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deicer

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Were it not for the fact that people who don’t know any better might believe it… this sort of stuff would not even be worth responding to. The only “military grade” weapon being brought to bear here is propaganda and I think I know who’s paying for it now.

https://torontosun.com/news/local-news/braun-gun-situation-worsens-in-canada

About 450 people drown in Canada every year.... why would anyone need a pool on their property? 

There are about 2000 traffic fatalities each year and many are due to excessive speed... why does anyone need a car that goes faster than 100 KPH? Same for motorcycles, that's another 200 a year.

And before you say.... because, "when used as directed" guns kill, each day 100 Canadians die from using tobacco products "as directed"

Ya.... I can do this all day!

Edited by Wolfhunter

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So what jumps out as a headline in the Globe this morning??

Quote

A video showing a 15-year-old refugee from Syria being choked and bullied outside a school in Northern England has prompted outrage across the U.K. and raised questions about how to combat rising hate crime.

 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-videos-of-syrian-students-being-bullied-signal-rise-in-hate-crimes-in/

 

Where was our national paper on this story???  I don’t recall any headlines for this:

A total of 17 men and one woman have been convicted of offences including rape, sexual abuse, supplying drugs and trafficking for sexual exploitation in a series of trials over the Newcastle case.

Of eight victims covered in the trials, six were white and two were of African heritage, while the perpetrators came from a diverse range of backgrounds including Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Iranian, Iraqi, Kurdish, Turkish, Albanian and Eastern European.

 

Read more

 

Quote

The review said that while perpetrators’ individual beliefs are not known, they “all appear to come from a non-white, predominantly Asian/British minority ethnic culture or background” – as in Rotherham, Rochdale and Oxfordshire, while a grooming gang in Bristol were from a Somali background.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/grooming-gangs-uk-britain-newcastle-serious-case-review-operation-sanctuary-shelter-muslim-asian-a8225106.html

 

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/19/yorkshire-grooming-gang-jailed-rape-abuse

 

Diversity is our strength, Diversity is our strength, Diversity is our strength,.........if you’re a liberal, repeat as necessary.

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If the Country hopes to deter the sort of behaviour we're told represents a cultural norm that's widely practiced by the wonderful people that came to you in search of a better life, its government is going to have to hang the dirtbags and be done with it, or leave the nation's little girls to face much more of the same.

 

 

Edited by DEFCON

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Should read as .....Canadian Media...”Now bought and paid for by Trudeau”

 

A4F084C8-C742-4B10-8E39-48C41FC60F91.jpeg

Edited by Jaydee

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This is how war is being wages these days...

Agents of doubt How a powerful Russian propaganda machine chips away at Western notions of truth

The initial plan was a Cold War classic — brutal yet simple. Two Russian agents would slip onto the property of a turncoat spy in Britain and daub his front door with a rare military-grade poison designed to produce an agonizing and untraceable death.

POWER PLOYS

Understanding Russia’s global influence

But when the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal was botched, the mission quickly shifted. Within hours, according to British and U.S. officials who closely followed the events, a very different kind of intelligence operation was underway, this one involving scores of operatives and accomplices and a scheme straight out of the Kremlin’s 21st-century communications playbook — the construction of an elaborate fog machine to make the initial crime disappear.

Dozens of false narratives and conspiracy theories began popping up almost immediately, the first of 46 bogus story lines put out by Russian-controlled media and Twitter accounts and even by senior Russian officials, according to a tabulation by The Washington Post — all of them sowing doubt about Russia’s involvement in the March 4 assassination attempt. Ranging from the plausible to the fantastical, the stories blamed a toxic spill, Ukrainian activists, the CIA, British Prime Minister Theresa May and even Skripal himself.

The brazenness of the attempt to kill a Russian defector turned British citizen at his home in southwest England outraged Western governments and led to the expulsion of some 150 Russian diplomats by more than two dozen countries, including the United States. Yet, more than eight months later, analysts see a potential for greater harm in the kind of heavily coordinated propaganda barrage Russia launched after the assassination attempt failed.

Intelligence agencies have tracked at least a half-dozen such distortion campaigns since 2014, each aimed, officials say, at undermining Western and international investigative bodies and making it harder for ordinary citizens to separate fact from falsehood. They say such disinformation operations are now an integral part of Russia’s arsenal — both foreign policy tool and asymmetrical weapon, one that Western institutions and technology companies are struggling to counter.

“Dismissing it as fake news misses the point,” said a Western security official who requested anonymity in discussing ongoing investigations into the Russian campaign. “It’s about undermining key pillars of democracy and the rule of law.”

Variations on the technique existed during the Cold War, when the Soviet Union used propaganda to create alternative realities. In the early years of President Vladi­mir Putin’s rule, Russian officials and state-owned broadcasters promoted false narratives to explain the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian security official who died in 2006 after being exposed to a radioactive toxin in London.

But the disinformation campaigns now emanating from Russia are of a different breed, said intelligence officials and analysts. Engineered for the social media age, they fling up swarms of falsehoods, concocted theories and red herrings, intended not so much to persuade people but to bewilder them.

“The mission seems to be to confuse, to muddy the waters,” said Peter Pomerantsev, a former Russian-television producer and author of “Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible,” a memoir that describes the Kremlin’s efforts to manipulate the news. The ultimate aim, he said, is to foster an environment in which “people begin giving up on the facts.”

A blizzard of falsehoods

After two would-be assassins bungled their attempt to poison Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal in Britain, the Kremlin launched a high-powered disinformation campaign to create confusion over what really happened, Western agencies say. Russia media disseminated as many as 46 false stories and conspiracy theories in an attempt to sow doubt about whether Moscow was involved in the crime. Many of the phony tales were spread across social media and repeated by senior politicians.

Moscow has repeatedly rejected such accusations, while suggesting that Britain is responsible for any confusion over what happened in the Skripal case. “Nine months has passed and so far we have not been presented with any official results of the investigation,” Russia’s London Embassy said in a statement to The Post. “The Embassy still has no access to our Russian citizens,” a reference to Skripal and his Russian daughter, Yulia Skripal, who was also sickened in the attack.

Yet the same tactics that were observed in the wake of the Skripal poisoning have been employed multiple times since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, in each case following roughly the same script. When pro-Russian separatists shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, killing 298 passengers and crew members, Russian officials and media outlets sought to pin the blame on the Ukrainian government, suggesting at one point that corpses had been trucked to the crash site to make the death toll appear higher.

State-controlled Russian media unleashed a fusillade of falsehoods after the assassination of reformist politician Boris Nemtsov in Moscow in 2015 and after at least three deadly chemical weapons attacks against civilians by Syria’s pro-Russian government.

And apart from these concerted campaigns, there is a daily churn of false or distorted reports that seem designed to exploit the divisions in Western society and politics, especially on issues such as race, violence and sexual rights, and that are pushed by droves of operatives posing as ordinary citizens on social media accounts.

While many of the individual stories are easily debunked, the campaigns have had a discernible impact, as measured by opinion polls and, occasionally, public statements by Western politicians casting doubt on the findings of the intelligence agencies of their own governments. In October 2015, months after U.S. and European investigators concluded that Flight 17 had been brought down by a Russian missile fired by separatists, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump told CNN that the culprit was “probably Russia” but suggested that the truth was unknowable.

“To be honest with you, you’ll probably never know for sure,” he said.

Results such as these have encouraged what private groups say is a massive and ever-increasing investment by Moscow, which has placed numerous news outlets fully or partly on its payroll and operates at least one troll factory in which scores of employees disseminate pro-Kremlin messages using thousands of fake social media accounts.

The cost of this matrix is about $1.3 billion a year, according to Russian budget documents — a modest sum, considering the benefits, said Jakub Kalensky, until recently an official with the East StratCom Task Force, a rapid-response team created by the European Union to counter Russian disinformation. Unlike the covert operations used by Russia to influence foreign elections, Russia’s distortion campaigns rarely invite retaliation, he said.

“For Russia, they are a cost-effective method for disrupting and undermining us,” Kalensky said. “You can have quite a good result for the money spent.”

By any objective measure, the assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal was an unalloyed disaster, the kind of intelligence-agency face plant that might have toppled a government if the operation had been carried out by a Western democracy. For the Kremlin, however, the bungled killing was quickly seized on as a public-relations opportunity.

A Russian military intelligence officer who was released to Britain as part of a spy swap in 2010, Skripal was the object of special scorn for Putin, who would publicly deride him as a traitor and a “scumbag.” Skripal had been convicted in Russia in 2006 of treason for spying for Britain and was serving a 13-year sentence at the time of the swap.

British investigators say two operatives from the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, were dispatched to Skripal’s adopted hometown with a perfume bottle filled with Novichok — a deadly nerve agent developed by Soviet scientists in the 1980s — with the aim of quietly poisoning the 67-year-old pensioner.

Almost nothing went according to plan. The operatives came up short in their quest to kill Skripal. He fell gravely ill along with his daughter, but both recovered after being aggressively treated by doctors for exposure to a suspected nerve agent. Moreover, investigators say, the Russian agents compounded their failure with the inadvertent death of a British woman who became ill after her boyfriend stumbled upon a discarded vial of Novichok and gave it to her, thinking it was perfume.

British investigators quickly identified the toxin as a Russian nerve agent and then publicly identified the suspected hit men, who were repeatedly caught on camera as they wandered around in Salisbury on March 4. Their cover story — the two claimed to be tourists visiting the city’s 13th-century cathedral — was riddled with holes. Surveillance camera footage showed the men walking not toward the cathedral but in the opposite direction, toward the residential neighborhood where Skripal lived. The exiled Russian was poisoned the same day.

“They failed to kill their target, and they failed to be covert,” said retired Rear Adm. John Gower, who oversaw nuclear, chemical and biological defense policy for Britain’s Defense Ministry. “Because of those failures, Russia had to pivot really quickly.”

And so, when the real facts became problematic, Gower said, Russia quickly manufactured new ones. Dozens of them.

A parade of false stories

The Kremlin’s propaganda machine swung into action in the immediate aftermath of the assassination attempt. Following a playbook already honed in response to events in Syria and Ukraine, Kremlin-controlled outlets produced a plethora of possible explanations. On March 6, two days after the poisoning, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti was already quoting an anesthesiologist saying that the manner of Skripal’s poisoning suggested he was a drug addict and had overdosed.

On March 8 alone, pro-Kremlin news outlets published five phony narratives about the events in Salisbury, offering explanations for Skripal’s illness that included an attempted suicide by Skripal and his daughter and a chemical-weapons leak at the nearby military laboratory at Porton Down.

Dmitry Kiselyov — the host of the program “Vesti Nedeli” (“News of the Week”) on the Rossiya 1 network and a leading figure in the country’s propaganda hierarchy — picked up the baton on March 11. He said that because Skripal was already “completely wrung out and of little interest” as a source, his poisoning was only advantageous to the British to “nourish their Russophobia” and organize a boycott of the summer’s World Cup soccer tournament in Russia.

Then it was the Skripals’ pets turn in the spotlight — two guinea pigs and a fluffy Persian cat named Nesh Van Drake. The lack of information about their condition, Russian officials said in remarks that were broadcast on state TV, showed the British were surely covering something up.

“Where are these pets now?” Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vasily Nebenzya, asked at a Security Council meeting on April 5. “What has happened to them? Why has nobody said anything about them? Their condition is very important evidence.”

The theories kept coming: Was it someone from the Baltics? Was Skripal poisoned on MI5-sponsored trips to chemical labs in the Czech Republic and Spain? Could it be a British government plot to distract attention from Brexit — or even from a pedophilia scandal in the western English town of Telford?

The Skripal affair, RIA Novosti columnist Ivan Danilov wrote, “will continue as long as the government of Theresa May needs it to resolve its own internal problems.”

ritish officials and experts who studied the events say the false narratives emerged from a Russian information ecosystem in which news outlets and social media networks are increasingly intertwined with the country’s intelligence apparatus and official communications organs. While independent media voices flourished briefly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Putin years have been marked by assassinations of prominent journalists and the silencing or muting of dissent. In recent years, the control over many of the largest news outlets has become nearly absolute, officials and analysts say.

Putin brought Russia’s privately owned, freewheeling TV networks to heel in one of his first major moves as president. The Kremlin now controls all of Russia’s main national television channels — and half of all Russians say television is their most trusted source of news. The channels deliver a strident, conspiratorial, pro-Kremlin message in hours of lavishly produced talk shows and newsmagazine programs every night.

That domestic propaganda machine is backed up by state-owned news agencies, RIA Novosti and Tass, and a stable of pro-Kremlin newspapers and websites. The government expects to spend $303 million on state broadcaster VGTRK and $293 million on RT, the international broadcaster, this year, according to the latest official figures.

Although the Internet in Russia is mostly uncensored and reporting critical of Putin is widely available in print, online and on the radio, the government’s voice is by far the loudest in Russia’s media landscape.

Providing further amplification are social media “troll” factories — including one in St. Petersburg known as the Internet Research Agency, described in a Justice Department indictment earlier this year — where hundreds of workers are paid to disseminate false stories on the Internet, under official direction, U.S. officials said. After a crisis, Russia’s information network lurches into action, promoting stories and theories favored by the Kremlin, often with remarkable creativity, say officials and analysts.

“Different parts of the system echo each other, so the stories build momentum,” said Ben Nimmo, a British-based researcher with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, which analyzes government disinformation campaigns.

Russian politicians and diplomats then chime in, often ridiculing any official investigation and denouncing claims of Russian involvement, Nimmo said. Russian diplomats — and on multiple occasions, Putin himself — publicly scoffed at Britain’s claims that Russian operatives were behind the Skripal poisoning. The Twitter account of the Russian Embassy in London echoed several of the false stories from social media, suggesting that Skripal was a British spy and theorizing that British military scientists had synthesized their own batch of Novichok, with help from a Soviet chemist who defected to the West.

“In absence of evidence, we definitely need Poirot in Salisbury,” the embassy tweeted, in an allusion to Hercule Poirot, the fictional detective created by novelist Agatha Christie. Some British officials regard such denials as beyond cynical, as the use of Novichok in the poisoning was widely seen as deliberate — a subtle, unspoken claim of responsibility intended to warn other dissidents not to cross Moscow.

Some of the attempts to reshape the Skripal narrative backfired. After British officials on Sept. 5 released surveillance photographs of a pair of Russians suspected of carrying out the plot, RT aired an interview in which the two men claimed that they had been mere tourists in Britain. Their story began to unravel days later when a report by the investigative news site Bellingcat assembled compelling evidence that both men were GRU officers.

The men made no effort in the RT interview to explain the traces of Novichok police discovered in their hotel room and instead made an awkward attempt to explain why they made two quick trips to Salisbury over a wintry March weekend. One of them described a desire to see the Salisbury cathedral’s “123-meter spire” and ancient clock, two features that appear on the cathedral’s Wikipedia entry.

Pro-Kremlin media also started pushing the story line that the two men might be gay — and, by implication, could not possibly be part of Russia’s military intelligence service. The “Vesti” news show ran a segment depicting Salisbury as imbued with a spirit of “modern European tolerance” and full of gay bars. In fact, a local newspaper said the town’s sole gay bar had closed three months before the Skripal poisoning.

Yet, even as the alibi attempt turned into farce, Russia’s Foreign Ministry continued to claim that Britain had concocted evidence to frame the men for a crime they could not possibly have committed. “There is no proof,” spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote in a Facebook posting on Sept. 26, asserting that Britain was seeking to divert the public’s attention from the real story of “what happened in Salisbury.”

As the false stories began to be picked apart, Russia responded with “a mixture of defiance and desperation,” Nimmo said. “You can see the Russian propaganda machine struggling over what to do.”

And yet by then, it no longer mattered. By multiple measures, Moscow had mostly succeeded in achieving the outcome it wanted most — doubt.

A bewildered public

Last month, an independent pollster set out to measure how ordinary Russians viewed the events in Salisbury. The result: Despite lab reports, surveillance photographs and a detailed criminal complaint by British investigators, Russians overwhelmingly rejected the notion that their government was involved in the attack.

Nearly 3 in 10 of the Russians surveyed said they believed Britain was behind the poisoning, while 56 percent agreed with the comment “It could have been anyone,” according to the Levada Center poll, conducted during the third week of October. Only 3 percent were willing to attribute the assassination attempt to Russia’s intelligence agencies.

Indeed, the Kremlin managed to turn the botched assassination and the ensuing Western uproar to Putin’s political advantage. The Russian presidential election was on March 18, and Putin was looking for high voter turnout to legitimize another six-year term. The Skripal affair allowed the Kremlin to turn the public’s attention away from domestic problems and back to the confrontation between Russia and the West — a winning issue for Putin.

By quickly accusing Russia of being behind the poisoning, Britain’s May gave Putin a “pre-election present,” Gleb Pavlovsky, a former Kremlin adviser turned prominent Putin critic, said at the time. “She angered the voters a little bit and gave him another three to five percentage points of turnout.”

Levada sociologist Denis Volkov said the result showed the compelling nature of the us-vs.-them narrative constructed by the Kremlin and state media over the past two decades. In that reality, the West is bent on stopping Russia from returning to great-power status after it brought the country to its knees in the 1990s. The story line builds on many Russians’ memories of chaos, violence and poverty in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In focus groups, Volkov said, people sometimes acknowledged the likelihood of Russian involvement in the Skripal poisoning after initially rejecting it. After all, the respondents said, Russia was in a new Cold War with the West, and since the United States and its allies were lying, cheating and killing, Russia had to as well.

“They’ll say, ‘Sure, yeah, we might’ve done it,’ ” Volkov said. “ ‘But what’s the problem? Everyone’s doing it. There’s a war going on, even if it’s a cold war, between Russia and the West. So it’s okay to do it. The main thing is to deny everything.’ ”

Russia’s propaganda organs targeting foreign audiences — the television network RT and the web of radio stations and websites called Sputnik — also promote an anti-American narrative. While Russia’s domestic messaging builds on Russians’ bitterness stemming from the instability after the Soviet collapse, Moscow’s foreign propaganda message capitalizes on an aversion to what is seen as U.S. hegemony and hypocrisy in many parts of the world.

It’s less clear how effective RT and Sputnik are in pushing Russia’s message abroad. In Britain, the Kremlin’s version of the events in Salisbury has been widely debunked by independent news media. But in central and eastern Europe, where Russian channels in multiple languages are part of the standard cable-TV lineup, the contradictory claims have left viewers confused and bewildered — precisely what the designers of the propaganda campaign intended, said Kalensky, the former E.U. investigator.

“The strategy is to spread as many versions of events as possible and don’t worry that they sometimes contradict themselves,” Kalensky said. “It’s not the purpose to persuade someone with one version of events. The goal for Russia is achieve a state in which the average media consumer says, ‘There are too many versions of events, and I’ll never know the truth.’ ”

Even in the West, government agencies fear that Russia’s efforts are contributing to a growing distrust in traditional sources of information and blurring the line between fact and fiction. While RT’s viewership is relatively small in the West, its stories are frequently recycled on right-wing websites and media outlets.

Just as often, the stream flows in the opposite direction. False stories that first appear on obscure conservative news sites become fodder for Russian TV talk shows. Since the start of the Trump era, Russian channels regularly echo the U.S. president’s allegations about an American “deep state” and his depictions of the mainstream media as “fake news.”

The resulting muddle was highlighted by Putin himself, who, while standing next to President Trump during their July summit in Helsinki, seemed to distill the Kremlin’s approach to the news while responding to a question about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

“As for who to believe, who you can’t believe, can you believe at all?” Putin mused, before answering his own questions: “You can’t believe anyone.”

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A tale of two headlines at the CBC

Does CBC have a clickbait problem or a stealth editing problem or both?

 

CBC’s Breaking News says that a 2018 report suggests a violent act of terrorism may occur in the near future, and it reads very differently when shared on social media than it does on the actual site. 

The article focuses on a report by the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, which says that our national terrorism threat level has remained static since 2014. Now it’s at “medium.” This means that an act of terror may occur shortly. 

With the terror attack on Strasbourg yesterday, Canadians are rightly concerned about a similar occurrence on our own soil. 

The headline that appears when the article is shared on social media reads: “‘Violent act of terrorism could occur in Canada,’ says latest threat report.”

CBC swaps headlines for views

But when you arrive at the CBC website, you will see a much more feel-good message: “Government not expecting many more foreign fighters to return to Canada,” with a portion of the original headline demoted to the sub header.

 

CBC Social:

Screen-Shot-2018-12-12-at-11.17.21-AM.pn

CBC Website:

Screen-Shot-2018-12-12-at-11.15.54-AM.pn

So let’s break this down: our national security threat is currently at “medium” according to a brand new report. This is far from good news. But the report also states that this is an unchanged status. 

Why are there two different headlines? It’s possible that someone at CBC, wanted to write a headline that reflected the facts of the report. And later that same day, someone else from the CBC decided to go in, and change the accurate headline to spin doctor it so that it aligns with the progressive values of the Trudeau government. 

It’s also possible that CBC wanted a “scarier” headline for social media simply for the clicks. But one thing is clear to me after reading the article, the CBC seems more interested in focusing on the politically correct talking points than communicating the facts to the Canadian people. 

 

Stealthediting to control facts and conceal bias

Sure, radical extreme terrorism is a problem, but according to the report, the Trudeau government is focused on fighting the real enemies like “male supremacy” and “homophobia” in right wing extremism. 

It’s an odd talking point considering that Islamic terrorists are not exactly known for their feminism or LGBT advocacy. This mirrors the sickness that currently exists in society where words equate to violence, and violence is acceptable if it fits certain narratives.

Clickbaiting is a method to generate traffic by altering the truth of the matter to conjugate that moment a reader clicks a link, fires pixels, and generates ad revenue. In the case of the CBC headline(s) it nearly mirrors reverse clickbaiting, since there is more truth, albeit ominous, in the social media headline than there is in the headline on the official CBC page.  

Stealth editing is one way that the media controls narratives, manipulates facts, and conceals their own bias. At Real Clear Politics, Kalev Leetaru breaks it down: “In a journalistic age in which stealth editing has emerged from the shadows to become the accepted norm of our papers of record, web archives have become our last line of defense to hold journalism accountable when it attempts to quietly flush its errors down the Orwellian Memory Hole.”

No one managed to archive CBC’s headlines yesterday. So I suppose we will never know if CBC was stealth editing or clickbaiting. 

 

So why is CBC engaging in such sketchy activities? I can’t say for sure, but I can think of at least 600 million possible reasons

 

https://www.thepostmillennial.com/a-tale-of-two-headlines-at-the-cbc/

 

Edited by Jaydee

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social engineering.  Knowing you are being sucked in is half the battle

 

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The usual double standard for the MSM...

Donald Trump Surprised Mika Brzezinski Not Banned for ‘Butt Boy’ Comment

President Donald Trump expressed his surprise that MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski was not permanently banned from television after describing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as the president’s “butt boy.”

“If it was a Conservative that said what ‘crazed’ Mika Brzezinski stated on her show yesterday, using a certain horrible term, that person would be banned permanently from television,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “She will probably be given a pass, despite their terrible ratings.”

Brzezinski mocked Pompeo during her MSNBC Morning Joe show with Joe Scarborough’s, describing him as a “wannabe dictator’s butt-boy.”

 

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2018/12/13/donald-trump-surprised-mika-brzezinski-not-banned-for-butt-boy-comment/

 

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I think it might just be the hypocrisy, the whole “words matter” concept, the notion that had all of this been stood on its head, rancorous democrats would be hatching multi coloured kittens on the floor of CNN’s situation room.

Turn it completely on its head (in all respects), I bet there would be 24 hour news coverage of the issue…  that’s just a snowflake guess though. The concept of reality needs a whole new thread, some international news and a thoughtful alternative plan of action from Democratic leaders we can all support or at least consider. That is, was and continues to be AWOL

The concept of reality is an interesting one, she is a cruel mistress and doesn't care what you or I think, she is what she is. Reality doesn't care about competing opinions and she scoffs at alternate realities that try on her clothes only to look likes shapeless blobs. It's what makes military tactics so refreshing in todays world. The weather is reality and snow isn't racist... the terrain is reality and the topographic feature referred to as a saddle isn't sexist.... and the opposing forces are reality too regardless of their race or gender.  In short, the sun will rise in the east and set in the west even if doing so is deemed to be racist, sexist or homophobic by CNN. 

Edited by Wolfhunter

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While I agree with your sentiment, it does show that calm rational debate and thinking no longer has a place in modern politics, or even society.

Thanks again to the internet for opening up that can of worms.

It also points out that the 'meat' of an argument can be deflected by simply expressing outrage over words.  The truth of the matter then gets ignored.

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More and more it is being shown how the transition from traditional media to social media was exploited by the Russians.  Although it is now changing because of this, it was largely uncensored at the time and ripe for the picking.

It just highlights that one should always look at where the information is coming from.  It isn't hard to check.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/12/16/new-report-russian-disinformation-prepared-senate-shows-operations-scale-sweep/?utm_term=.951c0f6c85f3

December 16 at 4:29 PM

A report prepared for the Senate that provides the most sweeping analysis yet of Russia’s disinformation campaign around the 2016 election found the operation used every major social media platform to deliver words, images and videos tailored to voters’ interests to help elect President Trump — and worked even harder to support him while in office.

The report, a draft of which was obtained by The Washington Post, is the first to study the millions of posts provided by major technology firms to the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), its chairman, and Sen. Mark Warner (Va.), its ranking Democrat. The bipartisan panel hasn’t said whether it endorses the findings. It plans to release it publicly along with another study later this week.

The research — by Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project and Graphika, a network analysis firm — offers new details of how Russians working at the Internet Research Agency, which U.S. officials have charged with criminal offenses for interfering in the 2016 campaign, sliced Americans into key interest groups for targeted messaging. These efforts shifted over time, peaking at key political moments, such as presidential debates or party conventions, the report found.

The data sets used by the researchers were provided by Facebook, Twitter and Google and covered several years up to mid-2017, when the social media companies cracked down on the known Russian accounts. The report, which also analyzed data separately provided to House Intelligence Committee members, contains no information on more recent political moments, such as November’s midterm elections.

“What is clear is that all of the messaging clearly sought to benefit the Republican Party — and specifically Donald Trump,” the report says. “Trump is mentioned most in campaigns targeting conservatives and right-wing voters, where the messaging encouraged these groups to support his campaign. The main groups that could challenge Trump were then provided messaging that sought to confuse, distract and ultimately discourage members from voting.”

Representatives for Burr and Warner declined to comment.

The report offers the latest evidence that Russian agents sought to help Trump win the White House. Democrats and Republicans on the panel previously studied the U.S. intelligence community’s 2017 finding that Moscow aimed to assist Trump, and in July, they said investigators had come to the correct conclusion. Despite their work, some Republicans on Capitol Hill continue to doubt the nature of Russia’s interference in the last presidential election.

The Russians aimed particular energy at activating conservatives on issues such as gun rights and immigration, while sapping the political clout of left-leaning African American voters by undermining their faith in elections and spreading misleading information about how to vote. Many other groups — Latinos, Muslims, Christians, gay men and women, liberals, Southerners, veterans — got at least some attention from Russians operating thousands of social media accounts.

The report also offered some of the first detailed analyses of the role played by YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, and Instagram, owned by Facebook, in the Russian campaign, as well as anecdotes about how Russians used other social media platforms — Google+, Tumblr and Pinterest — that have received relatively little scrutiny. The Russian effort also used email accounts from Yahoo, Microsoft’s Hotmail service and Google’s Gmail.

The authors, while reliant on data provided by technology companies, also highlighted the companies' “belated and uncoordinated response” to the disinformation campaign and, once it was discovered, their failure to share more with investigators. The authors urged that in the future they provide data in “meaningful and constructive” ways.

Facebook, for example, provided the Senate with copies of posts from 81 Facebook pages and information on 76 accounts used to purchase ads, but it did not share posts from other user accounts run by the IRA, the report says. Twitter, meanwhile, has made it challenging for outside researchers to collect and analyze data on its platform through its public feed, the researchers said.

Google submitted information in an especially difficult way for the researchers to handle, providing content such as YouTube videos but not the related data that would have allowed a full analysis. The YouTube information was so hard for the researchers to study, they wrote, that they instead tracked the links to its videos from other sites in hopes of better understanding YouTube’s role in the Russian effort.

Facebook and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In a statement, Twitter stressed it had made “significant strides” since the 2016 election to harden its digital defenses, including the release of a repository of the tweets that Russian agents previously sent so that for researchers can review them. “Our singular focus is to improve the health of the public conversation on our platform, and protecting the integrity of elections is an important aspect of that mission," the company added.

Facebook, Google and Twitter first disclosed last year that they had identified Russian interference on their sites. Critics previously said that it took too long to come to an understanding of the disinformation campaign, and that Russian strategies have likely shifted since then. The companies have awakened to the threat — Facebook, in particular, created a “war room” this fall to combat interference around elections — but none has revealed interference around the midterm elections last month on the scale of what happened in 2016.

The report expressed concern about the overall threat social media poses to political discourse within nations and among them, warning that companies once viewed as tools for liberation in the Arab world and elsewhere are now threats to democracy.

“Social media have gone from being the natural infrastructure for sharing collective grievances and coordinating civic engagement to being a computational tool for social control, manipulated by canny political consultants and available to politicians in democracies and dictatorships alike,” the report said.

Researchers also noted that the data includes evidence of sloppiness by the Russians that could have led to earlier detection, including the use of Russia’s currency, the ruble, to buy ads and Russian phone numbers for contact information. The operatives also left behind technical signatures in computerized logs, such as Internet addresses in St. Petersburg, where the IRA was based.

Many of the findings track, in general terms, work by other researchers and testimony previously provided by the companies to lawmakers investigating the Russian effort. But the fuller data available to the researchers offered new insights on many aspects of the Russian campaign.

The report traces the origins of Russian online influence operations to Russian domestic politics in 2009 and says that ambitions shifted to include U.S. politics as early as 2013 on Twitter. Of the tweets the company provided to the Senate, 57 percent are in Russian, 36 percent in English and smaller amounts in other languages.

The efforts to manipulate Americans grew sharply in 2014 and every year after, as teams of operatives spread their work across more platforms and accounts to target larger swaths of U.S. voters by geography, political interests, race, religion and other factors. The Russians started with accounts on Twitter, then added YouTube and Instagram before bringing Facebook into the mix, the report said.

Facebook was particularly effective at targeting conservatives and African Americans, the report found. More than 99 percent of all engagement — meaning likes, shares and other reactions — came from 20 Facebook pages controlled by the IRA, including “Being Patriotic,” “Heart of Texas,” “Blacktivist” and “Army of Jesus.”

Together, the 20 most popular pages generated 39 million likes, 31 million shares, 5.4 million reactions and 3.4 million comments. Company officials told Congress that the Russian campaign reached 126 million people on Facebook and 20 million more on Instagram.

The Russians operated 133 accounts on Instagram, a photo-sharing subsidiary of Facebook, that focused mainly on race, ethnicity or other forms of personal identity. The most successful Instagram posts targeted African American cultural issues and black pride and were not explicitly political.

While the overall intensity of posting across platforms grew year by year — with a particular spike during the six months after Election Day 2016 — this growth was particularly pronounced on Instagram, which went from roughly 2,600 posts a month in 2016 to nearly 6,000 in 2017, when the accounts were shut down. Across all three years covered by the report, Russian Instagram posts generated 185 million likes and 4 million user comments.

Even though the researchers struggled to interpret the YouTube data submitted by Google, they were able to track the links from other sites to YouTube, offering a “proxy” for understanding the role played by the video platform.

“The proxy is imperfect,” the researchers wrote, “but the IRA’s heavy use of links to YouTube videos leaves little doubt of the IRA’s interest in leveraging Google’s video platform to target and manipulate US audiences.”

The use of YouTube, like the other platforms, appears to have grown after Trump’s election. Twitter links to YouTube videos grew by 84 percent in the six months after the election, the data showed.

The Russians shrewdly worked across platforms as they refined their tactics aimed at particular groups, posting links across accounts and sites to bolster the influence operation’s success on each, the report shows.

“Black Matters US” had accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Tumblr and PayPal, according to the researchers. By linking posts across these platforms, the Russian operatives were able to solicit donations, organize real-world protests and rallies, and direct online traffic to a website that the Russians controlled.

The researchers found that when Facebook shut down the page in August 2016, a new one called “BM” soon appeared with more cultural and fewer political posts. It tracked closely to the content on the @blackmatterus Instagram account.

The report found operatives also began buying Google ads to promote the “BlackMatters US” website with provocative messages such as, “Cops kill black kids. Are you sure that your son won’t be the next?” The related Twitter account, meanwhile, complained about the suspension of the Facebook page, accusing the tech company of “supporting white supremacy.”

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2 hours ago, deicer said:

More and more it is being shown how the transition from traditional media to social media was exploited by the Russians.  Although it is now changing because of this, it was largely uncensored at the time and ripe for the picking.

It just highlights that one should always look at where the information is coming from.  It isn't hard to check.

 

The ability to exploit social media is a given and one of its inherent traps. Even though it isn't hard to do, looking at where the information comes from and checking it simply won't happen. People are polarized and hungry for "news" that is a reflection of their narrative.... they will ignore anything contrary by deflection. You can see it everywhere, Trump can do no right and Trudeau no wrong in some circles. Most of these narrative are not steeped in experience, and are laughable to those unfortunate enough to have it.

 The popularity of 10 word memes passed as profound utterances stands as proof. Collectively, we have been made dumber and dumb is easily manipulated. It's only when the manipulators overstep the bounds of reason and overplay their hands that liars get caught... a bit like JT and the gun stats. Any child with a calculator now sees those manipulations and lies for what they are. Surely DJT is envious of the governments control of the media, barely a ripple eh? So it's not just social media, it would be easier if it were. The difference in my view is one of inclusion and omission, social media will make up things to report, mainstream media will choose things not to report. I'm undecided which is worse.

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9 minutes ago, Wolfhunter said:

The ability to exploit social media is a given and one of its inherent traps. Even though it isn't hard to do, looking at where the information comes from and checking it simply won't happen. People are polarized and hungry for "news" that is a reflection of their narrative.... they will ignore anything contrary by deflection. You can see it everywhere, Trump can do no right and Trudeau no wrong in some circles. Most of these narrative are not steeped in experience, and are laughable to those unfortunate enough to have it.

 The popularity of 10 word memes passed as profound utterances stands as proof. Collectively, we have been made dumber and dumb is easily manipulated. It's only when the manipulators overstep the bounds of reason and overplay their hands that liars get caught... a bit like JT and the gun stats. Any child with a calculator now sees those manipulations and lies for what they are. Surely DJT is envious of the governments control of the media, barely a ripple eh? So it's not just social media, it would be easier if it were. The difference in my view is one of inclusion and omission, social media will make up things to report, mainstream media will choose things not to report. I'm undecided which is worse.

Speaking of memes...Sorry...just had to. LOL

 

 

E6F104C4-D58E-421E-A9FE-B434C4EDCACB.jpeg

Edited by Jaydee
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2 hours ago, Wolfhunter said:

The ability to exploit social media is a given and one of its inherent traps. Even though it isn't hard to do, looking at where the information comes from and checking it simply won't happen. People are polarized and hungry for "news" that is a reflection of their narrative.... they will ignore anything contrary by deflection. You can see it everywhere, Trump can do no right and Trudeau no wrong in some circles. Most of these narrative are not steeped in experience, and are laughable to those unfortunate enough to have it.

 The popularity of 10 word memes passed as profound utterances stands as proof. Collectively, we have been made dumber and dumb is easily manipulated. It's only when the manipulators overstep the bounds of reason and overplay their hands that liars get caught... a bit like JT and the gun stats. Any child with a calculator now sees those manipulations and lies for what they are. Surely DJT is envious of the governments control of the media, barely a ripple eh? So it's not just social media, it would be easier if it were. The difference in my view is one of inclusion and omission, social media will make up things to report, mainstream media will choose things not to report. I'm undecided which is worse.

Moses Znaimer, when he created the CP24 news channel, which all the other news networks copied, created the 7 second newsbite.  We are now into the second generation of it, and does one have to wonder why nobody today thinks past 5 seconds?

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Far-left CNN had another terrible ratings year in 2018.

CNN, a 24/7 anti-Trump cable channel, not only came in last place when compared to its competition at Fox and MSNBC, it came in far last place.

 

Below is how the three cable news networks averaged through all of last year, specifically, from January 1, 2018 through December 9 2018, and how those same numbers compare to last year.

Primetime: Total Viewers and Viewers in the 25-54 Age Range:

FNC: 2,475,000 (up 3%); 475,000 A25-54 (down 2%)

CNN: 990,000 (down 6%); 326,000 A25-54 (down 11%)

MSNBC: 1,807,000 (up 12%); 355,000 A25-54 (down 3%)

Total Day Viewers:

FNC: 1,441,000 (down 4%); 287,000 A25-54 (down 10%)

CNN: 704,000 (down 9%); 215,000 A25-54 (down 16%)

MSNBC: 991,000  (up 12%); 198,000 A25-54 (down 2%)

There are a number of things notable about CNN’s abysmal primetime showing in 2018. To begin with, during a banner news year that included a midterm election, the network still failed to average a million total viewers.

Secondly, MSNBC nearly doubled CNN’s total viewers, and Fox News nearly tripled the fake news network.Worse still, in total viewers, CNN is the only one of the three to lose total viewers when compared to last year.

CNN also managed to perform a double digit collapse of 11 percent in the advertiser-coveted 25-54 age demo, whereas MSNBC (down 3 percent) and Fox (down 2 percent) hardly moved.

And this is after CNN had an awful 2017, which meant CNN actually had nowhere to go but up and still managed to plummet.

CNN’s total day showing throughout 2018 was even worse, a drop of 9 percent total viewers and a whopping 16 percent cratering in the 25-54 age demo.

Fox News also saw a drop in total day total viewers (down 4 percent) and total day demo viewers (down 10 percent), but when you are in first place by a country mile — when you more than double CNN’s total viewers and even smash second place MSNBC (which grew its total audience) — that is little more than statistical noise.

But when you are in far last place, as CNN is, and still sinking during a wild news years filled with consequential elections and an intense Supreme Court confirmation, you are being rejected by the American news consumer.

Edited by Jaydee

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You do realise ratings and truthfulness are two different things?

While I cannot stand the talking heads droning on with their programming, when you sit and filter out the crap, the reliability of their information is pretty high.

The ratings have more to do with the war on the media by the Whitehouse than anything else.

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18 minutes ago, deicer said:

 

While I cannot stand the talking heads droning on with their programming, when you sit and filter out the crap, the reliability of their information is pretty high.

 

You don't need 24 hours to present the reliable, factual information you'd find on CNN - after the crap is filtered out you could fit the rest into the commercial breaks on Dr. Phil.

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26 minutes ago, seeker said:

You don't need 24 hours to present the reliable, factual information you'd find on CNN - after the crap is filtered out you could fit the rest into the commercial breaks on Dr. Phil.

I agree!

And what that commercial break provides is pretty accurate.

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