collaboration for successful truth circulation
There must be more efforts at popular collaboration for successful truth circulation in the face of corporate gross mismanagement, governmental interference, and the attacks on journalism and information brokers.
September 18-19, 2017 — Google disseminates the largest amount of “fake news” on the web
Google claims it, like Facebook and Twitter, is tackling the issue of “fake news” appearing on social media sites. However, Google is the largest disseminator of “fake news” in the world today. There is a difference between “false news,” which is the focus of Google, Facebook, Twitter, and others, and “fake news,” which primarily consists of meaningless and unimportant information. Chief among this so-called “news” is sports and celebrity entertainment.
Karl Marx once opined that “religion is the opiate of the masses.” Today, Marx would look around at near-empty churches and the preponderance of sports and celebrity news in the media and declare that “sports and entertainment are the opiate of the masses.” Google has lent itself to the dumbing-down of culture by programming its search algorithms to boost stories about sports and entertainment over those concerning issues of war and peace, feast and famine, and death and destruction. Google has created a virtual world that is composed of super-rich football players, entertainers, and super-models.
Google’s irresponsibility when it comes to offering anything closely resembling “journalism” should be condemned by every professional journalism organization. During the era of print journalism, it made sense to combine news, sports, entertainment — including comic strips like Dick Tracy and Blondie — and stock market reports in the newspaper. Until radio happened upon the scene, the newspaper served as a single conduit of information to the masses. With the advent of electronic journalism, there is no need to contaminate important news with meaningless nonsense about football, baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, rugby, cricket, badminton, golf, professional poker, bowling, Nascar and Formula 1 auto racing, or tournament fishing. These are not “news” stories. Nor do gossip items about movie actors and actresses, singers, rap performers, or night club performers belong under the banner of “news.”
The most innocuous political story is still more important than what player the Philadelphia Eagles or the Atlanta Braves are contemplating trading or hiring. That drivel does not qualify as news, even though the brain-dead listeners of and callers to the broadcast wasteland known as “sport radio” would deem otherwise. These sports savants and nincompoops are able to rattle off the performance stats of some obscure quarterback or pitcher but come up blank when trying to name their two U.S. senators or governor. Google, with its prioritization of sports over actual news, contributes to the ignorance of such imbeciles. Giving more attention to such “fake news” also directly contributes to low voter turnout in the United States.
Some social scientists explain the sports “fandom” culture as promoting self-esteem when a fan’s sports team is successful. The fan is emotionally buoyed when his or her team is successful. However, sports fanatics are normally at the low end of the intellectual scale and are losers when it comes to education, no matter how well their favorite teams perform. Anyone who tortures themselves for even a few minutes by listening to “sports talk” radio can ascertain that sports fanatics, as well as the sports talk radio hosts, are like any other extreme devotees — born losers.
Google, the largest news aggregator on the Internet, uses several metrics to rank news stories. The company has remained mum on the details of its algorithms, but some aspects are known. Google bases its news rankings on the size of the staff of the originating news organization, popular opinion about the news story in question, the “breaking” quality of the news story, the length of the news article, the popularity of the news organization, the number of news bureaus associated with the news organization, number of identified sources in the news story, writing style, international diversity associated with the news organization, and use of a particular news story (cites) by other news organizations.
Google’s algorithms are based on extremely subjective calls. They also fail to distinguish between hard news and sports and entertainment. Google, Facebook, and Twitter are all joining in a campaign against “fake news,” but this, too, is based on subjectivity and relies heavily on thoroughly discredited websites like Snopes and Wikipedia. Snopes has not recovered from an embezzlement and prostitution sex scandal involving its co-founder, David Mikkelson, and Wikipedia continues to be plagued by the duplicitous behavior of its co-founder Jimmy Wales.
The following are but a few examples about how Google’s algorithms are helping to dumb-down the world by placing greater emphasis on fake news about sports and other meaningless trivia:
New Zealand is facing a general election on September 23, one that may see the governing party ejected from office. Google News does not appear to care as seen with its top three stories on New Zealand:
- Sport. Rugby Union. Aaron Cruden exclusive interview: New Zealand fly-half happy to quit All Blacks to build new life in France.
2. American rockers The Killers announce New Zealand tour.
3. Rugby Championship: New Zealand in record win over South Africa.
At seventh place on Google News is a story about New Zealand’s election: “Jacinda Ardern ‘electrifies’ NZ election.” That story should, along with other election news, been placed ahead of trivial items concerning rugby and some Las Vegas-based rock band. If Google News considers itself to be a news resource, it is guilty of blatant journalistic malpractice.
A search for “Canada” fares no better.
The first Google News story that appears is a click-bait item from a coin dealer website about crypto-currency. This story constitutes a different type of fake news, an advertisement masquerading as a legitimate news story. Google is certainly not alone in promoting this type of fraudulent journalism.
Following the click-bait is:
2. Canada’s Nestor, Pospisil top India to take Davis Cup lead.
The tennis item is followed by legitimate stories dealing with draconian U.S. immigration policies and U.S.-Canadian trade issues. The tennis item should have never been weighted as so important by Google relative to the more important U.S.-Canadian relations stories.
September 18-19, 2017 — Google disseminates the largest amount of “fake news” on the web [Wayne Madsen Report]
By Chris Hedges
The elites, including the Democratic Party leadership, have decided to quash public debate. – Continue