Mask Droppings

     FORBES was once proud to call itself a “capitalist tool.” That’s some years back now. Today the magazine peddles tendentious twaddle:

     Why ‘Doing Your Own Research’ May Make You Believe Fake News

     In an age in which misinformation abounds, how do you determine what is real and what is fake? New research suggests telling truth from fiction may be more difficult that many people realise.
     Following a series of experiments, a team of U.S. researchers found that study participants were consistently 19% more likely to believe “fake news” after they had performed an online search to figure out the truth.
     That’s important, the experts say, because the prevalence and success of such misinformation poses a direct threat to democracy.
     Kevin Aslett, assistant professor in the School of Politics, Security and International Affairs at the University of Central Florida, and a lead author of the paper published this week in Nature, explains.
     “In terms of political consequences, increased belief in misinformation has the potential to increase political cynicism and apathy towards politics, lower trust in reliable media sources, increase polarization [and] motivate political violence,” Aslett tells me. He references the events of January 6, 2021, in which a mob attacked the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., saying “these consequences weaken democracy.”

     The author of this article, David Vetter, describes himself thus:

     David’s key interests are in climate change and sustainable systems. A veteran journalist, he recently completed an MSc in Sustainability, Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford.

     You’re free to follow your own guidelines, but if someone who bills himself that way were to tell me that the sky is blue, I’d run outside to check. I can’t reproduce the whole article here – fair use provisions would not permit it – so if you have access to it, note all the “giveaway” words and phrases it uses:

  • fake news
  • misinformation
  • disinformation
  • vaccine misinformation
  • climate action
  • renewable energy
  • right-wing
  • conspiracist
  • threat to democracy
  • interdisciplinary

     I’ll continue to do my own research and trust my own judgment – especially about politically polarizing subjects. I’ve learned that you can’t trust a David Vetter on subjects such as “sustainability” and “climate change.” But given that, on what subjects could you trust him?


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    • jwm on December 27, 2023 at 12:48 PM

    School of politics, security, and international affairs.

    Master in sustainability, enterprise, and environment.

    Gosh, that’s right up there with School of  Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. (discord, envy, incompetence)

    No doubt a serious intellectual heavyweight. I’ll bet he’s taken all the boosters, and still wears a mask in the car.



    1. I wouldn’t bet against it!

    • Drumwaster on December 27, 2023 at 1:22 PM

    The worst is “malinformation” – literally defined as “factually true, but not helpful” – which include things like pointing out how worthless the blue napkin masks were (even the manufacturers were putting warnings “Fashion Mask/Not For Virus Protection”), the likelihood of it being a man-made virus (using genetic markers which couldn’t be faked), how leaving billions of dollars of highly classified military equipment and weapons to a group actively hostile to the US could qualify as “aid and comfort” (turning the Taliban from a purely regional power hiding in caves to avoid bologna-misting into the 26th largest military on the planet), and much more… Utterly true, but destructive to the aims of the current regime, therefore mandatory censorship, because if the people ever found out, there wouldn’t be enough lampposts in the DC area. (And make no mistake, there are blue dog Dems who still believe that the pee tape exists, but the Hunter Biden laptop is Russian disinformation and Kamala Harris is a gifted public speaker.)

  1. Forbes has so fallen in grace that it cares not even to hire a competent editor, be it human or AI.

    I went back and checked your quote to make sure you somehow didn’t copy/paste in error.

    In Forbes’ very first paragraph of this warning against unworthy sources out there (other than themselves) there was indeed two common typographical errors.

    New research suggests telling truth from fiction may be more difficult that many people realise. [errors in red]

    They are just too well informed to find and change that to than and realise to realize. [/sarcasm]

    1. I considered pointing those errors out, but decided the main point would suffice.

    • OneGuy on December 27, 2023 at 1:57 PM

    It has gotten to the point where nothing in the MSM is true.  Ditto for the Democrat party.  If they tell you Their opponent is like Hitler that is because they are like Hitler and they need to hide it.  If they declare something to be a Right wing conspiracy theory that is because it is true and they have to deflect.  If you discover what their latest treasonous plot is they YOU are a racist/misogynist/homophobe etc.   The great replacement conspiracy was crazy and racist and stupid until Biden removed all limits and went full bore on it.  It was bad enough that the news sources do it, bad enough that a political party does it.  But now I can’t trust my government anymore.  They lie to our face, they know we know that they are lying and they don’t care.  I don’t think Americans are going to like what they plan to do to us next…

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