look it up! (then research everything you looked up)

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BACK UP AN ARGUMENT by quoting some­thing found on a web­site and, re­gard­less of your in­tel­li­gence or your re­search skills, you’ll likely be told, You can’t be­lieve any­thing you read on the in­ternet.” My normal re­joinder is to point out that’s akin to saying that you can’t be­lieve any­thing you read in the li­brary!  READ MORE

lies, damn lies, fake news, and the misinformation ecosystem

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FAKE NEWS AIN’T NEW NEWS. The term has been in fairly reg­ular if not quite common use for years: it ini­tially re­ferred to the mis/disinformation and pro­pa­ganda cir­cu­lated by the thou­sands of well-connected, rightwing radio talk shows for pro­pa­ganda. It grew to even vaster pro­por­tions with the emer­gence of the mil­lions of ‘con­ser­v­a­tive’ web­sites and blogs known as the Rightwing Bl­o­gos­phere. READ MORE

definitely “politically correct” (a third take on journalism taking on authority)

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TO TELL THE TRUTH in the face of lies is the job of all jour­nal­ists, with lies being, you know, those al­ter­na­tive fact thin­gies that are all the rage these days. Or at least that’s what Lewis Wal­lace states in an ed­i­to­rial call-to-arms that he had posted on his per­sonal blog. READ MORE

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. READ MORE

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.  READ MORE

so what has president obama done for you lately?

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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. READ MORE

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

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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. READ MORE