Propaganda and the dystopia of social media

Bill Weinberg rants against the totalizing propaganda environment of social media, and how Facebook is destroying our ability to think, analyze and access information outside our own "confirmation bias" bubble. The so-called "information revolution" actually sounds the death knell of information freedom and real journalism—and even of literacy itself. This phenomenon partially explains the complicity of the "left" and "alternative" media in the Putin-Pendejo* fascist convergence. This YouTube video is a test run for the rebooted version of the Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade vlog—please forgive the imperfections, we are still working out the bugs! Watch this website for the next episode, coming soon...

ANNOTATION:

* "Pendejo" is a Mexican slang word literally meaning "pubic hair," but used much the same way English-speakers use "asshole." It has been adopted as a popular pejorative in the Spanish-speaking world for the current Republican Party presidential nominee.

Among the pseudo-left confirmation-bias websites mentioned in the video are the (reliably reactionary) Counterpunch and the (fiction-peddling) Mint Press. Overlooked but certainly worthy of mention is the (perennially wacky) Global Research. The absurd Pendejo claim that Obama "created" ISIS has actually been echoed on "progressive" (sic) websites like Black Agenda Report. (A claim dismissed as a "fairy tale" by secular and progressive supporters of the Syrian Revolution.) Then there are the click-bait websites like National Report, representing the alarming phenomenon of actual pseudo-news. By the way, if you are looking for some legitimate websites, you will find several hundred on our links page.

See the last episode of the Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade...

OK, forgive sartorial and aesthetic imperfections too

Jeez, most of the comments on Facebook have been about my tank-top (and how it reveals my hairy shoulders) and messy desktop. Rather than the actual, um, content. I thought I was just being authentic. It is damn hot in New York right now, and I don't have air-conditioning.

Oh, and on the subject...

Another good one to avoid is YourNewsWire.

And another we have called out here and here is 21st Century Wire.

Also, CcounterCurrentNews.

Please stop sharing links to these sites

A blogger on Patheos provides a further list of bogus websites credulously shared by "liberals," including IfYouOnlyNewsThe Freethought ProjectNewslo and Politicalo ("almost anything that ends on lo; these sites specialize in taking accurate statements from politicians and then adding false quotes to them that are much worse than what they actually said").

One more for our hit-parade of unreliability...

Trump flack: 'No such thing as facts'

Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes made an appearance on NPR's Diane Rehm Show on Nov. 30, where she actually made the flat statement: “There are no such things as facts.” At least Daily Kos is expressing some outrage about it.

This just after BBC noted that "post-truth" has been declared word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries. And we don't know how scientific their methodology is, but BuzzFeed claims to have done an analysis indicating that "Fake Election News Stories Outperformed Real News On Facebook" in terms of "likes" and shares. Which we find entirely probable.

PropOrNot's notorious list

Website Is It Propaganda Or Not has been accused of keeping a "blacklist" since its compendium of wesbites that it says echo Russian propaganda was written up in the Washington Post. We took a look at the list, and most of the sites there are surprisingly obscure. In some cases they clearly overstep. Truth-Out and ThirdWorldTraveler should not be on the list. They may be a little gullible about Russian propaganda from time to time, but they are certainy no worse than The Nation. (Cough) They aren't in the same class of sinister wackiness as, say, Global Resarch or InfoWars. On the other hand, the failure to include Counterpunch is a glaring ommission. So... a "blacklist"? Nah. More like quality control, and (despite a couple of erroneous calls) in some ways too generous.