"Information" in the Time of Trump #4

This is a continuation of the topic "Information" in the Time of Trump #3.

Pro and Con

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"Information" in the Time of Trump #4

1margd
Edited: Sep 7, 2019, 7:12am

NOAA Contradicts Weather Service, Backs Trump On Hurricane Threat In Alabama
Richard Gonzales | September 6, 2019

The parent agency of the National Weather Service said late Friday that President Trump was correct when he claimed earlier this week that Hurricane Dorian had threatened the state of Alabama.

The surprise announcement in an unsigned statement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) essentially endorsed Trump's Sunday tweet saying that Alabama will "most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated."

After the president's tweet, the National Weather Service, in Birmingham, Ala., responded with its own tweet, saying "Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east."

...Since his original tweet, Trump has re-visited the controversy almost every day this week, including displaying a doctored version of a map showing Hurricane Dorian's projected path to include Alabama...

https://www.npr.org/2019/09/06/758532041/noaa-contradicts-weather-service-backs-...

__________________________________________________​

Doublethink: ...impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink...

Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel by George Orwell
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four

__________________________________________________​

Search is on for author of unsigned NOAA statement. One possibility:

Trump Town
Track White House Staff, Cabinet Members and Political Appointees Across the Government
by Derek Kravitz, Al Shaw, Claire Perlman and Alex Mierjeski, March 7, 2018, Updated February 12, 2019

...Julie Roberts
Commerce (joined: Aug. 14, 2017)
Director of Communications | $128,000 | ...

Former Positions Outside Government

58th Presidential Inaugural Committee Deputy Director of Internal and Diplomatic
Donald j. Trump for President Advance for Vice Presidential Candidate

Former Compensation Sources

58th Presidential Inaugural Committee
Donald J. Trump for President...

https://projects.propublica.org/trump-town/staffers/julie-roberts

__________________________________________________​

Allan Smith @akarl_smith (Meteorologist at NBC, Miami)| 6:26 PM · Sep 6, 2019:
https://twitter.com/JohnMoralesNBC6

An NWS office with such a storied history of saving lives and property made to look like fools.

NHC wind speed probabilities in extreme SE corner of Alabama as disseminated on Sunday morning:

>=74 mph: =58 mph: =39 mph: 5-10%

Here are the 8 AM EDT Sunday Dorian wind probability charts from @NHC_Atlantic (see tweet at https://twitter.com/JohnMoralesNBC6)

__________________________________________________​

Alternative NOAA @altNOAA | 5:25 AM · Sep 7, 2019:

Here is the crazy thing: when the WFO (Weather Field office?) in Bham (Birmingham) issued the tweet, they were not even aware of what POTUS had said. They were getting hammered with phone calls from public who were scared. The increase in call volume lead to them issuing the tweet. Had to let ppl know no threat.

__________________________________________________​

Michael E. Mann @MichaelEMann (Penn State climate scientist | 10:56 PM · Sep 6, 2019
In Russia, this (NOAA's unattributed statement disavowing the NWS Birmingham tweet saying Dorian wasn’t going to impact Alabama ) was known as Lysenkoism.
Spoiler Alert: It didn't end well...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysenkoism*

* Lysenkoism (Russian: Лысе́нковщина, tr. Lysenkovshchina) was a political campaign conducted by Trofim Lysenko, his followers and Soviet authorities against genetics and science-based agriculture. Lysenko served as the director of the Soviet Union's Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Lysenkoism began in the late 1920s and formally ended in 1964.

In modern usage, the term lysenkoism has become distinct from normal pseudoscience. Where pseudoscience pretends to be science, lysenkoism aims at attacking the legitimacy of science itself, usually for political reasons. It is the rejection of the universality of scientific truth, and the deliberate defamation of the scientific method to the level of politics

2margd
Sep 8, 2019, 10:36am

NOAA staff warned in Sept. 1 directive against contradicting Trump
Andrew Freedman, Colby Itkowitz and Jason Samenow | September 7, 2019

Nearly a week before the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publicly backed President Trump over its own scientists, a top NOAA official warned its staff against contradicting the president.

In an agencywide directive sent Sept. 1 to National Weather Service personnel, hours after Trump asserted, with no evidence, that Alabama “would most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated,” staff was told to “only stick with official National Hurricane Center forecasts if questions arise from some national level social media posts which hit the news this afternoon.”

They were also told not to “provide any opinion,” according to a copy of the email obtained by The Washington Post.

A NOAA meteorologist who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution said the note, understood internally to be referring to Trump, came after the National Weather Service office in Birmingham contradicted Trump by tweeting Alabama would “NOT see any impacts from the hurricane.”...

https://beta.washingtonpost.com/politics/noaa-staff-warned-in-sept-1-directive-a...

3margd
Edited: Sep 23, 2019, 1:34pm

Judd Legum @JuddLegum | 9/23/2019:

1. A massive Facebook Page called "I Love America" — which has 1.1 million followers — is actually run by Ukrainians

Recently, the page has started pushing caustic pro-Trump propaganda

It's the tip of the iceberg

2. The Ukrainian "I Love America" page is repurposing memes used by the Internet Research Agency, the Russian group highlighted in the Mueller report that interfered in the 2016 election

The big difference is this operation is MUCH BIGGER

3. "I Love America" is part of a complex network of Ukrainian-run Facebook pages that seek to amass large audiences and then funnel them to rabidly pro-Trump pages.

These include pages featuring cute dogs and Jesus

4. The reach of this Ukrainian network of Facebook pages is absolutely extraordinary.

Over the last 90 days, just the major pages in this network has as much reach on Facebook than the New York Times and Washington Post COMBINED

5. Facebook tells me this network of Ukrainians pretending to be American, pushing pro-Trump propaganda DOESN'T VIOLATE ITS POLICIES

The company won't hold itself accountable.

That's why I'm doing this work.

If you value it, sign up for my newsletter http://popular.info

6. Ukrainian pages like "I Love America" and "Cute or Not?" and "I Love Jesus Forever" are now cross-posting content from Ukrainian pages like "Click Like, if you love Donald Trump as much as we do" and "God bless Donald Trump and God bless America"

7. The content on these more explicitly pro-Trump pages is incendiary and frequently false.

For example one of the pages includes a meme stating Hillary Clinton sold access to her server to foreign governments

Massive "I Love America" Facebook page, pushing pro-Trump propaganda, is run by Ukrainians
9/23/2019
https://popular.info/p/massive-i-love-america-facebook-page

4margd
Edited: Sep 24, 2019, 7:59am

People are recalling edited transcripts, video (Acosta), and concluding that they can't be trusted...

White House Edits Trump Insult to Reporter Out of Official Transcript
10.02.18

After President Trump was caught on camera telling a reporter she “never” thinks, the White House moved to retroactively alter the president’s attack at a Monday afternoon press conference by changing a word in the official transcript. While the president told ABC News reporter Cecilia Vega, “I know you’re not thinking. You never do,” the White House transcript reads, “I know you’re not thanking. You never do.” While Vega did thank the president for calling on her to ask a question before Trump made the remark, his comment prompted her to ask “I’m sorry?” before the president dismissed her. “No, go ahead. Go ahead,” the president said in response, urging her to move on and ask her question.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/white-house-edits-trump-insult-to-reporter-out-of-...

5margd
Sep 24, 2019, 5:52pm

Adam Parkhomenko @AdamParkhomenko | 2:07 PM · Sep 24, 2019
This is close to shit-yourself scary

From Aaron Rupar:

0:43 https://twitter.com/i/status/1176558822091108352

6margd
Sep 25, 2019, 9:35am

Trump's ‘transcript’ of Ukraine call unlikely to be verbatim
September 24, 2019 /

...Evelyn Farkas, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense during the Obama presidency, said not only would any so-called transcript be based on notes, but it would also likely be incomplete because the note-takers usually do not include issues that could be controversial if they became public.

“Typically a note-taker will write notes about what the principal says in a fashion that does not embarrass their principal,” said Farkas.

A former White House senior official concurred there was unlikely to be a recording.

“There’s no physical recording but there are a lot of people listening and taking contemporaneous notes of these calls,” the official said. “When you read it, it looks almost like a transcript.” ...

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-whistleblower-transcript-idUSKBN1W9...

72wonderY
Edited: Sep 25, 2019, 3:51pm

It just keeps getting weirder.

President Trump said Wednesday that “Nancy Pelosi, as far as I’m concerned, she’s no longer the Speaker of the House”

Did Trump Just Try to Fire... Nancy Pelosi?

and

Trump: Nancy Pelosi is 'no longer the speaker of the House'

Trump also denied reports that he called Pelosi and attempted to broker a deal with her in order to stop impeachment proceedings. Trump said Pelosi had lost control of her caucus to the "radical Left."

"No, she's lost her way," Trump said, responding to a question regarding whether he tried to strike a deal on impeachment with Pelosi.

"She's been taken over by the radical Left. She may be radical Left herself, but she really has lost her way," Trump continued. "I spoke to her about guns yesterday. She didn’t even know what I was talking about."

8lriley
Edited: Sep 25, 2019, 9:54pm

I was watching clips of Trump's UN speech which was as bizarre as it gets. He was squinting out of both eyes the entire time and talking slowly and monotonously and his message was even worse than the usual drivel that comes from out of his lips. He thinks he knows what evil is. People for open borders are human rights abusers for one. Pathetic. The UN General Assembly just looked on at him dispassionately like he had nothing worthwhile to say and it looked like VP Pence almost fell asleep standing up. He did that lurch to the side with his eyes closed that someone might do if they were nodding out on their feet. Pompeo and this Maguire guy and Mnuchin's wife were all staring in front of themselves and not moving or making any expressions like they were manikins. It was so weird. This would have been after his supposed phone call with Pelosi--maybe he'd been crying his eyes out or maybe someone had given him a sleeping pill an hour or so before he went up to the dais. Maybe they'd all had a sleeping pill party. Trump looked ill or maybe even drugged.

9margd
Sep 26, 2019, 10:33am

Axios @axios | 9:47 AM · Sep 26, 2019:
A footnote in the whistleblower complaint claims that WH officials said it was not the first time that the Trump administration used a special computer system for protecting politically sensitive rather than national security sensitive information.

Whistleblower complaint claims White House tried to hide Ukraine call memo in classified system
It also alleges this was not the first time the Trump administration did so.
9/26/2019

https://www.axios.com/whistleblower-complaint-white-house-ukraine-call-memo-e253...

102wonderY
Oct 1, 2019, 7:44am

RNC solicited money for Trump’s reelection with forms that look a lot like the official Census

Officials in Montana are warning residents for a second time this year about surveys sent by the Republican National Committee that mimic the look of federal census forms with the goal of soliciting money for President Trump’s reelection campaign.

The mailers are labeled “2019 congressional District Census” and inform recipients that they’ve been “selected to represent voters” in Bozeman, Mont. The accompanying literature makes repeated requests for donations, urging recipients to send at least $15 to “help pay for the costs of processing the Census Document” should they be unable to afford an amount in the requested range of $25 to $1,000.

Phony Census mailers are enough of a concern that Congress in 2010 passed the Prevent Deceptive Census Look Alike Mailings Act.

The Montana mailers include a letter signed by RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel, which says Trump has requested a “Census of every congressional district be completed immediately to help ensure reelection. It says the information is needed to create voter profiles and “target audiences with the truth concerning President Trump’s agenda.”

11margd
Oct 4, 2019, 7:58am

Occam's razor, it is NOT!

Being Donald Trump: Inside the World Where Conspiracies Are Reality
What reality looks like from inside Trump World.
Tim Miller | October 4, 2019

...before you read further, I implore you to reject your implicit biases, have a glass of peaty scotch, and open your mind. Because if you are a stubborn, TDS*-afflicted partisan this is not the story for you. For the rest of you, prepare to be redpilled by a story so shocking it may scar your soul until the end of days...

...everything we’ve been told publicly about interference in the election is a lie. The public story, of course, has been that (1) Russians hacked U.S. political organizations in order to benefit Trump; (2) There was a gaggle of unsavory characters either intertwined in the plot or attempting to be; and (3) people close to Trump knew this was happening, welcomed it, and frequently lied about their actions.

...According to Trump World, Biden had recruited the entire global pro-democracy movement—the European Union, the IMF, the American diplomatic corps, and key NGOs—to a plot to fire a noble Ukrainian prosecutor, all so that Biden’s son could make $50,000 a month working for a Ukranian oligarch...

https://thebulwark.com/this-is-what-reality-looks-like-from-inside-trump-world/

*TDS--Trump Derangement Syndrome

12margd
Oct 10, 2019, 10:00am

"Though Cambridge Analytica no longer exists, Wylie warns that the company's tactics continue to be a threat to democracy. He notes that some of its former employees are currently working on the next Trump campaign. "We have a completely unregulated digital landscape...Even if Cambridge Analytica doesn't exist anymore, what happens when China becomes the next Cambridge Analytica?"

Whistleblower Explains How Cambridge Analytica Helped Fuel U.S. 'Insurgency'
36:03 / Transcript
Heard on Fresh Air | Terry Gross | October 8, 2019

...Conservative strategist Steve Bannon, who later worked in President Trump's White House, became involved with the (the British behavioral research company SCL Group) subsidiary Cambridge Analytica. Christopher Wylie, who served as Cambridge Analytica's research director for a year and a half, watched as his group began to use of data from Facebook and other online sources to target users for disinformation campaigns.

"They targeted people who were more prone to conspiratorial thinking...They used that data, and they used social media more broadly, to first identify those people, and then engage those people, and really begin to craft what, in my view, was an insurgency in the United States....The things that I was building on originally for the defense of our democracies had been completely inverted to really, in my view, attack our democracies."

In 2014, Wylie resigned...later became a whistleblower, exposing the company's role in President Trump's presidential campaign and Brexit...the company's links to Russia...new book Mindf*ck

...Interview Highlights

On the research Wylie initially did for SCL...

On Steve Bannon's role in Cambridge Analytica...

Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America...

On how Cambridge Analytica collected data...

In Hidden-Camera Exposé, Cambridge Analytica Executives Boast Of Role In Trump Win...

On why people filled out the surveys that Cambridge Analytica used to harvest data...

Whistleblower: Cambridge Analytica Aimed To Trigger Paranoia And Racial Biases...

On his decision to resign from Cambridge Analytica

It was a gradual process, sort of like boiling a frog in a way. Things change and you don't necessarily notice how much things have changed when you're inside of something. ... But really, one of the things that I remember is seeing videos of people from focus groups and events that Cambridge Analytica was doing who had been targeted and sort of massaged online into believing certain kinds of conspiracies. And just to see like the rage in their eyes — how angry these people were, how they started engaging in highly racialized thinking. ... To see their faces and what that looks like, what a manipulated person looks like, for me, it was really eye-opening.

https://www.npr.org/2019/10/08/768216311/whistleblower-explains-how-cambridge-an...

13margd
Oct 11, 2019, 4:44pm

Whoa--the ATTORNEY GENERAL??

Smith’s departure comes less than two days after Attorney General Bill Barr held a mysterious meeting with News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch.
Brad Reed | October 11, 2019

There is no evidence linking Barr’s Murdoch meeting to Smith’s sudden departure, although critics of the White House have been raising questions about why the attorney general was meeting with a media mogul at a time when Trump has been openly critical of the network.

“Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News and begin a new chapter. (margd: I'm reading that he can't work in his field due to a non-compete clause) After requesting that I stay, they graciously obliged,” Smith said in a statement.

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/10/shep-smith-out-at-fox-news-one-day-after-bill-b...

14margd
Oct 12, 2019, 5:54pm

Elizabeth Warren trolls Facebook on accepting untrue political ads:

https://twitter.com/sivavaid/status/1182806730767503362/photo/1

15margd
Oct 26, 2019, 8:17am

Unless back door / home deliveries continue, Trump hamstrings his lawyers, press secretary, talking-head aides, policy-makers--plus their counterparts in agencies--by restricting their workplace access to WaPo and NYT, fake news or no.

Trump orders end to New York Times, Washington Post subscriptions
Erik Wemple | Oct. 24, 2019

...The (Washington) Post and the New York Times were missing from the delivery of print newspapers to the White House on Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Journal also reports that Trump is “planning to instruct federal agencies to not renew their subscriptions” to the two newspapers...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/10/24/trump-orders-end-times-post-s...

16margd
Edited: Oct 27, 2019, 8:15am

Ivanka using private e-mail service.
Jared looked for back channels.
But Hillary's e-mails...

White House cybersecurity chief quits, says leadership is inviting an attack
Tristan Greene | 10/26/2019

"They say that history repeats itself. Unfortunately given all of the changes I’ve seen in the past three months, I foresee the White House is posturing itself to be electronically compromised once again. Allowing for a large portion of institutional knowledge to concurrently walk right out the front door seems contrary to the best of interests of the mission and organization as a whole."

The above quote, taken from a memo obtained by Axios and sent by (White House computer security Chief Dimitrios Vistakis) summarizes the former director’s worries. The rest of the letter paints the picture of a Trump administration hellbent on purging the Obama-appointed security specialists tasked with defending White House computers in the wake of a 2014 breach.

The Office of the Chief Information Security Officer (OCISO), according to Vistakis, has been targeted by White House leadership for removal. He reports that leaders employed tactics such as “habitually being hostile” to OCISO members, withholding annual bonuses, and limiting workers’ job scopes in order to force them to quit.

Vistakis also says that, since his office was implemented, the White House has suffered no further incidents like the 2014 breach. However, it appears the Trump administration has justified the drawdown by moving the goalposts.

...Vistakis greatest complaint seems to be that White House officials are prioritizing the President’s comfort or convenience over actual computer security...

https://thenextweb.com/politics/2019/10/25/white-house-cybersecurity-chief-quits...

--------------------------------------------------​

Read the memo at

Scoop: Cyber memo warns of new risks to White House network
Alexi McCammond | Oct 23, 2019
https://www.axios.com/scoop-cyber-memo-warns-of-new-risks-to-white-house-network...

17Molly3028
Edited: Oct 28, 2019, 1:38pm

Thanks to the Internet era, Trump and ISIS have shown the world
how cults and cult leaders can spread misinformation, fear and
hate far and wide with very little money and effort.

18margd
Oct 29, 2019, 12:31pm

Officials cringed as Trump spilled sensitive details of al-Baghdadi raid
Courtney Kube and Carol E. Lee | Updated Oct. 29, 2019

Some details the president has revealed are inaccurate, others are classified. Officials say they worry what to put in briefings for a man with no filter.

...The president, as the ultimate authority on classification, can declassify any piece of government information simply by releasing it publicly. And some top U.S. officials — including then-President Barack Obama, who signed a law to reduce the amount of classified material — have lamented the government's tendency to over-classify information. But current and former senior U.S. officials said from the earliest days of his presidency that Trump consistently wants to make public more than his advisers think is legally sound or wise for U.S national security.

"We agonized over what we would put in his briefings," one former senior White House official said, "because who knows if and when he's going to say something about it."

"He has no filter," the official added. "But also if he knows something, and he thinks it's going to be good to say or make him appear smarter or stronger, he'll just blurt it out."...

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/officials-cringe-trump-spills-sensitive-detai...

19margd
Edited: Oct 31, 2019, 7:35am

jack 🌍🌏🌎jack (Jack Dorsey, CEO Twitter) | 4:05 PM · Oct 30, 2019
We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…

A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet. Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people. We believe this decision should not be compromised by money.

While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions.

Internet political ads present entirely new challenges to civic discourse: machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes. All at increasing velocity, sophistication, and overwhelming scale.

These challenges will affect ALL internet communication, not just political ads. Best to focus our efforts on the root problems, without the additional burden and complexity taking money brings. Trying to fix both means fixing neither well, and harms our credibility.

For instance, it‘s not credible for us to say: “We’re working hard to stop people from gaming our systems to spread misleading info, buuut if someone pays us to target and force people to see their political ad…well...they can say whatever they want!
😉

We considered stopping only candidate ads, but issue ads present a way to circumvent. Additionally, it isn’t fair for everyone but candidates to buy ads for issues they want to push. So we're stopping these too.

We’re well aware we‘re a small part of a much larger political advertising ecosystem. Some might argue our actions today could favor incumbents. But we have witnessed many social movements reach massive scale without any political advertising. I trust this will only grow.

In addition, we need more forward-looking political ad regulation (very difficult to do). Ad transparency requirements are progress, but not enough. The internet provides entirely new capabilities, and regulators need to think past the present day to ensure a level playing field.

We’ll share the final policy by 11/15, including a few exceptions (ads in support of voter registration will still be allowed, for instance). We’ll start enforcing our new policy on 11/22 to provide current advertisers a notice period before this change goes into effect.

A final note. This isn’t about free expression. This is about paying for reach. And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle. It’s worth stepping back in order to address.

202wonderY
Oct 31, 2019, 7:31am

>19 margd: **applause!!**

21jjwilson61
Oct 31, 2019, 9:38am

Wow, that was much better than the summary offered in the NPR piece I listened to.

22jjwilson61
Oct 31, 2019, 2:33pm

>19 margd: Wouldn't ads for political merchandise be a way around this restriction? They could spout whatever fake news they wanted to and say it was for the purpose of selling their wares.

23margd
Nov 10, 2019, 5:21pm

>22 jjwilson61: good point...

__________________________________________________​

Media beware: Impeachment hearings will be the trickiest test of covering Trump
Margaret Sullivan | November 10, 2019

...as televised impeachment hearings begin in the House of Representatives — journalists need to be on their game. The stakes don’t get much higher when it comes to fulfilling their core mission: informing citizens of what they really need to know.

Here’s a refresher course in what needs to go right.

Stress substance, not speculation.

Don’t let stunts hijack the coverage.

Avoid Barr-Letter Syndrome. *

Beware mealy-mouthed and misleading language.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/media-beware-impeachment-hearings...

--------------------------------------------------​--------------------------------------------------​

* e.g.,
William Barr is racing to deliver a report that blows up the impeachment inquiry—and everything else
Mark Sumner | November 06, 2019
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/11/6/1897632/-William-Barr-is-racing-to-de...

24margd
Nov 27, 2019, 4:19am

That Uplifting Tweet You Just Shared? A Russian Troll Sent It
Darren Linvill & Patrick Warren | November 25, 2019

Here’s what Russia’s 2020 disinformation operations look like, according to two experts on social media and propaganda.

...successors to Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA). Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted the IRA for waging a massive information war during the 2016 U.S. election. Since then, the IRA seems to have been subsumed into Russia’s Federal News Agency, but its work continues...the IRA’s goal was two-fold: Grow an audience in part through heartwarming, inspiring messages, and use that following to spread messages promoting division, distrust, and doubt.

...Professional trolls are good at their job. They have studied us. They understand how to harness our biases (and hashtags) for their own purposes. They know what pressure points to push and how best to drive us to distrust our neighbors. The professionals know you catch more flies with honey. They don’t go to social media looking for a fight; they go looking for new best friends. And they have found them.

Disinformation operations aren’t typically fake news or outright lies. Disinformation is most often simply spin. Spin is hard to spot and easy to believe, especially if you are already inclined to do so. While the rest of the world learned how to conduct a modern disinformation campaign from the Russians, it is from the world of public relations and advertising that the IRA learned their craft. To appreciate the influence and potential of Russian disinformation, we need to view them less as Boris and Natasha and more like Don Draper.

...In a free society, we must accept that bad actors will try to take advantage of our openness. But we need to learn to question our own and others’ biases on social media. We need to teach — to individuals of all ages — that we shouldn’t simply believe or repost anonymous users because they used the same hashtag we did, and neither should we accuse them of being a Russian bot simply because we disagree with their perspective. We need to teach digital civility. It will not only weaken foreign efforts, but it will also help us better engage online with our neighbors, especially the ones we disagree with...

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/russia-troll-2020-electi...

25Molly3028
Edited: Nov 27, 2019, 8:55am

Voters in flyover states and swing states appear to be fans of
Rush Limbaugh and his ilk on the A.M. radio dial during the day
and religious viewers of FOX's three nightime commentators.
Surprise, surprise ~ they also believe anything a life-long con man
and cult leader spouts!

26margd
Edited: Dec 8, 2019, 10:43am

Lawrence Freedman @LawDavF | 3:41 PM · Dec 7, 2019:
The idea that someone like Stan Sloan, one of the top experts on NATO, should be considered unacceptable by the US Government because he is critical of its stance, is absurd and dangerous. Sad that @AtlantDK is going along with this.

Stanley R. Sloan - Defense of the West @srs2_ · 15h
...I've just received word from the Danish Atlantic Council that the US Embassy in Copenhagen, a cosponsor of the meeting, has vetoed my participation* due to my critical evaluation of Trump's impact on transatlantic relations. Stunned and concerned about our country.

--------------------------------------------------​

*The Danish Atlantic Council had invited Stanley R. Sloan to give a keynote address at their conference celebrating NATO's 70th anniversary on 10 December. The conference was co-sponsored and heavily funded by the US Department of State. Just days before the conference, the US Ambassador to Denmark, Carla Sands, ordered the Council to remove Sloan from the program. The form of censorship by the US government is a dramatic change from past practice, when the US Public Diplomacy program provided a variety of American views to foreign audiences, in many ways demonstrating the strength of American democracy. For those who are interested in what Sloan would have said at the meeting, check out the (8p)draft as it stood before the Embassy's veto:

"Crisis in transatlantic relations: what future will we choose?"
( https://server2.charityadvantageservers.com/client/Atlantic_Community_Initiative... )

https://server2.charityadvantageservers.com/client/Atlantic_Community_Initiative...

__________________________________________________​

ETA
Mark Hertling @MarkHertling | 8:24 AM · Dec 8, 2019
A great call by @AtlantDK to cancel the conference rather than allow the suppression of free speech by a politically appointed Ambassador. This is what right looks like, @srs2_

Quote Tweet
Lars Bangert Struwe @LarsBStruwe · 5h
After serious consideration, we have decided not to proceed with the Conference.
The progress of the process has become too problematic; and
therefore, we cannot participate in the Conference, let alone ask our Speakers to participate.

@AtlantDK @srs2_ (press release)
http://atlant.dk/media/2062/nato-konference-aflysning-engelsk-page-001.jpg

27Molly3028
Edited: Dec 9, 2019, 7:37am

The longer this Trump era goes on, the more understandable the
Hitler era becomes. Apparently, under the right circumstances,
the abnormal can become the norm in a very short period of time.
The world is watching in horror. Historians are recording all of the
deplorable details for future generations to study.

28margd
Dec 22, 2019, 7:43am

Quancy Clayborne @QuancyClayborne | 1:28 PM · Dec 21, 2019

The DNC worked with the Ukrainians
To hack their own servers
To frame the Russians
So that HRC would lose the election
And lift the sanctions
To destroy the FBI, CIA, DOJ and NSA
And Trump could then ask the Ukrainians to smear an opponent
So HRC could get him impeached
.
.
.
Two observations about those who actually believe this stuff.

1) They try to justify it to you like everyone is as intellectually challenged as they are.

2) They will get very, very, very angry once they realize just how stupid they are as you walk them though the flaws.

29margd
Dec 22, 2019, 7:46am

Facebook Removes Hundreds of Fake Pro-Trump Accounts Using AI-Generated Profile Photos
Michael Nuñez | Dec 20, 2019, 06:34pm

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mnunez/2019/12/20/facebook-removes-hundreds-of-fake...

--------------------------------------------------​

See examples of AI-generated FB profile photos with telltale signs of computer-generation,
beginning at page 16 of report:
https://graphika.com/uploads/Graphika%20Report%20-%20OperationFFS%20-%20Fake%20F...

30margd
Dec 27, 2019, 4:55am

U.S. government ‘retires’ (read removes) detailed pollution map from internet
Michael Schulson/Undark | December 24, 2019

Fifteen years ago, the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) launched Toxmap, a free, interactive online application that combines pollution data from at least a dozen U.S. government sources. A Toxmap user could pan and zoom across a map of the United States sprinkled with thousands of blue and red dots, with each blue dot representing a factory, coal-fired power plant, or other facility that has released certain toxic chemicals into the environment, and each red dot marking a Superfund program site—“some of the nation’s most contaminated land,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Toxmap allowed users to pull up detailed EPA data for each toxic release site, and to overlay other information, such as mortality statistics, onto those maps. And it’s precisely those capabilities that earned Toxmap a devoted following among researchers, students, activists, and other people keen to identify sources of pollution in their communities.

Those capabilities appear to no longer be available to the public...

https://www.popsci.com/story/environment/toxmap-removed-federal-government/

31margd
Dec 27, 2019, 5:09am

Case Closed: The Justice Department Won’t Stand Behind Its Report on Immigrants and Terrorism
Benjamin Wittes | January 7, 2019, 7:30 AM

...the United States Department of Justice just came perilously close to admitting that it engaged in disinformation about immigrants and terrorism in a formal government report.

I say perilously close, because the department did not quite admit it; in fact, the letter sent to a group of people, including me, who had raised concerns about a report the Justice Department published last January, announces that the department has concluded that “the Report should not be withdrawn or corrected.”

But the letter, sent to us by Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michael H. Allen, also concedes that “the Report could be criticized by some readers, consistent with some of the concerns presented,” and promises that the department will follow the “principles” of an obscure law known as the Information Quality Act better “in issuing future reports ... to better present such information to the public.” This is about as close as the Trump administration is going to get to admitting that it used a formal government report to distort data to slime Muslims and immigrants.

...It all began in February 2017, when President Trump told this lie during his first address to a joint session of Congress: “according to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country.”

...Nora Ellingsen and Lisa Daniels...discovered that the publicly available Justice Department data simply did not show that a majority of terrorist or terrorist-related crimes were committed by people who came from abroad. For one thing, this data set does not include domestic terrorism convictions. That is, it does not capture domestic terrorism subjects, who are more likely to be white and natural-born U.S. citizens. Leaving out those convictions is a big mistake. When Ellingsen and Daniels wrote about President Trump’s executive order, they found that 1,306 defendants had been convicted of domestic terrorism offenses in the U.S. since 1996. That’s more than twice the number of international terrorism convictions during the same period.

What’s more, the list included almost 100 foreign-born defendants who were extradited into the United States and therefore never would have been affected by U.S. immigration policy. That is, even excluding domestic terrorism cases, it was possible to support the president’s claim only if one counted as foreign-born terrorism suspects people the United States had actively imported in order to prosecute for terrorism or terrorism-related crimes.

...the record is quite clear: The president of the United States told a frank falsehood to a joint session of Congress, citing Justice Department data that do not exist in order to do so. He did this despite warnings from career FBI and Justice Department officials that the real data could not support such statements. And the Justice Department, a year later, released a report that—while stopping short of the president’s outright falsehoods—was designed to be as suggestive of them as possible; while the department will not retract this report, it also will not defend it, and it has committed itself...to not repeating its error in this tawdry episode...

https://www.lawfareblog.com/case-closed-justice-department-wont-stand-behind-its...

32margd
Jan 15, 7:56pm

This media failure really could help Trump politically
Greg Sargent | Jan. 15, 2020

...One key question is whether Trump can supercharge those parts of the country with such tactics without activating a backlash — among young and nonwhite voters, and among the sort of suburban and educated whites who remain alienated by Trump — that overwhelms the numbers in even hyper-energized Trump country. This plainly worries Trump’s advisers, who know the base might not be enough.

Press coverage that sanitizes away the wretched, hateful sides of Trump’s performances could help his appearances carry forward Trump’s mission of electrifying the base, under the radar, without clearly conveying to all those other voters — those who may not be tuning in as attentively to the 24/7 manure show that is this presidency — the truly depraved nature of what he’s dumping in their backyards.

Again, I don’t claim to know how serious a problem this is or how much of an impact it will have. But it seems like something those who aspire to render this moment faithfully would not want any part in enabling...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/01/15/this-media-failure-really-cou...

33margd
Jan 18, 3:28pm

National Archives exhibit blurs images critical of President Trump
Joe Heim | Jan. 17, 2020

The large color photograph that greets visitors to a National Archives exhibit celebrating the centennial of women’s suffrage shows a massive crowd filling Pennsylvania Avenue NW for the Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017, the day after President Trump’s inauguration.

The 49-by-69-inch photograph is a powerful display. Viewed from one perspective, it shows the 2017 march. Viewed from another angle, it shifts to show a 1913 black-and-white image of a women’s suffrage march also on Pennsylvania Avenue. The display links momentous demonstrations for women’s rights more than a century apart on the same stretch of pavement.

But a closer look reveals a different story.

The Archives acknowledged in a statement this week that it made multiple alterations to the photo of the 2017 Women’s March showcased at the museum, blurring signs held by marchers that were critical of Trump. Words on signs that referenced women’s anatomy were also blurred...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/national-archives-exhibit-blurs-images-crit...

34margd
Jan 18, 3:47pm

botsentinel.com

Benjamin Wittes @benjaminwittes | 1:04 PM · Jan 18, 2020
https://twitter.com/benjaminwittes/status/1218594962310344704

As an experiment in disinformation, I just ran all of the hostile responses to this tweet from Lisa through @BotSentinel.
All were reported to have high probability of being troll bots. That should tell you something.
jack, worth a look at automated activity sliming Lisa.

Quote Tweet
Lisa Page @NatSecLisa · 3h
All I can say is this: I very much look forward to Rod’s deposition. https://twitter.com/keithboykin/status/1218564672913379329

35margd
Jan 18, 6:22pm

>33 margd: contd.

National Archives Apologizes for Altering Image of 2017 Women’s March
Maria Cramer | Jan. 18, 2020

The National Archives and Records Administration...“We made a mistake” ...signs critical of the president that appeared in the photo — including one that said “God Hates Trump” (“Trump & GOP — Hands Off Women”)— were doctored to blur out Mr. Trump’s name...the display would be replaced “as soon as possible with one that uses the unaltered image.” It also said that a review would begin immediately into what happened.

...A sign with the word “vagina” was also blurred and the word “pussy” was erased from another sign. The references to the female anatomy were a rebuke of Mr. Trump’s comments...

...Archivists follow a strict code of ethics that forbids them from altering any images put into the public record, said Kathleen Roe, who was an archivist for 40 years at the New York State Archives, where she served as director of archives and records management.

The National Archives decision to display an altered photo is “really disappointing” and could undermine the faith of the public in archivists in general, she said...

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/18/us/national-archives-womens-march-images.html

36margd
Jan 23, 12:06pm

>34 margd: contd.

Is There a Targeted Troll Campaign Against Lisa Page? A Bot Sentinel Investigation
Christopher Bouzy | January 22, 2020

“Homewrecker.” “Traitor.” “Tramp.” These are just some of the insults flung at Lisa Page—the former FBI lawyer whom President Trump has targeted for her text messages critical of him during the 2016 election—in the almost 4,000 responses to a tweet she posted on Jan. 18.

...Lisa Page @NatSecLisa | 12:42 PM - Jan 18, 2020:
All I can say is this: I very much look forward to Rod’s deposition.
...Rod Rosenstein admits he authorized the public release of text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page but he claims he only did it to help them "avoid the additional harm of prolonged selective disclosures."...https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/18/rosenstein-strzok-page-texts-100776

...More than one in four of the replies to Page’s tweet come from accounts likely to be trollbots. Of the 3,891 accounts that replied to her tweet, a staggering 28.42 percent of them received Bot Sentinel “Trollbot rating” of 75 percent—the threshold for accounts that we classify as “alarming.”...

It’s exceedingly rare to see such a large percentage of trollbot-like responses on a tweet like Page’s...swarms like this several times a month, but they almost always target tweets linked to a major news event...

But that’s not what surprised us the most. Our team was most struck by the sheer vitriol of the trollbot attacks against Page...

This analysis doesn’t definitively prove a coordinated campaign against Page. However, the suspicious activity associated with her tweet has all the characteristics of such a campaign: a swarm of inauthentic accounts using the same toxic language and repetitive activity. It looks a lot like the coordinated campaigns we witnessed during the 2016 election, when a swarm of accounts would suddenly begin tweeting the same toxic messaging.

All this raises a question: Who is behind the apparent trollbot activity against Page?

https://www.lawfareblog.com/there-targeted-troll-campaign-against-lisa-page-bot-...

37margd
Jan 28, 7:12am

The Post’s misguided suspension of Felicia Sonmez over Kobe Bryant tweets
Erik Wemple | Jan. 27, 2020

The Post has suspended reporter Felicia Sonmez following her social-media activity over the death of NBA great Kobe Bryant. Here’s the explanation from Managing Editor Tracy Grant: “National political reporter Felicia Sonmez was placed on administrative leave while The Post reviews whether tweets about the death of Kobe Bryant violated The Post newsroom’s social media policy. The tweets displayed poor judgment that undermined the work of her colleagues.”

What did Sonmez do to deserve this brushback? She tweeted out a very good story from the Daily Beast.

An immediate and overwhelming expression of anger piled on Sonmez from Twitter users. Sonmez had directed her followers to this April 2016 story in the Daily Beast by Marlow Stern ( https://www.thedailybeast.com/kobe-bryants-disturbing-rape-case-the-dna-evidence... ). Written at the time of Bryant’s farewell tour through NBA cities, the story takes a deep look at the sexual-assault allegation against Bryant stemming from his 2003 visit to Colorado’s Lodge & Spa at Cordillera. The case never made it to trial because the 19-year-old accuser — “who had been dragged through the mud for months by the media and Bryant’s defense team,” wrote Stern — declined to testify. She did, however, file a separate civil complaint, which Bryant settled. Bryant issued an extensive apology to the accuser and others in securing dismissal of the criminal case. “Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did,” it reads, in part...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/01/27/posts-misguided-suspension-fe...

38margd
Edited: Jan 29, 7:08am

Federal Workers Say They’ve Been Gagged From Speaking Out On Trump’s Impeachment
Dave Jamieson | 01/27/2020

A federal union (American Federation of Government Employees) has asked for an injunction against legal guidance that discouraged impeachment talk...

...Impeachment is “all that’s in the news,” Ward Morrow, AFGE’s assistant general counsel, told HuffPost. “If you’re going to enforce the OSC advisory in the conditions we have now, they’ll be investigating employees for the next 100 years. It’s all anybody is talking about, especially in Washington.”

...the Hatch Act, which dates to 1939, forbids most federal workers from engaging in electoral politics while on the clock or in their official capacity. While employees can make political donations or sign up new voters on their own time, they can’t urge their underlings to donate to someone’s reelection bid or pass out a candidate’s literature during the morning meeting.

The restrictions tend to boil down to advancing a candidate or party, and that’s where AFGE said the OSC misses the mark. The guidance, first reported by The Washington Post in 2018, argues that impeachment amounts to electoral politics because it can result in a president being barred from holding federal office ― i.e., that impeachment amounts to a scuttled reelection bid...

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/federal-workers-say-theyve-been-gagged-from-speak...
__________________________________________________​

Meanwhile:

...On June 13, 2019, Special Counsel Henry Kerner, a Trump appointee, took the unprecedented step of recommending that Conway be removed from public service after finding that her numerous Hatch Act violations on Twitter and in television interviews had continued despite previous findings of violations. Special Counsel Kerner wrote that Conway’s misconduct “erodes the principal foundation of our democratic system–the rule of law.” The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees like Conway from “using their official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.” Conway is one of thirteen Trump administration officials that OSC has found in violation of the Hatch Act, part of a pattern of the President and his appointees using the apparatus of the federal government to illegally bolster his personal political interests...

https://www.citizensforethics.org/kellyanne-conway-hatch-act-violations-twitter/

39margd
Feb 1, 7:26am

in summation—
Trump is a genius but you can't see his grades
Trump is healthy but you can't see his medical reports
Trump is rich but you can't see his tax returns
Trump is honest but you can't see the documents
Trump is innocent but you can't subpoena the witnesses

- Jeff Tiedrich @itsJeffTiedrich | 9:41 AM · Jan 31, 2020

40margd
Edited: Feb 1, 7:48am

SEVEN Capitol policemen detain and handcuff woman wearing "Trump is guilty" sticker on her mouth.
0:12 https://twitter.com/Remove_TrumpNow/status/1223300113382113284

-Remove Trump #SwarmTheSenate | 12:40 PM · Jan 31, 2020
https://twitter.com/Remove_TrumpNow/status/1223300113382113284

41margd
Feb 3, 3:35pm

Conservatives push false claims of voter fraud on Twitter as Iowans prepare to caucus
Isaac Stanley-Becker and Tony Romm | Feb. 3, 2020

The episode showcases social media’s hands-off approach and the possible perils ahead for a divisive election season

Tom Fitton, the president of the conservative activist group Judicial Watch, wrote Sunday morning that “eight Iowa counties have more voter registrations than citizens old enough to register.”

...false, according to state officials and a Washington Post review of the most up-to-date data.

Of the eight Iowa counties listed by Judicial Watch, a single one — Lyon County — has more registered voters than adult residents, based on five-year estimates released by the Census Bureau in 2018. The estimates, however, do not account for population growth over the past two years. And the total number registered comprises active and inactive voters.

...other conservative activists...push(ed) the misleading conclusion.

...Early Monday, Iowa’s secretary of state, Republican Paul Pate, weighed in to debunk the allegation...“False claim...Here is a link to the actual county-by-county voter registration totals. They are updated monthly and available online for everyone to see.”...Pate’s post gained virtually no amplification.

...Ann Ravel, the director of the Digital Deception project at MapLight, which tracks money in politics....previously served on the Federal Election Commission...accused tech companies of failing to grapple with what she says is a form of voter suppression...casting doubt on the legitimacy of the political process...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/02/03/conservatives-push-false-clai...

42margd
Feb 4, 12:51pm

>35 margd: archives, contd.

Why You May Never Learn the Truth About ICE
Matthew Connelly | Feb. 4, 2020

The National Archives is letting millions of documents, including many related to immigrants’ rights, be destroyed or deleted.

...President Trump has long made it a practice to tear up his papers and throw them away. It is a clear violation of the Presidential Records Act, which is supposed to prevent another Watergate-style cover-up. When the National Archives sent staff members to tape these records together, the White House fired them.

In 2017, a normally routine document released by the archives, a records retention schedule, revealed that archivists had agreed that officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement could delete or destroy documents detailing the sexual abuse and death of undocumented immigrants. Tens of thousands of people posted critical comments, and dozens of senators and representatives objected. The National Archives made some changes to the plan, but last month it announced that ICE could go ahead and start destroying records from Mr. Trump’s first year, including detainees’ complaints about civil rights violations and shoddy medical care.

It’s not just ICE. The Department of the Interior and the National Archives have decided to delete files on endangered species, offshore drilling inspections and the safety of drinking water. The department even claimed that papers from a case where it mismanaged Native American land and assets — resulting in a multibillion-dollar legal settlement — would be of no interest to future historians (or anyone else).

Virtually all the papers of the under secretary of state for under secretary for economic growth, energy and environment are also being designated as “temporary,” despite the incredibly broad responsibilities of that office — from international aviation safety to foreign takeovers of American firms...

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/04/opinion/archives-document-destruction.html

43margd
Feb 6, 8:14am

Sounds like author was presented one too many alternative facts... :)

George Conway: I believe the president, and in the president
George T. Conway III | Feb. 5, 2020

I believe the president, and in the president.
.
.
.
I believe the president is selfless, and always puts the nation’s interests first. I believe he isn’t a narcissist, but he’d be entitled to be one if he were one. I believe the president would never exercise his presidential powers to advance his personal interests, but if he did, that would be okay, because whatever is in his personal interests is necessarily in the nation’s interests as well.

I believe Article II of the Constitution gives the president the right to do whatever he wants.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/05/george-conway-trump-i-believe...

44margd
Edited: Feb 6, 1:01pm

Rep. Matt Gaetz @RepMattGaetz · 13h (Feb 5, 2020)
BREAKING: I'm filing an ethics complaint against @SpeakerPelosi for destroying @realDonaldTrump's State of the Union speech.
Her conduct was beneath the dignity of the House, and a potential violation of law (18 USC 2071).
Nobody is above the law. She must be held accountable.
Image ( https://twitter.com/RepMattGaetz/status/1225255448745533440/photo/1 )
Image ( https://twitter.com/RepMattGaetz/status/1225255448745533440/photo/2 )

Christine Pelosi @sfpelosi 12:43 AM · Feb 6, 2020
My dude, you are so triggered by her upstaging your man
who alternatively eats, shreds, and hides papers comprising presidential records
that you are handing her the narrative!

PS That speech destroyed itself.

__________________________________________________​
ETA

Re "alternatively eats, shreds, and hides papers comprising presidential records",

see #42, e.g., "President Trump has long made it a practice to tear up his papers and throw them away. It is a clear violation of the Presidential Records Act, which is supposed to prevent another Watergate-style cover-up. When the National Archives sent staff members to tape these records together, the White House fired them."

452wonderY
Feb 6, 12:10pm

>44 margd: What an idiot he is. Was that the original she tore up?

46lriley
Feb 6, 12:34pm

#44--we'll just start off by saying that Alan Dershowitz's entire argument--one that the Republican party adapted almost unanimously is that Trump is above the law which takes the wind right out of Gaetz's sails right there.

47margd
Edited: Feb 6, 5:09pm

>45 2wonderY: Was that the original she tore up?

Dunno. I suspect original is marked with Sharpie and grease-streaked from his cheeseburger...

ETA >44 margd: >45 2wonderY:

Charlie Kirk wrongly suggests Pelosi broke law by ripping Trump State of the Union speech
Bill McCarthy February 5, 2020

Kirk misapplied a federal statute ( 18 U.S.C. § 2071, Section 2071 (a) ) designed to prevent people from destroying records in official government repositories like the National Archives.

Pelosi ripped up her own copy of Trump’s address, not the official version sent to the National Archives under the separate Presidential Records Act...

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/feb/05/charlie-kirk/charlie-kirk-wron...

48margd
Feb 22, 11:45am

We are UT journalism professors. The Washington Post and CNN are not fake news | Opinion
Erin Whiteside, Joy Jenkins, Melanie Faizer, Amber Roessner and Nick Geidner | Feb. 21, 2020

A resolution designating the Washington Post and CNN as “fake news” and “part of the media wing of the Democratic Party”
is moving through the Tennessee state House of Representatives...

https://www.knoxnews.com/story/opinion/2020/02/21/fake-news-rep-micah-van-huss-w...

__________________________________________________​

Trump threatens to pull the licenses of MSNBC and CNN
1:38 ( https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1230957668677931011 )
- Aaron Rupar @atrupar | 3:49 PM · Feb 21, 2020

49margd
Mar 3, 10:37am

Judd Legum @JuddLegum | 9:17 AM · Mar 3, 2020:
https://twitter.com/JuddLegum/status/1234845263786840074

1. Facebook made THE DAILY CALLER an official fact-checking partner.
That gives The Daily Caller the ability to label anything posted on Facebook as "false information" and dramatically reduce its distribution.
It's now using that power to boost Trump.

2. On Friday, Politico published an article headlined "Trump rallies his base to treat coronavirus as a ‘hoax.’"
The Daily Caller declared this was "false information." If you try to post the article to Facebook, this is what you see.

3. The Daily Caller's fact check claims that Trump referred only to the Democrats' politicization of the coronavirus as a "hoax"
But that's not what Trump said
He said: "This is their new hoax"
The Daily Caller resolves that ambiguity in favor of Trump

4. The Daily Caller justifies its ruling by claiming: "Throughout the speech, Trump reiterates his administration is taking the threat of the coronavirus seriously"
Throughout the speech, Trump minimizes the threat of the coronavirus
Read it yourself

5. The bigger question is why Facebook allows The Daily Caller to make judgments about Politico's reporting.
The Daily Caller has a history of publishing false information.
And it published columns by a white nationalist.

6. The Daily Caller does fact check false claims about Democrats but many of these are framed as clickbait.
For example: FACT CHECK: DOES THIS PHOTO SHOW OBAMA’S COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY ID LISTING HIM AS A ‘FOREIGN STUDENT’?

7. The Daily Caller's fact check operation is funded by the Searle Freedom Trust, a major funder of organizations that push climate disinformation and other right-wing causes

8. The political narrative on Facebook is a BFD. That's why candidates spend millions on Facebook ads
That's why I spend so much time tracking how it deals w/political content
Stay informed. Check out my newsletter, Popular Information

Sign up http://popular.info/subscribe

50margd
Mar 8, 1:48pm

Trump's Surgeon General just refused to tell @jaketapper how many people have been tested.
He said check with CDC, but Tapper noted CDC took that info offline.
Then he said check a transcript of FDA's statement yesterday, but Tapper noted FDA only shared how many kits it sent. /1

Explaining his refusal to say how many had been tested,
the Surgeon General told @jaketapper it changes by the minute.
Yet he said to check a day-old transcript?
Next, this slippery official tried to create a false impression that nobody needing a test has lacked access to one./2

- Walter Shaub @waltshaub | 10:00 AM · Mar 8, 2020

51margd
Mar 9, 7:05am

Twitter flags video retweeted by President Trump as ‘manipulated media’
Cat Zakrzewski | March 8, 2020

...Twitter applied its new “manipulated media” label (a new policy to fight doctored videos and photos) for the first time on Sunday to a deceptively edited video of former vice president Joe Biden. The video was shared by White House social media director Dan Scavino* and retweeted by President Trump.

The video was the first test of a new policy the social media company implemented on March 5 to label tweets that contain manipulated or synthetic media, ranging from edited videos to more sophisticated examples known as “deepfakes” that can fabricate events that never happened.

In this case, the altered video of Biden -- who has surged to the front of the Democratic race to oust Trump in November -- is based on a speech he gave in Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday. It was then shared on Twitter by Scavino, only edited to make it appear as if Biden inadvertently endorsed Trump for reelection.

The version of the video shared by Scavino showed Biden stumbling on a line during a speech, then saying, “Excuse me. We can only re-elect Donald Trump.”

The other man behind Trump’s Twitter account

But the edited video deleted the second part of the former vice president’s sentence. The whole thing said: “Excuse me. We can only reelect Donald Trump if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here. It’s gotta be a positive campaign.”...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/03/08/twitter-flags-video-retweet...

* Trump retweeted another of Scavino's manipulations the other day: Trump/Nero fiddling--Twitter assumed as DC/Rome burned...

52margd
Mar 29, 5:31am

Florida governor blocks Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Times from coronavirus press conference
David Smiley | March 28, 2020

...Mary Ellen Klas, the Herald’s bureau chief for the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times Tallahassee Bureau, said she was refused entry into the Capitol in Tallahassee to attend a press briefing by the governor, lieutenant governor, director of emergency management and state surgeon general regarding COVID-19 testing, access to medicine and efforts to prevent New Yorkers from flying into the state.

On Twitter, Klas said a reporter for the News Service of Florida was told that he would be shut out as well if he insisted that Klas be allowed to cover the press conference in person. She posted a video of Meredith Beatrice, a state spokeswoman, explaining that Klas could view the press conference on a state-sponsored public affairs media service that live streams state government events.

Klas said later in an interview that Beatrice also told her the state was refusing her access into the Capitol because she had requested “social distancing” at the governor’s briefings. Days earlier, Klas asked that the governor’s staff help protect reporters by holding Zoom-style video conference press briefings so that questions could be asked without requiring reporters to gather in close proximity.

The top editors of the Herald, Times, el Nuevo Herald, Bradenton Herald, Palm Beach Post, Orlando Sentinel and South Florida Sun Sentinel made the same request of DeSantis’ office in a March 20 letter. DeSantis’ office did not respond, according to Miami Herald President & Publisher/Executive Editor Aminda Marqués González.

Read more here: https://www.bradenton.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article2415911...

53margd
Mar 29, 5:28pm

The Trump O’Clock Follies
Susan B. Glasser | March 27, 2020

The President’s mendacious nightly press briefings on the coronavirus will go down in history for their monumental flimflammery...

https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-trumps-washington/the-trump-oclock-fo...

54margd
Apr 27, 9:17am

The Deepfakes Are Coming From Inside the White House
Trump’s first use of a manipulated video of his opponent is a test of the boundaries.
David Frum |

...April 26, 2020...at 8:25:50 pm ET, the president retweeted an account he had never retweeted before. The account had posted a video of Vice President Joe Biden, crudely and obviously manipulated to show him twitching his eyebrows and lolling his tongue. The caption read: “Sloppy Joe is trending. I wonder if it's because of this. You can tell it's a deep fake because Jill Biden isn't covering for him.”

Whatever the intentions of the original tweeter—it purports to be the account of a left-wing activist supportive of the candidacy of Bernie Sanders—the Trump retweet looks like an experimental test of the rules of social media. Since earlier this year, Twitter has banned images that have been "significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated," especially if they are likely to cause serious harm in some way. Because the account retweeted by Trump explicitly labels its image a “deep fake,” it arguably does not violate Twitter's anti-deception policy. As of 8:30 this morning, the image remained live on the Twitter site and present on pro-Trump Facebook accounts.

...on April 26 Trump for the first time shared a video that had been outrightly fabricated.

If it works, it may happen again—and in more cunning forms, closer to voting day.

Trump and the Republican Party face a darkening prospect in the 2020 election...

Amid the general disaster, Trump's only hope for reelection is to enflame the resentments and bigotries of his base...

Unlike Hillary Clinton, Biden is not a woman, not a Yale Law graduate, not someone who became wealthy in or after politics. He's a profoundly familiar presence in American life, who has rapidly united the Democratic Party after a primary campaign where the main line of attack on Biden was that he was insufficiently radical. How does an unpopular incumbent who delivered only disasters to the country campaign against that? The answer may be: he doesn't. Instead, the unpopular incumbent may unleash deepfakes that depict an entirely different challenger, and campaign against that fake.

Trump got impeached for trying to extort a foreign government to fabricate his anti-Biden dirt for him. As Trump's situation becomes ever more desperate, Trump may now be driven to do the fabricating in-house.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/trumps-first-deepfake/610750/

55margd
May 8, 9:52am

11 Cognitive Biases That Influence Political Outcomes
Marcus Lu | May 7, 2020

...Cognitive Biases in the Political Arena

With the 2020 U.S. presidential election fast approaching, many people will be glued to the 24-hour news cycle to stay up to date on political developments. Yet, when searching for facts, our own cognitive biases often get in the way.

If this isn’t problematic enough, third parties can also take advantage of these biases to influence our thinking. The media, for example, can exploit our tendency to assign stereotypes to others by only providing catchy, surface-level information. Once established in our minds, these generalizations can be tough to shake off.

Such tactics can have a powerful influence on public opinion if applied consistently to a broad audience. To help us avoid these mental pitfalls, today’s infographic from PredictIt lists common cognitive biases that influence the realm of politics, beginning with the “Big Cs”.

The First C: Confirmation Bias--seeking information that only affirms their pre-existing beliefs
The Second C: Coverage Bias--a form of media bias where certain politicians or topics are disproportionately covered
The Third C: Concision Bias--selectively focus on aspects of information that are easy to get across, omitting more nuanced and delicate views

(see diagram for eight other biases--authority, availability, declinism, framing effect, groupthink, false consensus, halo, Dunning-Kruger)

...Overcoming Our Biases

...remembering these mental pitfalls exist can be a great start—after all, we can’t fix what we don’t know. Individuals concerned about the upcoming presidential election may find it useful to focus their attention on the Big Cs, as these biases can play a significant role in shaping political beliefs. Maintaining an open mindset and diversifying the media sources we follow are two tactics that may act as a hedge.

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/11-cognitive-biases-influence-politics/

56margd
May 13, 6:40pm

Six months to go. The Trump people are going to unleash a blizzard of bullshit,
including selective releases and declassifications and leaks, and
if the media chases every one of these as bombshell,
they're going to end up being a functioning arm of the Trump campaign. Again.

- Tom Nichols @RadioFreeTom4:55 PM · May 13, 2020

57margd
May 17, 9:19am

The fake “Obamagate” scandal shows how Trump hacks the media
He is “flooding the zone with shit.” And it’s working.
Sean Illing | Updated May 17, 2020,

...The end result of so much noise is what I’ve called ‘manufactured nihilism,’ a situation in which people are so skeptical about the possibility of truth that they give up the search...

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/5/16/21258788/obamagate-trump-flynn...

58kiparsky
May 17, 12:01pm

Harry Frankfurt's essay On Bullshit comes to mind. As I recall, his premise is that "bullshit" is distinct from "lying" in that "bullshit" is not simply the assertion of a false fact, but the denigration of the importance of truth itself. The liar pays homage to the truth by trying to impersonate it, while the bullshitter has no interest in truth at all.
I can't place all of the blame for the current bullshit mess we're in on the Anarchist Death Cult and its offshoots (the teabaggers, the White Wing Militias, the gun nuts, etc). There are plenty on the left who also play this game. But in the last thirty years, it's clear that the American Right has been a constant purveyor of the stuff, and now we're approaching Peak Bullshit, where for a substantial portion of the population the very idea of a fact is a controversial notion.

I don't know if there is a way back.

59margd
May 21, 2:55am

The Trump strategy is clear: accuse your opponents of the corrupt acts you’re committing.
Then the media treats their accusations and yours as parallel, and it’s a wash.

Result: you get away with rank corruption.

The strategy is now obvious. Media have to rise above it.

- Ian Bassin @ianbassin | 11:01 PM · May 20, 2020

60margd
May 22, 5:13am

Researchers: Nearly Half Of Accounts Tweeting About Coronavirus Are Likely Bots
Bobby Allyn | May 20, 2020

Researchers culled through more than 200 million tweets discussing the virus since January and found that about 45% were sent by accounts that behave more like computerized robots than humans.

It is too early to say conclusively which individuals or groups are behind the bot accounts, but researchers said the tweets appeared aimed at sowing division in America.

"We do know that it looks like it's a propaganda machine, and it definitely matches the Russian and Chinese playbooks, but it would take a tremendous amount of resources to substantiate that," said Kathleen Carley, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University who is conducting a study into bot-generated coronavirus activity on Twitter that has yet to be published.

...Researchers identified more than 100 false narratives about COVID-19...hospitals being filled with mannequins or tweets that connected the spread of the coronavirus to 5G wireless towers...

...Carley with Carnegie Mellon said countering bot accounts on Twitter is not a simple task. Blocked accounts can resurface, and the disinformation networks are sophisticated and difficult to completely root out.

She offers this advice, though: Look out for subtle typos, for tweets being sent out very quickly, or profile images and usernames that appear suspicious.

"Even if someone appears to be from your community, if you don't know them personally, take a closer look, and always go to authoritative or trusted sources for information," Carley said. "Just be very vigilant."

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/05/20/859814085/resea...

61margd
Jun 3, 5:58pm

The White House's unproven claims on Facebook and Twitter that antifa activists are placing bricks to incite riots have been taken down
Rob Price and Sonam Sheth | 6/3/2020

The White House spread a conspiracy theory that "antifa" activists are placing caches of bricks around cities to incite riots.

There's no evidence for this theory, that has circulated on social media in recent days, and many of the suspicious pallets have been found to have legitimate purposes.

Antifa is also not a single organized group, but is a term that refers to a range of anti-fascist activists with different motivations and methods of protest.

Wile there isn't evidence of antifa-led violence, there have been signs of far-right extremists trying to infiltrate the protests and spark violence.

The posts by the White House also presented a new challenge for Facebook and Twitter, which have struggled with how to properly moderate the president's posts.

A few hours after the posts went up, they disappeared from Facebook and Twitter. It's not clear why...

https://www.businessinsider.com/white-house-conspiracy-facebook-twitter-antifa-b...

62margd
Jun 13, 2:40pm

Fox News runs digitally altered images in coverage of Seattle’s protests, Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone
Jim Brunner | June 12, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Updated June 13, 2020 at 9:58 am
https://www.seattletimes.com/author/jim-brunner/

63margd
Jun 19, 6:31am

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump | 8:12 PM · Jun 18, 2020
Embedded video
1:00 ( https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1273770669214490626 )

(Marked as "Manipulated media" by Twitter)

_____________________________________________

CNN Communications @CNNPR | 10:56 PM · Jun 18, 2020·
CNN did cover this story - exactly as it happened. Just as we reported your positions on race (and poll numbers).
We’ll continue working with facts rather than tweeting fake videos that exploit innocent children.
We invite you to do the same. Be better.

These two toddlers are showing us what real-life besties look like
Two toddlers, one black and one white, saw each other on the streets of New York.
Instantly they both ran to each other to give the biggest hug like true best friends do.
Kendall Trammell | June 19, 2020
https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/10/us/new-york-toddlers-hugging-trnd/index.html

64lriley
Jun 19, 7:48am

#62--it's phony manipulating frighten the base shit like this that dunce Donald was going to send the Army in to take care of. But this is part of what the republican party is about--terrifying their own base with a bunch of nonsense to get them to come out on election day.

65margd
Jun 26, 8:00am

The Law of Classified Information: A Primer
Matthew Kahn | June 25, 2020

...1. What law governs classified information?
Classification law exists in statutes, executive orders and agency regulations...

2. How is information classified?
Executive Order 13526...

The executive order also explicitly prohibits certain inappropriate uses of the classification power. The government may not classify information to “conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;” “prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;” “restrain competition;” or otherwise “prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security.” In other words, a reasonable belief that disclosure of information would at least damage national security interests is the only valid reason to classify information....

3. Who decides whether information is classified?
Executive Order 13526 also specifies who may designate information as originally classified. The order specifies that the president, the vice president, “agency heads and officials,” and officials to whom those officials formally delegate such authority are original classification authorities, sometimes called OCAs...When intelligence products use information that is already classified, those products may be derivatively classified. Derivative classification does not need to be approved by an OCA, but agencies must issue guidelines for derivative classification by their employees...

4. When does information become classified?

5. Who can access classified information?

6. How does the government enforce the classification system?

7. How does all this affect Bolton?
The government’s lawsuit alleges that Bolton published classified information in his book, especially information about the president’s conversations with foreign government leaders, and that he failed to comply with his contractual prepublication requirements. Bolton’s opposition brief, by comparison, argues that he submitted his manuscript to review, that National Security Council senior director Ellen Knight orally approved his manuscript for publication after edits in April, and that the National Security Council subsequently refused to formally clear the book for publication and later asserted that it still contained classified information. Though Judge Lamberth declined to issue an injunction against publishing the book last weekend, his order suggests that the government is likely to succeed on its assertion that Bolton did, in fact, publish information that is classified and that he is in breach of his nondisclosure agreement by failing to comply with the government’s prepublication review, however arduous.

With Lamberth suggesting that the law may not be on Bolton’s side, his defense seems to increasingly depend on what he can prove about the facts of the National Security Council’s classification and review process. The deferential standard of review for classification judgments makes that an uphill battle. What comes next may depend, as Jack Goldsmith and Marty Lederman suggested last week regarding the injunction, on whether at the merits stage Lamberth sees the Bolton case as adequately unusual to probe the basis and intent behind the government’s classification decisions.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/law-classified-information-primer

66proximity1
Edited: Jun 27, 2:29pm

Foresight in
The Time of Trump

_____________________

It turns out that Trump knows some people better than they know themselves--and (LOL!) certainly better than Trump's critics among the press-and-pundits know them:



… “I used to speak frequently to nervous conservatives who were convinced that if we only allowed the left to tear down Confederate war memorials, they would be satisfied. How quickly events have disproved that wishful thinking. From Christopher Columbus,
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the western pioneers, activists are now coming after cartoon sports mascots and college fight songs. Everything—from the core of our country’s history to the values and norms under-girding American culture—must be uprooted to appease the mob." ...
___________________

by Harlan Hill, "Think the ‘Cancel’ Mobs Can’t Get Any Worse? Think Again", 27 June, 2020 | from Real Clear Politics



_______________________
+++++++++++++++
_______________________


"President Trump was roundly mocked and derided for worrying in August 2017 that statue-destroyers would move on from statues of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee to statues of former presidents and founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Major media accused Trump of making inappropriate and even ridiculous comments.

"Fewer than three years later, precisely as President Trump predicted, iconoclastic mobs have moved on from toppling Confederate statues to deface, damage, and destroy statues of and memorials to Admiral David Farragut, abolitionist Matthias Baldwin, American Revolutionary War Gen. Philip Schuyler, a Texas ranger, Commanding Gen. of the Union Army Ulysses S. Grant, Frances Scott Key, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson." ...

____________________

--Mollie Hemingway, June 23, 2020, in The Federalist, Washington, D.C.*
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

* "'The National Monument City,' --Where angry mobs of iconoclasts pretend they're special by defacing public monuments ."

67margd
Jul 6, 4:48pm

As Facebook created a loophole for climate denial groups to spread misinformation by classifying them as opinion,
it has placed restrictions on one of country’s most prominent climate scientists,
@KHayhoe who produces peer-reviewed videos endorsed by noaa
- Scott Waldman @scottpwaldman | 9:51 AM · Jul 6, 2020

Denial expands on Facebook as scientists face restrictions
Scott Waldman | July 6, 2020
Donald Trump and Mark Zuckerberg. Photo credit: Everett Collection/Newscom

(one of the country's most visible climate scientists, Katharine Hayhoe, of Texas Tech University and a lead author of the Fourth National Climate Assessment) says Facebook is restricting her ability to share research and fact-check posts containing climate misinformation.

Those constraints are occuring as groups that reject climate science increasingly use the platform to promote misleading theories about global warming...mischaracterize mainstream research by claiming that reduced consumption of fossil fuels won't help address climate change. Some say the planet and people are benefitting from the rising volume of carbon dioxide that's being released into the atmosphere.

Facebook is an effective way to expand their reach to larger audiences, say members of the groups, which have traditionally been tied to conservative media outlets. In recent weeks, tens of thousands of people have been exposed to misleading and false claims about rising temperatures, according to an E&E News analysis.

Now, Facebook appears to be weakening a firewall it has built to fact-check such climate denialism. The company recently overruled a fact-check from a group of climate scientists, in a move that concerns researchers about a potentially new precedent by the platform that permits inaccurate claims to be promoted if they're labeled as opinions.

...(Kayhoe) has been blocked from promoting videos related to climate research, a move that has limited her efforts to refute false claims.

Facebook has previously identified Hayhoe's educational climate videos as "political." As a result, they are categorized by the platform as a social issue that requires Hayhoe to register them by in part providing personal information that she fears could expose her to personal attacks...

https://www.eenews.net/stories/1063511857

68margd
Jul 6, 5:10pm

Climate Denial Spreads on Facebook as Scientists Face Restrictions
The company recently overruled its scientific fact-checking group, which had flagged information as misleading
Scott Waldman, E&E News on July 6, 2020

...Facebook appears to be weakening a firewall it has built to fact-check such climate denialism. The company recently overruled a fact-check from a group of climate scientists, in a move that concerns researchers about a potentially new precedent by the platform that permits inaccurate claims to be promoted if they’re labeled as opinions.

At the same time, Facebook has placed restrictions on one of the country’s most visible climate scientists, Katharine Hayhoe, of Texas Tech University and a lead author of the Fourth National Climate Assessment. She has been blocked from promoting videos related to climate research, a move that has limited her efforts to refute false claims.

Facebook has previously identified Hayhoe’s educational climate videos as “political.” As a result, they are categorized by the platform as a social issue that requires Hayhoe to register them by in part providing personal information that she fears could expose her to personal attacks...

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-denial-spreads-on-facebook-as...

69margd
Jul 13, 4:47am

Top Experts: DOJ’s Bureau of Prison Blocking Michael Cohen Book about Trump Violates First Amendment
Ryan Goodman | July 11, 2020
https://www.justsecurity.org/71370/top-experts-bureau-of-prisons-blocking-michae...
_______________________________________________

Ryan Goodman (former special counsel, DoD) | 7/11/2020:

Thinking about the rule of law?
You maybe thought Michael Cohen was returned to prison for dining out.
Looks like he was reimprisoned for refusing to stop publishing a book about Trump.
I asked top #FirstAmendment experts for their views.

Top Experts: DOJ's Bureau of Prison Blocking Michael Cohen Book about Trump Violates First Amendment
On Thursday morning, Michael Cohen, the president’s former lawyer and fixer, was returned to prison. Many readers like myself may have passed over the headlines of this particular event thinking it w…
https://www.justsecurity.org/71370/top-experts-bureau-of-prisons-blocking-michae...

2. I'll highlight some of the experts' views in this thread.
But first here's the NYT coverage of what happened and the agreement Cohen was asked to sign.

Text of the agreement: https://www.justsecurity.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Michael-Cohen-RRC-Failur...

(@maggieNYT @WRashbaum @nicole_hong reporting)
Michael Cohen Returned to Jail in Dispute Over Trump Book
President Trump’s former personal lawyer balked at signing an agreement not to publish a book while serving his sentence at home, his legal adviser said.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/09/nyregion/michael-cohen-arrested.html

3. A foremost First Amendment scholar @stone_geoffrey (UChicago):
"clearly designed to suppress expression the gov't disapproves of and definitely does not further an important or substantial gov't interest related to Cohen's incarceration. It is thus patently unconstitutional"

4. @ACLU's Vera Eidelman:
"This restriction is almost certainly unconstitutional."
"Even if this were analyzed under the less speech-protective doctrine that applies to individuals who are currently incarcerated, it would almost certainly fail."

5. @JameelJaffer, Exec Director @knightcolumbia, Exec Editor @just_security:
"I don’t see how a prior restraint like this can be squared with First Amendment...This gag order is to suppress speech about the president, which is speech at the core of the First Amendment’s concern"

6. Professor Burt Neuborne (@nyulaw):
"a flat ban on a federal prisoner writing a book or article is, in my opinion, indefensible. This is just another Trump NDA"

7. Laura R. Handman:
"a profound affront to the First Amendment … all the more so when the content of what he would share would likely be … information that is particularly vital to an informed public as they decide whether the President merits re-election.”

8. Professor Jane Kirtley (@UMN_HSJMC @SilhaCenter @UofMNLawSchool):
“This is a prior restraint, pure and simple, and not only violates Cohen's rights, but also the right of the public to learn what he has to say.”

9. Prof. Roy Gutterman was more mixed in his assessment. Rather than excerpt or characterize his views, they're below.
The extensive comments from all experts are reproduced in full in the @just_security article at the start of this thread ( https://www.justsecurity.org/71370/top-experts-bureau-of-prisons-blocking-michae... ).

And one final, important point...
10/10 I asked @DavidCFathi, Director @ACLU National Prison Project how standard is the agreement Michael Cohen was asked to sign. His reply:
“I have never heard of such a spectacularly overbroad restriction on speech as a condition of probation or supervised release.”

702wonderY
Jul 13, 6:04am

>69 margd: The DOJ action against Cohen is the scariest story yet about first amendment rights curtailment by this administration. It’s not getting the outrage it deserves. I worry for Cohen’s safety in custody.

71Molly3028
Edited: Jul 13, 10:34pm

https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/celebrities/2020/07/13/tucker-carls...

Carlson lives in an elite man's bubble. He believes investigators
should feel bad about outing someone who has spent about 50%
of his adult life harassing people and spewing hate on the
Internet. TC is talking like a rich dad making excuses for his
wayward boy. Tucker has the same stripes as the guy who
resigned.

If FOX News can increase its viewership numbers by offering
White Nationalists full hours of prime-time programming, the
Murdochs are apparently all in. Being the gathering place for
people with zip between their ears and resentment-itis is FOX's
prime-time specialty.

72proximity1
Jul 15, 7:27am


More fucking bullshit from people who learned nothing since the "Steele-dossier" fiacsco or, A View to "Anti-Trump bullshit from Anti-Trump morons, 'in the time of Trump' "



Did the Times Print an Urban Legend? | By Michael Brendan Dougherty | July 14, 2020 3:20 PM

_____________________

... "In fact, the story seems to have changed several times since publication, in order to salvage the Times’s own credibility. The story has been transformed, edit by edit, from one of a man who died by taking a foolish risk in which the doctor was the only source, to a story about the questionable claim a doctor is making. There are no editor’s notes on it documenting the changes in the published story and the huge tonal shift from credulousness to skepticism." ...

73bohemima
Edited: Jul 16, 4:49pm

(sarcasm) >72 proximity1: I love your intelligent, witty, thoughtful, and productive remarks in this post. (/sarcasm)

74margd
Jul 21, 7:46am

>69 margd: >70 2wonderY: Michael Cohen, contd.

Michael Cohen sues Attorney General William Barr for retaliation in latest attempt to get out of prison
Kara Scannell | July 20, 2020

New York (CNN)Lawyers for Michael Cohen filed a petition seeking his immediate release from prison, alleging that President Donald Trump's former personal attorney was taken back into custody because of a tell-all book he is writing about his years as the President's fixer.

In a court filing late Monday against the Attorney General William Barr, the head of the Bureau of Prisons and the warden at the Otisville, New York, federal prison, Cohen's attorneys alleged that the Justice Department retaliated against Cohen for writing a book about the years he worked for Trump, violating his First Amendment right to free speech. The American Civil Liberties Union joined Cohen In the lawsuit.

"The First Amendment forbids Respondent from imprisoning Mr. Cohen in retaliation for drafting a book about the President and for seeking to publish that book soon," Cohen's lawyers wrote in the court filing. "The government's effort to exercise prior restraint over Mr. Cohen's book is only the latest in the Trump Administration's efforts to censor speech that reflects negatively on Trump himself or his Administration"...

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/20/politics/michael-cohen-lawsuit-william-barr/index...

752wonderY
Edited: Jul 24, 2:47pm

>74 margd:

And the federal judge made the right call, thank the Lord.

And then, from the Daily Beast:

Feds say they sent Michael Cohen back to prison because he was a pain in the ass.

**Well! I can pull up the story but it blanks out now. It's a factual story, just with a DB interpretation to it.**

76margd
Jul 29, 8:15am

Russian Intelligence Agencies Push Disinformation on Pandemic
Julian E. Barnes and David E. Sanger | July 28, 2020. Updated July 29, 2020

Declassified U.S. intelligence accuses Moscow of pushing propaganda through alternative websites as Russia refines techniques used in 2016.

....From late May to early July, about 150 articles on the pandemic were published by the Russian intelligence-backed effort, American officials said.

OneWorld published pieces about how the pandemic was an experiment in manipulating the world. InfoRos, as well as the Tass news agency, published an article that said the United States was using the pandemic to impose its view of the world, according to American officials. InfoBrics.org published reports about Beijing’s contention that the coronavirus was originally an American biological weapon.

While the specific sites may not receive much traffic, American officials believe the disinformation written by Russian military intelligence is amplified, sometimes intentionally, sometimes unwittingly...

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/28/us/politics/russia-disinformation-coronavirus...

77Molly3028
Edited: Jul 31, 6:51am

Tucker Carlson Calls Barack Obama a ‘Greasy Politician’ Who ‘Desecrated’ John Lewis’ Funeral

Tucker Carlson's rant about Obama's eulogy for Lewis was
exactly what you would expect to hear from a White
Nationalist and/or White Supremacist. His rant is exactly
the type of rant the hate-filled, resentment-filled FOX viewers
yearn to hear on a daily basis. Murdoch's money-making
business model makes David Duke and his ilk very happy, too.

78proximity1
Jul 31, 7:20am



>73 bohemima:

..."I love you(...)

I know, right?

intelligent,"...

I know, right?

" witty,"

I know, right?

"thoughtful,"

I know, right?

"and productive remarks"

I know, right?

LOL!

79Cubby.R.S.
Jul 31, 8:48am

Trump Twitter account 84.4 Million followers
Biden Twitter account - Library Thing Leftists

Good thing too, the more people listen to Joe, the more people realize what a waste of time he is.

80margd
Aug 1, 5:53am

With Trump banning TikTok, we would like to remind you that silencing the media is always how it starts.
- Really American @ReallyAmerican1 | 1:42 AM · Aug 1, 2020

1:40 ( https://twitter.com/ReallyAmerican1/status/1289436356901363713 )
Enemy Of The People
From Really American

81Cubby.R.S.
Aug 1, 5:12pm

>80 margd:

Okay. Freaking ridiculous.

82margd
Aug 11, 3:30am

Don Winslow donwinslow | 5:05 PM · Aug 10, 2020:

Dear White House Press Correspondents, (@whca )
Thank you for the very difficult job you do every day.
I understand Trump is having another press conference today.
Here's my new short video to prepare. #InterruptTrump

#InterruptTrump
1:16 ( https://twitter.com/donwinslow/status/1292930084622368768 )

83margd
Aug 11, 3:34am

I (still) believe the president, and in the president
George T. Conway III | August 10, 2020
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/08/10/i-still-believe-president-pre...

84margd
Aug 20, 4:34pm

Trump asks Supreme Court to let him block critics on Twitter
John Kruzel - 08/20/20

The Trump administration on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling that found President Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking his critics on Twitter.

The lawsuit arose in 2017 after Trump’s social media account blocked seven people who had tweeted criticism of the president in comment threads linked to his @realDonaldTrump Twitter handle.

Lower federal courts found that Trump’s twitter account, where he often weighs in on official matters, constitutes a public forum and that blocking his detractors violated their constitutional free speech protections.

In its Thursday petition to the Supreme Court, attorneys for the Justice Department (DOJ) urged the justices to overturn a unanimous ruling from a three-judge panel of the New York-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit against Trump.

The DOJ argued that the appeals court had erred by finding Trump’s Twitter account to be a public forum, and failed to adequately recognize that much of Trump’s social media posts constitute private rather than governmental speech...

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/512938-trump-asks-supreme-court-to-l...

852wonderY
Sep 15, 9:14am

Another example of shoddy work, or a subliminal message?

Trump ad asks people to support the troops. But it uses a picture of Russian jets.

After this story was published, the creator of the image, Arthur Zakirov, confirmed in a Facebook message that it shows a 3D model of a MiG-29, and that the soldiers were Russian models. He said it was a composite photo created five years ago and taken in three different countries showing Russian sky, Greek mountains and French ground.

“This is a completely recreated scene from various photographs of mine,” said Zakirov, a 34-year-old oil company analyst and hobbyist photographer based in the Russian city of Perm, about 700 miles east of Moscow.

86margd
Oct 7, 9:13am

House Democrats back antitrust overhaul of Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple
Republicans refuse to join in report, instead say focus should be on Big Tech’s bias against conservatives
Dean DeChiaro | October 6, 2020 at 6:33pm

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee said Tuesday that Congress should consider forcing Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook, some of the country’s largest and most successful technology companies, to separate key sections of their business empires to reduce alleged market dominance.

A staff report and recommendations released by the committee’s majority — led by Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., who chairs the antitrust subcommittee — said all four companies maintain monopolies in their unique markets: Amazon in its third-party seller market, Google in online search and advertising, Apple in software distribution on mobile devices and Facebook in social networking.

“By controlling access to markets, these giants can pick winners and losers throughout our economy,” Nadler wrote in a foreword to the report. “They not only wield tremendous power, but they also abuse it by charging exorbitant fees, imposing oppressive contract terms, and extracting valuable data from the people and businesses that rely on them.

...In addition to the prospect of forcing the companies to separate their businesses to prohibit them from exerting their market dominance in competition with “firms dependent on their infrastructure,” the report said Congress should limit the markets in which the companies could do business.

The report found that the federal agencies tasked with enforcing antitrust laws, the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, had failed to properly regulate the companies as they experienced meteoric growth by buying up smaller competitors in the past two decades. And the report said that federal courts at the same time had weakened existing statutes to benefit businesses and had enforced only a price-based consumer welfare standard that the report called outdated.

To counter those trends, the report recommended that Congress reinvigorate its own antitrust enforcement and overhaul existing laws, including the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 and the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, to account for the rise of monopolies in the digital marketplace, where services, like those provided by the four companies, are often free to use.

The report — 450 pages long, with more than 2,500 footnotes — and the recommendations constitute a stunning rebuke of Silicon Valley by Democratic antitrust hawks in the nation’s capital whose concern over market dominance in the technology sector has grown since the 2016 presidential election.

Its release marked the culmination of a 16-month investigation by the committee that sought to determine whether Big Tech companies had grown powerful enough to be considered monopolies, and whether 20th-century antitrust laws, meant to ensure competition and protect consumers, remain adequate tools for regulating the 21st century’s rapidly growing technology sector.

And though the investigation, which began last March, was bipartisan, the report only bore the names of House Democrats and their staffers. In the course of the investigation, Republicans questioned technology executives on a host of issues unrelated to antitrust, including allegations of anti-conservative bias and censorship of conservative voices online.

...Later on Tuesday, (Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the Judiciary Committee’s ranking member) and other committee Republicans released a second report detailing their grievances (anti-conservative bias in Big Tech).

A third report released by Colorado Rep. Ken Buck and other Republicans on the committee, including Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, a former ranking member who preceded Jordan, sought to strike a balance between the Democratic report and Jordan’s by agreeing that the companies had engaged in anti-competitive conduct but not supporting all of the Democratic overhaul proposals..."I would rather see targeted antitrust enforcement over onerous and burdensome regulation that kills industry innovation.”...

https://www.rollcall.com/2020/10/06/house-democrats-back-antitrust-overhaul-of-g...

87margd
Oct 16, 10:13am

Matt Grossmann (poli sci MSU)@MattGrossmann | 8:13 AM · Oct 16, 2020:
Biden ads have grown increasingly positive, with ads far less negative than Hillary or Obama.
He has consistently focused on COVID & health care, with the economy & jobs also central
https://mediaproject.wesleyan.edu/releases-101520/ *
Image ( https://twitter.com/MattGrossmann/status/1317076307071696903/photo/1 )**

Meanwhile, Trump ad campaign has been inconsistent.
He moved from a singular focus on crime & riots in the summer to momentarily emphasizing immigration to now focusing on the economy.
He has alternated between running a traditional incumbent race & trying to re-run 2016
Image ( https://twitter.com/MattGrossmann/status/1317077244771258371/photo/1 )

Robert John Van Orden @OrdenRobert | 9:28 AM · Oct 16, 2020:
It's a huge help having the Lincoln Project do his dirty work for him.

John Day Apgar @johndayapgar · 1h:
Comparing the top two charts is a bit misleading because the “Volume of Airings” axes are not the same. I was wondering where Biden’s large financial advantage went but seems like it would be clearer if the axes matched.

schoopy schoop @ifollowonlyos | 8:20 AM · Oct 16, 2020:
I mean isn't some of that because Biden pulled all negative ads right at the beginning of the month when Trump got Covid? Seems like an important explaining detail...

John Smith @GOP_U | 8:21 AM · Oct 16, 2020:
When your opponent’s negatives are so high you can spend more time running positive ads.

--------------------------------------------------​

*Biden Continues to Dominate Advertising
Wesleyan Media Project | October 15, 2020
https://mediaproject.wesleyan.edu/releases-101520/

88margd
Oct 18, 7:20am

Your Technology Is Tracking You. Take These Steps For Better Online Privacy
Laurel Wamsley | October 13, 202012:03 AM ET

...6. Turn off ad personalization.

Whenever possible, Mitchell recommends going into your settings and turning off ad personalization, which often gives companies permission to do invasive tracking.
Opting Out Of Ad Personalization On Some Major Platforms

Google and Android
Here's a link to limit ad personalization on Google and Android. https://support.google.com/ads/answer/2662856?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid&hl...

Apple
This page shows you how to opt out of ad personalization on Apple. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202074
As of this writing, it hasn't been updated for iOS 14. If you have updated to iOS 14, go to Settings > Privacy > Apple Advertising > turn off Personalized Ads.

Facebook
On this page, you can go to the ad settings tab and toggle the settings to not allowed. https://www.facebook.com/adpreferences/advertisers/?entry_product=ad_settings_sc...
This page has steps to disconnect your activity off Facebook that is shared with Facebook, and clear that history. https://www.facebook.com/help/287199741901674?helpref=faq_content
On the Off-Facebook activity page, under What You Can Do, you can click on More Options > Manage Future Activity > and toggle it to off. https://www.facebook.com/off_facebook_activity (This page has those steps. https://www.facebook.com/help/1224342157705160?helpref=faq_content)

Twitter
This page explains how to opt out of ad personalization. https://help.twitter.com/en/safety-and-security/privacy-controls-for-tailored-ad...

He also recommends going to myactivity.google.com and deleting everything you can. On the left, there's a tab that says "Delete activity by." Select "All time." On your My Google Activity page, you can turn off Web & App Activity, Location History and YouTube History.

"It will show you every search term and everything you've ever done, every YouTube video you've ever looked at, all that stuff," he says. "It'll say, are you sure you want to delete this? 'Cause if you delete this, it might affect some stuff." Mitchell says: Delete it...

https://www.npr.org/2020/10/09/922262686/your-technology-is-tracking-you-take-th...