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Facebook learns their fake news flagging system had opposite effect, switches tactics

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Facebook learns their fake news flagging system had opposite effect switches tactics

In a corrective move that is both unexpected and mildly amusing, Facebook has changed the way it will fight “fake news.” Their recent experience with the “Disputed Flag” proved not only ineffective but at times actually made people more likely to click on a story.

It took an academic study for Facebook to realize the common sense reality that if you tell people not to look at something, many will instantly want to look at it.

Their next attempt to tackle fake news will be to put related articles next to stories that would have been flagged as disputed. This will allow people more context. They will also continue doing what they did originally which is to push anything deemed to be fake news down lower in users’ news feeds. This, they claim, has reduced views by 80% once it happens, but it can often take more than a day.

Here’s the video they put out about it last week:

My Take

I am adamantly opposed to fake news, but I do not trust Facebook to be the gatekeeper, nor do I believe their “reliable fact checkers” like PolitiFact are unbiased. They’re clearly not. The left-leaning organization uses left-leaning fact checkers to keep what they deem as fake out of reach from the general public.

Do we even need gatekeepers at all? To some extent, yes. False reports and incorrect assessments are rampant on the internet and affect both sides of the political aisle. For every alleged instance of right-wing manipulation of the facts, there’s a left-winger pushing in the opposite direction.

The problem is in finding trusted gatekeepers. There really aren’t any, at least not with enough prominence to make a real difference. Until something better emerges, it’s important to remain diligent in promoting the real news. That’s one of the reasons I write for this site.

Call me old fashioned by I just got into social media recently. Yes, I'm that gal you see at the real coffee shop (aka not Starbucks) with an actual book. Returning to my roots in journalism now that technology allows me to do so from the comfort of my own gazebo.

Democrats

The real reason Ocasio-Cortez is afraid of the press

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The real reason Ocasio-Cortez is afraid of the press

For at least the second time, reporters were barred from covering an event featuring Socialist Democratic darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The campaign’s reason: we want attendees to feel comfortable since there’s so much national press covering her.

This is an absolutely ridiculous excuse, of course. Nobody goes to a campaign event without knowing the press will (should) be there. It doesn’t make them less comfortable and may actually give some a sense of security knowing the answers to their questions will be judged by more than the audience at hand. That’s one of the reasons for the press in the first place, to give information about an event to people who cannot attend.

Instead, the press is getting another roadblock:

Ocasio-Cortez bans press from covering campaign event

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/08/17/ocasio-cortez-bans-press-from-covering-campaign-event.htmlAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic socialist star running for New York’s 14th congressional district, is facing criticism after her campaign banned journalists from covering a town hall meeting with voters this week.

The Queens Chronicle, a local news outlet, reported that the campaign for the 28-year-old progressive prevented reporters from attending a campaign event in Corona on Sunday, even though it was open to the rest of the public. The campaign reportedly barred reporters from a prior event as well.

It’s conspicuous that a local publication was barred because it runs contrary to the narrative the campaign is trying to sell. So why is she being hidden from reporters at these types of events?

My Take

It’s clear that her exposure is her best friend and worst enemy. Being talked about is a politician’s best friend on the campaign trail, but it also offers a risk of failure. This is most common in events like the town hall meetings she is holding because she’ll be forced to think on her feet.

What if she can’t think on her feet? What if her answers when placed in an unscripted situation the type of answers many would expect from an inexperienced socialist?

Until she’s ready to handle the pressure of having press cover these events, she won’t be ready to hold public office at this level. The House of Representatives isn’t for people who need to be protected from their own answers.

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Media

Mainstream media wants you to believe the GOP’s sky is falling

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Mainstream media wants you to believe the GOPs sky is falling

The best job in the world is being an election analyst. You can say whatever you want as long as you give semi-valid reasons and even if you’re wrong, it will be unexpected factors that prevented you from being correct.

We got a glimpse of this before, during, and after the 2016 presidential election when hundreds, perhaps thousands of election analysts chimed in on various media outlets. First, we heard a steady chant about why Hillary Clinton would win. Then we got to see the shocked and occasionally tearful expressions on their faces on election day. It continued after the election when these analysts were put on the air to explain what went wrong.

Now, we’re seeing it all over again, albeit at a lesser scale. In the weeks leading up to the midterm elections, we’re already seeing crazy predictions by major commentators and news outlets claiming huge victories for the Democrats. Here’s a good example from The Hill:

Worst-case scenario for House GOP is 70-seat wipeout

http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/402329-worst-case-scenario-for-house-gop-is-70-seat-wipeoutIf that pattern holds in November, the worst-case scenario for the GOP is a truly historic wipeout of as many as 72 House seats, according to The Hill’s analysis of special election results and congressional and presidential returns from 2016.

That would mark the deepest decline for either party in a single election cycle since Harry Truman ran against the “Do Nothing Congress” in 1948.

To The Hill’s credit, they noted that this worst-case-scenario is unlikely for many reasons. Nevertheless, this is a society driven by headlines and news snippets. The point wasn’t to explain later in the article why it won’t happen. They wanted to get clicks. The easiest way to do so is with shocking headlines and bold predictions.

Is it possible that the GOP will experience this “wipeout?” Absolutely. They’ve done such a horrendous job at passing their core legislation and are now pandering to moderates and independents in a last ditch effort to finish the legislative session with some wins.

Bottom line: Anyone who claims to know what’s going to happen on election day is trying to sell you something. Until it happens, they’re all just grasping at straws.

David Limbaugh asked the right question:

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Media

Idiotic mainstream media feeds Trump the goodwill motherload

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Idiotic mainstream media feeds Trump the goodwill motherload

The tenacity by which mainstream media wants to stop President Trump is comical. It’s even dangerous at times. Sadly, they keep shooting themselves in the foot by giving their target all the ammunition he needs to continue taking them down.

Their latest attempt at defending freedom of the press and bashing the President for attacking it comes in the form of a coordinated attack. That statement alone is enough to make more people realize their bias and justify Trump’s claims that the press is the enemy. They can attempt to spin it any way they want, but the results will be the same. They’re helping Trump.

Coast to coast, and in between, local news is standing up to Trump’s press attacks

https://money.cnn.com/2018/08/15/media/newspaper-editorials-free-press-trump/index.htmlFrom The Martha’s Vineyard Times to the Dallas Morning News… from the Yankton County Observer in South Dakota to the Bangor Daily News in Maine… the papers will all run editorials as part of an effort first proposed by the Boston Globe earlier this month.

Marjorie Pritchard, the Globe’s deputy editorial page editor, told CNN that more papers were still “signing on” for the effort as of Wednesday afternoon.

This smells bad. I’m not a Trump supporter, yet I grimace at the attempt by mainstream media to take him down. It’s not that he doesn’t deserve it; it isn’t his place to lead the charge against mainstream media. That’s my job, and yours. Instead, the President should be spending time gaining a better understanding of the effects of tariffs and learning how to handle foreign affairs like a statesman. Unhinged journalists and kneeling football players are below the office of the President of the United States.

Nevertheless, he attacks. They attack back. Rinse. Repeat.

This is very similar to what National Review attempted in early 2016 when they gathered a bunch of respected conservative journalists to speak out against the President. Titled “Against Trump,” the issue had dozens of conservatives giving their reasons why we shouldn’t support Trump to be the Republican nominee. It failed miserably. His popularity skyrocketed and it helped to seal the fate of candidates who tried to prevent his ascension.

The current situation is worse. Instead of dozens, it’s hundreds of editorial writers and publications making a concerted effort to expose Trump and his backwards perspectives on freedom of the press. Instead of pulling the nation against him, they will only plant people more firmly in their own beliefs. Trump detractors will get a false sense of victory while Trump supporters will say, “See, he was right all along.”

No minds will be changed by these hundreds of articles. Worldviews will be solidified. More attacks from the White House against mainstream media will be justified. Valid complaints about the President by all journalists will be tainted. In short, the media is handing the President the best present they can give him. They’re proving his point.

Goodwill is generated for people who are perceived as being treated unfairly. By “ganging up” on Trump with coordinated attacks, mainstream media is making even lukewarm Trump supporters much more sympathetic towards him.

The worst part about all this is there are legitimate complaints about the President that will be diminished by mainstream media’s coordinated attacks. They are adding fuel to the fake news fire. Maybe it makes them feel good now, but it’s counterproductive at best.

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