The genesis of fake news
But the Libs account isn’t run by a trained journalist, so why would there be any presumption of truth or fact-checking to their posts? Shouldn’t we be skeptical of everything a random person posts on the internet? I guess to me this is the problem—even someone like Nellie Bowles (who should know better) thinks of the Libs poster as a “journalist.” The site is definitely treated like a news source by some outlets. I feel like journalists are becoming ignorant of what actually constitutes a credible news source — which damages their own credibility (and that of the field).
(I haven’t listened to the podcast yet; I don’t know if they talk about this.)
So now instead of funding the interesting, thoughtful "deep dives" that Katie and Jesse do we're funding.... pranks? K.
Doesn't having Blocked and Reported associated with a (furry!) hoax weaken Jesse and Katie's credibility as journalists? Sure I sound like a stick in the mud, but I think this is a mistake.
Okay you pranked LOTT. So what? Does this change the fact that she's surfaced countless authentic videos of teachers bragging about indoctrinating young children with gender identity ideology and other woke nonsense? It feels petty. Like she makes your side look bad, so you want to make her look stupid as payback.
This could have just been a hilarious post without a thoughtful, well-argued analysis; I’m really glad it was both. Thanks for the laugh and the food for thought.
I'm surprised how much fight LoTT put up before biting. I figured they'd be the sort to fall for it as soon as they saw something ragebait-looking. At the end of the day, they did run a story from an evasive fellow who never quite provided proof with an ass-saving "allegedly" implying their own doubts, so they're not winning any journalism awards. The fact that they published a story they had such doubts about, if anything, reflects worse on them than mere credulity. Yet they still put vastly more effort into it than your average social media rage addict.
I’ll admit I’ve had some biases against furries for a long time. I was honestly really shocked that Katie and Jesse who wanted to publicly associate themselves with an out furry to begin with. But I am trying to keep an open mind and realize that maybe I’m the bigot and fake animal sex isn’t weird in a bad way.
That being said I don’t get the whole idea behind this. I’ve seen other real things on LOTT that are equally strange if not weirder being promoted to young children in schools. I bet I could fool Jesse, Katie and Trace about something fake if I really wanted to…. What’s the point?
Jesse says, in this episode: "The argument I'm going to make in my piece is that at root this shows deep contempt for readers. The idea that because readers see a photo of Chris Rufo that doesn't have like a swastika scrawled all over it, they're going to be like, oo, Rufo's a good guy."
I agree with Jesse, but he does not go far enough. What really shows deep contempt for readers is when the journalist writes the entire piece (or does his/her entire job) from the perspective that there are "good" ideas and "bad" ideas, and the journalist alone knows which are which, and the journalist must "frame' the story to make sure that the reader 'gets it.' That is the true deep contempt, and we see it every day.
The tell should have been that any kid's homework FOLDER could look that pristine by April.
In all seriousness, I appreciate Trace's pointing out that hoaxes can dupe people of multiple ideological persuasions. As someone who's taught college composition classes in which I show students how to distinguish between good and bad sources, I've frequently been dismayed to see fellow composition teachers--mostly of a lefty political stripe--share obviously false stories that just happen to confirm their lefty beliefs. I think, in theory, those of us who teach students how to evaluate sources should do better than the average reader/viewer in the task of evaluation. Too often, we don't.
>Marcie Bussey, Pisa Schill, Ardrahama.
The best parts of this story got censored.
The fact that the response by LOTT, her accusers, her defenders, and online Super Sleuths was to engage in massive rationalizations in the direction of their pre-existing beliefs and desires tells us something much more interesting than the mere fact that LOTT fell for a con.
This tendency towards confirmation bias is just a general trait of how most human beings consume their information. Given that the Internet - and modern communications, generally - do not give us information in a way that accounts for this tendency, is it any surprise that everyone is freaking out about "disinformation" and "gaslighting"? It's not unlike being surprised that a three-toed tree sloth left in the middle of the Serengeti isn't doing so well - the environment and its capabilities are not matched. Fortunately, we're not like the sloths - we design and manipulate our environments to suit ourselves, so we don't have to just wait and hope to evolve faster reaction times and better land-based gaits than a crawl.
This post is fake, it doesn't mispronounce anyone's name
Trace, this is great. James Lindsay did excellent work by exposing how the poor review process for papers that align with prevailing values, so it's extremely disappointing that he has fallen captive to the same impulses he decried.
Some people on the internet get their kicks out of making up stuff, or badly representing stuff about groups they don't like, then post it as if this insane stuff is truly representative of that group. Similarly, Poe's law states that without a clear understanding of the author's intent, it's impossible to discern parody of extreme view from those who sincerely believe them.
Basically, there's a whole lot of BS on the internet, and a lot of people working to create parodies of their opponents. If something is so absurd and stupid that it makes you angry, it's a good bet that it's either fake, or not widely representative. (Though, of course, some real, insane, stuff, is widely believed).
How to you deal with this confusing morass of idiocy? You can unplug from the hate machine any time you want. If you can't do that entirely, try finding good journalists, including some that you don't usually agree with, but still practice good ethics.
Everyone is a dog on the internet (except Trace and the user, 37 cats in a trenchcoat)
While the "Paper of Record" publishes op-eds with headlines like this:
"Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Will Hurt Teens Like Me"
And Nellie Bowles re the Google docs Big language Bro – neither Nellie nor Katie thought to mention how insane it is to suggest to not use the word "mother" because it "isn't 'inclusive' to all readers". WTF? Neither is "father"; does that come w/warning? I'll never be "black" or "hispanic" or "wealthy" or a "brother" or "uncle" for that matter, because I DON'T HAVE A PENIS (and won't grow one, even if I say I'm a MAN). Where do you draw the line at "inclusivity" warnings? Obviously AFTER caving in to all demands made by vagina-less lunatics, that's apparently where we draw the line. And "professional" journalists seem to be just fine with that.
It's disappointing that you guys think there's a net positive here. These screenshots will be shared for years, with no fact-checking. But I do appreciate the reflection and humility in this piece.
Interesting, but let's be honest, both the online Right and the online Left are eager to post anything that confirms their beliefs. Remember the clearly ludicrous story that gunshot victims in Oklahoma weren't being treated because of ivermectin overdoses? Rachel Maddow had that tweet up for weeks (maybe she still does). All the RussiaGate stories? My point being, this would be really easy to do to the online Right or the online Left.