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Mon Apr 3, 2017, 07:52 PM

UW professor: The information war is real, and were losing it - UW professor


Starbird argues in a new paper, set to be presented at a computational social-science conference in May, that these “strange clusters” of wild conspiracy talk, when mapped, point to an emerging alternative media ecosystem on the web of surprising power and reach.

It features sites such as Infowars.com, hosted by informal President Donald Trump adviser Alex Jones, which has pushed a range of conspiracies, including that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a staged fake.

There are dozens of other conspiracy-propagating websites such as beforeitsnews.com, nodisinfo.com and veteranstoday.com. Starbird cataloged 81 of them, linked through a huge community of interest connected by shared followers on Twitter, with many of the tweets replicated by automated bots.


“Your brain tells you ‘Hey, I got this from three different sources,’ ” she says. “But you don’t realize it all traces back to the same place, and might have even reached you via bots posing as real people. If we think of this as a virus, I wouldn’t know how to vaccinate for it.”

Starbird says she’s concluded, provocatively, that we may be headed toward “the menace of unreality — which is that nobody believes anything anymore.” Alex Jones, she says, is “a kind of prophet. There really is an information war for your mind. And we’re losing it.”

THis is not new. It originally was called "THe Big Lie"... Think up a lie, make a big one and KEEP REPEATING IT. Eventually, the non-critically thinking drones out there will think "it must be true, look how many people are saying it!".. The best recent example of this sort of maelstrom of anti-factual fake news was the GOP's very successful campaign to brand Hillary Clinton as guilty of breaking a law and as recklessly handling classified data. But the GOP could not have been so successful with these Big Lies without M$M uncritically repeating GOP Talking Points and showing no interest in asking why 8 committees the GOP impanneled on Benghazi were really necessary - unless the purpose was to hurt Clinton politically. Technology has enhanced the technique, but I have to believe that it can also be used to show what is really going on.

If people like Starbird are mapping internet connections and finding the sources of Fake News (that which "Liberals" have been simply calling Right-wing Bullshit/propaganda) perhaps this will give us a tool to counter the "enhanced" Big Lie tactic. There also are excellent sites on the web which have been reporting the facts. What is needed is a more aggressive insistence on corroboration of claims with factual evidence. The challenge is to get people to think critically, or just to think at all.

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Reply UW professor: The information war is real, and were losing it - UW professor (Original post)
Bill USA Apr 2017 OP
sharedvalues Apr 2017 #1
Bill USA Apr 2017 #2
sharedvalues Apr 2017 #3

Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Mon Apr 3, 2017, 07:55 PM

1. yup. CJR mapped this echo chamber too

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Response to sharedvalues (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 3, 2017, 08:43 PM

2. Study: Breitbart-led right-wing media ecosystem altered broader media agenda - 4 those who might

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Response to Bill USA (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 3, 2017, 08:45 PM

3. Thanks

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