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What Do We Do When the Internet Mob Is Wrong?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the blame-it-on-everyone-else-and-walk-away-whistling dept.

The Media 361

New submitter cornicefire writes "By now most people have heard the news and seen the picture of the boy who was killed over the new Nike sneakers. There are Facebook pages devoted to fist-shaking protests about materialism and greed. Yada yada yada. But while the scuffles over the shoes were real, the death was not. The photo was just a stock photo of some kid in a lab. We know this because of some old school reporters — Steve Earley and Justin Fentin of the Baltimore Sun. In the rush to celebrate crowdsourcing, many of us pooh-pooh the old media as 'gatekeepers,' but there are times when keeping that gate locked is a good idea. After all, if one of the crowd discovered the error, the signal would barely rise above the noise. There are people claiming that anyone questioning the facts is being disrespectful. Is there something we can do about the mobocracy? How can we support the best traditions of journalism while fixing the worst? How can we nurture accuracy?"

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Nurturing accuracy (5, Insightful)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482950)

Nurturing accuracy will require a cultural change, from our schools up.

Re:Nurturing accuracy (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38482978)

You misspelled "integrity" as "accuracy."

Re:Nurturing accuracy (4, Insightful)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483300)

What about people who value what they consider to be integrity over accuracy, such as those who consider maintaining their beliefs to be more important those beliefs actually being correct?

Re:Nurturing accuracy (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483474)

Such people should be removed from the gene pool.

Yeah, I know. It isn't a good answer. But that is because there *are* no good answers. If this problem was easily solved, it would have been solved long ago.

Re:Nurturing accuracy (4, Interesting)

olderphart (787517) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483052)

Well, there used to be this thing call "journalism". See, first you make up a story that Advances The Narrative, then you create evidence for it (in a font that wasn't invented at the time it was supposed to happen), and then you're Dan Rather. Truthiness rules!

Snark aside, the rules of the Old Journalism worked moderately well when they were followed. I think our current chaotic information pool will improve in quality as honest brokers of info bundling and verification services emerge and thus develop a reputation. Which will make them powerful, and interesting targets for corruption... Big wheel keeps on turnin'.

Re:Nurturing accuracy (5, Insightful)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483170)

I think our current chaotic information pool will improve in quality as honest brokers of info bundling and verification services emerge and thus develop a reputation.

Developing such a reputation only matters if people want accurate information.

Re:Nurturing accuracy (1)

olderphart (787517) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483308)

Reality is what doesn't go away if you don't believe in it, but we s/are/have been/ rich enough to base our decisions on moonbeams and pixie dust, for a while. And the end of that while is hard upon us. I predict valuing truth over truthiness will be more common post-Reckoning.

Re:Nurturing accuracy (5, Insightful)

miserere nobis (1332335) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483444)

I think our current chaotic information pool will improve in quality as honest brokers of info bundling and verification services emerge and thus develop a reputation.

I have been hoping for this outcome, but there is a lot of reason to believe it is unlikely. One reason is that, when it comes to mass social media-developed stories, the brokers are everyone, and honest news sources can be overwhelmed and lost in the noise. To prevent this, every person has to regard him- or herself as a journalist with an obligation to check things before posting them, tweeting them, or otherwise passing them along. Given how well this has worked with all of the incredibly unbelievable urban legends that continue to be propagated via email despite easy fact checking, I have a feeling a lot more people find it easier to click "share" than to take time to look something up carefully.

The other reason I worry about this is that reputations themselves hold value and therefore are regularly sold off just like any other assets. How many companies are there that have developed a reputation for high quality, over many years, and then someone realized that if they put the same brand name on a lesser product, they could sell more of it at lesser cost. Sure, it diminishes the brand, but that takes time, and the profits are immediate. Furthermore, our culture (at least in the U.S.) has gradually devalued actual honesty (the foundation of a reputation) in favor of branding (the imagery of a reputation). Most troubling, personal honesty itself is not considered important. What is a paid endorsement, really? It is putting up your reputation for sale. Yet this is accepted without question as the best way to cash in on one's status as a trusted person. To see this in action out in the masses, how many bloggers, after building up a following, begin accepting "sponsored posts"? Vast numbers of them, and many have probably never even realized there is a moral dimension to this at all, it's just a way to earn money. If they have thought about it, they probably have never taken it seriously enough to actually refuse to do it, because looking at it as a form of dishonesty would be a "fringe" view in our present culture, and therefore easily dismissed regardless of its accuracy. So what I worry about is that, unless we somehow foster an actual cultural change, we'll wind up with just a continued bombardment of unchecked "facts" mixed with an endless succession of people and institutions that build up a trusted reputation and then cash out.

Re:Nurturing accuracy (5, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483068)

That's true and not only of the "internet mob." Traditional media, with a few exceptions, have also gone this route of going with sensational hot news without fact checking and then burying corrections later. The only difference is that the masses read the internet (or at least the channels through which news reaches them such as Facebook) and that news spreads instantaneously instead of over a couple of days.

Re:Nurturing accuracy (5, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483282)

Its not just sensational news.

The modern media is He Said, She Said. Instead of investigative journalism and getting to the bottom of the story, all they do is tell you what people (such as politicians) are saying.

Name the media outlet that managed to inform us that in 2000, when credit default swaps were being deregulated, that the House vote for deregulation went 292 to 60:

133 to 51 on the Republican side.
157 to 9 on the Democrat side.

Instead of reporting that (simple to find facts), they cut to a sound-bites of either (a) Democrats blaming the Republicans or (b) Republicans defending themselves from the accusation.

Stop listening to them. Start watching them. You can't watch with the television on, because thats just listening to what they are saying rather than watching what they are doing.

Re:Nurturing accuracy (1)

The Good Reverend (84440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483312)

Traditional media, with a few exceptions, have also gone this route of going with sensational hot news without fact checking and then burying corrections later.

There's more fact-checking than you think - most media won't report on a story unless another trusted agency reports it first or it's confirmed by the agency directly (via first-hand reporting or official confirmation). Yes. there's a rush to be "first", but often the info that needs correcting actually comes from the "official" sources (government, news subjects, etc).

As for corrections, at least the exist, usually on the same sources (or URLs) as the original story. This doesn't happen "in the crowd". Not perfect, but not as haphazard as people like to think.

Re:Nurturing accuracy (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483372)

>Traditional media, with a few exceptions, have also gone this route of going with sensational hot news without fact checking and then burying corrections later.

^^Absolutely^^.

The point completely renders irrelevant the uninformed front page story.

Thread/discussion over.

Re:Nurturing accuracy (3, Insightful)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483480)

With few exceptions, yes. And I think it's telling that the most prominent of those few exceptions is one of the only 24hr News channels that you can't get in the US: Al-Jazeera.

Re:Nurturing accuracy (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483088)

The adults have to lead by example, not theistic proselytizing. The words ring hollow when they conflict with the action.

Re:Nurturing accuracy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483098)

I disagree. I strongly believe that nurturing accuracy will require daily masturbation.

Oh wait, no, that's nonsense. Our desire for accuracy was never in doubt; no one likes to be wrong. I guess we'll need some ways of managing information, centrally, with a team of trailed professionals.

In the end, running a few of these specialist organizations might save money over the alternative, which seems to be to whack off to social media every single day.

Re:Nurturing accuracy (0, Offtopic)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483192)

Our desire for accuracy was never in doubt; no one likes to be wrong.

And what percentage of Americans reject evolution?

Not believing everything your read (5, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483214)

Nurturing accuracy will require a cultural change, from our schools up.

Perhaps it is more important to teach not believing everything that you read. Especially on the internet where there is little barrier to being published.

To instill some sort of ability to judge credibility. For example, two people make conflicting medical claims. One is an unknown but licensed medical doctor who trained at a well regarded university and the other is a famous and popular actress. That the actress' lack of relative credibility would require extraordinary evidence of her claims.

Re:Not believing everything your read (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483272)

Once the people that grow up creating such false histories (or knowing who created them) gets into the majority, people will trust a little less what they read on the net.

Re:Not believing everything your read (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483304)

Perhaps it is more important to teach not believing everything that you read.

Critical thinking is the most important thing school can teach a person.
Unfortunately it seems to get pretty short shrift in much of the curriculum.

Re:Nurturing accuracy (2)

Jhon (241832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483220)

Remember "Memo Gate"?

Maybe the "crowd" is better at keeping things accurate than reporting them accurately?

Re:Nurturing accuracy (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483380)

What incentive do people have to be accurate when accepting bribes to skew the facts is so much more profitable?

Face it, the truth twisters have an edge and aren't afraid to use it to further their advantage.

Re:Nurturing accuracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483490)

Precisely. What will we do when the media mob is wrong?

Take the example of Rodney King. He was given ample opportunities to surrender himself the LAPD stopped the California Highway Patrol from shooting him he was tasered twice and he still wanted a fight.

This was not shown by the media but the subsequent beating was. The jury was shown the whole incident but this was not explained by the media and some people went out to seek justice by obtaining free malt liquor.

How un American of you (4, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482952)

You should be out selling them hot dogs. That's what mobs are for.
 

Re:How un American of you (4, Funny)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483240)

It's an Internet mob, remember? You should be selling them herbal V1agr4 instead.

What do you sell an angry unthinking Internet mob? (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483334)

Righteousness.

Set up a paypal account with the title "Parents against Nike violence against small children."
 

How un American of YOU (2)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483340)

You should be out selling them pepper spray. It's a food product essentially.

He's "dead", Jim! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38482962)

Wouldn't a call to the "dead teen" set things straight?

Not much to be done (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38482964)

We had a similar event earlier this year near where I live. A kid, in that case, did die. Everyone thought the lad had over-dosed and died and the followed two weeks were a blur of cries for tougher drug control, better drug programs, editorials on how irresponsible youth are, etc etc etc. But a few of us, having read the report, noted the cause of death probably wasn't really drug related and the autopsy confirmed this. However no one wanted to hear it. Any comment about what really happened was shouted down in the anti-drug fervor.

There isn't much you can do against a mob, even one which is obviously wrong. Just wait it out and quietly try to educate people one at a time I suppose.

Re:Not much to be done (-1, Troll)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483094)

Hello Nike PR Shill, you must be new here.

Re:Not much to be done (3)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483108)

Equally, the MMR-causes-autism outcry a few years ago - the report had long been discredited, but for some reason it suddenly became a huge thing for many groups, causing massive public anger.

Same goes for the recent UEA climategate - nothing the scientists did was wrong, everything in the emails was almost deliberately taken out of context and much hilarity ensued.

Re:Not much to be done (3, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483162)

Isn't allowing your emotions to control you great? You should do it all the time (especially when thinking about the children)!

Re:Not much to be done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483264)

Isn't allowing your emotions to control you great? You should do it all the time (especially when thinking about the children)!

Mr. Sandusky, that's highly inappropriate!

Re:Not much to be done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483320)

"Quietly try to educate" people? My, we are rather confident of ourselves, aren't we? Another American who somehow manages to say with a straight face that they have something to teach the world about decency and reason. Let me guess, your education plan would probably require setting aside somewhere quiet for people to study all of this wisdom, am I right? Some kind of camp that would encourage people to concentrate, perhaps?

You can always fight back against a mob, but I suppose fighting back is a concept that's foreign to Americans these days. After losing in Vietnam and taking a massive kick to the collective balls from bin Laden you seem to prefer fighting the types of "wars" in which the other side isn't actually fighting _back_ much at all. Hell, they don't even have to be holding guns at the time, look up the Kill Team video for some graphic evidence of that.

Re:Not much to be done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483352)

"There isn't much you can do against a mob"

Military field manuals probably cover this exact situation under "deployment and use of machine-guns in offensive operations".

Easy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38482966)

Be really outspoken against them and post your personal information every chance you get...

type of human who uses and believes social media (5, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482980)

the people who immerse themselves in social media, who believe rumors without question, who only worry about other's opinions and so are easily swayed, are just dumber than sack of shit regardless of how high their IQ. Over half the populace is like that, very scary

Re:type of human who uses and believes social medi (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483302)

That level of dumbfuckery is normal. Too bad for the rest of us.

Subscribe to regulated integrity (4, Funny)

landofcleve (1959610) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482984)

Your local newspaper is regulated by law to check it's sources and it's facts before printing.

Re:Subscribe to regulated integrity (4, Interesting)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483102)

You should read "Flat Earth News" [amazon.co.uk] , it offers a wonderful glimpse into the world of reporting and news agencies like Reuters and what passes for fact checking there.

Re:Subscribe to regulated integrity (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483226)

Is it regulated by law to check its use of apostrophes? I would guess not, as the (US) Constitution does the same thing. And what law is this?

Re:Subscribe to regulated integrity (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483286)

How so?

Re:Subscribe to regulated integrity (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483292)

By what law?

Re:Subscribe to regulated integrity (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483328)

Your local newspaper is regulated by law to check it's sources and it's facts before printing.

Even if it were true, they dont actually put facts in anymore. Its all He Said, She Said.

It doesnt matter that the people saying the stuff are lying. They said it and thats what is being reported.

Re:Subscribe to regulated integrity (1)

dbc (135354) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483398)

What country is that, exactly? Since I have mod points, I'm tempted to mod you 'funny'.... but I can't tell if you are clueless or just trolling.

Re:Subscribe to regulated integrity (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483408)

Citation needed. Which country?

Public relations stunt? (5, Interesting)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482996)

Looks very much like a PR stunt from Nike to me, to get out the message "our shoes are so good that people are fighting and killing each other to get them".

Re:Public relations stunt? (1)

OrigamiMarie (1501451) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483316)

Nike: the brand for people who would kill for shoes. I never have bought Nike and this helps ensure that I continue on that course. Oh well, wrong demographic, I suppose.

Re:Public relations stunt? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483422)

The kind of people who worship sports stars are thuggish enough to respond to such PR.

It's important in other cases too (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483006)

Take the OWIES, who committed acts of terrorism because they thought the 1% weren't paying their fair share...

http://visualizingeconomics.com/2010/02/12/how-much-taxes-are-paid-by-the-poor-middle-class-and-rich/

The top 1% may make 18% of the wealth, but they pay 27% of the taxes!!!

Yet this lie has persisted, despite overwhelming facts. Why? Because of idiots like PK and Obama. Though idiot may be too strong a word. They know what they are doing, and they lie and cheat to lure helpless fools into their plans and machinations.

Re:It's important in other cases too (0)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483236)

Take the OWIES, who committed acts of terrorism because they thought the 1% weren't paying their fair share...

http://visualizingeconomics.com/2010/02/12/how-much-taxes-are-paid-by-the-poor-middle-class-and-rich/ [visualizingeconomics.com]

The top 1% may make 18% of the wealth, but they pay 27% of the taxes!!!

Well duh – that's because the point of taxes is to make sure that the poorest who can't afford to live actually get something out of society, and that the richest help to contribute to this. If the rich didn't pay the most, the system would be incredibly badly broken. What people argue is that they don't pay enough even though they pay the most. This argument is generally based on the fact that the richest, despite paying this amount of tax can afford an enormously better quality of life than even the moderately well off.

Re:It's important in other cases too (-1, Troll)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483358)

You need to rethink your reasoning for taxes. Taxes enable the government to function and fulfill its enumerated responsibilities. Its enumerated responsibilities does not include making everyone equal to make sure someone "gets something out of society". That is the job of the someone.

And tell me, how much is enough taxes for "the richest?" Why? Do you have any reasoning behind it other than they have more than you?

Re:It's important in other cases too (0)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483364)

This argument is generally based on the fact that the richest, despite paying this amount of tax can afford an enormously better quality of life than even the moderately well off.

What better quality of life is that? Our poor people have cell phones, cars, cable television, and too much food (poor americans are fat!) for christ sakes. You really cant get an 'enormously better quality of life' yet. Our poor are rich by any standards but the warped bullshit ones.

Re:Poor Americans are fat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483492)

They're fat because the cheapest food available is also some of the most fattening and unhealthy. Eating good, healthy food is actually more expensive. (I say this as a poor person trying to eat healthy. It's tough to manage if your budget gets too tight.)

Re:It's important in other cases too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483266)

The top 1% may make 18% of the wealth, but they pay 27% of the taxes!!!

Poor babies. It must be so damn hard living under that crippling tax burden.

Luckily, there are no laws against being poor. There are many charities out there that could use some help, they should just give their vast fortunes away. Yeah, they'll have to live here in the slums with the rest of us, but hey, no more taxes! Given the ridiculous amount of bitching and complaining I hear about taxes from people that seem to ignore the privileged lifestyle that comes along with that tax burden, I would think they would be chomping at the bit to give it all up.

You know, any millionaires out there that are just sick and tired of paying taxes, go ahead and give me all your money. I'll be glad to shoulder that burden for you.

Was Nike behind this? (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483010)

The real issue is whether Nike was behind the hype. Nike isn't that cool any more, and Michael Jordan is a has-been jock. They're the parties that would benefit from this. Follow the money.

Re:Was Nike behind this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483124)

You seem impotent and angry and a bit delusional.

Re:Was Nike behind this? (4, Funny)

honestmonkey (819408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483238)

YEAH! NIKE WAS BEHIND THIS! LET'S ALL GO GET THEM!

I've got a batch of torches and pitchforks here I'll sell you all real cheap.

Re:Was Nike behind this? (2)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483356)

Whether Nike was behind the hype or not is moot. The fact is they drummed up enough chaos to make their product relevant again. That's marketing, and somebody has to do it.

Jordan a has-been? Maybe.....Jordan an Icon? Certainly. This is 'merica and we celebrate our sports heroes damnit! You dont have to be an avid sports fan to know names like Babe Ruth, Larry Bird, Wayne Gretzky or Joe Frazier and what they've done in their respective sports to become household names.

Re:Was Nike behind this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483496)

Why is Wayne Gretzky in that list? He is Canadian after all, not to mention his best days by far were served on a Canadian team.

Crowds are a source of data... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483012)

...reputable editors distil information.

In case it's not obvious, the Internet mob is a "crowd", not an "editor".

Re:Crowds are a source of data... (0)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483370)

Reputable Editors, ethical journalists, military intelligence, etc.

the answer is clear (5, Funny)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483018)

Rustle up an internet mob to punish this despicable lack of accuracy!

What? We... (1)

CmdrEdem (2229572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483020)

run if they are armed with pitchforks and torches. We try to reason if they are equipped with long range weaponry and ignore otherwise. This is about responsibility of those that create or publish the information. The mob got it wrong because someone told them something wrong. That is about people checking one source and taking that as absolute true. That's comfortable and easy. To think we must search and digest new information based on what we already know. Never take info for granted, mainly when it is too good to be true. The less people joining the mob (meaning you can avoid joining having a mind by yourself) the lesser the problem will be.

Reputation and meta-moderation (4, Interesting)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483030)

People who have been proven right time after time, such as Snopes or the Bad Astronomy guy, are frequently cited as rebuttals.

Having an internet-wide identity, such as Open ID (and specifically not FaceBook or a government supplied ID), allowing people to gain reputation, and override other peoples' posts, or at least be placed higher, is really the only way to do this everywhere.

Just as with slashdot moderation, it will be possible to game the system, if you respond rationally everywhere except one issue where you feel strongly about. And it would be nice if your reputation could be classified so that you can have a good reputation on some subjects, but automatically junkpiled on other topics.

As it stands, fact checkers who don't have an axe to grind are the only voices of reason, and you basically have to educate people about the fact checker being cited, but not so much that it looks like you are unquestioning of their lack of bias.

Making the internet personal again, so you are talking with actual people (virtually, not their real identities necessarily). Not arguing with text on a page. [penny-arcade.com]

Re:Reputation and meta-moderation (5, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483200)

Just as with slashdot moderation, it will be possible to game the system, if you respond rationally everywhere except one issue where you feel strongly about. And it would be nice if your reputation could be classified so that you can have a good reputation on some subjects, but automatically junkpiled on other topics.

The problem with that, which is also the main problem with slashdots moderation system, is that it largely depends on the group of people taking part in the moderation, and it completely depends on their opinions. You can be completely rational on topics, backed with facts, and still be modded to oblivion because other people simply don't like your view, it isn't what they want to hear.

Many topics on slashdot suffer from such, including copyright issues, negative views on android etc.

Just because you have a good or bad reputation with one group doesn't mean that reputation is automatically of value to anyone else.

Re:Reputation and meta-moderation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483346)

No. The identity of the person proposing the argument should not override the argument or idea proposed. It'd be nice to know the person's qualifications, experience, education, etc, but this just relies on a popularity contest.

Cjhange the question (-1, Troll)

SYSS Mouse (694626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483044)

Change the question to "What to do when the Republican is wrong?"

Credibility and Individual Responsibility (1)

wirehead_rick (308391) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483046)

Journal organizations need to practice credibility. Credibility is built over time with trustworthy news reporting. The problem is most organizations have fallen to the dark side of profit and tabloidism and can never come back. Their credibility is lost for good.

Individuals need to practice skepticism and critical thought. Then they can identify credible news sources by paying attention. Alternatively, by recognizing logical fallacies an individual can read between the lines and extract newsworthy data embedded in the half truths and agenda driven news we see today.

There is no legal solution to this problem. Principled individuals have to stand up and decide to make things better.

It is called slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483050)

moderated by the community. Believe it.

It's OK. someone in the hood will be killed for em (2)

captainkoloth (99341) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483066)

Even if this story is false, the sheer amount of violence over Air Jordan's over the years has been staggering. I remember as a kid living in a rust belted inner city and there were people shot and robbed of their Shoes.

Follower Count Matters (3, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483080)

Astroturfers are easy to spot... they have a high follow count but a low follower count. Nike needs to get better advertising staff... just jamming twitter/facebook updates with their ad may lose more customers than it gains.

"Dewey Defeats Truman", Chicago Tribune, 1948 (4, Informative)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483096)

The rush to get a story out first is hardly anything new, nor is the inevitable occasional false reporting. "Dewey Defeats Truman", Chicago Tribune, 1948. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dewey_Defeats_Truman [wikipedia.org] .

Re:"Dewey Defeats Truman", Chicago Tribune, 1948 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483228)

For the Chicago Tribune, they wanted to beat publishing deadline. So they made two articles in advance and were just waiting to hit the button. Wrong button was hit. As I recall, CNN also has pre-made obituaries of celebrities and head of states so all they have to do is tweak the date of death and hit publish in 10 minutes.

What's different in this Nike-murder story is that it borrows from facts and the rest is fabricated. It's like saying "Truman defeats Dewey but is Abducted by Aliens."

Also, newspapers publish corrections and/or apologizes the next day. Blogs can simply close shop and start anew an hour later - there's no accountability.

Re:"Dewey Defeats Truman", Chicago Tribune, 1948 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483376)

Sometimes old media massaged the facts and spun the narrative that advocated their bias, and there was never an apology, and there was never any accountability. For example the portrayal of the Thet Offensive as a US **military** defeat. It was a defeat in the nightly news, not on the battlefield.

"The leadership in Hanoi must have been initially despondent about the outcome of their great gamble. Their first and most ambitious goal, producing a general uprising, had ended in a dismal failure."

"The horrendous losses inflicted on Viet Cong units struck into the heart of the irreplaceable infrastructure that had been built up for over a decade."

"Hanoi had in no way anticipated the political and psychological effect the offensive would have on the leadership and population of the U.S. When the northern leadership saw how the U.S. was reacting to the offensive, they began to propagandize their "victory"."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tet_Offensive [wikipedia.org]

What do we do? Think for yourself. (4, Insightful)

Torodung (31985) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483110)

What do we do about this? Wrong idea. Each one of us does something about it individually. You think for yourself; you vet things yourself; you don't worry about the rest of the "crowd" and how they might be deceived. Evolution only has you socially rigged up to truly affect about 150 people, max, anyway.

But, if everyone carries out that solemn responsibility, things will be fine. Problem is, because of a lingering reliance on big media, most people don't. And it was a serious problem back in the days before crowdsourcing too, because the "gatekeepers" have told some whoppers over the last century or so. This was especially true around the time of Goebbels and WW II, and it has never recovered since, despite all the best intentions of journalistic integrity. The journalists did their best to hold the lie machines at bay, but that time has long since passed. A few decades ago, by my reckoning.

So, the horse has been out of the barn for at least that long, and we are talking about shutting the gate? Now? What the hell, folks? Mass media is a lie machine, and it functions because it is a lie machine, and all we've done is given the keys to the lie machine to everyone, instead of only the "gatekeepers." That, by my yardstick, is a profoundly good thing, although it will take a period of adjustment to become used to it.

Personal responsibility and a ready supply of grains of salt is all we have left. Don't believe everything you read. Since CGI advances, don't believe everything you see either. Welcome to the Brave New World. IMHO, it's a "good thing," but you have to be careful what you choose to believe these days.

Re:What do we do? Think for yourself. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483204)

In order to think for yourself, you need the inclination and the time to search out the facts and contradictory evidence. You need to resist the temptation to react immediately to what you hear, because there is a high chance that what you hear first is wrong, or at best, part of the story.

Unfortunately, that seems to go against human nature.

Re:What do we do? Think for yourself. (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483436)

...the "gatekeepers" have told some whoppers over the last century or so. This was especially true around the time of Goebbels and WW II...

Even more so around the time of William Randolph Hearst in 1898... Even named a prize in the name of his buddy there. And you can thank Hearst for a very large part of today's war on 'drugs'..

Prepare to be vilified as a "denier". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483114)

When the mob latches onto some bit of propaganda that satisfies their ideological slant, the truth cannot break through. Willing dupes will raise an unholy clamor against anybody who dares to point out that their emperor is naked. And the ignorant crowd will join in the chorus in order not to be singled out for vilification themselves.

Flip side... (3, Interesting)

Lord Dreamshaper (696630) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483128)

Flip side of the coin is the "old guard" burying stories because it doesn't serve their corporate masters and/or because the truth about a news story isn't sensational or lurid enough. Old journalism used to be relatively honest, because lets face it, there's always been plenty of corrupt/stupid/greedy corporations/politicians/public figures, and exposing them was sensational enough to sell copy without sacrificing integrity. That integrity can no longer be assumed and so "old" journalism has just as much upside & downside as "new" journalism. It's up to us to learn to separate the signal from noise when the name of the game is to bury us in noise.

The mob is never wrong, the truth shall be altered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483142)

Wrong? WRONG?!? Teh Intarnets are never wrong! Reality changes to suit US! That's the power of crowdsourcing and distributed news gathering! If we say you died, REALITY WILL CHANGE. We will make it change if need be. That's what makes us better than mass media! The only difference between us is that they could eventually be stopped from fabricating news! We will not make the same mistake of allowing that to happen to us.

Sensationalism. (4, Insightful)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483166)

How can newspapers prioritise accuracy and fairness when its patrons prioritise sensationalism and shock? The fact that nuances in the lives of celebrities can, at times, be more valuable to people than current events around them pronounces this. This element of our society needs to change first before we can begin talking about ways of nurturing accuracy.

Mob rule, groupthink (5, Informative)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483172)

Welcome to sociopolitical science 101. This behavior is called tyranny of the majority, and it so worried Thomas Jefferson and others who founded the United States that they crafted a new variant of democracy intended to discourage it. At least in politics....

Re:Mob rule, groupthink (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483322)

Sadly, all they wound up with was a new form of tyranny of the minority.

Re:Mob rule, groupthink (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483458)

Nah, it's the same one we always had wearing new outfits.

The ultimate solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483184)

Simply track down and kill or mame the folks that spread intentional misinformation that causes death, injury, and property damage, until the courts catch up with this sort of tort. That could take a few years.

Gatekeepers? WMD in Iraq ... (4, Interesting)

BenBoy (615230) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483218)

... and what do we do when the traditional gatekeepers fail us? Same damned thing. Read critically. Read multiple points of view, including those who disagree with you, and draw your own conclusions. Nobody can do that for you, and no system will do that for you.

Traditional media still gets it wrong, on purpose! (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483278)

The problem lies not with the "internet mob", nor traditional media reporting, but with the viewership. People are been conditioned to guzzle up any oversensationalized content. It's like when you're used to beating off to increasingly shameful porn, regular old T&A doesn't do it anymore. Well the average "news" consumer has been flooded with the equivalent of japanese torture scat, and barely notices when something perfectly reasonable occurs, or in this case: when a loaded prank gets shoved down their gullible throats. This steady diet of hype and hyperbole is ruining the frail mind of the common imbecile, and since those imbeciles are now all over the internet via Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, they are empowered to spread their unchecked bullshit in geometric fashion.

Re:Traditional media still gets it wrong, on purpo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483442)

This steady diet of hype and hyperbole is ruining the frail mind of the common imbecile, and since those imbeciles are now all over the internet via Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, they are empowered to spread their unchecked bullshit in geometric fashion.

I can hear some drums beating and a chant of "Fox News lies" in the background.

I say we take off... (2)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483284)

...and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Mainstream media has no value (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483330)

The fact is mainstream media has been on spiraling downhill slope. Today news and tv focus more on entertaining and less on informing. Whatever is entertaining (regardless of how tastless or ethical it seems to prevail for our entertainment!). As long as they get viewers and ratings from this type of coverage they will continue to report the same crap.

Disinformation & Sophists (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483362)

That seems to be the new export of the US. The question is, after clearing the obfuscations and outright lies what do we have left to offer? Whatever it is, wear high boots and don't count on it boosting the GDP long after the hot air escapes. Tech IPOs, Real Estate Bubbles, rigged markets and shiny baubles built on 40 year old sweat equity. The future's so bright, I gotta wear blinders.

Re:Disinformation & Sophists (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483434)

Gotta wear blinders. I gotta remember that one.

/.'s Linux "penguins" crowd = wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483368)

On "Linux = Secure" (lmao - NOT)? For years that's all you heard here but lately, that's become the stuff of laughter online (android, a linux variant, shows that much easily in 2011 as do the 5 CA's broken into (bad for SSL/ecommerce/banking etc.) that run Linux, as well as the Linux sourcecode repository being busted into also (very bad)). I predict entire flocks of "penguins" will rush this post and downmod it, facts or not. That's even funnier watching them trying to bury the truth versus their years of lies/fud/fictions.

Is there a story here? (4, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483378)

I'm a bit puzzled as to why this is a story. Old media isn't any better as a whole at gatekeeping than the internet mob is. For example, most news articles are reprints with absolutely no effort to check that the reprint was accurate. And some "old media" are so biased and/or incompetent that I don't consider them a news source such as CNN or Fox News.

And for the old media sources that do real news reporting, such as the Washington Post, BBC, etc, we also have people in the internet mob doing their own fact checking as well.

For example, Slashdot does a fair job of real time fact-checking. If you're depending on You Tube (and You Tube comments!) for your news, then there is something very wrong with you.

We do nothing (3, Interesting)

TheRealGrogan (1660825) | more than 2 years ago | (#38483384)

It's just something that comes with freedom of information. I don't want other people deciding what I get to know about, so if I have to endure some falsities so be it.

Bad information will also correct itself on the Internet. (like, umm, now) because anyone can refute that too and not everyone subscribes to the mob mentality.

I never want to go back to gatekeepers like Rupert Fucking Murdoch controlling information, thank you.

YES! 74 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483416)

are attending a be fun. It used and piss Cocktail. itself backwards, lost its 3arlier in posting a GNAA

the real story.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483418)

Here is that people don't actually give a shit about a kid that may or may not have died they just want something they can point at to say "this is why I am better then x group of people" or "see this, this the evidence of how and why society is terrible" to prop up their world view that everyone else is wrong and they are right

Forwarded email... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483446)

When you figure it out let me know. I've shown my dad Snopes many, many times, but I keep getting stupid email forwarded to me.

How to get rid of it..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483448)

... As with a lot of problems we face, it's due to a general lack of intelligence among the populace which breeds a culture hostile toward critical thinking, reasoning and logic.

This is *NOT* Crowdsourcing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38483500)

This is all about rumours and mobs and gossip. It is not about crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing is when lots of people apply their knowledge and expertise to a problem, such as Wikipedia.

In the case that was reported, nobody had any knowledge and expertise except the two Baltimore reporters. It was just a bunch of rabbler-rousers voicing their OPINIONS. Nothing more than an opinion poll on the Internet.

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