“Identity politics presupposes an ever more powerful state to mediate relations between all these different identity groups.”
“Identity politics presupposes an ever more powerful state to mediate relations between all these different identity groups.”
This is via AP and found in Campus Review: A third of online election news in Sweden ‘junk’: English study. No idea how well those people at Oxford speak Swedish, but this is a very strange story. How would they really know if the information provided was actually “mis-leading” and even more difficult to know, whether these non-factually accurate and biased reports were “deliberate” attempts to mislead? The one certainty, however, is the wish to prevent specific news stories from being read.
One in three news articles shared online about the upcoming Swedish election come from websites publishing deliberately misleading information, most with a right-wing focus on immigration and Islam, Oxford University researchers say.
Their study, published on Thursday, points to widespread online disinformation in the final stages of a tightly contested campaign that could mark a lurch to the right in one of Europe’s most prominent liberal democracies.
The authors, from the Oxford Internet Institute, labelled certain websites junk news, based on a range of detailed criteria. Reuters found the three most popular sites they identified have employed former members of the Sweden Democrats party; one has a former MP listed among its staff.
It was not clear whether the sharing of junk news had affected voting intentions in Sweden, but the study helps show the impact platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have on elections, and how domestic or foreign groups can use them to exacerbate sensitive social and political issues.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, whose centre-left Social Democrats have dominated politics since 1914 but are now unlikely to secure a ruling majority, told Reuters the spread of false or distorted information online risked shaking “the foundations of democracy” if left unchecked.
The Institute, a department of Oxford University, analysed 275,000 tweets about the Swedish election from a 10-day period in August. It counted articles shared from websites it identified as junk news sources, defined as outlets that “deliberately publish misleading, deceptive or incorrect information purporting to be real news”.
“Roughly speaking, for every two professional content articles shared, one junk news article was shared. Junk news therefore constituted a significant part of the conversation around the Swedish general election,” it said.
A Twitter spokesman declined to comment on the results of the study.
Facebook, where interactions between users are harder to track, said it was working with Swedish officials to help voters spot disinformation. It has also partnered with Viralgranskaren – an arm of Sweden’s Metro newspaper – to identify, demote and counterbalance junk news on its site.
Joakim Wallerstein, head of communications for the Sweden Democrats, said he had no knowledge of or interest in the party sympathies of media outlets. Asked to comment on his party’s relationship with the sites identified by the study, he said he had been interviewed by one of them once.
“I think it is strange that a foreign institute is trying to label various news outlets in Sweden as junk news and release such a report in connection to an election,” he said.
Swedish security officials say there is currently no evidence of a coordinated online attempt by foreign powers to sway the September 9 vote, despite repeated government warnings about the threat.
What could “foreign powers” do that they were not doing themselves. The deep state exists everywhere.
I tried to open the following article on twitter via my mobile phone – Details of Ocasio-Cortez’s Ties To George Soros Revealed – and this is what came up:
Warning: this link may be unsafe
The link you are trying to access has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful or associated with a violation of Twitter’s Terms of Service. This link could lead to a site that:
- steals your password or other personal information
- installs malicious software programs on your computer
- collects your personal information for spam purposes
- has been associated with a violation of Twitter’s Terms of Service
Learn more about unsafe links
Ignore this warning and continue
I get something similar when I try to open up links to Rush Limbaugh.
Twitter, with 100% certainty, was not worried that my password would be stolen, that malicious software would be installed, or that personal information was being collected for spam purposes. They just wished to deter me from going to the website and reading the article that had been posted.
If they are a common carrier, any and all of this should be seen as an infringement of our right to free speech. Same again for Facebook, Google and any other purveyor of personal views. The phone company cannot decide whether to connect me to someone else based on their judgment over whether I should be allowed hear what other want to say to me or what I have to say to others. Same again that a common carrier should just carry and not offer their judgements.
If it is not illegal to say it, then it should be illegal for them to prevent someone from saying whatever it is.
All that then comes with this: Facebook has TRUST ratings for users – but it won’t tell you your score.
Earlier this year, Facebook admitted it was rolling out trust ratings for media outlets.
This involved ranking news websites based on the quality of the news they were reporting.
This rating would then be used to decide which posts should be promoted higher in users’ News Feeds.
It’s not clear exactly what users’ ratings are for, but it’s possible they may be used in a similar way.
But Facebook hasn’t revealed exactly how ratings are decided, or whether all users have a rating.
You’ll just have to trust them.
Your choices are being limited by people on the left side of the political spectrum who prevent you from hearing alternative points of view because you might think these other views are actually correct. If they thought you would never agree with them, they would not try to stop you from hearing what these other points of view are.
It is an astonishing arrogance that Google, twittwr, Facebook, and other forms of social media – the “they” in the heading – believe they have the right and the duty to keep you from hearing other people’s opinions.
Open debate is the only defence against wrong opinion. Google stops you from hearing the truth at least some of the time, and perhaps as much as half the time. We should not put up with it. Totalitarians keep you from hearing other opinions that they do not agree with. Their aim is to take your freedom from you as best they can by preventing you from hearing opinions they do not think you should be allowed to find out.
Funny enough, you can find both Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto on Google, as you should. You just can’t find all of the videos from PraegerU,
On the off chance you think the generations coming through to replace us are in some sense onside with the notion of free speech and an open society, then watch this video. As they discuss, argument from the left is reduced to ad hominem forms of personal attack. Since everything is socially constructed everything must be socially deconstructed. White males believe what they believe because it is in their personal interests to believe it. Therefore, nothing white males have to say has the slightest value so far as understanding the world is concerned. Non-white, non-males have the answers and are the only ones anyone should pay attention to, all the more so since truth is relative and never absolute.
In the video, Mark Steyn talks to Lindsay Shepherd, the Teaching Assistant at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada who became internet famous at the end of 2017, when three members of the WLU faculty attempted to destroy her life for having shown a short Jordan Peterson public television clip to her students. She had, however, recorded her interview and then released the recording to the media which stopped them in their tracks, and has, in fact, made her famous. Articulate beyond her years, a product of the modern left though she is, she is a bridge between us and the millennial generation. She describes herself as “the most left-wing member of her family”.
Here as well is the original recording of Lindsay’s inquisition by the faculty at Wilfred Laurier, worth every minute of the 43 minutes it takes to listen to it through.
Peterson’s command of facts, deep understanding of human nature and group behaviour, and wealth of experience with people in need is a reality the SJWs and post modernists cannot deal with. And it rings true to those who listen to him. And gives them something real to anchor too.
So there is hope, as faint as it may well be.
The Mark Steyn interview comes via Expression, Identity, and the Corruption of the Academy.
This is a twitter stream on Big Brother and Protecting Elections which really is not just funny but also relevant and serious.
And speaking of Facebook, let me also mention this: Mark Zuckerberg’s Fake News Problem Isn’t Going Away. From which:
In early September, Facebook disclosed that it sold $100,000 in political ads during the 2016 election to buyers who it later learned were connected to the Russian government. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Mark Warner of Virginia, the most senior Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, have said they’re considering holding a hearing, in which case Zuckerberg could be asked to testify.
Meanwhile, special counsel Robert Mueller has made Facebook a focus of his investigation into collusion between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s campaign. A company official says it’s “in regular contact with members and staff on the Hill” and has “had numerous meetings over the course of many months” with Warner. On Sept. 21, Zuckerberg said the company would turn over the ads to Congress and would do more to limit interference in elections in the future. Facebook acknowledges that it has already turned over records to Mueller, which suggests, first, that the special counsel had a search warrant and, second, that Mueller believes something criminal happened on Zuckerberg’s platform. . . .
On Sept. 14, ProPublica reported that it had managed to purchase ads targeted at users who’d listed interests such as “Jew hater” and “How to burn Jews.”
Well they’ve stopped that now, but only after it was pointed out to them. Every new technology not only changes the way people find things out but also what things they find out. I am therefore a free speech absolutist which is why we should make it illegal for Facebook or Twitter and other platforms of the same kind to prevent people from saying things there that are perfectly legal to say anywhere else.
I wrote a while ago about being in need of some urgent advice in regard to a high school friend who I was then about to visit who continually sends me anti-Trump material from CNN etc. He is a two-times-over legal migrant, first from the Hungarian workers’ paradise to Canada in 1956, and then second from the Canadian workers’ paradise to not just the workers’ paradise of California, but to Silicon Valley itself in the early 1970s. There he ran his own business enterprise where he would sack willy nilly any excess staff at the mere hint of a downturn in demand but has been successful enough to end up in a $US5 million dollar home, his and hers Mercedes, a Mercedes van so that he can take his sailboard to the coast, not to mention his Porsche which he didn’t actually register for a number of years so that he could evade speed limits on the highways as he powered his way down the road. That is, he is an average and utterly normal member of the Democratic Party. And now he has sent me this which I will share with you in full with no edits: A Trump meltdown for the ages. From CNN, of course, from which everything below the line is found and with nothing left out.
It was like watching a human Twitter feed.
THE VIDEO OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE: Prompted by OldOzzie, here is the press conference so you can see it for yourself.
His infrastructure statement is pretty good as well!
That letting everyone have their say on any matter of public importance is so evident as the best way to manage differences within a community was never better seen than in the last few days. In my view, there are very few really good liars around, with the Clintons and Obama among the best there is (and even they need the help of the even more mendacious media). Mostly, however, people say what they think, even when they are trying to shape their beliefs into a form that others will find acceptable. So with this in mind, I hope I may be permitted to put in a good word for Australia’s Grand Mufti. This is the press release that got him into such hot water.
First, he didn’t write it. Someone else wrote the first draft and then it was gone over by others until they were satisfied that it said what they wanted said. If you can read what it says, you can see which side those who wrote it are on. Why shouldn’t they be on their own side? They mourn the loss of innocent lives rather than actively condemning the attacks. Such is as it is. What is important is for us to understand what they believe. Their plain speaking has set everything straight. Whether the knowledge we have has any practical value is something else again, but at least we know.
Or take Waleed Aly and his own reaction. All you need is love, apparently:
“If you are a member of Parliament or a has-been member of Parliament [who do you suppose he means by this?] preaching hate [and who’s doing that?] at a time when what we actually need is more love — you are helping ISIL. They have told us that. [Who is “they” and when did they tell us?] If you are a Muslim leader telling your community they have no place here [and who has told them that?] or basically them saying the same thing — you are helping ISIL.
It’s our fault and not theirs. We may think the killers in Paris are savages but he thinks they were provoked, and if we condemn their actions, we are playing into ISIS’s hands. I don’t think so but that’s not the point. The value in hearing it is that you start to understand who and what we are up against. They do not condemn these attacks in anything more than a perfunctory way, since they see themselves as more sinned against than sinning. You may not think so, and I may not think so, but many of them do think so, and that’s what letting them say their piece allows us to understand.
Those exertions of natural liberty of a few individuals, which might endanger the security of the whole society, are, and ought to be, restrained by the laws of all governments.
Adam Smith (1776)
I think of myself as a free speech absolutist. There is no point of view that is not open for debate and all perspectives are invited to join. Jews are descended from apes and pigs. Well, that’s one way of looking at things. Jews are murderers of Gazan children and use their blood to make matzohs. Speak the truth as you see it. There was no holocaust but if there were one we would do it right this time round. Interesting, please tell me more.
As you may imagine, I am disgusted and outraged by each of these but the principle is more important than the abuse that some make of the principle. Public discourse is very dangerous, but beliefs that cannot be challenged in public debate is where the greatest dangers lie. Bring them out into the light. Go on, discredit yourself, because if there comes a time when saying such things in public does not make you a social leper, then things have already gone too far. Your rabid, racist, repulsive views are genuinely useful information for the rest of us. It requires judgement to know what can and cannot be said in public without consequence, but there should be nothing to stop you from saying what you want.
But racist rants in public amongst strangers, people abused on the streets by others they do not know, are out of bounds in a civilised community. It is just not on, rightly illegal. In the workplace or amongst those known to each other it becomes trickier but I side, with a heavy heart, on the side that this is just one of those things up with which we must put. But I also understand those who take a different view.
Ordinary people are not political philosophers. They are not social theorists who have read, absorbed and contemplated the arguments of John Stuart Mill. They are not people who are immune to abuse for their religion, skin colour, gender or anything else. Most people are prepared to debate all issues but they are not prepared to have to deal with some idiot shouting abuse at them on the street or where they work.
If the government cannot distinguish between free speech in a civilised community and a racist rant individually one-on-one in a public place, then it should not have gotten into this debate in the first place. And had they made this distinction, they could have presented their aim in terms of doing something positive, that being stopping racists rather than protecting the rights of bigots. What a loser argument that was! Why didn’t the government show they were providing something that will aid comity in the community, not taking something useful away. I fear by not thinking this through, they have damaged the cause of free speech in this country.