o/t "Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act" Thoughts?

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Submitted by CA renter on December 14, 2016 - 9:58am

IMHO, this is an extremely chilling piece of legislation, designed to censor any opposition to the establishment's narrative. They quietly passed it as part of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report.

.....................

"NOTE: The bipartisan Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act is organized around two main priorities to help achieve the goal of combatting the constantly evolving threat of foreign disinformation. They are as follows:

The first priority is developing a whole-of-government strategy for countering foreign propaganda and disinformation. The bill would increase the authority, resources, and mandate of the Global Engagement Center to include state actors like Russia and China in addition to violent extremists. The Center will be led by the State Department, but with the active senior level participation of the Department of Defense, USAID, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the Intelligence Community, and other relevant agencies. The Center will develop, integrate, and synchronize whole-of-government initiatives to expose and counter foreign disinformation operations and proactively advance fact-based narratives that support U.S. allies and interests.
Second, the legislation seeks to leverage expertise from outside government to create more adaptive and responsive U.S. strategy options. The legislation establishes a fund to help train local journalists and provide grants and contracts to NGOs, civil society organizations, think tanks, private sector companies, media organizations, and other experts outside the U.S. government with experience in identifying and analyzing the latest trends in foreign government disinformation techniques. This fund will complement and support the Center’s role by integrating capabilities and expertise available outside the U.S. government into the strategy-making process. It will also empower a decentralized network of private sector experts and integrate their expertise into the strategy-making process."

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-10...

Submitted by NotCranky on December 14, 2016 - 10:16pm.

It's a propaganda warfare kind of world.

Submitted by harvey on December 15, 2016 - 3:00pm.

This one is an interesting grey area.

First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech/press for US citizens and residents, but it doesn't apply to foreign governments.

Fake news sources operated by foreign governments or even foreign citizens are not protected by the First Amendment. If this law is targeted at them, I'm likely ok with it.

But stuff like this can and will be abused...

Humerous note: zerohedge.com is considered by more credible organizations to be fake news. It's definitely low quality.

Submitted by Rich Toscano on December 15, 2016 - 4:55pm.

Zero Hedge, always with the even-handed analysis: https://twitter.com/zerohedge/status/809...

Submitted by harvey on December 15, 2016 - 6:49pm.

That Tyler Durden journalist fella sure is handsome!

(and the humerous is a bone, lol)

Submitted by ucodegen on December 16, 2016 - 5:39pm.

This almost seems to be taken from the North Korea playbook. Kind of Orwellian too.

Submitted by CA renter on December 17, 2016 - 5:35am.

Rich Toscano wrote:
Zero Hedge, always with the even-handed analysis: https://twitter.com/zerohedge/status/809466335499612160

I'm not on twitter, so might be missing what they're trying to communicate here (assuming that you're indicating that they were wrong or not even-handed in their analysis), but my reading of the twitter feed linked here is that they're showing how many abominable actions by governments are often said to be "conspiracy theories" and "fake news," when, in reality, they are absolutely true and factual. Many "conspiracy theories" turn out to be conspiracy facts.

It looks like they are saying that censorship and government control of the media is dangerous. I agree wholeheartedly with their assessment.

-----------------

But it's not just Zero Hedge, this is from the site of one of the senators who introduced the legislation.

http://www.portman.senate.gov/public/ind...
.............

Another perspective:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/counter-pro...
.............

A pro-censorship article about it in the Washington Post:

http://www.portman.senate.gov/public/ind...
.............

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countering...

=======================

Let's not forget that they are basing this on the fraud and collusion that was exposed in the Wikileaks releases during the primary and general election seasons. All of the information that was released was true, and it proved what many who witnessed these manipulations were saying for months (and were called "conspiracy theorists" as a result).

Instead of going after those who were involved in the corruption and collusion, they are choosing to go after those who exposed it. This is a very disturbing occurrence.

Submitted by CA renter on December 17, 2016 - 5:35am.

ucodegen wrote:
This almost seems to be taken from the North Korea playbook. Kind of Orwellian too.

Very Orwellian. :(

Submitted by Rich Toscano on December 17, 2016 - 10:20am.

CA renter wrote:

I'm not on twitter, so might be missing what they're trying to communicate here (assuming that you're indicating that they were wrong or not even-handed in their analysis)

There's no "analysis"... it's just these 2 pictures side by side:

- A form to report fake news to Facebook (a private organization)
- A Nazi book-burning rally in WWII era Germany

That's literally the whole thing.

Submitted by Rich Toscano on December 17, 2016 - 10:24am.

Here's a screen grab:

zero hedgezero hedge

Submitted by Rich Toscano on December 17, 2016 - 10:26am.

PS - I'm not expressing an opinion on this legislation... I just like to make fun of Zero Hedge.

Submitted by Escoguy on December 21, 2016 - 10:34am.

Rich

There is considerable reason to believe that Zero Hedge is an agitprop site.

A handful of "facts" presented in a way to show the problems with the US: high levels of debt, potential for a weakening currency.

With topics such as Ukraine, Zero Hedge is clearly in the Russia camp.

http://streetwiseprofessor.com/?p=8947

Best thing you can do is just not read it to lower their traffic/clicks/ad revenue.

This kind of website epitomizes why discerning what is fake news is difficult but in essence the theme of the site it to take "facts" and push an agenda in a particular manner rather than showing any balance. Somewhat comparable with "Fox News" saying "Fair and Balanced", when 70-80% of the coverage is center right and the center left coverage is done in a halfhearted/weak way.

Submitted by CA renter on December 23, 2016 - 2:55am.

Rich Toscano wrote:
CA renter wrote:

I'm not on twitter, so might be missing what they're trying to communicate here (assuming that you're indicating that they were wrong or not even-handed in their analysis)

There's no "analysis"... it's just these 2 pictures side by side:

- A form to report fake news to Facebook (a private organization)
- A Nazi book-burning rally in WWII era Germany

That's literally the whole thing.

I think this is more of an issue with twitter and its 140 character limit. That leaves very little room for any analysis or debate. It's one of the main reasons I've not spent any time on twitter, save for the odd links to a twitter feed that people post on other sites.

Submitted by CA renter on December 23, 2016 - 4:56am.

Escoguy wrote:
Rich

There is considerable reason to believe that Zero Hedge is an agitprop site.

A handful of "facts" presented in a way to show the problems with the US: high levels of debt, potential for a weakening currency.

With topics such as Ukraine, Zero Hedge is clearly in the Russia camp.

http://streetwiseprofessor.com/?p=8947

Best thing you can do is just not read it to lower their traffic/clicks/ad revenue.

This kind of website epitomizes why discerning what is fake news is difficult but in essence the theme of the site it to take "facts" and push an agenda in a particular manner rather than showing any balance. Somewhat comparable with "Fox News" saying "Fair and Balanced", when 70-80% of the coverage is center right and the center left coverage is done in a halfhearted/weak way.

Unfortunately, there are precious few media outlets that offer an objective perspective on news and current events. That's why people need to be familiar with all of the relevant facts, along with the various perspectives, so that they can piece things together for themselves.

Just my 2 cents, but I've not seen any "fake news" on Zero Hedge. I'm not a regular reader, but I've been reading posts and comments there, off and on, for quite a few years; I've yet to see them promote a story that had no basis in reality (though I admit to not reading the majority of their work).

I've seen far more "fake news" and propaganda on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, etc. At the very least, ZH is willing to post stories -- real stories -- that are not being covered in the MSM. That in itself is reason enough to keep ZH as one of many alternative news sources.

Submitted by harvey on December 23, 2016 - 8:23am.

Zero Hedge is totally legit.

BTW, the Paper Street Soap Company is a great place to get some of those last minute stocking stuffers!

Submitted by zk on December 23, 2016 - 8:35am.

CA renter wrote:

I've seen far more...propaganda on CNN [than on zero hedge].

And this is what is wrong with our country. People don't know propaganda when they see it.

Submitted by zk on December 23, 2016 - 10:38am.

CA renter wrote:
I've yet to see them promote a story that had no basis in reality

Is that your bar? A "basis in reality?"

Good god, it's no wonder you can't recognize propaganda.

Submitted by harvey on December 23, 2016 - 10:48am.

It checks out:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-22...

Sex Robots Are Becoming A Thing - And They Could Kill Off The Human Race

Submitted by gogogosandiego on December 23, 2016 - 5:09pm.

In April 2016, the authors writing as "Durden" on the website were reported by Bloomberg News to be Ivandjiiski, Tim Backshall (a credit derivatives strategist), and Colin Lokey. Lokey, the newest member revealed himself and the other two when he left the site.[1] Ivandjiiski confirmed that the three men "had been the only Tyler Durdens on the payroll" since Lokey joined the site in 2015.[1] Former Zero Hedge writer Colin Lokey said that he was pressured to frame issues in a way he felt was "disingenuous," summarizing its political stances as "Russia=good. Obama=idiot. Bashar al-Assad=benevolent leader. John Kerry=dunce. Vladimir Putin=greatest leader in the history of statecraft."[1] Zero Hedge founder Daniel Ivandjiiski, in response, said that Lokey could write "anything and everything he wanted directly without anyone writing over it."[1] On leaving, Lokey said: "I can't be a 24-hour cheerleader for Hezbollah, Moscow, Tehran, Beijing, and Trump anymore. It's wrong. Period. I know it gets you views now, but it will kill your brand over the long run. This isn't a revolution. It's a joke."[1]

Submitted by Escoguy on December 23, 2016 - 10:36pm.

CA renter

I don't know what your life experiences are and how many countries you've lived in/languages you speak or people you know.

What I can say after living in 8 countries over 20 years and knowing multiple foreign languages is that zero hedge is designed to look real to a person who has a critical eye towards the US but in actuality is little more than sophisticated propaganda. I could take any articles's "facts" and depending on the direction I want the reader to go, portray the US or Russia as evil/the victim/succeeding etc.

Once you realize that "fake news" is often about how "facts" are used to support a biased view, then you can look at everything more critically and have a happier life as you won't need to take such sites so seriously. I was a regular reader for years but finally realized that my desire to get an alternative perspective wasn't worth the negative effects such articles had on my thinking so I just cut it off and get other sources. A good one to consider is Calculated risk as they did a good job of calling the housing bubble but are grounding in facts.

For a while I read the housingbubble.com but they had a hard time realizing there would be a real recovery. If you join the permanent doom camp, it's like putting on blinders and you won't be ready when there is a recovery.

ZH is someone like that in the economic/political sphere.

Submitted by CA renter on December 24, 2016 - 6:52am.

zk wrote:
CA renter wrote:
I've yet to see them promote a story that had no basis in reality

Is that your bar? A "basis in reality?"

Good god, it's no wonder you can't recognize propaganda.

I've been familiar with some stories that were discussed in mainstream media, and there is no question that our traditional outlets are very biased and are definitely involved in spreading propaganda and intentionally distorting the truth. They also redirect the public's attention from certain stories and to others in order to push certain narratives.

There are no unbiased news sources. You have to be familiar with all perspectives and biases in order to glean the truth. But you need to have sources that value truth and integrity. Zero Hedge has reported on very important stories that were intentionally not covered by the MSM, this includes the housing/credit bubble issue that we were focusing on here on Piggington. Zero Hedge got it right, the MSM got it wrong.

They were also one of the few media sources who nailed what happened to both the Tea Party and OWS protests (which were both started for the same reasons), and how the establishment infiltrated and/or co-opted these movements in order to neutralize them.

http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/201...

None of this was in the MSM. They did the bidding of their masters and pushed the story that these were opposing "right" and "left" movements, when nothing could be further from the truth.

This is why I prefer alternate sources of information -- to compare it to what's being spread in the MSM so that the truth can be better discerned.

Submitted by CA renter on December 24, 2016 - 7:16am.

Escoguy wrote:
CA renter

I don't know what your life experiences are and how many countries you've lived in/languages you speak or people you know.

What I can say after living in 8 countries over 20 years and knowing multiple foreign languages is that zero hedge is designed to look real to a person who has a critical eye towards the US but in actuality is little more than sophisticated propaganda. I could take any articles's "facts" and depending on the direction I want the reader to go, portray the US or Russia as evil/the victim/succeeding etc.

Once you realize that "fake news" is often about how "facts" are used to support a biased view, then you can look at everything more critically and have a happier life as you won't need to take such sites so seriously. I was a regular reader for years but finally realized that my desire to get an alternative perspective wasn't worth the negative effects such articles had on my thinking so I just cut it off and get other sources. A good one to consider is Calculated risk as they did a good job of calling the housing bubble but are grounding in facts.

For a while I read the housingbubble.com but they had a hard time realizing there would be a real recovery. If you join the permanent doom camp, it's like putting on blinders and you won't be ready when there is a recovery.

ZH is someone like that in the economic/political sphere.

Yes, I've lived and traveled overseas, and have lived among immigrants my entire life. As you might imagine, I've never shied away from discussions about politics, culture, religion, etc.; and have had many interesting conversations with people from all around the world. These different perspectives have given me a much better understanding about the world and our place in it.

You are absolutely correct about being able to create multiple different (and even opposing) narratives based on the same facts. What I think you and others might be missing is that this is also true of U.S. news sources, history books, etc.

I've long been familiar with Calculated Risk, The Housing Bubble Blog (where I was a regular poster for many years), etc. There are biases and social/political leanings no matter where you go. I prefer to familiarize myself with as many perspectives as possible.

You're wise to wean yourself from sites that create negative thoughts and feelings. I've had to do that myself, too. But I still want to be as informed as possible, and I can't do that just by watching CNN or reading the Washington Post, the NYT, or the Economist (all of which I watch/read, too).

I think that alternative news sources are the lifeblood of a healthy society. As it stands, our media outlets are controlled by too few people, and it's obvious that they are trying to push certain agendas, often to the detriment of both U.S. citizens and people abroad.

Submitted by harvey on December 24, 2016 - 8:17am.

I other words, even though it's been spelled out to you very clearly that Zero Hedge is worthless, you are are still going to cite it as a "credible source" whenever it suits your opinion of the day.

ZK is right. This is how we ended up with Trump.

Merry Christmas!

Submitted by zk on December 24, 2016 - 12:34pm.

That article is your defense of ZH?

Wow. You're kind of making my point for me.

Submitted by CA renter on December 26, 2016 - 8:00am.

Harvey and zk, you're making my case.

The bill was signed by President Obama just before Christmas Eve (odd timing, no?). I searched google (using the search terms "obama signs countering disinformation and propaganda act" and "countering disinformation and propaganda act") for any news about it among the MSM sources that you seem to indicate are truthful and unbiased, but found no MSM coverage on the first few pages of results.

But, lo and behold, Zero Hedge is reporting on it. Other alternative news sites are also reporting about it. Why no MSM coverage?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-24...

Is this less newsworthy than George Michael's death?

It's like how the news was reporting about Miley Cyrus "twerking" a few years back instead of focusing on important issues like the secretive dealings regarding the TPP. I mentioned the absence of this important news at the time, too.

Submitted by CA renter on December 26, 2016 - 8:16am.

zk wrote:

That article is your defense of ZH?

Wow. You're kind of making my point for me.

Precisely which part of that article do you disagree with, and why? Please be specific and give us a valid reason -- cite sources or give us some personal background information indicating your expertise regarding these movements -- for why your position is the truthful one, and why the ZH article is wrong.

For the record, I was actively involved with these movements and can attest to what ZH is saying here. Many of the people who were involved with the original Tea Party (before being co-opted by the Republicans) were the same people who were involved with OWS...and many of these same people were involved in Bernie Sanders' campaign (and were also involved with the Iraq war protests, etc.). If you have information that would conflict with my personal knowledge and experience regarding this topic, I'd be open to hearing about it.

And prior to the Tea Party and OWS, there was this protest, and never a peep from the MSM about it, either. Again, this is the same movement from this protest, to the (original/real) Tea Party, to Occupy Wall Street, to Bernie Sanders' campaign. It's all part of the same movement; it's the MSM and the government/corporate leaders who have infiltrated and co-opted these movements that are framing these as separate movements in order to divide and conquer the masses who are rightly angered by the antics of our politicians and their corporate overlords.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XreAnHG8xu4

Submitted by CA renter on December 26, 2016 - 8:15am.

harvey wrote:
I other words, even though it's been spelled out to you very clearly that Zero Hedge is worthless, you are are still going to cite it as a "credible source" whenever it suits your opinion of the day.

ZK is right. This is how we ended up with Trump.

Merry Christmas!

Please quote the post where it's been "spelled out...very clearly that Zero Hedge is worthless." Remember, opinions don't count. Back it up with evidence.

Submitted by zk on December 26, 2016 - 8:58am.

CA Renter, this is normally where I break out the facts and logic and evidence and reason. But that takes a lot of time, and you've shown that you're immune to it anyway.

Remember this?:

https://piggington.com/middle_school_log...

I spent many an hour countering your ridiculousness, and I proved, using your own words, that you were unambiguously wrong (my assertion was that you imagine people being motivated to segregate girls and boys by fear of feminizing boys. You said you did no such thing. And, right there on that thread, you did exactly that - you imagined me doing it. You accused me of doing it when I hadn't). Yet you continued to insist that you were right.

So, if you can't see, even when it's unambiguously proven to you, that you're wrong, why would I spend my time trying to convince you?

I will throw this out there, though, because I think it's kind of funny:

Saying that OWS and the Tea Party protests were started for the same reason is like saying the "Free Mumia" movement and the "Execute Mumia" movement were started for the same reason: They were both angry that Mumia was in jail.

Sure, they both don't like the state of government/corporate interaction. But if one wants less corporate influence on the government, and the other wants less government influence on corporations, then they don't want the same thing.

Submitted by harvey on December 26, 2016 - 9:22am.

CA renter wrote:
The bill was signed by President Obama just before Christmas Eve (odd timing, no?).

Obama did not sign any bill called the Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act. There was a bill with that name introduced into congress that never made it very far.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-cong...

What Obama did sign "just before Christmas Eve" was the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017. This is the law that substantially funds our entire fucking military. The same law that every president signs every year. So that we can have a military the next year.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-cong...

(And no, it's not "odd" for a president to sign critical annual budget legislation at the end of the year.)

Within the nearly thousand-page NDAA there are a few paragraphs that mention a relatively insignificant amount of funding to be directed toward countering disinformation by foreign governments. An effort that I, a card-carrying member of the ACLU, believe is a reasonable use of our military budget. Most Americans would agree with me that no civil liberties are threatened by this legislation.

The reason the "mainstream media" is not reporting on your boogeyman is because it doesn't exist.

Unfortunately, you lack such a basic understanding of how our government works as well as any ability to critically analyze information, that there's not much anyone here can do to help you.

Quote:
Is this less newsworthy than George Michael's death?

George Michael's death actually happened.

Submitted by CA renter on December 26, 2016 - 9:10am.

zk wrote:
CA Renter, this is normally where I break out the facts and logic and evidence and reason. But that takes a lot of time, and you've shown that you're immune to it anyway.

Remember this?:

https://piggington.com/middle_school_log...

I spent many an hour countering your ridiculousness, and I proved, using your own words, that you were unambiguously wrong (my assertion was that you imagine people being motivated to segregate girls and boys for fear of feminizing boys. You said you did no such thing. And, right there on that thread, you did exactly that - you imagined me doing it. You accused me of doing it when I hadn't). Yet you continued to insist that you were right.

So, if you can't see, even when it's unambiguously proven to you, that you're wrong, why would I spend my time trying to convince you?

I will throw this out there, though, because I think it's kind of funny:

Saying that OWS and the Tea Party protests were started for the same reason is like saying the "Free Mumia" movement and the "Execute Mumia" movement were started for the same reason: They were both angry that Mumia was in jail.

Sure, they both don't like the state of government/corporate interaction. But if one wants less corporate influence on the government, and the other wants less government influence on corporations, then they don't want the same thing.

ZK, the only thing you proved on that thread was that you disagreed with me, and that was based solely on your opinion, not on facts or logic.

So, feel free to actually prove something based on facts and logic, and I will listen. So far on this thread, you're just pulling more nonsense out of your behind and claiming that it is somehow more relevant or truthful vs. the experience of someone who was actually there.

Yes, OWS and the Tea Party started for the same reasons -- to stop privatizing profits and socializing losses, and to get the government to stop favoring Wall Street (and corporations) over people. The story about the Tea Party being about small government or being opposed to Obamacare came well after it had already built a following that was focused purely on the bailouts of the financial sector. The movement gained such strength in such a short amount of time that the PTB freaked out and began infiltrating and redirecting the energy toward things like "big government" and Obamacare. This is very well known among those who were involved. Again, I was there, and you, quite obviously, were not.

Submitted by zk on December 26, 2016 - 9:27am.

CA renter wrote:

ZK, the only thing you proved on that thread was that you disagreed with me, and that was based solely on your opinion, not on facts or logic.

It wasn't my opinion. It was your own words that proved you unambiguously wrong.

There's something wrong with you:

When you're looking at proof that you're wrong, you're like the automatons on Westworld looking at pictures of the world outside the park: "That doesn't look like anything to me."

This is why I refuse to spend time debating you any more.

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