I may have missed it but I don’t believe anyone has posted with respect to the November 13 NYT publication of a 3-part video series on (Russian) disinformation. Each is about 15 minutes long.

It is relevant to elections in general, and ‘truth’ in particular.

As I said elsewhere, the videos seem to be about as important as anything I’ve ever seen. Absolutely chilling. Until ‘disinformation’ is addressed, I don’t see any election as being as legitimate or embodying liberty as I used to believe.

Access is free.

I’ll have to watch it later, but I think that the reason that there’s not much discussion is that there aren’t very many ideas on how to correct it.

Personally, I think we need an independent, non-partisan agency that evaluates, rates, and rewards news sources for honesty and non-partisanship.

We also need to start developing tamper-proof cryptographic hardware into all of our recording devices and establish protocols for chain-of-custody proof of non-manipulation from device to stream. But that’s a lot harder than you might think, since you can always just point a camera at a projection of something fake, so we not only need tamper-proof devices, but ones that have a bunch of sensors to detect whether or not they’re being used in a real-world manner.

Doesn’t that sound fun?

Access is not free. I kept switching to the Times election night reporting and each switch counted as an access. I quickly used up my accesses for the month.

I watched it and I think the soviets and now the Russians have wisely implemented the ancient but winning strategy of divide and conquer. The reason it works is due to preexistng fault lines and useful idiots that allow transparent attempts at manipulation such as funding for pro-secession movements to have non-zero traction.

The solution is not necessarily a truth committee. The solution is working on strengthening the bonds of society and culture necessary to keep a nation a nation. Or in the case of the EU, another target of the asymmetric warfare of disinformation, a want to be federation a federation.

I was certain there was a statement that the article/video was free access or words to that effect.

Trying to retrace my steps, the best I can find right now is an assertion by the video’s producer (in the form of a comment) that it “can be shared”.

Although the formatting will be lost, I am referring to this:

"Adam B. Ellick
Adam B. Ellick
Executive Producer, Opinion VideoNov. 13
@Jeanne Van Voorst

Thanks. www.nytimes.com/disinformation can be shared.

Reply8 Recommend"

Looks like I may have misunderstood. Apologies if so.

I think the role of the Internet, as described in the series, has made a critical difference; exponentially increasing the reach and traction of disinformation,

I think you are right and the democratization of broadcasting has severe unintended consequences. It’s not about fact or fiction to spread a message. Now it’s what is the most effective meme to exploit emotion.

That’s a non-starter. We already have organizations that do that, and their findings just get ignored. Anyone who disagrees with the Orange Fuhrer is part of the conspiracy. Look how fast Americans turned on the FBI.

Every time I see Politifact (some other ostensibly non-partisan organization) try to talk sense to people, they get accused of being biased themselves. I once read an article about how Alex Jones’ lawyers basically admitted in court that he was a liar, and the very first comment was ‘What about fake news CNN?’ No acknowledgement whatsoever that Alex Jones was wrong and they were wrong to believe him… They just immediately launched an attack on their imaginary enemies.

The problem is not about fact, authority, or legitimacy. It’s about emotion and anger. Humanity is full of shit-eating retards who will scream until they’re blue in the face rather than admit they were wrong to trust a liar.

open in the link in incognito mode and it does not matter how many articles you read

The problem is that it is difficult of strengthen the bods of society and culture, while there is an outside entity that is trying to undermine it. You might as well say the problem isn’t that you’ve got AIDS the problem is that you don’t have a strong enough immune system.

Thing that struck me watching this, was that the goal of the Russian disinformation apparatus as described the video was largely non-partisan in terms of our politics. It was meant to push the two sides apart not to advocate for a particular party. Yet some 90% of the examples they gave were lobbed against Democrats, which matches my experience as well. I know that there have been reports of fake news stories that targeted BLM members and Bernie supporters, but I can’t recall any specific instances. Is this because Trump is the ultimate divisive figure and so supporting him was the easiest way to support their own divisiveness goal? Is it the Ruskies believing that right wingers are better vectors for divisiveness than lefties? Or is it that in my own liberal bubble I don’t see the left wing fake news, or god forbid actually believe it.

When was the film with the urinating prostitutes made?

What’s the alternative though? As long as we are an important country we will have strategic competitors who’ll wish to use asymmetric warfare to narrow the gap. And I actually think this disinformation is exceedingly powerful because it could lead to civil war.

So in a society that has freedom of press and speech what else can you do but repeatedly stress tolerance for those freedoms even if they are exercised in a manner in which you disagree? Russia and now domestic meme generators will never stop. How we handle disinformation is what matters now.

And there is nothing wrong with advocating proper precautions. Let’s use your AIDS analogy. Recognize that disease exists and is likely not eradicable and if you are going to be exposed or potentially exposed use a barrier. Well, with information, the barrier is not eradication or suppression of the disinformation. The barrier is having and promoting a mental state that recognizes disinformation exists and that the method to mitigate disinformation is work to de-escalate rhetoric and emotion.

That said, I am not optimistic at all that Western society and the US in particular can handle disinformation and memes at internet speeds. And that’s compounded by the fact that we have too many in this country that profit from disinformation. And that includes the president.

This story is not real. It was all made up by the LSM. Disinformation is FAKE NEWS! Sad.

Even if it fails, the only possible way to overcome disinformation is to be honest; to seek objective truth as much as possible (yes, I know that even the very notions of ‘honest’ and ‘objective’ themselves can be affected by disinformation). To do any less is to lose the battle before it’s started.

I take hope from those who survived the assault of disinformation for years, and often triumphed - the people of many of the erstwhile Eastern Bloc nations for example, or those comprising any group of individuals who reclaimed their freedom.

Even so, I admit, that many of those same countries have since provided fertile ground for their own flavour of nationalist disinformation.

I think you are missing the point. Disinformation is like water that seeps into the cracks in our society, freezes and causes the cracks to spread. We should be resilient enough to cope with flowing bullshit, but these cracks have been left unattended for too long, leaving our society fragile and vulnerable.

Fixing the cracks (social divisions) is challenging, and it is likely that possible effective solutions may make us feel somewhat uncomfortable, but having our country collapse upon and around us would probably be a greater discomfort.

Bullshit is the superficial problem, though, and it is foolish to fixate on that, because we are really not in a place where it can realistically be reined in. Nor should it, frankly. Honesty is mostly a good thing, but there are times and places where it can be problematic.

You’ll get no argument from me that unmitigated, unconstrained honesty (for a person, press member, or president) can be counter-productive and on different levels.

Still, as I said before, “(we should strive) to be honest; to seek objective truth as much as possible . . . To do any less is to lose the battle before it’s started” (emphasis added)

I would take a subtly different tack: we should shun/punish deceitfulness. To the extent that “Yours for only (3 payments of) $19.99 plus 7.99 shipping & handling, and plus tax and …” should earn a proper chastising. It is a difficult balance between a thriving economy that shafts the slow or forcing business to behave forthrightly, but I believe the latter would yield benefits greater than the cost of shedding the former.

Still, well-crafted bullshit can be appreciated for the art. If only we could teach bullshit to school children (how to craft it and how to spot it), but I suspect the religious leaders would object to having their target audience squeezed by education.

Before working to solve a big problem, we must first agree that it is a big problem. Right now we have a President who consistently claims, despite huge evidence to the contrary, that Russia is not the source of so much disinformation.

Disinformation is very hard to combat; paradoxically this seems to be especially true in the “Information Age.” News sources in which Americans could put their trust might help; unfortunately many Americans put their trust in the very news sources that are actively sowing disinformation. Since draconian anti-free speech measures are probably totally unacceptable, we may just need to face the fact that we will be manipulated by Russia and other evil players for the foreseeable future.

In the past, I myself have read and watched RT! :smack: 20% of its content may be Kremlin lies, but the other 80% is valid news coverage, far better than available at mickey-mouse-level American sources like CNN.

It’s a signal -to-noise problem and since the salacious falsehood is always more interesting than the boring truth it will also have more adherents. What we need is to get people sophisticated enough to see headlines like “Hillary having Bigfoot’s baby” and know that they’re false.

How many of you know people who were taken in by the “Pope endorses Trump” story? I knew it was BS, not because I knew that the Pope wouldn’t endorse trump, but because I knew that the Pope wouldn’t endorse anybody.

Disinformation is as old as the hills. It’s your responsibility to determine the veracity of what you are told.

I’m surprised this is new to you.