Former Facebook staff suggest Facebook used own platform for propaganda

Ninety percent of the team identified as liberal, including the copy editors, who essentially had the final approval on topics. If a source came up that may have been less credible to a liberal reviewer — like Breitbart or another publication like that — it would require more extensive secondary sourcing. However, if there was an article that came from a more liberal-slanted publication, it was essentially given less critique and was a more viable topic from the get-go.

Source: Confessions of an ex-Facebook trending news curator: ‘They are just going to get rid of the product altogether’ – Digiday

May 2016 report suggested that Facebook’s trending news section was “curated” to censor certain viewpoints.

As this blog notes, many people use FB for the purpose of disseminating propaganda, usually related to government political and policy issues.

Several groups discovered they can use social media platforms to disseminate propaganda posters that elicit quick emotional responses – which are widely shared. Many encourage a click through – to a separate web site that runs ads, turning propaganda into a profitable business activity.

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Some speech is more equal than others

“Throughout the document, OSJI’s position appears to be that private actors on the internet must be brought under international control in order to prevent them from suppressing each other’s freedom of expression and speech.”

SorosInternet1-768x82

Open Society Justice Initiative Proposed 2014 Strategy/DCLeaks

Source: Leaked Soros Document Calls For Regulating Internet To Favor ‘Open Society’ Supporters Via @dailycaller

Propaganda is all about influencing – or controlling – the media. This blog has shown how social media has become a frictionless conduit for the dissemination of propaganda.

George Soros’ organization proposes controlling those who publish on the Internet – in order to protect free speech. Which seems to be saying that all speech is equal and free but some speech is more equal and free than other speech.

Social media poster that is true

14079843_1023772804396420_1113887353355804998_nTL; DR Summary

  • Social media propaganda poster says “Never forget the fact Adolf Hitler was Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year” in 1938. Moral of the Story: Mainstream media is not always reliable.
  • Surprisingly, Adolf Hitler was Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1938, as documented by Time.com.
  • This poster is effective because of its simplicity. Simple messaging is always most effective as compared to lengthy, detailed or difficult to comprehend messages.

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Political polls

Political polls are often a form of propaganda messaging. However, the propaganda connection is not the purpose of this post.

UPDATE Nov 10 2016: The campaign polls were severely wrong, so wrong that they might have been part of propaganda messaging – or their failure may result from the pollsters and media being off in their own worlds, out-of-touch with real people. In essence, the pollsters and media may have become the “elite” that view the rest of the country as the “unwashed masses”.

I found these poll results interesting:

  • Trump: 56% of voters say they would feel afraid, 48% would have feelings of regret, 22% would be proud and 26% excited if Trump is elected President.
  • Clinton: 48% would feel afraid, 46% regretful, 27% proud and 26% excited if Clinton is elected President.
  • Trump: 47% of his supporters think he’s not civil, 39% say he’s not really likable, and 31% say he’s not qualified.
  • Clinton: One third of her supporters say she is not likable, and half consider her slightly or entirely dishonest.

Source: (AP) Fear Factor: Americans scared of their presidential options

While Trump does a fabulous job of insulting so many with inane and stupid comments, the DNC shoots itself in the head.  The Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, the CEO, the CFO and their director of public relations, all resigned in early August due to their colluding to rig the primaries to crown Clinton as the nominee, subverting democracy, calling Hispanics “taco bowls” and proposing to attack Sanders for his religion. 2 weeks later, the DNC’s national finance director also resigned for his role in the DNC’s ethics scandal.

Update Nov 10 2016: The replacement DNC Chairwoman, Donna Brazille was found to have provided debate questions with Sanders and Clinton, prior to debates. Brazille then lied about having done so. She was fired by CNN.

We end up with a slate of candidates that, per the above poll, everyone dislikes, resulting in 3/4th of voters selecting a candidate not on the merits of the candidate but because they are voting against the other candidate!

A lack of ethics and corruption is endemic in major political parties. Yet I see party enthusiasts – of both parties – bashing “the other party” as dishonest, ethically bankrupt and corrupt – while apparently blinded and unable to see or acknowledge the same problems in their own party. Pot calling the kettle black kind of stuff.

Social media is filled with party enthusiast posts from both major parties, each pointing out the moral and ethical corruption of the other party. This is pure propaganda, albeit, from non-experts in propaganda. But the echo chamber effect of social media is that such inane commentary goes unchallenged – resulting in each side digging in their heels even further, refusing to budge, refusing to acknowledge that may be their own side is just as ethically messed up as the other.

Social media and its negative impact on productivity

High tech ought to be driving our economy forward, but as the linked article highlights, our productivity improvements and job opportunities are not nearly as great as past industrial advances. Why is that? Much of today’s tech industry is “social media” and:

One reason [for a productivity slowdown] may be the nature of “social media,” which is largely a replacement for technology that already exists, or in many cases, is simply a diversion, even a source of time-wasting addiction for many. Having millions of millennials spend endless hours on Facebook is no more valuable than binging on television shows, except that TV actually employs people. …. It’s up 70,000 jobs since 2010, but this is after losing 700,000 jobs in the first decade of the 21st century.

Source: Today’s Tech Oligarchs Are Worse Than the Robber Barons – The Daily Beast

Well, to be fair, social media is the optimal propaganda platform!

Research finds that social media rots teen brains

Analyzing the test results showed that students who frequently used social networking sites like Facebook or apps like Snapchat ended up wasting their brain cells, scoring on average 20 points lower in math, reading and science compared to those who didn’t partake in the online “social scene.”

Source: Research Suggests Gamers Get Better Grades, While Social Sites Rot Your Brain

Hmmmmm …. If you, say, wanted to control a population, you would use social media propaganda … with the added benefit that your target audience is getting dumber by the day. Hmmmm….

Hillary Clinton can’t walk up stairs? Old photo, missing context

Voila_Capture 2016-08-07_09-42-04_PMTL;DR Summary

Once posted on social media, this was shared, liked and re-tweeted, with no one asking the obvious questions about time frame, location or verification of the subject. This is a classic propaganda method, to take items out of context (or out of time) and present them as something other than what they actually depict. It is fascinating to see how fast this spreads with no one questioning whether it is accurate.

Update: I have no idea if she is weak or has health problems or is completely healthy. That is not the point of this post. The point is how readily old content is repurposed on social media, and that most accept this as fact.

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Photo shows Hillary Clinton slipping on stairs and requiring assistance to walk up the stairs into a home or building.

Bernie Sanders is not a millionaire?

13925041_621169351398978_3231773894843699484_nTL; DR Summary

  • A shared social media poster asserts that Bernie Sanders would have been the first president who wasn’t  a millionaire, since 1945.
  • On the surface, this statement sounds plausible. His Senate disclosure forms list less than $1 million in assets.
  • But it leaves out the value of his retirement savings and his government provided pension. A private sector worker would need at least $1 million in assets to have a pension payout similar to what Sanders will receive at age 74 – and that does not include his own retirement savings. Update: Sanders just bought his 3rd home, with 500 feet of lake front.

Time magazine says the total value of Sanders and his wife’s assets and retirement benefits are well over $1 million and probably over $2 million. See “Sanders is a de facto millionaire“.

In my state, state employees may retire at age 58 or 30 years of service and receive full pension benefits, guaranteed by taxpayers. The Salem Statesman-Journal newspaper found that in Washington, Oregon and California, the average career employee pension at day of retirement has a net present value from $1.5 to $1.7 million dollars.

Pensions have tremendous value.

This post is not arguing whether the pensions are appropriate or not. The point is that a pension, regardless of source, is a bona fide asset. If you did not have the pension, it would take large assets to generate a similar monthly benefit. A pension’s future cash flows are part of your assets!

The above poster is a high quality propaganda poster that furthers Sanders’ public image as being just a regular guy not connected to the powerful. The poster works because of its simple design, the simple portrait, and the simple phrase that is easily processed. Since the claim fits the pre-existing memes about Sanders, it will be quickly processed by System 1 thinking and few will continue on to System 2 and realize that the claim is a stretch.

Note – Sanders did not create the above poster – someone else did. Further, there is nothing wrong with his acquiring assets to prepare for retirement. The problem is that this social media meme is not true yet is passed along, unquestioned, on social media because, as they say, “it fits the narrative”.