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Fake news websites (also referred to as hoax news websites)[1][2] are Internet websites that deliberately publish fake newshoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation purporting to be real news—often using social media to drive web traffic and amplify their effect.[3][4][5] Unlike news satire, fake news websites deliberately seek to be perceived as legitimate and taken at face value, often for financial or political gain.[6][4] Such sites have promoted political falsehoods in Germany,[7][8] Indonesia and the Philippines,[9] Sweden,[10][11] Myanmar,[12] and the United States.[13][14] Many sites originate in, or are promoted by, Russia,[3][15] North Macedonia,[16][17] Romania,[18] and some individuals in the United States.[19][20]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_news_website

 

Most of the time, individuals or shady firms running fake news websites, either plagiarize existing news or make up stories out of whole cloth.  Often the stores are mixtures of fact and fiction.  Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, et al, are prime targets but all news outlets have been duped at one time or other. 

 

Fake news is different than satire in that it is marketed and disseminated as real news with every intent of being taken seriously.

 

The prime target is the US although elections in many other countries have also been compromised.  The 2016 presidential election was littered with fake news stories.

 

One of the biggest hotbeds of fake news is Northern Macedonia where the average monthly salary is $371.00 but fake news fabricators can earn thousands.  The town of Veles, Macedonia is the home of over 100 pro-Trump websites, most filled with sensationalist, utterly fake news.  These sites are completely legal in Macedonia.  Even the mayor of Veles argues for their legitimacy.

 

Sources:

https://www.wired.com/2017/02/veles-macedonia-fake-news/

https://www.cjr.org/politics/checking-in-with-the-macedonian-fake-news-strategist.php

https://blog.adbeat.com/fake-news/

https://guides.library.pdx.edu/c.php?g=625347&p=4386301

 

The best non-partisan fact checking sources:

https://www.politifact.com/

https://www.factcheck.org/2019/08/trumps-steel-industry-claims/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/

https://www.opensecrets.org/

http://hallofjustice.sunlightfoundation.com/

https://www.snopes.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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According to the fake news publishers in Veles, Macedonia, the entire fake news community there is gearing up for 2020.   As in 2016, the most sensational hyperbole praises Trump effusively and denigrates his opponents.   Once again, most of the disinformation will benefit the Trump campaign.

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Since they're known, American ISPs can block them, make it as if they don't exist. Just block all content from that range of IP addresses, as it comes into US hubs.

 

They'll be able to tell if they use a VPN to log into an American site, and don't see their content. But they can still be blocked.

 

Anyway I'm not a network engineer, or even a computer science guy, so someone here should be able to tell us whether all what I just wrote up there is BS or not.

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1 hour ago, laripu said:

Since they're known, American ISPs can block them, make it as if they don't exist. Just block all content from that range of IP addresses, as it comes into US hubs.

 

Might this be impractical from a social and commercial standpoint?  It would require blocking many IP areas, with legitimate businesses;  Penalizing the many to keep out a relative few. 

 

Facebook has the ability to flag suspicious websites but Mark Zuckerberg has delivered mixed messages.  He called the notion that Facebook swayed the election " a pretty crazy idea ".

However, Facebook and Google have been pressured to make it impossible to run and monetize fake news operations from pages in Macedonia or from the Balkans and beyond.

 

That said, it takes less than a couple hours to get a brand new site up-and-running, it doesn’t technically break any laws, and these fake news proprietors can often ‘fly under the radar’ by focusing on building evidence of credibility to net a few thousands bucks a month.

 

                                                                                                 Hoax news purveyors such as:

            -Mirko-Business-Card-800x482.jpg

 

Ceselkoski brags that “I have had four campaigns contact me,”  "Two were from Asia, one from North America, and one from Europe".

 


 

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16 hours ago, laripu said:

Since they're known, American ISPs can block them, make it as if they don't exist. Just block all content from that range of IP addresses, as it comes into US hubs.

 

They'll be able to tell if they use a VPN to log into an American site, and don't see their content. But they can still be blocked.

 

Anyway I'm not a network engineer, or even a computer science guy, so someone here should be able to tell us whether all what I just wrote up there is BS or not.

 

The Chinese have all those details worked out already.  I hear their 'Great Firewall of China' is very effective.  They'd probably be glad to share their techniques.  Perhaps when Democrats next control the government they can censor all the pro-Republican propaganda?   Unless the Republicans think of it first...

 

 

Is this discussion really happening?  Did I log into the 'Autocrats Only Room' by mistake? 

 

Who gets to decide which sites are "truth" and which are "fake"?   I do.  You do.  Each individual gets to decide for themselves.  Otherwise, we are no longer 'free' by any definition.  Do you think Trump invented lying?  He's just increased production.  I am not ready to give up my freedom just because he's a liar and some people are too stupid to realize it.  My job is to spread the truth, not to silence others.

 

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1 hour ago, Renegade said:

 

The Chinese have all those details worked out already.  I hear their 'Great Firewall of China' is very effective.  They'd probably be glad to share their techniques.  Perhaps when Democrats next control the government they can censor all the pro-Republican propaganda?   Unless the Republicans think of it first...

 

 

Is this discussion really happening?  Did I log into the 'Autocrats Only Room' by mistake? 

 

Who gets to decide which sites are "truth" and which are "fake"?   I do.  You do.  Each individual gets to decide for themselves.  Otherwise, we are no longer 'free' by any definition.  Do you think Trump invented lying?  He's just increased production.  I am not ready to give up my freedom just because he's a liar and some people are too stupid to realize it.  My job is to spread the truth, not to silence others.

 

 

During WWII, would America have allowed a German agent to spread propaganda on American soil? I doubt it.

 

It's the equivalent of a plan to shout "Fire!" in all cinemas. We don't let the movie-goers decide for themselves whether that's true or false. We forbid the falsehood because of the potential for follow-on danger.

 

The spreading of propaganda of this sort, to fool the stupidest among us, is a hostile act. Cyber war. We should not allow it from foreign soil. It's not about freedom of speech, it's about harmful speech.

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6 hours ago, laripu said:

The spreading of propaganda of this sort, to fool the stupidest among us, is a hostile act. Cyber war. We should not allow it from foreign soil. It's not about freedom of speech, it's about harmful speech.

 

Hoax news has the power to sway the fate of nations, usually, for the worse.   It needs to be identified as a crime and policed, like other serious felonies.  At the receiving end, it needs to be blocked.

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19 hours ago, laripu said:

 

During WWII, would America have allowed a German agent to spread propaganda on American soil? I doubt it.

 

It's the equivalent of a plan to shout "Fire!" in all cinemas. We don't let the movie-goers decide for themselves whether that's true or false. We forbid the falsehood because of the potential for follow-on danger.

 

The spreading of propaganda of this sort, to fool the stupidest among us, is a hostile act. Cyber war. We should not allow it from foreign soil. It's not about freedom of speech, it's about harmful speech.

 

Let me start by acknowledging some facts that support what you're saying.  I understand that there are foreign actors whose sole purpose is to destabilize our democracy.  They use all the information warfare tools available to incite us against each other.  There are examples where foreign actors organized competing demonstrations in the same place at the same time, hoping for conflict.  They use propaganda to divide us racially, economically, religiously, and politically.

 

Those facts are not in question.  The question is how to react.  Does this propaganda constitute a real threat to our nation?   Would we be better off countering it, even if that required sacrificing some of our civil liberty?

 

I am self-aware enough to recognize that I'm an extremist on the subject of liberty...always have been, always will be.   Some values are just too deeply ingrained to change.  I see every erosion of the Bill of Rights as a step down the slippery slope towards authoritarian government.  But, that doesn't necessarily mean I'm wrong.  Rights are easily given away and almost impossible to recover.

 

Here are the reasons I offer in opposition to this proposal to censor foreign 'fake news' sites:

 

1 -  We are not at war.  

2 -  In the 'crowded cinema' example, there's an immediate danger to life and limb.

3 - This propaganda is not a call for violence.

4 - Propaganda from foreign soil looks no different than propaganda from our backyard.

5 - Every one of the justifications given could be (and has been) used by autocratic regimes to justify censorship.  This is the path to single-party rule.  This is how China stifles dissent.  

6 - Never hand your enemy the weapon to strike you down.  This proposal would create a justification and a methodology that could be misused by an unscrupulous domestic administration.  What if Trump wanted to use this new censorship agency to block access to any foreign websites that refer to him as a racist?   Say goodbye to sites like the BBC and Al Jazeera.

7 - Who will be your arbiter of truth?  Who gets to decide what information I'm allowed to see?  I consider myself an intelligent and rational individual, capable of discriminating between fact and fiction, propaganda and truth, spin and honesty.  I'm >90% sure I'm more capable of making these determinations than whoever the President appoints.  I do not want my news filtered by a government agent with an agenda.

8 - The OP refers to propaganda as something that should be censored.  Here's Wikipedia's definition of propaganda:  Propaganda is information that is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, which may not be objective and may be presenting facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information that is presented.  That is exactly what most political speech is.  If we decided to censor propaganda, we would censor virtually every word out the mouth of every politician in America.

 

This thread started with a Wikipedia page about fake news.  Here's a Wikipedia page about illiberal democracy:

Quote

An illiberal democracy, also called a partial democracy, low intensity democracy, empty democracy, hybrid regime or guided democracy,[1] is a governing system in which although elections take place, citizens are cut off from knowledge about the activities of those who exercise real power because of the lack of civil liberties; thus it is not an "open society".

 

The term illiberal democracy was used by Fareed Zakaria in a regularly cited 1997 article in the journal Foreign Affairs.[4]  According to Zakaria, illiberal democracies are increasing around the world and are increasingly limiting the freedoms of the people they represent. Zakaria points out that in the West, electoral democracy and civil liberties (of speech, religion, etc.) go hand in hand. But around the world, the two concepts are coming apart. He argues that democracy without constitutional liberalism is producing centralized regimes, the erosion of liberty, ethnic competition, conflict, and war.

 

I don't want that to happen here.

 

Here's an article from The Guardian (a foreign source)   Censorship wins no arguments and just helps the right

 

Quote

“Liberals” still do not understand that when they censor they are falling into their enemy’s trap. The alt-right is as much a satirical as a political movement: more South Park than The West Wing. It is at its happiest trolling liberal culture rather than governing, which is why Brexit and the Trump administration are so shambolic. The alt-right wants to and needs to provoke liberals into showing they are repressive, so it cast itself in the role of transgressive rebel. Why play the part it has allotted you?

 

We are in a contradictory culture. On the one hand, “liberals” rightly say that sexists, racists and homophobes are preposterous bigots. On the other, they run away from the chance to confront them. If you can’t beat a bigot in argument, you shouldn’t ban them but step aside and make way for people who can. It’s not as if they have impressive cases that stand up to scrutiny.

 

The man has a great way with words.

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American elections need to be contested by Americans.  Not by the rest of the world.  When we allow foreign propaganda to inundate our election campaigns, we run the risk of surrendering our destiny to citizens of other countries. 

 

In the US,  each party spins it's own narrative and that's as it should be.  Elections are often close.  So add enough input from populations elsewhere, and the American people lose control of the results of many of their own elections.  It's a great way for our adversaries to bend the US to their will, if we allow it.

 

There will always be people who are more impressed by shock and sensation than facts and rational arguments.  They are the natural prey of unscrupulous politicians.  But when foreign nationals get into the act, democracy becomes a sham.

 

We already have low voter turnout, compared to other democracies.  Foreign interference in American elections has a corrosive effect on citizen's confidence in our electoral system, the most fundamental part of our democracy.  We should not abdicate decisions about who runs our government, to foreigners

 

The threat of foreign tampering is a grave one.  To that end, we already have laws meant to restrain foreign monetary interference:

Quote

 

Campaigns may not solicit or accept contributions from foreign nationals.  Federal law prohibits contributions, donations, expenditures and disbursements solicited, directed, received or made directly or indirectly by or from foreign nationals in connection with any election --- federal, state or local.

 

Now we need to seal the electronic cracks in the security of our electoral system.

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1 hour ago, bludog said:

We already have low voter turnout, compared to other democracies.  Foreign interference in American elections has a corrosive effect on citizen's confidence in our electoral system, the most fundamental part of our democracy.  We should not abdicate decisions about who runs our government, to foreigners

 

The threat of foreign tampering is a grave one.  To that end, we already have laws meant to restrain foreign monetary interference:

Unfortunately the present administration is doing very little (next to nothing) to prevent foreign interference in our elections

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12 minutes ago, Arris said:

Unfortunately the present administration is doing very little (next to nothing) to prevent foreign interference in our elections

 

And, barring weak lip-service, they won't.  Trump has everything to gain and nothing to lose from foreign interference in our elections.

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On 9/6/2019 at 8:04 AM, Renegade said:

 

The Chinese have all those details worked out already.  I hear their 'Great Firewall of China' is very effective.  They'd probably be glad to share their techniques.  Perhaps when Democrats next control the government they can censor all the pro-Republican propaganda?   Unless the Republicans think of it first...

 

 

Is this discussion really happening?  Did I log into the 'Autocrats Only Room' by mistake? 

 

Who gets to decide which sites are "truth" and which are "fake"?   I do.  You do.  Each individual gets to decide for themselves.  Otherwise, we are no longer 'free' by any definition.  Do you think Trump invented lying?  He's just increased production.  I am not ready to give up my freedom just because he's a liar and some people are too stupid to realize it.  My job is to spread the truth, not to silence others.

 

nobody wants a Great government controlled firewall. But it would be great if the Right did not purposely push fake news stories in order to divide the American public. The way I see it, Russia did not make up all the faux news sites on their own. They only augmented what the right has been doing for years. The Right with the help of billionaires has pushed conspiracy theories about the Deep State for years. The Federalist Society manifest the idea that bureaucracy is undermining democracy because these institutions hold too much power while being run by folks who were never elected. They then sow the idea that government, and the bureaucrats in general, are not to be trusted. 

 

The divide is real in the US. We get one party elected, if it makes any meaningful legislation it is repealed once the next party comes into power. The Democrats will need to repeal a lot of what the Trump administration has done regarding environmental laws put into place under Obama that were repealed, They will need to repeal the repealed as it were. Thus, if the Democrats come back into power in 2020, it's back to square one. 

 

But no - we can't fix it by blocking free speech. But something does have to change. Or, maybe real change is impossible. Perhaps the universe itself is only a hologram, and the reality we live in is only a simulation. 

 

 

 

 

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Great post   ^    ^    ^

 

1 hour ago, TheOldBarn said:

The way I see it, Russia did not make up all the faux news sites on their own.

 

Interviews with fake news fabricators in Northern Macedonia show that they study American right wing propaganda sites and publications for inspiration and ideas.  It is likely Russian fake news operators do the same.

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19 minutes ago, bludog said:

Great post   ^    ^    ^

 

 

Interviews with fake news fabricators in Northern Macedonia show that they study American right wing propaganda sites and publications for inspiration and ideas.  It is likely Russian fake news operators do the same.

In this way, they easily fit right in. How would anyone know???

You know Bludog, we all want truth, voices and choices, as Ralph Nader was fond of saying. Eventually, going way back to the beginning of our founding as a nation, the public, or the people at large, given enough information, will likely have a better view. Don't inflame division. I remember a political science class I took when I was eighteen. Take someone like George Herbert Walker Bush for instance. He was from the old school politico. He was saying Voodoo economics prior to being Reagan's running mate. And then something happened afterwards, it crept in ever so slowly and followed this same similar growth curve of inequality. 

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23 hours ago, Renegade said:

We are not at war.

 

Not a shooting war. But doesn't cyber-war count?

 

Does the American right to freedom of speech guarantee foreign freedom of speech when the foreign speech is initiated elsewhere and then lobbed into our culture for nefarious purposes?

 

I know you were quoting here, but it's wrong.

23 hours ago, Renegade said:

The alt-right is as much a satirical as a political movement: more South Park than The West Wing

 

It's wrong because South Park had no agenda. The alt-right has an agenda, which is to make fun of your opponents until you've made them look ridiculous, even subhuman. In the extreme you get this: the Daily Stormers style guide, which seeks to dehumanize Blacks, Jews, Muslims, and Hispanics with "humor", until, as they say "people are ready to laugh at their deaths". That's a stated goal. Believe the neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin when he says it.



5a3025221600001f00cf0d15.png?ops=scalefi

It doesn't reduce the harm when the delivery method is satire or humor. It makes it harder to spot, like a bitter poison mixed into a sugary drink.

 

What people say from positions of authority motivates others. This is the Trump playbook: call illegal immigrants "rapists", then pretend you don't like it when Americans kill them. And he's gone further: the concentration camps for children are an example to Americans of what's permissible.

 

There really is a war going on, and it's a culture war. The goal of the war is to make the United States over into a white-race fascist state. The reason foreign actors want that, is so that there's no example of anything better, and they can then do what they want in their own countries with no-one credibly talking about human rights.

 

You can't censor the American alt-Nazis. But you could conceivably reduce the harm from foreign actors who'd prefer American fascism to an American example of freedom.

 

Trump's actions only make sense when viewed from the standpoint of Vlad Putin: to reduce American wealth, power and influence in the world (and as a bonus, Chinese wealth too) so that Russia can rise without letting go of their own fascism.

 

If Trump loses the election, and Putin looks like he might release the information with which Russia has been blackmailing Trump, then the time between the election and the new inauguration will be extremely dangerous for Moscow, and therefore for us too. How far would Trump go to protect himself? Nuke Moscow? Consider that the secretive Russian state has bragged about unstoppable nuclear missiles since Trump took office. What do they think?

 

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3 hours ago, laripu said:

Not a shooting war. But doesn't cyber-war count?

 

That's up for discussion.  If they take down our banking system, or our utility grid, then I'd say yes.  If they just make false arguments and spread conspiracy theories...I'd say no.

 

3 hours ago, laripu said:

Does the American right to freedom of speech guarantee foreign freedom of speech when the foreign speech is initiated elsewhere and then lobbed into our culture for nefarious purposes?

 

No.  It's not constitutionally guaranteed.  Technically, my concern here isn't "free speech", it's "free listening".  I believe free citizens in a democracy have a right to listen to all voices from all sources...not just the government approved ones...even if they originate in another country.  That's my belief, not a fact or a constitutional right.

 

It's far easier to claim the moral high ground and push other countries to allow free press if we do it ourselves.  Wouldn't it be great if CNN could broadcast in China or North Korea?  Implement something like this and we appear no different from them. 

 

On 9/7/2019 at 11:46 AM, bludog said:

When we allow foreign propaganda to inundate our election campaigns, we run the risk of surrendering our destiny to citizens of other countries. 

 

On 9/7/2019 at 11:46 AM, bludog said:

So add enough input from populations elsewhere, and the American people lose control of the results of many of their own elections.

 

I think you're exaggerating but, for the sake of argument, I'll set aside my skepticism about the severity of the threat.  Censoring the bad content won't be simple or easy from a policy standpoint. 

 

What might the rules look like?  Are foreigners not allowed to comment on American politics at all?   Can they state their opinion?   If the answer is 'no', you'd have to block just about all access to our internet.  Will we censor false statements of fact?   Who gets the impossibly difficult job of monitoring the entire internet for what's true and what's not?

 

Would full disclosure be good enough to avoid actual censorship?  What if every website and social media comment came with a 'country of origin' stamp?  It would be sort of like GMO labeling or the 'made in China' labels. 

 

On 9/7/2019 at 6:43 PM, TheOldBarn said:

nobody wants a Great government controlled firewall.

 

From reading other posts, I don't think you speak for the other folks in this room.  That sounds like exactly what they want.

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12 hours ago, Renegade said:

I think you're exaggerating but, for the sake of argument, I'll set aside my skepticism about the severity of the threat.  Censoring the bad content won't be simple or easy from a policy standpoint. 

 

If you really think my point of view consists of intentional overstatement, in any way, you would be wrong.   Implying that I am not being entirely honest is an unnecessary provocation, extraneous from any legitimate argument you might make, on the subject.  Just because someone else doesn't see it your way doesn't make that person less truthful than you.

 

As unlikely as it might seem to you, my thinking on this subject is is backed up by extensive evidence:

https://time.com/5565991/russia-influence-2016-election/

Quote

 

Here's What We Know So Far About Russia's 2016 Meddling

-snip-

Probing state voter databases

-snip-

Hacking the Clinton campaign

-snip-

Targeting Sen. Marco Rubio and other Republicans

-snip-

Targeting the Republican National Committee

-snip-

Spreading propaganda on social media

-snip-

Staging physical events in the U.S

-snip-

Setting up meetings with the Trump campaign

-snip-

Efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow

-snip-

When Russia set out to interfere with the 2016 election, it went all out.

Over the course of the election, a wide-ranging group of Russians probed state voter databases for insecurities; hacked the Hillary Clinton campaign, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee; tried to hack the campaign of Sen. Marco Rubio and the Republican National Committee; released politically damaging information on the internet; spread propaganda on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram; staged rallies in Florida and Pennsylvania; set up meetings with members of the Trump campaign and its associates; and floated a business proposition for a skyscraper in Moscow to the Trump Organization.

The goal, as determined by the U.S. intelligence community and backed up by evidence gathered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller: To damage the Clinton campaign, boost Trump’s chances and sow distrust in American democracy overall.

The details of these efforts have come out in drips and drabs since the 2016 election ended, with information revealed by a memo from intelligence agencies, court documents filed by Mueller, testimony from Trump associates in court and before Congress and investigative news reports.

Mueller has completed a final report to Attorney General William Barr detailing his findings, but so far only a brief summary to Congress by Barr has been released. But while lawmakers and the public wait to see the report, the big picture of Russian influence efforts has been available for a while.

-snip-

 

 

There is little doubt in my mind that Russian influence is the most significant one of several factors that tipped the 2016 election in Trump's favor. Without any one of these factors, especially Russian meddling, Hillary would be president today.

 

Reasons why Hillary lost:

(In order of consequence, by my estimate)

-  Russian and other foreign meddling in the 2016 elections ...  Wiki Leaks.

-  Electoral College

-  Hillary's corporate financial involvement.

-  Comey letter.

-  Bernie Sanders

-  Hillary's eccentricity/Nehru jackets.

- Sexism

-  Add your own.

 

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1 hour ago, Renegade said:
On 9/7/2019 at 5:43 PM, TheOldBarn said:

nobody wants a Great government controlled firewall.

 

From reading other posts, I don't think you speak for the other folks in this room.  That sounds like exactly what they want.

 

From my viewpoint, TheOldBarn is absolutely correct.  As a patriot, I for one, am seeking the best way to preserve Representative Government in the USA.  And we won't do it unless we take measures to protect ourselves from foreign meddling in our elections.

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Firewalls can always block ranges of IP's easily enough.  They are generally associated with a known country, so they can be blocked by country if the firewall is set up for that.  Pretty damn easy.  How many people have legitimate Internet business on sites situated in Macedonia...???  Fvck'em.  They made their bed, they can lie in it.  No soup for you.

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On 9/8/2019 at 11:07 PM, bludog said:

If you really think my point of view consists of intentional overstatement, in any way, you would be wrong.   Implying that I am not being entirely honest is an unnecessary provocation, extraneous from any legitimate argument you might make, on the subject. 

 

This is the second time (at least) that I have accidentally offended you.  My intended meaning was:  I don't think the threat is as severe as you stated in your "surrendering our destiny" post.  If other nations can control our destiny with posts on the internet, we don't deserve any other destiny.  I'm not disputing that the actions are happening, only the level of threat that they represent.

 

It's like the actions that we took after 9/11.  I think the threat to air travel was exaggerated (not dishonestly) and as a result we created excessive restrictions.  I think the reaction was worse than the threat.  I'm similarly afraid that we will overreact to the 'fake news' threat.

 

Don't take my disagreement as a personal insult.  I'm not questioning your honesty.  You were obviously stating an opinion, as was I.    I don't treat your disagreement with my opinion as an implication against my honesty...It's just a different opinion and that's OK.  That's what I come here for.  

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55 minutes ago, Renegade said:

My intended meaning was:  I don't think the threat is as severe as you stated in your "surrendering our destiny" post. 

 

Thanks for the explanation.  I trust your sincerity.  And I think this restatement is a better choice of words.

 

1 hour ago, Renegade said:

If other nations can control our destiny with posts on the internet

 

They can.  It's a self-evident fact.  If propaganda generated domestically can sway votes, then propaganda originating abroad but masquerading as American, is no different.

 

A law of propaganda attributed to Joseph Goebbels is "Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth".   Within the confines of American politics, reality is often mangled by propaganda.  But at least it is a more even playing field than when an army of cyber soldiers from abroad, advocates for one American candidate over the other.  This is what happened in the election of 2016.

 

1 hour ago, Renegade said:

, we don't deserve any other destiny. 

 

We deserve the destiny we create for ourselves.  If we are so complacent as to allow cyber interference from abroad to sway our elections again, our politics will be molded to their will.  It has already happened, as personified in the person of Donald J. Trump, whose presidency would not have been possible without Russian meddling in the election of 2016.

 

We must protect our electoral system against cyber sabotage from abroad.

 

We cannot allow non-American entities abroad to accomplish the same thing again.

 

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There is literally NO WAY to stop people from plastering propaganda all over social media.  

 

The only rational response is for people to become enlightened to that reality, and learn to either ignore social media entirely (easy enough), or to just assume it's absolutely packed with silliness and disinformation, the twisted views and distorted ramblings of the mentally ill, foreign actors trying to spread lies, and just plain idiots.

 

That's not just social media.  That's the Internet, and it has been since the 1990's.  Honestly, it's jam packed with every imaginable craziness you could possibly want.  Who wants it?  Education, as always, is our best defense against the consequences of ignorance.

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6 hours ago, splunch said:

There is literally NO WAY to stop people from plastering propaganda all over social media.

 

Social media were not the only targets of Russian hacking in 2016.   Hackers working on behalf of the Russian government targeted state and local voter registration databases and managed to access elections systems in as many as 39 states.  

 

National solutions are needed:

-  Voting machine security can be electronically hardened.

-  Update election infrastructrure.  Includes auditing paper ballots and updating vulnerable, outdated machines.

-  Prevent Russia or other foreign powers from spending on political ads in the US.  The proposed Honest Ads Act details how to close the loopholes.

-  There are numerous other cybersecurity measures that can be taken if political will is exerted.

https://www.brennancenter.org/issues/foreign-interference-elections

 

6 hours ago, splunch said:

Education, as always, is our best defense against the consequences of ignorance.

 

Couldn't agree more.  Before education becomes a governmental priority for ordinary people, Democrats will need to have relatively long-term control of all three branches.

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Our need to do everything faster and easier instead of better might have to just take a back seat on some things.  Shoring up our elections seems like a relatively simple, if expensive and labor-intensive, process.  Nothing online is safe, is the only sane approach to real security.  Voting sites should not be closed networks, and paper ballots/receipts should be part of the process.  Results can be transferred after a polling site closes and sent to a central location, also entirely offline, to be tallied up.  When the results are in, send them out.

 

The need of TV networks to broadcast real-time voting results is really not any concern of mine whatsoever.  I'll wake up tomorrow and there it will be.

 

Like the NFL draft...

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19 hours ago, bludog said:

They can.  It's a self-evident fact.  If propaganda generated domestically can sway votes, then propaganda originating abroad but masquerading as American, is no different.

 

A law of propaganda attributed to Joseph Goebbels is "Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth".   Within the confines of American politics, reality is often mangled by propaganda.  But at least it is a more even playing field than when an army of cyber soldiers from abroad, advocates for one American candidate over the other.  This is what happened in the election of 2016.

 

Goebbels also made sure the Nazi party censored everything they didn't like.  It's a lot easier to get lies accepted if there's no opposition allowed. 

 

We are currently bombarded by propaganda all day long every day.  Everyone has an agenda.  Every corporation, NGO, politician, nation, news channel, social media poster, etc. spouts propaganda non stop.  I couldn't possibly list all the sources of propaganda we swim in every day.   We are exposed to propaganda from other nations all the time.  What rule/policy could we use to stop this?   I just don't see how it's possible.

 

19 hours ago, bludog said:

If we are so complacent as to allow cyber interference from abroad to sway our elections again, our politics will be molded to their will. 

 

I disagree with this.   Why do you think someone would believe a lie from Macedonia when they don't believe the same lie when told from the USA?  Just because someone in Russia says I should hate others, that doesn't mean I will.  You're completely discounting the fact that Americans have free will.  We are exposed to arguments and propaganda from all points of view.  We get to choose our own destiny.  

 

19 hours ago, bludog said:

We must protect our electoral system against cyber sabotage from abroad.

 

Looking at this and your last post, it seems like you're more focused on election security (which is reasonable and advisable).  Does that mean you're reconsidering the need to censor 'fake news'?  I'm completely on board with election security measures.  I'm completely opposed to censorship.    Although the threats come from the same people for the same reasons, our responses need to be considered separately.  

 

16 hours ago, splunch said:

There is literally NO WAY to stop people from plastering propaganda all over social media.  

 

The only rational response is for people to become enlightened to that reality, and learn to either ignore social media entirely (easy enough), or to just assume it's absolutely packed with silliness and disinformation, the twisted views and distorted ramblings of the mentally ill, foreign actors trying to spread lies, and just plain idiots.

 

That's not just social media.  That's the Internet, and it has been since the 1990's.  Honestly, it's jam packed with every imaginable craziness you could possibly want.  Who wants it?  Education, as always, is our best defense against the consequences of ignorance.

 

I agree with this.

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