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Joe Bryant

Fake News - What Is It?

Fake News - What Is It?  

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Saw this the other day. 

Basically, the punch line is anything that challenges your worldview is "fake news". 

Edit to add: I'm talking about how people see this right now in 2019. Not how it's evolved and what it once was.

But it had me wondering - what people mean when they say "fake news". 

Basically, do you mean "spun news" or actually fabricated and "fake news".

And for the fake news where it's actually definitely stating things that are untrue, can you post links to examples?

Edited by Joe Bryant

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 It's supposed to be fabricated news, but the current POTUS has extended the definition to anything that he disagrees with.

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2 minutes ago, Bucky86 said:

 It's supposed to be fabricated news, but the current POTUS has extended the definition to anything that he disagrees with.

/thread

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The answer is subjective.  There is no consensus answer. It means different things to different people.

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Opinion pieces and shows trying to pawn themselves off as real information. They tend to push the buttons of their bases on controversial issues that in the grand scheme of things are not important or prevalent.  

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It's a charge meant to label some of the nation's historically most professional and prestigious news gathering organizations as unfair because of their supposed partisan slant. There was a time when some conservative publications were also trusted and venerated because of their professionalism and willingness to vet the information that appeared on their news pages. Maybe a few of those still exist but they are no longer the go to sources of information for conservative news consumers.

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2 minutes ago, knowledge dropper said:

Opinion pieces and shows trying to pawn themselves off as real information. They tend to push the buttons of their bases on controversial issues that in the grand scheme of things are not important or prevalent.  

We've been over this before. Op-Ed's aren't news.

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Fake news had a very clear and specific definition in recent years.  It was intentionally false news, or at least news written with no regard to veracity- designed to look real and pushed out in social media to make money/influence the election. The Post did a profile of one of the leading purveyors of fake news.

Everyone generally agreed on this for a while.  This Stanford study on its impact in 2016 defines fake news as "news articles that are intentionally and verifiably
false, and could mislead readers."  The definition was universally accepted and understood.

Then of course Trump came along, and as he does with everything that compromises his victory and achievements in any way, he co-opted the thing and set about gaslighting America with the support of his army of media sycophants, and now we've mostly lost touch with shared reality. When CNN and the New York Times become "fake news" there's no longer any way to clearly differentiate between editorial decisions and minor, quickly corrected errors on the one hand, and insane, baseless social media fabrications on the other.

 

ETA: I see Bucky said this earlier and more succinctly than I did. He pretty much nailed it.

 

Edited by TobiasFunke
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3 minutes ago, Bucky86 said:

We've been over this before. Op-Ed's aren't news.

To be fair - the question is "What is 'fake news'?"

 

For many people - Op-Eds are "Fake News"

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And I should have been more clear. I'm mostly interested in how people see this right now. I'll edit.

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15 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Saw this the other day. 

Basically, the punch line is anything that challenges your worldview is "fake news". 

But it had me wondering - what people mean when they say "fake news". 

Basically, do you mean "spun news" or actually fabricated and "fake news".

And for the fake news where it's actually definitely stating things that are untrue, can you post links to examples?

Well sometimes I will go to a few TV stations and see how they cover the same story and it is very interesting the different spins put on exactly the same story. Some will spin it one way, another will spin it another way.  I have found that my local TV news actually just reports the story as it is and it is much more enjoyable.

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1 minute ago, Joe Bryant said:

And I should have been more clear. I'm mostly interested in how people see this right now. I'll edit.

I'm not sure I understand why.  Words and phrases have meaning.  It's not good to allow someone with an agenda to obfuscate that to unilaterally change that meaning. If I asked what "First Amendment rights" or "innocent until proven guilty" mean most people would get it very very wrong, often for political reasons or out of self-interest.  That doesn't mean we should change what those things mean to fit their agenda.

Obviously language evolves over time, but that is very different from allowing people to quickly redefine things for their own purposes.  The latter is really bad and dangerous, IMO.

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Other good examples of politicians co-opting words in this manner:

socialism

social justice

religious freedom

 

These all have fairly clear definitions and are often used to mean something else for political reasons. Perhaps a right-leaning person can offer similar examples of words and phrases liberals have co-opted :shrug:

 

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13 minutes ago, Bucky86 said:

 It's supposed to be fabricated news, but the current POTUS has extended the definition to anything that he disagrees with.

We live in a "post fake news" world.

The President uses "Fake News" to describe anything he disagrees with.

The rest of us use "Fake News" to describe every lie the President and his supporters tell.

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19 minutes ago, Da Guru said:

Well sometimes I will go to a few TV stations and see how they cover the same story and it is very interesting the different spins put on exactly the same story. Some will spin it one way, another will spin it another way.  I have found that my local TV news actually just reports the story as it is and it is much more enjoyable.

We have different words to describe that. It's the product of "editorial decisions," or "different perspectives." It's not "fake news" unless something about it is, you know, fake,

Edited by TobiasFunke
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7 minutes ago, TobiasFunke said:

We have different words to describe that. It's the product of "editorial decisions," or "different perspectives." It's not "fake news" unless something about it is, you know, fake,

Right. As much as I dislike Fox News, I wouldn't label it as "Fake News." It just clearly has an agenda and a narrative they like to create. 

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29 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

To be fair - the question is "What is 'fake news'?"

 

For many people - Op-Eds are "Fake News"

When it’s packaged like news, it’s fake news.  Years ago I believe the media had to label things “editorial” or “commentary.”

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12 minutes ago, TobiasFunke said:

We have different words to describe that. It's the product of "editorial decisions," or "different perspectives." It's not "fake news" unless something about it is, you know, fake,

I agree, just interesting how different stories are reported. 

Edited by Da Guru

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48 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

And for the fake news where it's actually definitely stating things that are untrue, can you post links to examples?

I think finding links is difficult - given that mainstream News organizations don't push fake news.  I think you will find that most fake news is pushed out on obscure websites and then amplified on social media by people inclined to believe the stories as true. 

But certainly, any of the stories linking Clinton to Comet Pizza pedophile ring come to mind - might even have been pushed on this site.

 

Birther stories.  Louise Mensch - "Sargeant of Arms of Supreme Court ready to arrest Trump"

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4 minutes ago, knowledge dropper said:

When it’s packaged like news, it’s fake news.  Years ago I believe the media had to label things “editorial” or “commentary.”

Can you give me a link where it is not labled?  I'll admit I don't pay real close attention to that - but I generally see Op-Eds and opinion pieces labeled as such.  In fact, I try to identify Op-Ed pieces when I post links here - if its not obvious from the context.

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5 minutes ago, John Blutarsky said:

>>New York Times columnist Charles Blow’s column of Dec. 2, 2018, was silly even by his standards. “Members of Trump’s team were extremely interested in and eager to accept any assistance that the Russians could provide,” wrote Blow. “That is clear.”<<

Hm, perhaps you caught the President’s most recent statement on this.

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1 minute ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

>>New York Times columnist Charles Blow’s column of Dec. 2, 2018, was silly even by his standards. “Members of Trump’s team were extremely interested in and eager to accept any assistance that the Russians could provide,” wrote Blow. “That is clear.”<<

Hm, perhaps you caught the President’s most recent statement on this.

Hm, perhaps you caught all the other things they got wrong.

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6 minutes ago, knowledge dropper said:
37 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

To be fair - the question is "What is 'fake news'?"

 

For many people - Op-Eds are "Fake News"

When it’s packaged like news, it’s fake news.  Years ago I believe the media had to label things “editorial” or “commentary.”

The media is not required by law to label things as "editorial" or "commentary". They usually do it as a disclaimer to protect themselves from being sued (for defamation, libel, etc.). CNN labels their opinion articles as either "Opinion", "Commentary" or "Analysis", but that hasn't prevented some people from mistakenly thinking that it's news reporting.

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19 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

>>New York Times columnist Charles Blow’s column of Dec. 2, 2018, was silly even by his standards. “Members of Trump’s team were extremely interested in and eager to accept any assistance that the Russians could provide,” wrote Blow. “That is clear.”<<

Hm, perhaps you caught the President’s most recent statement on this.

:lol:

Oh, the irony of attempting to expose fake news by.......citing fake news.

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I think by far the most common form of "fake news" is leaving out facts of a given story. Facts that if included would lead the reader / viewer to a different opinion or conclusion. Everything they report on a given story is factual, they simply choose not to tell all of them. Media has been doing it for decades.

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32 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

Can you give me a link where it is not labled?  I'll admit I don't pay real close attention to that - but I generally see Op-Eds and opinion pieces labeled as such.  In fact, I try to identify Op-Ed pieces when I post links here - if its not obvious from the context.

Print obviously does a much better job than television.  It’s easy for most to discern.  Sadly, many think anything on a “news” channel is news.  

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12 minutes ago, [scooter] said:

:lol:

Oh, the irony of attempting to expose fake news by.......citing fake news.

Did you miss all the other examples of the media being wrong?

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15 minutes ago, Mr Anonymous said:

I think by far the most common form of "fake news" is leaving out facts of a given story. Facts that if included would lead the reader / viewer to a different opinion or conclusion. Everything they report on a given story is factual, they simply choose not to tell all of them. Media has been doing it for decades.

That's sort of what I was getting at here.

I call that "spinning" news. Not "fake" news. My understanding of "fake news" is that it's people actually fabricating pure fiction as news that they fully know is pure fiction. 

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26 minutes ago, [scooter] said:

The media is not required by law to label things as "editorial" or "commentary". They usually do it as a disclaimer to protect themselves from being sued (for defamation, libel, etc.). CNN labels their opinion articles as either "Opinion", "Commentary" or "Analysis", but that hasn't prevented some people from mistakenly thinking that it's news reporting.

Hey scooter buddy..Here is my exact post

No.  Just no.  

I actually cringed reading this.  This is by their Editor-At-Large...

Can any of you CNN fans say you enjoy this?  That this is good reporting?

https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/10/politics/donald-trump-cnbc-tariffs-china-mexico/index.html

 

I....just...can't.....And my God I used to watch CNN and like CNN.  I chose them for the 2016 election coverage. No more.  I can't support this anymore than I can support a buffoon for President.  What a sad place we are all in right now.  

Rather than linking it.  I did NOT make the comment that it was news.  I made the comment that it is disgusting and I can't see how any normal, rational, adult human could read that and take CNN seriously.  

I guess this is a GREAT example of what FAKE news is..When someone, or something just lies......

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I think some of this news vs op/ed stuff is based in the old way when newspapers were king. The "news" stories were in the front and the "op/ed" were in the back. Conveniently labeled Op/Ed at the top of the page often. 

Obviously, all that has changed now. 

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I think a useful approach would be to first consider/define what "non-fake" news means. Is it solely the reporting of facts/events? I think the closest we come to that are things like AP and Reuters. Even there, some editorialization happens, as someone has to curate which facts get reported and which do not - the decision of what is "newsworthy." Beyond that, there are degrees of imposing a particular perspective on reporting. Even the best, most well researched, investigative reporting begins with a supposition that something is "worth" investigating - there is a judgement beyond the simple reporting of facts involved. The "non-fakeness" of such endeavors really depends on whether the author goes where the facts take them, or prune/distort/omit facts to support their desired outcome. I think products of this latter type of effort are what I consider to be fake news.

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1 minute ago, Gr00vus said:

I think a useful approach would be to first consider/define what "non-fake" news means. Is it solely the reporting of facts/events? I think the closest we come to that are things like AP and Reuters. Even there, some editorialization happens, as someone has to curate which facts get reported and which do not - the decision of what is "newsworthy." Beyond that, there are degrees of imposing a particular perspective on reporting. Even the best, most well researched, investigative reporting begins with a supposition that something is "worth" investigating - there is a judgement beyond the simple reporting of facts involved. The "non-fakeness" of such endeavors really depends on whether the author goes where the facts take them, or prune/distort/omit facts to support their desired outcome. I think products of this latter type of effort are what I consider to be fake news.

Thanks Groovus. This is a good discussion as I don't feel like the bolded is what makes it "fake news". I call that more spun news.

An interesting exercise is to put msnbc and fox and cnn and bbc all on a page and see how they cover the same story. There are a ton of things that go into how one presents a story. From headlines to the picture they choose to where it's placed on the site and much more. They can all be completely factual with very different messages. 

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I think of the Sherelle Smith video clip when I think of Fake news.  CNN plays a clip of the lady speaking to crowd and cuts it before she says something controversial.  CNN then goes out of its way to report the opposite of what Smith actually said. 

Sad to see the media bend stories like that. 

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Fabricated news.  Not people getting something wrong because their sources got things wrong.  But actually making something up.

The numerous stories on Seth Rich ...where they just completely fabricated things is a great example.

Most op-eds are still labeled opinion or editorial.  Perhaps posting those on message boards and social media as if they were news is also "fake news".

 

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1 minute ago, Joe Bryant said:

Thanks Groovus. This is a good discussion as I don't feel like the bolded is what makes it "fake news". I call that more spun news.

An interesting exercise is to put msnbc and fox and cnn and bbc all on a page and see how they cover the same story. There are a ton of things that go into how one presents a story. From headlines to the picture they choose to where it's placed on the site and much more. They can all be completely factual with very different messages. 

And truthfully, I'm not sure "spun" news isn't just as dangerous. Fake news can be disproven. Spun news isn't factually wrong. And much more difficult to have the author do anything but :shrug: when someone tries to tell them it's fake. Because it's not fake. It's presented in a fashion meant to put a particular story forward. Kind of like everyone's facebook feed...

And yeah, I just replied to myself. :bag: 

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6 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Thanks Groovus. This is a good discussion as I don't feel like the bolded is what makes it "fake news". I call that more spun news.

An interesting exercise is to put msnbc and fox and cnn and bbc all on a page and see how they cover the same story. There are a ton of things that go into how one presents a story. From headlines to the picture they choose to where it's placed on the site and much more. They can all be completely factual with very different messages. 

If the desire to forward a particular viewpoint supersedes a faithful report on facts/events, that is no longer news, and if it is labeled/proffered as news, I consider that to be the definition of "fake news." The intent is to indoctrinate, not to inform (the distinction between spinning and fabricating is not of great consequence to me in this consideration). I think that is at the heart of the problem we currently have with our society's inability to come to understanding in various knowledge domains.

Edited by Gr00vus

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1 hour ago, John Blutarsky said:

 

A tone that lends more weight to a story than you personally feel is warranted is not fake news.  It's an editorial decision with which you disagree.  You can see editorial decisions with which I disagree every night on Hannity when they drone on about largely fabricated scandals, usually involving a Clinton, and duck legitimate issues surrounding the administration, but I would never call any of it "fake news" unless there's an actual false story promulgated without retraction.

Opinions and prediction are, by definition, not fake news. They're opinions and predictions. If this site predicts that David Johnson would lead the league in rushing in 2018, it hasn't trafficked in fake news. It has simply offered an opinion/prediction that was incorrect.

Even reporting mistakes are not fake news, especially if they're inadvertent and corrected.

The problem with this silly, over-inclusive approach is that all it does is provide cover for the people who intentionally spread false information on the internet. That's fake news. The goal of calling this other stuff "fake news" is not to eliminate it, it's to undermine the very notion of truthfulness and thus provide cover for lies and propaganda. It's fascism 101.

Edited by TobiasFunke
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How Fascism works: A Yale Philosopher on facism, truth and Donald Trump

Quote

 

Sean Illing

Why is the destruction of truth, as a shared ideal, so critical to the fascist project?

Jason Stanley

It’s important because truth is the heart of liberal democracy. The two ideals of liberal democracy are liberty and equality. If your belief system is shot through with lies, you’re not free. Nobody thinks of the citizens of North Korea as free, because their actions are controlled by lies.

Truth is required to act freely. Freedom requires knowledge, and in order to act freely in the world, you need to know what the world is and know what you’re doing. You only know what you’re doing if you have access to the truth. So freedom requires truth, and so to smash freedom you must smash truth.

 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Gr00vus said:

If the desire to forward a particular viewpoint supersedes a faithful report on facts/events, that is no longer news, and if it is labeled/proffered as news, I consider that to be the definition of "fake news." The intent is to indoctrinate, not to inform (the distinction between spinning and fabricating is not of great consequence to me in this consideration). I think that is at the heart of the problem we currently have with our society's inability to come to understanding in various knowledge domains.

That's cool. We'll just disagree on how we define "fake" vs "spun". Which is exactly the sort of thing I was asking here. 

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9 minutes ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

People seem to be confusing "partisan" with "fake".

Many of those people aren't confused.

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5 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

That's sort of what I was getting at here.

I call that "spinning" news. Not "fake" news. My understanding of "fake news" is that it's people actually fabricating pure fiction as news that they fully know is pure fiction. 

Easiest example I can give is weather reporting. Standing in a ditch to make flooding look worse than it is. Flooding is bad whether it's minor or major. Acting like the wind is going to knock you over while people nearby are standing upright with no issue. If the storm doesn't deliver the expected punch it's still a story worth reporting. Spinning news is fake news in my mind. It's just not necessary.

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7 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

That's cool. We'll just disagree on how we define "fake" vs "spun". Which is exactly the sort of thing I was asking here. 

Do you consider the Comet Pizza phenomenon spin? Consider that it did include numerous facts in its narrative.

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3 minutes ago, Mr Anonymous said:

Easiest example I can give is weather reporting. Standing in a ditch to make flooding look worse than it is. Flooding is bad whether it's minor or major. Acting like the wind is going to knock you over while people nearby are standing upright with no issue. If the storm doesn't deliver the expected punch it's still a story worth reporting. Spinning news is fake news in my mind. It's just not necessary.

I hear you. But per the poll above, most people don't agree. They see fake news as truly fabricated fiction site try to pass off as real. And of course, it's on a scale. Exaggerating the wind is wrong and annoying, but most people aren't calling that completely made up and fake. 

And to be clear, I'm not sure if there's a right or wrong answer. I was just trying to get a consensus on what people thought. 

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4 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Easy example.

Daily Beast top 5 Takeaways from Sunday Interview. Most all negative. 

FOX news prime story from interview was Trump reiterates Mueller report cleared him.

Both factual. Both are designed to hit the viewer. 

Here is the correct link for the Fox News story.

I thought that the Fox piece was relatively fair (for Fox's standards at least). I mean, it's not exactly flattering for Trump when the story says in all caps, "TRUMP SUGGESTS HE WOULDN'T CONTACT FBI".

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