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Old 02-15-2018, 11:50 AM   #46
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Iím not talking about regulating content nor about revealing sources, at least not the way you mean it. Not at all. Iím objecting to those sites who use the internet to pretend to be somebody they are not. Who pose as American Muslims or American members of BLM and post inflammatory propaganda.
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:59 AM   #47
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Iím not talking about regulating content nor about revealing sources, at least not the way you mean it. Not at all. Iím objecting to those sites who use the internet to pretend to be somebody they are not. Who pose as American Muslims or American members of BLM and post inflammatory propaganda.
I think Jim's point is that how do you differentiate? It's fairly easy to state the intention, but the devil is in the details. Stated in a way that could be made operational, what is the requirement and to whom does it apply?

But it also might not be as problematic as he is suggesting. The US press has organizations and credentials - I don't think you were trying to say that "news" should have to reveal the origins of its sources. I think you are directing your concern more to "source" meaning the person or entity that is disseminating the story, not the sources within the story itself.

In other words, New York Times is a known entity. It is an NYSE traded company headquartered in New York City. It has a masthead and its writers are identified and real human beings.

But it's not always that easy. Some perfectly legitimate US news outlets are owned by closely-held corporations that might not be headquartered in the state or region where the news outlet operates. It might be fairly easy to discover upon research, but it certainly isn't stated somewhere in every article that a person might post to their Facebook or Twitter feed.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:32 PM   #48
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I would just say that people are not guaranteed the right to distribute false stories especially under a false identity. Itís damaging to society in the same vein as shouting fire in a crowded theater. We can figure the nuts and bolts out.
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:18 PM   #49
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I think part of my problem is that I don't think "truth" is something that is dictated from the top. Even the fact checkers get it wrong some time. Perhaps more importantly we live in a time where notions of bias from a variety of perspectives are recognized - whether that be racial bias, sexual identity bias, income, etc. . . , the notions of perspective challenge the very notion of some sort of clearly defined truth.
Ignoring the problems of government regulation in the area it seems like a rough spot for a social media platform and even a "news" organization to have to deal with some sort of notion of "truth" valid for various perspectives of a given issue.

More practically - we are apparently dealing with foreign intelligence operations. To begin to approach these things straight on with "warnings" or whatever to the public at large seems dangerous to me. Intelligence is rife with misinformation, its the nature of the game. For us, or more specifically our corporate media platforms, to begin to identify foreign activity and publish them alongside each instance in some sort of regular manner would enable all sort of havoc. Twitter says there are thousands of "Russian bots" tweeting in support of issue x - how does this play out? Does it cast aspersions on the issue? Does it make people less likely to support the issue? Does it have an effect even outside the particularities of public support. In some sense any effect it has at all is of use to the foreign intelligence engaging in the activity. Its not like this is the DNC trying to flood social media in support of something.

I think that sort of echos what Rex Tillerson said recently but I would go even further and say any sort of response that regularly identifies and publicizes activity is not necessarily an appropriate response. I don;t have a problem with people saying that there were a lot of Russian bots tweeting in support of releasing the Nunes memo, that is different from some sort of "official" identification. While the former can potentially play into the hands of foreign intelligence, the latter most certainly will.
Put it another way - does it really matter that there were thousands or more tweets from Russian sources demanding the release of the memo? Politically the effect only arose, imo, from the response to the Russian action. If someone is being manipulated which side is it? And how would regular labeling stop or curtail such manipulation?
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:28 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mt15 View Post
I would just say that people are not guaranteed the right to distribute false stories especially under a false identity. Itís damaging to society in the same vein as shouting fire in a crowded theater. We can figure the nuts and bolts out.
I am being a little unfair here - but are you wanting to end the long literary tradition of using pen names?
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:13 PM   #51
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It seems you may be deliberately misunderstanding what I am worried about. I do understand your concerns, but I think they are a bit overblown.

I don’t see things getting better if we keep going the way we are going. The influence of foreign propaganda on social media is reaching the level of pervasive. During the last election they scheduled competing rallies from the left and right at the same time and place hoping to incite violence. It was a pretty clumsy attempt, but I expect the next time they will improve their technique.

These sort of “dirty tricks” will only get more and more common. How should our society respond to these things? I don’t think we can afford to ignore them.

Our society today is divided more so than what I recall during the social upheavals in the sixties, but for no good reason. At least in the sixties we were going through significant social changes, so there was a good reason for the divide.

Today’s divisions seems to have been manufactured out of thin air. The foreign propaganda should be viewed as a true threat to our nation, and we have an administration who cares nothing about it, and in fact is adamantly refusing to listen to their own intelligence agencies.

You are probably correct in that a public response may not be the best response. If I thought that this administration was taking the threat seriously I wouldn’t care so much about the issues we’ve been discussing. But they are not, they are totally ignoring this attack on our society. By the time this administration leaves office, there may be permanent damage done. That’s what bothers me more than anything else.

Our democracy hinges on a properly informed public. It won’t work very well if lies and propaganda cannot be separated from facts.
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