about the downsides. These tools offer remarkable empowerment, but there’s a dark side to it. It enables people to do very cynical, damaging things.”


Though other platforms' algorithms are also coming under heavy fire. The Wall Street Journal did a great piece during the election to show the difference between what 'conservative' and 'liberal' users saw on Facebook based on a handful of issues. I found the difference striking.

QUOTE(Hobbes)
BUT the 'algorithms' that they use to filter out 'fake' news are almost by definition highly biased, and almost certainly so when you realize they are 'blue' companies, and also if you look at the results of what gets filtered. Having information censored like this is highly problematic to start with...what divine providence does 'Google' have that allows them to determine what is 'fake' and what isn't? None. Heck, even supposedly objective sources, like those that fact check what politicians say, end up being misleading. They will list something as 'false' even though in their analysis they say it is correct, but potentially misleading. Uhhhh...wouldn't that essentially apply to anything that any politician says about anything?


Are there any algorithms that actually detect fake news? While Mark Zuckerberg made some headlines saying that Facebook was going to make some effort to identify fake news, they haven't yet done so, precisely because of the issues revolving around what counts as "fake".

This post has been edited by kimpossible: Dec 13 2016, 04:29 PM
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Hobbes
post Dec 13 2016, 04:45 PM
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QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 13 2016, 11:27 AM) *
Are there any algorithms that actually detect fake news? While Mark Zuckerberg made some headlines saying that Facebook was going to make some effort to identify fake news, they haven't yet done so, precisely because of the issues revolving around what counts as "fake".


Hi, Kim! Good to see you again!

Not really...a good separate topic by itself. There are some that *claim* to do so. They collect hits on stories saying info is fake, etc. Which could be highly biased...and what article isn't immediately called out by those on the opposite side as being 'fake'? The reality is that this is highly problematic. If actually 'fake', news of that will get out, and problem solved. If not actually 'fake', censorship keeps it from ever getting out, causing a problem. Seems better to not have it censored.

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post Dec 13 2016, 06:56 PM
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Here's a pretty good article that gives the pluses and minuses of using algorithms to detect fake news:

http://qz.com/843110/can-artificial-intell...e-news-problem/

Yet the conclusion comes to this:

QUOTE
For now, however, it seems the onus still falls to the truth’s last line of defense: the reader.


Right, some things will never change. We are all still responsible for believing what we believe. In the somewhat less familiar words of Descartes, I can doubt everything, except one thing, and that is the very fact that I doubt. Simply put - I think, therefore I am. That last part is famous, nice and short for a carriage bumper bon mot but not true to the essence of his philosophy: Doubt is a specific kind of thinking. Blind faith is another contrasting kind.

Or you can go out into the world and discover things on your own, which is another one of good old Rene's observations that are obvious now, maybe not so much back in his day. Just be careful because your blues are probably not mine, and vise versa.

Or they might be in harmony even though different, like how playing minor-scale melodies above major-scale chords works. Built-in accidentals, a music concept that makes the batter better a lot of the time, not always. Gotta be careful with them laugh.gif
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post Dec 13 2016, 06:56 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Dec 13 2016, 10:45 AM) *
QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 13 2016, 11:27 AM) *
Are there any algorithms that actually detect fake news? While Mark Zuckerberg made some headlines saying that Facebook was going to make some effort to identify fake news, they haven't yet done so, precisely because of the issues revolving around what counts as "fake".


Hi, Kim! Good to see you again!

Not really...a good separate topic by itself. There are some that *claim* to do so. They collect hits on stories saying info is fake, etc. Which could be highly biased...and what article isn't immediately called out by those on the opposite side as being 'fake'? The reality is that this is highly problematic. If actually 'fake', news of that will get out, and problem solved. If not actually 'fake', censorship keeps it from ever getting out, causing a problem. Seems better to not have it censored.


Hi, hi. biggrin.gif

I have yet to see any of the big tech companies claim to have "solved" the issues around fake news, and your previous comment highlighting the nefarious means of these types of algorithms lead me to believe that you had some actual proof (or at least, reliable analysis from somewhere) of misconduct. But it doesn't appear that you do.

Of course the spread of fake news is certainly an issue, and finding the correct solution to dealing with it will take some time. Certainly issues of censorship, and the reporting of smaller (but less sensational) stories needs to be taken into consideration. Society has long grappled with issues like this, and there's no easy answer.

But I am alarmed to see that you think 'fake' news will be debunked, and all will be well. Have you seen the stories about Pizzagate? People's lives are at risk because false new spreads so quickly. A tamer example is here, and Buzzfeed has reported on how lucrative it is for Balkan teenagers to spread false news.
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post Dec 13 2016, 10:19 PM
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I wanted to update really quick since it's been a few days since I last replied. I've read the new ones and started on a reply today, but I won't be able to get it out until tomorrow or the next day, life is hectic at the moment. I have to say, though, there're some interesting perspectives on this.
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post Dec 14 2016, 12:09 AM
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Here's a question: Whom would you entrust with the task of determining what does or does not constitute "fake news", and then with alerting the public about it?

If your answer is something along the lines of "Long-established news organizations, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, major news networks, etc.", here's some food for thought (bolding mine):
QUOTE
...
In the latest example why the "mainstream media" is facing a historic crisis of confidence among its readership, facing unprecedented blowback following Craig Timberg November 24 Washington Post story "Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say", on Wednesday a lengthy editor's note appeared on top of the original article in which the editor not only distances the WaPo from the "experts" quoted in the original article whose "work" served as the basis for the entire article (and which became the most read WaPo story the day it was published) but also admits the Post could not "vouch for the validity of PropOrNot's finding regarding any individual media outlet", in effect admitting the entire story may have been, drumroll "fake news" ...

It was the closest the Washington Post would come to formally retracting the story, which has now been thoroughly discredited not only by outside commentators, but by its own editor.
...
Criticism culminated this week when the "Naked capitalism" blog threatened to sue the Washington Post, demanding a retraction.

Now, at least, the "national newspaper" has taken some responsibility, however the key question remains: by admitting it never vetted its primary source, whose biased and conflicted "work" smeared hundreds of websites, this one included, just how is the Washington Post any different from the "fake news" it has been deriding on a daily basis ever since its endorsed presidential candidate lost the elections?
...

Link: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-07/w...-it-may-be-fake

ps:
And here's some more food for thought along those lines (bolding mine):
QUOTE
...
[Twelve] years ago, “60 Minutes” ran a fake story about President Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service. Turned out the memos were utterly bogus. It took bloggers about an hour to figure that out after the piece aired. For more than a week, CBS (also known as See B.S.) refused to retract the obvious hit piece on the GOP president in the heat of his re-election campaign.
...
... the fake but accurate line was peddled by the New York Times. The Times peddled it in the story “Memos on Bush are fake but accurate, typist says.”
...

Link: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/12/120637.php

EDITED TO ADD:

And who could ever forget the Newsweek 'Koran flushed down the toilet' story back in 2005? The denouement of which was ...

1.
"Newsweek Retracts Koran-Desecration Story"

2. By which time ... (bolding mine):
QUOTE
...
In Jalalabad on Wednesday hundreds rioted over the allegations - reported in the American magazine Newsweek - that prison staff at Guantanamo Bay prison flushed at least one copy of the Koran down a toilet.

They caused widespread damage to property and four people were killed after two days of protests. All but essential UN staff are being withdrawn. ...
...

Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4539477.stm



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post Dec 14 2016, 07:49 AM
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QUOTE(kimpossible @ Dec 13 2016, 01:56 PM) *
Hi, hi. biggrin.gif

I have yet to see any of the big tech companies claim to have "solved" the issues around fake news, and your previous comment highlighting the nefarious means of these types of algorithms lead me to believe that you had some actual proof (or at least, reliable analysis from somewhere) of misconduct. But it doesn't appear that you do.


Proof? No. Reports of bias which all seem to be slanted against the right? Yes. Were those reports 'fake' themselves? Don't know.

QUOTE
Of course the spread of fake news is certainly an issue, and finding the correct solution to dealing with it will take some time. Certainly issues of censorship, and the reporting of smaller (but less sensational) stories needs to be taken into consideration. Society has long grappled with issues like this, and there's no easy answer.


Yes, indeed...society has always had this issue. Which then does provide the easy answer. It is part of the human condition, nothing either can, or really should, be done about it. The fixes are likely be worse than the cause.

What would help is actual news reporting, but that seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur itself, which is why this has become such a prevalent issue. There aren't really any reputable sources you can go to where you know you'll get the real truth.

QUOTE
But I am alarmed to see that you think 'fake' news will be debunked, and all will be well.


Again, to your point...this has been around for a long time, and we're still here. Clearly we've managed to get past it.

QUOTE
Have you seen the stories about Pizzagate? People's lives are at risk because false new spreads so quickly.


No, people's lives are at risk because there are idiots out there who don't bother researching before doing stupid stuff. Pizza gate could well have happened because of some backstreet rumour.

QUOTE
Pizzagate — the belief that code words and satanic symbols point to a sordid underground along an ordinary retail strip in the nation’s capital — is possible only because science has produced the most powerful tools ever invented to find and disseminate information.


False. Where is any mention of the onus on the actor to corroborate any information before going off half cocked? This isn't 'only possible' because of the Internet...it's only possible because people lost their mind, and decided that 'hey, clearly the right thing to do when seeing something ridiculous on the Internet is to immediately grab a rifle and go barging in somewhere, unfortunately not half-cocked.

What would this same person have done during Orson Welles. broadcast of the War of the Worlds?

There is a bunch of crap out there. There will always be a bunch of crap out there. Whether we try to curtail 'fake' news or not.

QUOTE
A tamer example is here,


Yes, this is a good example. From the article:

QUOTE
false information can also arise from misinformed social media posts by regular people that are seized on and spread through a hyperpartisan blogosphere


Misinformed social media posts? Ummmm....wouldn't that be almost ANY social media post? Again, if our reaction to this is going to be OMG, we've got to do something about this!...we're dommed before starting. It isn't possible to stop that. The only way to keep 'misinformed social media' off the web, is to keep ALL social media off the web. Has anyone ever seen a social media post that was fully informed? I haven't. Anything that isn't fully informed is misinformed...there are pieces of information missing. Heck, you'd have to shut TV down too. Get rid of most print media as well.

We can't live our lives in a vacuum, with no information....and the price of getting information is dealing with misinformation. I'm not saying all is well with this, but I am saying that it is almost impossible to stop, and that attempts to do so are likely to do more harm than good. There is no answer to the question "Who should determine what is 'fake'?" If there is no answer, the answer is 'no one should'. Or, the better answer is 'we all should'.

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post Dec 14 2016, 12:35 PM
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I'm curious how many folks who are concerned about fake news at present, bought in to Trutherism.
I do remember those 911 debates.
Didn't Fahrenheit 9/11 come out during an election year?
Fake news indicating that the president killed thousands of US citizens in cold blood for money/meanness/ or whatever is surely something that would make people angry enough to kill.

Right now, the media has successfully convinced a great portion of the population that Trump IS Hitler, and will get us into a nuclear war. Isn't stopping Hitler and an impending nuclear war a moral obligation? Heck, by the fake news angle (or real angle for those who believe it) one has a moral obligation to kill Trump.


Edited to add: Think about the "lesser" fake news. Imagine the impact of having your face on the cover of a nation or world wide publication with the assertion you've been accused of a violent crime. Then the evidence goes to trial and it's 180 out from the claims of the written publication. They write a small disclaimer on the back page a few weeks later that no one notices. This happens to people. The truth doesn't matter, just perception so (particularly if their employment depends on positive public perception, such as a position in the public trust) their lives are ruined, forever, from a fake news story. This happens to people.

Edited again to add:
Thinking further, it's interesting to dissect the human psych angle on this. I'll use a different example....let's use salesmanship and marketing.
If anyone has ever had one of those college-aged (or faux high school aged) magazine sales people at your door, that's a great example they seem most adept at this tactic.
1) First, they introduce themselves and try to quickly grasp some sort of human connection (example, "Hey I'm Biff, just home on vacation now...my folks are your neighbors...they live down...that way..."). It's typically a fake connection but (in this example) you don't know all of your neighbors, and he is pointing very far down the street. It feels friendly and you engage.

2) They make their request seem reasonable...and it's unreasonable to reject their request. "Hey I am in a competition and all I need is two more magazine subscriptions and I will win big!" (the implication is that only you are in the way of this "friendly" person receiving a big win, and it's just a little magazine subscription)

3) Once you agree, you find out that each magazine subscription is inordinately expensive. But there's something about the human mind that makes it very difficult to back out once you've "bought" something. Typically people find it very very difficult to back out once they've committed to something. This is true (interestingly enough) EVEN when they know what the salesperson is doing. Odds are, once they make the "close" they keep it.

The above is also the anatomy of a "believable" fake news story. First, it starts with a connection...in the case of fake news it isn't a neighborhood or person, but a belief system that tells your brain "this is a member of my tribe". Conservatives and liberals will notice fake news from the opposing side, but they are predisposed to believe their own. The bar is far higher, and has to be far more outrageous and ridiculous for a person of one "tribe" to reject information coming from their own "tribe". Once they buy it, new information comes out to place the situation into more proper context (extenuating circumstances), or refute it altogether...but it's too late because a good portion of the readership has bought it.
The best example I can think of is the picture of a very young very small boy who was shot by a large angry white guy in an affluent safe suburb because he was holding a bag of skittles.

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