Abusing media jeopardizes our precious and fragile democracies

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NorthReport

Beyond Capitol riot, Trump voter fraud claims leave their mark

United States election officials say ‘unprecedented’ spread of misinformation has eroded trust in voting system.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/9/beyond-capitol-riot-trump-voter-...

NorthReport
NorthReport

Interesting bet, and interesting situation we are presently experiencing. I suppose technically speaking Kelly did win the bet, and Sale should have been more of a class act and made the donation, but was either of them totally correct? I have my doubts.

A 25-Year-Old Bet Comes Due: Has Tech Destroyed Society?

In 1995, a WIRED cofounder challenged a Luddite-loving doomsayer to a prescient wager on tech and civilization’s fate. Now their judge weighs in.

https://www.wired.com/story/a-25-year-old-bet-comes-due-has-tech-destroy...

kropotkin1951

Since banning people from the internet is okay I guess we will now have to look at which radio and TV shows need to be banned as well. In my lifetime I would have to say the most effective purveyor of right wing hate and division is Rush.

Who gets to decide where the line is when citizens chose to talk about overthrowing the system they live under. Is it really best left up to billionaires?

In 1988, Rush launched his phenomenally successful radio broadcast, The Rush Limbaugh Show, into national syndication with 56 radio stations. Now, 32 years later, the show is heard on more than 600 stations by up to 27 million people each week and is the highest-rated national radio talk show in America. On February 5, 2020, at the State of the Union Address, President Donald Trump awarded Rush the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation’s highest civilian honor. Rush has also received the Marconi Radio Award five times, and has been inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians, the Radio Hall of Fame and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Pondering

In a democracy the path to changing government is electoral. Millions of people have been lied to over and over again. Lies that were demonstrably false. That isn't a view, that is pure propaganda. Calling for Pence to be hanged is not covered by free speech. 

 

NorthReport

This isn't rocket science. Social media is obviously damaging society.  The 2 main reasons facebook did what they did are profit and support for Trump. What to do about it is the question. Major issues include standards of behaviour, and the business community's authority over the standards of behaviour.

Despite Parler backlash, Facebook played huge role in fueling Capitol riot, watchdogs say

By IGOR DERYSH

JANUARY 16, 2021 11:00AM (UTC)

main article image

https://www.salon.com/2021/01/16/despite-parler-backlash-facebook-played...

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Do we really want Facebook deciding our communication standards? How much violence is enough? What is it going to take for our governments to set some standards?

A Kenosha Militia Facebook Event Asking Attendees To Bring Weapons Was Reported 455 Times. Moderators Said It Didn’t Violate Any Rules.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the reason the militia page and an associated event remained online after a shooting that killed two people was due to “an operational mistake.”

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/kenosha-militia-facebook-re...

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Revoke 230 and let's call it what it is: Big Tech Media

https://www.theglobalist.com/united-states-democracy-social-media-facebo...

JKR

Maybe the U.N. should agree on some way to regulate social media that still maintains freedom of speech and freedom of the press?

NorthReport

Not a bad idea.

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Twitter banned Trump and misinformation was reduced by 73% in the following week.

https://www.rawstory.com/donald-trump-twitter-ban/

Pondering

Without section 230 you couldn't organize a protest against twinkies. Section 230 would do nothing to stop Fox news and even all the mainstream news from airing Trump's lies over and over again just saying they are "disputed". 

The US has experienced a dumbing down because of the power of the right and their desire to limit the critical thinking skills of those they seek to lead. Canadians are molded to accept the status quo as good and many are inadequately educated but they haven't been deliberately dumbed down with having "intelligent design" forced down their throats. The key lies in critical thinking skills not trying to tightly control social media. 

 

NorthReport
josh
NorthReport

Violence at Capitol and beyond reignites a debate over America's long-held defense of extremist speech

 

'I think about the people who are impacted'

Harvard's Seltzer and Donovan say it's time to have new conversations on the absolutist interpretations of the First Amendment, taking into consideration the ways ideas live, grow and motivate others in the technological landscape. 

Race and gender scholars point out notions about free speech emanate primarily from scholars and politicians who are overwhelmingly White, Seltzer said: "It's easy for a White male to say, 'Anyone's speech is OK,' and much harder for someone in a minority position who is constantly bombarded with speech telling them they are not equal and who don't have as much access to laws and courts to gain protections."

Those notions also don't account for confirmation bias, a plague of social media wherein people believe disinformation, seek out data supporting it and ignore contradicting information.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/19/us/capitol-riots-speech-hate-extremist-fi...

cco

Ah, and now after accepting "blasphemy is racism", we've arrived at the inevitable "free speech is [i]in and of itself[/i] racism". Weird, though, that the groups who "don't have as much access to laws and courts to gain protections" would trust those laws and courts to protect them against speech, instead of punishing their speech.

josh

NorthReport wrote:

Violence at Capitol and beyond reignites a debate over America's long-held defense of extremist speech

 

'I think about the people who are impacted'

Harvard's Seltzer and Donovan say it's time to have new conversations on the absolutist interpretations of the First Amendment, taking into consideration the ways ideas live, grow and motivate others in the technological landscape. 

Race and gender scholars point out notions about free speech emanate primarily from scholars and politicians who are overwhelmingly White, Seltzer said: "It's easy for a White male to say, 'Anyone's speech is OK,' and much harder for someone in a minority position who is constantly bombarded with speech telling them they are not equal and who don't have as much access to laws and courts to gain protections."

Those notions also don't account for confirmation bias, a plague of social media wherein people believe disinformation, seek out data supporting it and ignore contradicting information.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/19/us/capitol-riots-speech-hate-extremist-fi...

Dangerous slippery slope.  The First Amendment has never been treated as absolute.  The line is drawn at imminent and direct incitement.  There shouldn't be sociological exceptions to the right to speak to without government punishment.

voice of the damned

And I think it should be noted that the most provocative speech in regards to the Capitol Siege involved claims of electoral fraud. Which I'm pretty sure is not covered by hate-speech laws in countries where such laws exist.

Pondering

Not "claims" lies, propaganda. 

voice of the damned

Pondering wrote:

Not "claims" lies, propaganda. 

I'm still pretty sure that's not covered under hate-speech laws. 

Pondering

Probably not but new laws can be written. I am not sure how it could be done but it should be illegal for someone in power to lie that blatantly about such a critical issue. Trumps followers believed him in large part because he was the President. Commander in Chief. 

When does an accusation become a lie? 

cco

Laws against "propaganda" will simply mean that the only allowed propaganda is the official kind. How many Canadians still believe Canada burned down the White House in the war of 1812, or "became a nation" at Vimy Ridge? Both of those were mythologies invented long after the fact for other political purposes. I'd think someone who lives in Quebec – a battleground of duelling propagandists for the past six decades – would be more skeptical of an idea like having the legislature determine what the truth is and who's allowed to speak.

voice of the damned

cco wrote:
Laws against "propaganda" will simply mean that the only allowed propaganda is the official kind. How many Canadians still believe Canada burned down the White House in the war of 1812, or "became a nation" at Vimy Ridge? Both of those were mythologies invented long after the fact for other political purposes. I'd think someone who lives in Quebec – a battleground of duelling propagandists for the past six decades – would be more skeptical of an idea like having the legislature determine what the truth is and who's allowed to speak.

And if someone's lies are unfairly damaging to a particular individual, that can be dealt with via existing libel laws.

Pondering

Libel and slander are only threats to individuals and normally would not lead to war. 

big lie (Germangroße Lüge) is a "gross distortion or misrepresentation of the facts, especially when used as a propaganda device by a politician or official body".[1] The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, about the use of a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously".

If Trudeau states that jihadists are planning a huge attack in 2022, they have plants in every city with a population of 100K or more and he repeats it daily along with multiple MPs, he will be believed by many because he is the Prime Minister.  If he says that necessitates new security laws to stop them he would have major support.  He could lie about a country secretly targeting us necessitating a war or sanctions. 

No one has been libeled or slandered. 

Pondering

Concerning what is damaging democracy...

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/dec/21/dear-america-how-to-crea...

Social media facilitating communications between people and groups is not the problem, it's the solution. It has democratized mass communications. It enabled BLM and Idle No More.

NorthReport

Joe Biden Was Right About the Lies in Our Politics. But He’s Repeatedly Been One of the Liars.

In his inauguration speech yesterday, Joe Biden rightly identified a crisis of ignored truth and unending lies in American politics. Donald Trump enflamed that crisis, but the political class, the media industry, and Biden himself helped create it.

https://jacobinmag.com/2021/01/joe-biden-misinformation-political-lies-j...

NorthReport

Fox lost their number 1 ratings for the first time in 20 years after the Capital riot, but is it the end? I wonder.

The end of the Trump-Fox feedback loop

https://www.mediamatters.org/fox-news/end-trump-fox-feedback-loop

voice of the damned

Pondering:

I suppose you could fashion a law specifically targeting the Prime Minister, when acting in his capacity as head-of-government, so that if he says something like "The terrorists have enough dynamite to blow up Montreal!!", he can be hauled into court for lying, on the grounds that he could use those claims to restrict civil-liberties.

But really, that would likely just lead to endless rounds of legal gotcha-ism, as opposition parties try to prove there was no evidence for what the PM said, and that it was likely to lead to a suspension of civil liberties, and the government responds with "But in fact, the mounties overheard someone in a bar saying he knew a terrorist who told him they had all that dynamite, and the PM sincerely believed that to be true." And the courts have to sort it all out.

Personally, I'd rather just have it so that any attempt at suspending civil liberties is subjected to a rigorous Charter challenge before it can proceed, rather than trying to pick which instances of dubious claims by political leaders are likely to be used to justify repression somewhere down the road.

Pondering

voice of the damned wrote:
Pondering: I suppose you could fashion a law specifically targeting the Prime Minister, when acting in his capacity as head-of-government, so that if he says something like "The terrorists have enough dynamite to blow up Montreal!!", he can be hauled into court for lying, on the grounds that he could use those claims to restrict civil-liberties. But really, that would likely just lead to endless rounds of legal gotcha-ism, as opposition parties try to prove there was no evidence for what the PM said, and that it was likely to lead to a suspension of civil liberties, and the government responds with "But in fact, the mounties overheard someone in a bar saying he knew a terrorist who told him they had all that dynamite, and the PM sincerely believed that to be true." And the courts have to sort it all out. Personally, I'd rather just have it so that any attempt at suspending civil liberties is subjected to a rigorous Charter challenge before it can proceed, rather than trying to pick which instances of dubious claims by political leaders are likely to be used to justify repression somewhere down the road.

I could live with that.  Sort of like getting an emergency arrest warrant. Judges can act quickly if time is of the essence. 

There is another culprit that is probably more central to the problem than either lying politicians or social media. 

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/costofliving/let-s-get-digital-from-bitcoin-to-...

Poor reading, writing and numeracy skills in adults make up a literacy gap in Canada with consequences for both democracy and the economy. Experts say the gap is due in part to an abundance of jobs in the past that do not require the daily use of reading comprehension and information synthesis skills...

n short, literacy is not like riding a bike. While Canadians tend to leave the high school level with these skills, it takes practice to retain them and Canada's economy does not provide the opportunity to do that for many workers.

Despite relatively high education rates, an analysis of international assessments by Statistics Canada in 2013 showed that more than one in six adult Canadians fell short of passing the most basic set of literacy tests.

Canada's results, which have not substantially changed since the first PIACC, show that many in this country are unable to complete ordinary tasks, such as filling out a job application, reading a news article or sending an email. 

About half the adult population fell short of passing a high school level of assessment, by testing the ability to digest lengthier and more complex texts while processing the information accurately.

Lack of education makes even smart people suseptible to neoliberal ideals. 

josh

But do we really want to trust a handful of chief executives with policing spaces that have become essential parts of democratic discourse? We are uncomfortable with government doing it; we are uncomfortable with Silicon Valley doing it. But we are also uncomfortable with nobody doing it at all. This is a hard place to be — or, perhaps, two rocks and a hard place.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/26/magazine/free-speech-tech.html

kropotkin1951

The billionaires who control the Western social media programs are not neutral they are imperialist capitalists who want the US/NATO companies to control the planet and all its resources. Apparently posting on Twitter about the man set on fire by the Hong Kong rioters is something to be banned for. In the meantime US politicians are allowed to use their twitter accounts to attack people in the governments of countries all over the globe, including calling for other people to commit treason and insurrection against their sovereign governments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzg4c6d0MP0

NorthReport
NorthReport

ACLU, for first time, elects Black person as its president

Deborah Archer, a law professor at New York University with expertise in civil rights and racial justice, has become the first Black person in the 101-year history of the American Civil Liberties Union to be elected its president

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/aclu-time-elects-black-person-...

NDPP

"Twitter has withheld the account of The Caravan India for its reporting on farmer protests outside Delhi. Not 24 hours ago, Mail and Guardian was suspended for reporting on Gates' role in vaccine nationalism. This is why decentralized commons like mastadon are critical."

https://twitter.com/NimiHoffman/status/1356234576121753601

 

Academic Media Censorship Conference Censored by YouTube

https://twitter.com/MintPressNews/status/1356267898793320457

"An academic critical media literacy conference warning of the dangers of media censorship, ironically, has been censored by YouTube [Google]."

The long arms and helping hands of Dem's Silicon Valley patrons.

NorthReport

Fox News, Talk Radio rear their ugly heads once again. Somehow their influence has to be curtailed.

The Trump presidency was a catastrophe for American Christianity

David French on the crisis within the evangelical movement.

https://www.vox.com/22188646/trump-evangelical-christianity-david-french

Mobo2000

https://reason.com/2021/01/29/americans-abandoning-free-speech-protectio...

"Challenging the value of unrestrained speech and debate has become something of a cottage industry. After the ugly exchanges that erupted in the Capitol riot, CNN pointed out that "questions emerge about unrestrained free expression, long championed by First Amendment theorists as a benefit to society, no matter how ugly and hateful." The network quoted scholars who conclude that the Internet and free speech protections make it too easy to exchange bad ideas.

None of these fans of speech restrictions explicitly advocate suppression of activists or ideologies; they favor controls on what they claim are false, extremist, or misleading communications. But they don't explain why reversing speech protections would accomplish their goals when misinformation existed long before modern jurisprudence, filling the pages of the country's newspapers and fueling political contests despite legal peril. Nor do they explain why they're so eager to hand more control over speech to government officials who have a historically rocky relationship with truth." ...

"Protections for free speech, it's worth pointing out, aren't some perfect counter to false and extreme ideas. Instead, they're a recognition of core individual rights. But they're also a pragmatic acknowledgment that putting government agencies in charge of suppressing misinformation just gives one team of bullshit artists an advantage over their less-powerful competitors."

kropotkin1951

From my perspective it seems that the Democrats accuse the Republicans and the media outlets that support them of spreading fake news and the Republicans, especially Trumpites, claim the Democrats and the media outlets that support them are spreading fake news. I can't help but agree with both of them. All MSM US outlets from both sides of the duopoly spew a mix of news and fake pieces feed to them by the politicos pulling their strings

 

NorthReport

Rush Limbaugh's election lies about Dominion Voting Systems reached millions of listeners

https://www.mediamatters.org/rush-limbaugh/rush-limbaughs-election-lies-...

NorthReport

We can't continue to fuck with democracy like this. It is just not working and democracy is too precious and needs better protection.

It wasn’t just Sidney Powell. Fox repeated the same Dominion lies.

https://www.mediamatters.org/fox-news/it-wasnt-just-sidney-powell-fox-re...

NorthReport
NorthReport

When right is wrong: Postmedia's clumsy ideological shift

https://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/journalism-doctor/2019/09/when-right-wr...

NorthReport

Doomed to failure? Ottawa's aid to journalism misses the mark

https://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/journalism-doctor/2019/06/doomed-failur...

NorthReport
NorthReport

Worth boycotting: Ottawa's plan to put journalism on life support

https://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/journalism-doctor/2019/05/worth-boycott...

NorthReport
NorthReport
cco

NorthReport wrote:

We can't continue to fuck with democracy like this. It is just not working and democracy is too precious and needs better protection.

Let's nail this down a bit from the vague authoritarian platitudes about the government needing to do "something" to ensure people only hear Truth. Who should we censor to "protect democracy" from people hearing the wrong ideas? What mechanism do you propose to decide which thoughts are true and which ones are dangerous lies? Will religion be exempt from all these laws as usual, or will the government decide which religion is the right one?

Please respond in an actual post containing text you wrote yourself, not a single line followed by a URL.

Mobo2000

I'm also curious why the thread title's being changed.   It used to be Social Media is Damaging Democracy.   Which suggests the threat to US democracy can be solved by regulating social media companies and no-platforming "bad actors".   

The new title suggests that what is needed is for Us to stop Abusing media.    It's an almost elegant reversal from the systemic to the individual.    Partisan democratic media is now arguing that what is wrong with US democracy is the stupidity, treachery and bigotry of half the voters, and the stealth title changes imply NR is starting to agree.   But who knows, they never say.    

NorthReport
Mobo2000

Ah, it's a typo in new thread title.   It should be "Abusive media..."

As always, NR, thanks for the great discussion.

NDPP

Lol: what goes around comes around...

Note to readers: our disappearing headlines

https://nationalpost.com/editors/note-to-readers-our-disappearing-headlines

"Readers will notice something different today about the front pages of many Postmedia newspapers across Canada: They are blank. It represents a very real phenomenon - local headlines of local newspapers are disappearing across Canada. A large part of the reason is the dominance of global tech giants such as Google and Facebook which refuse to pay a fair price for content created by Canadian news outlets. They also draw off more than 80 percent of all digital advertising revenue in Canada.

Our blank front page is part of a nationwide campaign by News Media Canada to raise awareness of the danger this phenomenon poses not only to local media but to democracy itself. Without reliable, trusted journalism that informs you and keeps government accountable, our democracy and the ability of citizens to respond to local issues will suffer..."

In dog-eat-dog corporate newswars big tech eats 'legacy media'. A plague on both their houses. More and more will abandon them and choose genuinely independent media as the mighty misleaders fall.

cco

cco wrote:
NorthReport wrote:

We can't continue to fuck with democracy like this. It is just not working and democracy is too precious and needs better protection.

Let's nail this down a bit from the vague authoritarian platitudes about the government needing to do "something" to ensure people only hear Truth. Who should we censor to "protect democracy" from people hearing the wrong ideas? What mechanism do you propose to decide which thoughts are true and which ones are dangerous lies? Will religion be exempt from all these laws as usual, or will the government decide which religion is the right one?

Please respond in an actual post containing text you wrote yourself, not a single line followed by a URL.


NorthReport wrote:

Something has to be done!

Fox News and pro-Trump lawyers hit with monster $2.7 billion lawsuit over election conspiracies: report

 

 

https://www.rawstory.com/smartmatic-lawsuit/

So, of course, your response was a single line followed by a URL. "Something" has to be done, because people are believing the wrong things. No answer to my question of what you propose be done, though. Have you considered a blog, or maybe an RSS feed, rather than making half the posts on babble "Look at this link I just saw!"? It's gotten quite difficult to have actual discussions.

NorthReport

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