FAKE NEWS IS MORE SPAM THAN CYBER

Fake news is a problem, everybody knows that. When technology helps bad actors spread lies and sow discord, it’s bad for democracy, which relies on citizens making considered judgments at the polls. It’s also a boon to authoritarians, who can stamp out criticism and bury unfavorable news by creating confusion about what’s true and what’s false.

The more interesting question is, what kind of problem is it?

Two recent data points offer some hope. Last week, we wrote about big social media companies’ decisions to ban the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, the latest sign that the big websites where fake news often spreads are becoming more engaged with the problem. Less well publicized was the fact that DARPA, the Pentagon’s research and development arm, has been making progress in developing tools that can detect so-called “deepfakes,” the ultra-realistic fake audio and video created using artificial intelligence that some people worry could unleash a torrent of politically-motivated fakery.

Part of the problem with fake news is that people tend to believe what they want to believe – technology won’t solve that. But with industry and government both now paying closer attention, maybe, just maybe, technology can make the problem more manageable.

Wonder what might affect the levels of “ignorant” and “gullible” in the United States?

Supercarrier USS Ronald Reagan to be renamed USS Barack Obama

Yes, thousands of ignoranus rightwing fools believe that is true!

The U.S.Navy announced it’s flagship and most advanced supercarrier warship will get a much needed refit and name change after it’s next mission.

Last week the Nimitz-class carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) departed San Diego, Calif. for its new home in Yokosuka, Japan.Reagan has operated extensively in the Pacific, including responding to the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

After it’s deployment the Reagan will return to Newport News, Va. for a mid-life overhaul.The Navy announced it will also be re-christening the ship to celebrate our nation’s first African American president.

…Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, Commander, Naval Air Forces, said…“When she comes home it will be time to update. Both the technology and name will be updated to reflect America’s progressive vision for the world an our allies.”

Shoemaker went on to explain the Navy had planned to build a new carrier to name after the 44th President but due to budget cuts those plans were scrapped.

It was not announced how long the ship’s current deployment would be but that Obama should be out of office by the time the name change takes place.

According to estimates from the Navy, the name swap will cost the service about $41 billion in moving expenses as per executive order.

After you read to the bottom of the article, take the time to read all the comments from teabaggers and loyal little Republicans going absolutely batshit crazy. It is hilarious.

The Fox News Facebook Page is a satire site – Duh.

Fox News Station blurred out the nipples of $179 million Picasso

fox version of picasso

When a Fox news station reported on the record-breaking $179 million sale of Picasso’s Women of Algiers (Version O) at a Christie’s auction, it outdid itself by blurring out the abstract breasts in the painting.

After Fox5NY ran the story on Wednesday, several people took to Twitter to express their derision at Fox’s decision to censor a masterpiece firmly established of the Western canon of art.

New York magazine senior art critic Jerry Saltz even weighed in, calling Fox News “sexually sick.”

Not only did the censorship reveal a perversion in how Fox views the human body, but blurring out the nipples inherently sexualizes and objectifies the female form, even in an abstract piece of art like this.

In response, some evoked the #FreeTheNipple campaign, an initiative to desexualize women’s breasts and allow women to reclaim ownership over their bodies. The movement was inspired by a film of the same name, which explored the legal double-standard in New York of men being allowed to expose their nipples while women can’t. It has transformed into an international campaign and is particularly popular in Iceland, a country known for its feminism, in the fight to make the treatment of men’s and women’s bodies equal…

Given how marginalized and objectified women are on Fox, it’s unfortunately not that surprising they decided to blur out the breasts on Picasso’s masterpiece. If you have kids, just make sure not to take them to any museums before they’re 18. By the Fox logic, it could really mess them up.

If you are required to redefine all life, lifestyle and politics, into terms acceptable to that small American minority whose ideology is stuck into the 14th Century this sort of result is predictable. And consistent.

Is ISIS on the U.S.-Mexican Border? snopes.com says “FALSE”


Photo from a world-class source of idjit fodder

…Rumors of ISIS members slipping through southern borders escalated significantly on 7 October 2014 when U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter of California told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren that as many as ten ISIS militants had been apprehended at southern crossings…”I know that at least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas”…

Hunter’s claims seemed to fall directly in line with several made by the disreputable Judicial Watch site, a muckraking organization run by “political activist” Larry Klayman (who issued a press release in October 2014 announcing he was petitioning several federal agencies to deport President Obama, and who has been barred for life by multiple judges for his repetitive misuse of the court system). Since August 2014, Judicial Watch has been claiming that the U.S.-Mexico border is vulnerable to ISIS, stating in a “bulletin” on 10 October 2014 that: There are times when all of us hate to say, “I told you so.” And the latest news from Judicial Watch on the apprehension of ISIS terrorists on the U.S.-Mexico border is certainly one of them…

The claims by Judicial Watch of an “imminent” attack “coming very soon” were made on 31 August 2014, and Hunter’s statements came more than a month later. No such attack or confirmed attempt to cross the border by members of ISIS occurred in the intervening weeks between the “bulletin” and Hunter’s appearance on Fox News to substantiate beliefs that ISIS either had crossed or had intended to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

The inclusion in the rumor of an “in the last 36 hours” modifier created an impression of urgency without specifying when the event itself occurred (and enabled the rumor to spread ad infinitum.) On 8 October 2014, a senior spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security responded to Hunter’s claim about ISIS fighters captured by Border Patrol: “The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the Southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any credible intelligence or the facts on the ground. DHS continues to have no credible intelligence to suggest terrorist organizations are actively plotting to cross the southwest border”.

RTfA for a compilation of several more governmental sources, political and civic sources, saying the same. Of course, if you’re a stone nutball who believes all governments are part of every fear-driven conspiracy in your demented little gray cells, this means nothing to your catechism.

I love snopes.com. One of the first places I check when someone forwards an email claiming the next hard-to-believe conspiracy has come true.

UK Prime Minister says Fox News expert is an idiot

before and after
Twitter depiction of Fox News lies

Steven Emerson, who claims to be a terrorism expert, told Fox News Birmingham was a ‘totally Muslim city’ and London patrolled by violent religious police

The Fox News commentator who said the British city of Birmingham was a no-go zone for non-Muslims is a “complete idiot”, the prime minister, David Cameron, has said.

“When I heard this, frankly, I choked on my porridge and I thought it must be April Fools’ day,” Cameron said. “This guy’s clearly a complete idiot.”

Terrorism expert Steven Emerson claimed on US news channel Fox News that non-Muslims do not go to Birmingham, which he said had become a “totally Muslim” city. Emerson added:

In Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.

And, parts of London, there are actually Muslim religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn’t dress according to religious Muslim attire.

Emerson later apologised “for having made this comment about the beautiful city of Birmingham”.

Cameron said: “He’s started with an apology. That’s not a bad start. But what he should actually do is actually look at Birmingham and see what a fantastic example it is of bringing people together of different faiths, different backgrounds and actually building a world-class, brilliant city with a great and strong economy.”

Emerson’s website describes him as “one of the leading authorities” on Islamic extremist networks, and states: Emerson and his staff frequently provide briefings to US government and law enforcement agencies, members of Congress and congressional committees.

Well, the Republican portion of Congress.

RTFA and chuckle over some of the more colorful descriptions of Fox News.

There are times when I almost feel sorry for the idjits who think they encounter real, verifiable facts on Fox News. Almost. Too many of today’s conservatives consciously decide to ignore reality.

Study confirms that Fox News makes you stupid

fox-truth

Yet another study has been released that proves that watching Fox News is detrimental to your intelligence. World Public Opinion, a project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, conducted a survey of American voters that shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. What’s more, the study shows that greater exposure to Fox News increases misinformation.

So the more you watch, the less you know. Or to be precise, the more you think you know that is actually false…

In eight of the nine questions below, Fox News placed first in the percentage of those who were misinformed (they placed second in the question on TARP). That’s a pretty high batting average for journalistic fraud:

91% believe that the stimulus legislation lost jobs.

72% believe that the health reform law will increase the deficit.

72% believe that the economy is getting worse.

60% believe that climate change is not occurring.

49% believe that income taxes have gone up.

63% believe that the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts.

56% believe that Obama initiated the GM/Chrysler bailout.

38% believe that most Republicans opposed TARP.

63% believe that Obama was not born in the US (or that it is unclear)…

This is not an isolated review of Fox’s performance. It has been corroborated time and time again. The fact that Fox News is so blatantly dishonest, and the effects of that dishonesty have become ingrained in an electorate that has been been purposefully deceived, needs to be made known to every American. Our democracy cannot function if voters are making choices based on lies

Madison Avenue hucksters have proved for decades that Americans are conditioned to believe almost anything presented to them as fact, as desirable, as having qualities of holy goodness. You can start with Chesterfield cigarettes having “Not a cough in a carload!” — and top it off with The Bush/Cheney campaign against weapons of mass destruction requiring our invasion of Iraq and the death of hundreds of thousands of civilians in the name of American Homeland Security.