Interesting story of the path that actual “fake news” travels the internet.

People who frequently re-post “news” that has passed through ZeroHedge, RedStateWatcher, et al should pay close attention.

24 thoughts on “Interesting story of the path that actual “fake news” travels the internet.

  1. I wonder when or if intentionally posting misinformation that can cost people their lives if they believe and act on it will become the equivalent of yelling “FIRE” in a crowed theater..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. RE: “People who frequently re-post “news” that has passed through ZeroHedge, RedStateWatcher, et al should pay close attention.”

    I occasionally post content here from ZeroHedge. In fact, I considered posting the GreatGameIndia story about the origins of coronavirus in Canada/China, but elected not to because it struck me as overly speculative.

    I would point out that ZeroHedge also republishes articles from The Washington Post and The New York Times, among other mainstream sources. If I am to assume that everything I see at ZeroHedge is tainted, must I also assume that WAPO and NYT material I find there is tainted, too?

    You should notice that the story at Wired is written by someone marketing a related product, a browser extension called NewsGuard “which rates the credibility of news and information sites.” The product is free, but to get it you have to give up some personal information to NewsGuard’s marketing program. Journalistic integrity? Not so much.

    Like

    1. @Roberts

      Congratulations on rejecting the dissemination of that Chinese spy nonsense.
      Small steps!

      You attack the journalistic integrity of the author of this factual piece? Why? Surely, you do not think a bit of argumentum ad hominem negates the history of this bogus story through the bowels of the internet?

      A site that is known to spread garbage does not redeem itself by mixing it in with materials from legitimate sources. So, be wary.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RE: “You attack the journalistic integrity of the author of this factual piece? Why?”

        For the reason I gave: “You should notice that the story at Wired is written by someone marketing a related product, a browser extension called NewsGuard “which rates the credibility of news and information sites.”

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        1. @Roberts

          The point I was making is that it matters not in the least what you can say about the author. Argumentum ad hominem is an error of logic. He MAY hope to sell a product. As you might say, “so what?” The story told is straight-forward and factual.

          If you were to state that the Navy has 20 aircraft carriers and I were to respond by saying

          “Roberts cannot be trusted on this because his whole career was based on Navy contracts”

          the Navy would still have 20 aircraft carriers. Would it not?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. RE: “Argumentum ad hominem is an error of logic.”

            Nope. It can be, but it isn’t in the context of pointing the author’s potential bias.

            “Canadian academic and author Douglas N. Walton has argued that ad hominem reasoning is not always fallacious, and that in some instances, questions of personal conduct, character, motives, etc., are legitimate and relevant to the issue, as when it directly involves hypocrisy, or actions contradicting the subject’s words.” (Wikipedia)

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          2. RE: “Argumentum ad hominem is an error of logic.”

            You say “Nope”

            You are wrong.

            Your error is because you are confusing “logic” with “rhetoric.” “Facts” with “opinions.” Pointing out a bias, as you have done here, may be persuasive rhetoric in a discussion of an opinion. It is not a refutation of a factual statement.

            In this case, the article presented the facts of the history of the Chinese Spy Story. Nothing can refute a factual statement except evidence that it is false.

            Liked by 2 people

  3. “ If I am to assume that everything I see at ZeroHedge is tainted, must I also assume that WAPO and NYT material I find there is tainted, too?”

    That statement is a textbook example of false equivalency.

    Conspiracies rely on a smidgen of truth. Pizzagate, for example had the fact that there was a pizza restaurant at the described location. And some Democrats ate there. So comparing Alex Jones to WAPO is now justified.

    I disagree with your supposition.

    IMHO

    Liked by 3 people

    1. RE: “That statement is a textbook example of false equivalency.”

      Yes, it is, exemplifying Mr. Murphy’s own rhetoric.

      I do not in fact assume that WAPO equals Alex Jones because both have seen print at Zerohedge. Nor do I assume that ZeroHedge equals WAPO because sometimes it reprints WAPO material.

      So let me ask you: Do you dismiss content offered here in the Forum for comment and discussion based solely on where it comes from?

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      1. Actually I read most links. I criticized your FPM opinion about hand sanitizer because of specifics I found troubling. I don’t believe I said anything general about FPM and it’s credibility or lack thereof.

        So the short answer is no.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “ So let me ask you: Do you dismiss content offered here in the Forum for comment and discussion based solely on where it comes from?”

        You mean like you have done repeatedly on articles from the WAPO and NYT?

        You should look into a course on logic….

        Liked by 2 people

        1. RE: “You mean like you have done repeatedly on articles from the WAPO and NYT?”

          No. My habit is to explain why I object to a source published here when I choose to comment on it.

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      3. You do it all of the time. You may read it, but your eye is jaundiced based on whether or not the piece feeds into your version of “truth”. And then you dismiss the source. And you do it regularly, including ter Atlantic piece posted by Mr. Murphy.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. RE: “And you do it regularly, including ter Atlantic piece posted by Mr. Murphy.”

          Go back and look. I was asked to explain, and did.

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  4. As a general rule, I give more credence to MSM, including both left and right. The reason is the worn out expression of “boots on the ground”. For better or worse, the better funded organizations can afford to pay journalists to be there. Whether press conferences, the Capitol buttonholing congressmen, at hospitals, in war zones (true heroes of media in my book), meetings, shootings, etc. they are the witnesses we can’t be.

    Plus, it takes years for journalists to establish contacts and gain access to sources. That kind of experience doesn’t come cheap.

    Such access doesn’t necessarily guarantee bias free reporting, but there are enough sources across the spectrum to at least describe the elephant with some accuracy.

    I like aggregators for that very reason. It makes my pursuit of truth easier if I can read the same story from FOX, WSJ, WAPO, NYT, NY POST, etc. in one place for one price.

    IMHO

    Liked by 3 people

    1. RE: “As a general rule, I give more credence to MSM…”

      I used to do that, too, back when I was young. Then I went to college and was surprised that my liberal arts professors made a veritable cottage industry out of bashing journalistic sources. You wouldn’t believe how much bad scholarship and bothched science they could find in such venerable publications as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine and Scientific American, not to mention the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

      You might think that peer-reviewed journals would be more reliable, but there, too, the problem persists. Even peer-reviewed articles are only reliable about half the time. The situation is so bad, it has been dubbed the “replication crisis.” Wikepedia [evil grin] has a whole article on the topic.

      If you are a consumer of information, you have to be skeptical of everything. There are literally no inherently credible and non-credible sources, only sources that require more or less scrutiny.

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      1. @Roberts

        “If you are a consumer of information, you have to be skeptical of everything. There are literally no inherently credible and non-credible sources, only sources that require more or less scrutiny.”

        For once, I can agree wholeheartedly with an opinion that you offer.

        Do note, however, that we are agreeing that not all sources are equally reliable.

        For example, an article published in a journal with more than a century and a half of literary and journalistic excellence, say, The Atlantic Magazune – does not require the same degree of skepticism as say an article appearing first on, say, PJMedia.com.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. RE: “Do note, however, that we are agreeing that not all sources are equally reliable.”

          No, we aren’t. You are agreeing the proposition that all sources require skepticism.

          Like

          1. @Roberts

            I was agreeing with YOUR statement which YOU wrote . . .

            “There are literally no inherently credible and non-credible sources, only sources that require more or less scrutiny.”

            If you did not understand what you wrote, feel free to retract it.

            Liked by 2 people

      2. I have often stated that press freedom offers no guarantees of quality. The market does that. And as you said, the consumer skepticism is important.

        I don’t doubt the veracity of you professors’ positions. Academia is a great source of endless research on just about anything.

        I recall seeing classic Disney movies. I think the series was “True Life” or something similar. One of the “documentaries” was called “The Living Desert”. It turned that many of the scenes were staged either in the studio or under very controlled conditions. Hardly the camera work of a true nature photographer. And the scenes were played for humor to music. Entertaining perhaps, but fake nonetheless.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. HOB has a new documentary playing on the fake news phenomenon.

    After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News

    May be worth a peek. I watched part of it the other night and it was fascinating how some thing as innocuous as a pizza parlor becomes the story about a child sex slave ring run by Hillary Clinton.

    Like

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