rumor and speculation can look like alternative facts

EVERY TROLL IS RIGHTWINGED, or least seems to be. Every fake news site and every blog passing on al­ter­na­tive facts also seems to be far right of center. Of course, this is based on my ex­pe­ri­ence on the free­wheeling world­wide web of fact and fic­tion, opinion and as­sess­ment, rumor and spec­u­la­tion, and every­thing else a human can do with words, im­ages, and symbols. [Continue reading]

social media and all the fake news that’s fit to print

SOME PEOPLE DO BELIEVE every­thing they read on Face­book: “So­cial media has swal­lowed the news, threat­ening the funding of public-interest re­porting and ush­ering in an era when everyone has their own facts. Twenty-five years after the first web­site went on­line, it is clear that we are living through a pe­riod of dizzying transition.  [Continue reading]

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so what has president obama done for you lately?

I JOINED A CONVERSATION on fellow record col­lector, Beach Boys fan, and oth­er­wise like-minded (“do not dumb here”) racon­teur Rob Norberg’s Face­book page. The thread con­cerned the on­going “de­bate” about the President’s sup­pos­edly ex­cess number of va­ca­tion days—yet an­other non-issue issue from the rightwing media and pun­ditry that so easily cap­tures the at­ten­tion deficit dis­or­dered imag­i­na­tion (sic) of Re­pub­lican voters. [Continue reading]

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where are all the damn liberal viral emails that are supposed to be out there?

A SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY is a pre­dic­tion that di­rectly or in­di­rectly causes it­self to be­come true by the very terms of the prophecy it­self [and] due to pos­i­tive feed­back be­tween be­lief and be­havior. So­ci­ol­o­gist Robert K. Merton is cred­ited with coining the ex­pres­sion and for­mal­izing its struc­ture and consequences. [Continue reading]