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Wed Jul 24, 2019, 08:03 PM

 

Disinformation spread: bots, trolls and all of us


It would be great if more people understood how disinformation works.

It is not “someone is posting something I disagree with”:

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02235-x

Another misconception is that disinformation stems mainly from agents producing false content (paid ‘trolls’) and automated accounts (‘bots’) that promote it. But effective disinformation campaigns involve diverse participants; they might even include a majority of ‘unwitting agents’ who are unaware of their role, but who amplify and embellish messages that polarize communities and sow doubt about science, mainstream journalism and Western governments.

[...]We see authentic members of online communities become active contributors in disinformation campaigns, co-creating frames and narratives. One-way messages from deliberate actors would be relatively easy to identify and defuse. Recognizing the role of unwitting crowds is a persistent challenge for researchers and platform designers. So is deciding how to respond.

Perhaps the most confusing misconception is that the message of a campaign is the same as its goals. On a tactical level, disinformation campaigns do have specific aims — spreading conspiracy theories claiming that the FBI staged a mass-shooting event, say, or discouraging African Americans from voting in 2016. Often, however, the specific message does not matter. I and others think that the pervasive use of disinformation is undermining democratic processes by fostering doubt and destabilizing the common ground that democratic societies require.

Perhaps the most dangerous misconception is that disinformation targets only the unsavvy or uneducated, that it works only on ‘others’. Disinformation often specifically uses the rhetoric and techniques of critical thinking to foster nihilistic scepticism.

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Much more at link.

12 replies, 934 views

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Disinformation spread: bots, trolls and all of us (Original post)
jberryhill Jul 2019 OP
rzemanfl Jul 2019 #1
Kurt V. Jul 2019 #2
The Velveteen Ocelot Jul 2019 #3
dustyscamp Jul 2019 #4
ChubbyStar Jul 2019 #6
dustyscamp Jul 2019 #10
a kennedy Jul 2019 #5
stillcool Jul 2019 #7
hunter Jul 2019 #8
ChubbyStar Jul 2019 #9
hunter Jul 2019 #12
FakeNoose Jul 2019 #11

Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Jul 24, 2019, 08:08 PM

1. K&R. n/t

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Jul 24, 2019, 08:18 PM

2. if your base philosophy is humanist you'll be fine.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Jul 24, 2019, 08:29 PM

3. This. And..

It's like "listening to static through headphones. It is designed to overwhelm our capacity to make sense of information, to push us into thinking that the healthiest response is to disengage. And we may have trouble seeing the problem when content aligns with our political identities."

The signal-to-noise ratio - that is, how much useful information we're getting as a proportion of the entire content - is crucial. Too often the noise is mistaken for the signal when it reinforces our beliefs.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Jul 24, 2019, 08:31 PM

4. I wish these assholes who spread disinformation were punished much more severely than they are now

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/brenden-dilley-it-doesnt-have-to-be-true-it-just-has-to-go-viral/

“You think I know whether Megan Rapinoe is actually a Satan-worshiper?” Dilley asked. “Of course not. I have no idea … Whether she is or isn’t a devil-worshiper doesn’t fucking matter to me. That dirty piece of shit is a horrible representation of the United States of America and our values and if all I’ve got to do is link together a couple of fucking things that make her look like a Satanist to take some shine off that bitch’s moment, I’ll do it every time.”

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2019/02/26/jacob-wohl-spread-lies-mueller-rbg-twitter-just-banned-him/2995037002/

In discussing his role in spreading that disinformation, Wohl said that the accuracy of a claim is not important. All that matters is how far it reaches, and how many people believe it. “The believability stuck at about 15 to 18 percent by my measurement,” Wohl said of the Harris claim. “So it's not a bad campaign.”

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Response to dustyscamp (Reply #4)

Wed Jul 24, 2019, 08:55 PM

6. Having never heard of Brenden Dilley I had to research him

He is a dirty bag of shit. His mother introduced him to self help books when he was 11, that kind of explains why he is a complete grifter. Yuck, what a fucker.

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Response to ChubbyStar (Reply #6)

Wed Jul 24, 2019, 09:44 PM

10. There is plenty more like him unfortunately

People with no empathy and full of macho ego turn into vile Magats

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Jul 24, 2019, 08:39 PM

5. Yah, loved my neighbors saying, "oh well, I didn't see any bots voting in my voting place."

They don’t understand that the folks that they’ve friended on facebook ARE NOT REAL PEOPLE. Ya can’t talk to them....they’re just so uninformed about how the whole sham from the Russians worked.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Jul 24, 2019, 09:12 PM

7. I've been aware for some time now..

of the amount of bullsh*t I've squeezed into my brain over the years. Stuff that's laying around up there, just waiting to mess with my ability to think without influence. All that I am, colors all that I see, but how much is actually me?

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Jul 24, 2019, 09:34 PM

8. My wife and I killed our television past ten years ago.

Our television plays DVDs and Netflix. That's all it does.

No cable, no satellite, no broadcast.

It was a significant success in our pursuit of happiness.

Analyzing disinformation is a fruitless endeavor.

It's better to whip out your fascist killing machines.



Half my ancestors thought Dust Bowl U.S.A. immigrants to California were white trash.

The only lower folk were Tulare County immigrant Portuguese Dairy farmers.

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Response to hunter (Reply #8)

Wed Jul 24, 2019, 09:39 PM

9. I killed mine in 2010

The savings have been sweet, and our house is always full of music. It was like getting rid of a negative partner, you never realize what a total drag they were until you kick them out.

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Response to ChubbyStar (Reply #9)

Wed Jul 24, 2019, 10:31 PM

12. Yes, like that.

My wife and I sort of learned by accident.

Medical crisis shit and we couldn't pay the bills. I was such a mess I could move the television and the DVD player to our bedroom, but not the broadcast or disconnected cable.

Turned out we didn't need it. We could always find DVDs.

A few years later one of our adult children hooked us up with Netflix.

Netflix is a land of frequent silliness, but there's always something to see, so long as they remain advertising free and less than ten dollars a month.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Jul 24, 2019, 09:51 PM

11. Before I came to DU

This was during and after the 2016 election, for a short time I was on the Yahoo political blogs. What a dismal quarter of hell that place is, or was then. Many ultra conservative ChumpHumping trolls would drown out the few liberal anti-Chump people who ever ventured on there.

Besides being rude and abusive, the bullies used various fake-name accounts to upvote their OWN posts, and make it look like they had a lot of agreement. So many bots would post anti-Obama, anti-Hillary, anti-liberal bullshit word-for-word so you knew they were copy-pasting their garbage from some archive of conservative "collected wisdom." That's how I knew they were bots, they never responded to any direct questions or opinions, they just posted their rah-rah-Trump bullshit and ignored the blowback.

It was pretty awful and I decided it wasn't worth my time just to take one for the team. But then I found Democratic Underground, with its awesome cast of crazy wonderful people, and I never looked back. Thanks Friends!



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