A “misinformation expert” was given a platform by a TV news staff apparently managed by armadillos to pass on the fascinating in formation that opinions and statements that includes these phrases are likely to be passing along “misinformation”:
- “Let that sink in”
- “The media won’t report this”
- “Make this go viral”
- “Do your own research”
- “There are no coincidences”
Oh-oh…Ethics Alarms definitely uses two of these or their equivalents (especially the second one). As for the others, I see nothing wrong or misleading about suggesting that readers circulate an article, and I don’t see anything sinister about suggesting that people do their own research. The last is just a stupid thing to say or believe to be literally true.
Here’s the clip:
I’m trying to find out who this fake “expert” is, where she came from and who was so irresponsible as to give her sufficient credentials that allowed her to claim to be an “expert.” Meanwhile, the TV station that put this garbage on the air needs to have its license pulled for pure incompetence.
It is pretty clear what this woman is doing, isn’t it? Her mission is to convince the public that challenging the narratives of the mainstream media is automatically sinister and seeks to create “misinformation.” This is a misinformation expert spreading the falshood that the news media fairly and competently reports facts and events without delay, spin or distortion, that anyone who tries to challenge these propaganda agents’ primacy is obviously spreading lies, and that the public should trust and completely rely upon a news media that has repeatedly lied, buried stories and actively manipulated what information the public gets to read, see and hear. (The bit about coincidences I take as a slap at the religious Right.)
Let that sink in.
34 thoughts on “Oh-Oh…Apparently Ethics Alarms Spreads “Misinformation””
Ebonee Rice, Senior VP of the Educator Network, News Literacy Project.
I did my own research.
🙂 Me too. Educator Engagement, not the Educator Network. Don’t know if KGUN-TV in Tuscon was your source, but they got the title wrong.
It says Educator Engagement in her LinkedIn and on the NLP website, but mentions of her that are more than a year old, including one by NLP say “educator network”.
After I found the article, I did a search for that phrase and didn’t notice that many of the results had “engagement” instead of “network”. I was looking at the photos to make sure it was the same person. Then I got distracted by reading what organizations support NLP.
Then that must be misinformation…..
Ho Boy. Try to read this. I dare ya.
I took up your dare. It is full of BS. It is so self-righteous that it cannot see that it itself is spreading one sided information. Hovering over the word climate science or climate deniers you get a graph that has no X axis values but shows 5 lines shooting up rapidly with a temperature scale from -.5 to +.5 degrees C.
This is a classic form of graphical manipulation of data to mislead.
You’re a braver man than I, CM. The parts I did skim just struck me as desperate, not very effective argumentation rather than exposition.
What I find funny is that the same group of people will discredit any “science” funded by special interest groups like tobacco, NRA or oil companies but will argue until the cows come home that government funded climate studies are pure as the driven snow. In the real world, when scientific challenges to the political orthodoxy are proposed the government funded peer reviewers will turn thumbs down on any grant application submitted by a heretic of the consensus opinion.
I guess conservatives abandoned the sciences as they did the humanities and government. Yikes.
You have to realize that academic scientists rely on government grant agencies for the money required for research required to keep their jobs. As the government puts more and more partisan qualifications on grants, it becomes almost impossible for a conservative to get a government grant. Combine this with the labyrinthine affirmative action policies and it isn’t that conservatives have abandoned the sciences, they have been shut out by government action. In industry, the emphasis on DIE policies have done the same thing. Poundmetoo has also had its effect by allowing any leftist woman have any man fired if she wants to.
In the humanities, conservatives were effectively shut out because of similar, long-standing efforts. Many internships and government programs required students to submit volunteer work for society. These volunteer programs are exclusively left-wing. You won’t be accepted if your internship was with the NRA or you worked to make gas electricity generation more efficient (which is really cool).
Q: List your pronouns and give a 2 page description of how your research is helping to end systemic racism in the US?
A: The research proposed in this grant application is trying to discover if dark matter exists.
Result: grant denied
Mathematically, this is the inescapable result of the fact that 75% of Democrats refuse to hire a Republican, while only 35% of Republicans will refuse to hire a Democrat. Even if you start with 100% Republicans, the result is 100% Democrats in a government setting. I don’t know what the answer is. You can’t refuse to hire Democrats, but if you don’t, you are creating a situation where Republicans can’t get hired. In private businesses, this tends not to happen because companies can go bankrupt.
Actually, Ebonee Rice has some suggestions that work well for those who listen to or read news media, talking heads, and bloggers. There were some pointers in an article in the Houston Chronicle last November (behind a paywall), including:
Pause and verify before you share.
See what a variety of sources have reported about the issue.
Look for credible sources.
But, her more recent tips – the “red flag” phrases also can be useful, in that they tell us something about that reporter/blogger. For example, ‘do your own research’ may be just a smug way of proclaiming that there is no need to do your own research, it already has been done. The other phrases likewise can be an assertion by the speaker or writer that they are 100 per cent right, no need to question them or look further. As such, they are flags; they may be sincere or they may be an effort to shut down further investigation. The response in every case should be, as Ebonee says, to look at a variety of sources and actually do your own research.
“It is pretty clear what this woman is doing, isn’t it? Her mission is to convince the public that challenging the narratives of the mainstream media is automatically sinister.”
Well. I don’t see it that way at all. I think her mission is to convince the public that they should not meekly accept what they are fed by any of the media. Including “End Wokeness” on Twitter, whoever or whatever that is.
Thanks for doing the research, HJ.
Do your own research. Heh.
KGUN9 is in both graphics. Googling “kgun9 tv expert let that sink in” took me right to the TV station’s report from 16 months ago on those phrases, a feature for National News Literacy Week. Got the name of the key person (first name spelled incorrectly at least once), her organization (also identified wrongly at least once), and better insight into what she really was saying. A couple of additional sources, now easily found, made it even more clear, and a bit contrary to what was in the tweet by End Wokeness.
So how is “the media won’t report this” a red flag when, in fact, the media won’t report “this,” or bury it, or minimize it? As in, for example, almost any Hunter Biden story, or when the ex-staffer first accused Joe Biden of sexual assault?
I agree that those “red flags” can mean many things, but that also means it is misleading to call them “red flags.” No?
Sometimes you can take a quick peek behind a paywall, such as the one for the Houston Chronicle from November, 2022, and find what someone said at the time. So, Ebonee said: “Phrases like, ‘Make this go viral,’ or ‘The media won’t cover this,’ are designed to play into your emotions and convince you to share claims that may not be based on hard evidence.”
These so-called red flags highlight the importance of knowing at least something about your source. Where she says “are designed to play into your emotions”, I would say ‘may be designed’. Saying that the media won’t cover something could be a simple statement of fact, or it could be a spur to spread the information further; if the media won’t report it, then we must share it. Better to investigate whether or not the media (a huge and diverse conglomerate, after all) is not reporting it, which part of the media, and why.
But she did say “are designed.” And that’s a red flag for me.
Here’s the link that HJ chose not to reveal for some reason: https://www.kgun9.com/news-literacy-project/different-types-of-misinformation-and-how-to-identify-it
I was worried that in fact Ebonee hadn’t really identified those phrases as “red flags.” But she did.
I watched the clip twice and in addition to the five secret phrases, satire, and jokes are also misinformation. So, what you should do if you see information that uses one of the five secret red flag phrases? Ms. Rice says you should do some digging and investigate the information you are seeing. Sounds like a super sneaky way of saying you should do your own research. Does that mean everything she said is misinformation? Was she using satire or a joke to spread misinformation? Is Ms. Rice an Abbott and Costello fan trying out a new version of “Who’s on First”? Is Ms. Rice just unknowingly repeating misinformation she got from an unreliable source?
I am so confused.
I’m not. I’m quite sure she’s a sincere but over-credentialed idiot.
A prime example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.
When Don Lemmon said, after making a rather sexist comment, that his audience should “google it,” I suspect he was saying in a dismissive and self-righteous way “do your own research but know I already know all about this so don’t question me.”
Juxtapose this with a post made on Facebook by a local “social justice” organization during the pandemic that displayed a meme-type graphic of a gravestone with the words, “I questioned the science” engraved on it. Meaning…if you take the time and energy to discern what these so-called experts are saying, it will literally kill you.
Sharyl Attkisson usually ends her programs by saying at some point, “do your own research.” Here she is saying “think for yourself rather than just listen to me.”
In the three examples above, two of them told us to not think for ourselves. In the last example, we’re encouraged to think for ourselves. I’m guessing the last example is considered dangerous to some while I believe the first two examples are in line with a thought stopping process, rather than an exploratory and discerning mindset.
Let that sink in.
Following up on what many here have said, there is some post on Facebook that advocates you not do your own research because you are not qualified to evaluate pee-reviewed science articles.
I pointed out that this was basically an appeal to authority argument and I wouldn’t simply agree to what someone else says.
There was not much of a response to that.
Another thing that sticks in my mind is that letter about Russian disinformation that was signed by 51 intelligence officials. We were told we had to believe that letter based upon the credentials of the people signing the letter, even though intelligence officials are trained in espionage, keep secrets for a living, and disseminate counter-intelligence (lies) for a living. To hold any of them out as credible is ridiculous. If the Liar’s Paradox could be illustrated with reference to any class of people, it would be spies.
“Pee-reviewed science articles.”
Oh, the irony of that (intentional?) slip of the keyboard, particularly as it would relate to Wuhan “vaccinations” and man-induced climate change.
It makes you think about what it means to be an “expert in misinformation”. It should be obvious to anybody that it simply isn’t possible to be an expert on what is true and what is false, across all domains of human knowledge. Expertise is, by its very nature, narrow in scope, and the greater the expertise, the narrower the scope.
So what are they actually expert in? What is their skill set? If they’re experts at how narrative can be manipulated, how deceptions can be passed off, how social media (and other media) can be leveraged to spread falsehood, then they are propagandists. At least, their skill sets would seem to be one and the same. But we’re supposed to believe that they’re fighting, not spreading, misinformation – because they say so.
Sorry. The logic of that one escapes me. Someone who studies something to the point where they become an expert does not make one an advocate for that which they studied. If it did, then a detective, for example, who studies the psychology of murder would become an advocate for murder, and an ethicist who studies unethical behavior would become an advocate for unethical behavior.
Skill set the same, yes, I get that.
Take their word for it? No. If in doubt and it’s important, use whatever resources are available to verify.
The logic is that “misinformation” has no objective standard or definition, as the ‘expert’s” broad and excessively adjustable attempts to define it show. When misinformation becomes a category for opinions one disagrees with, then it is no longer a legitimate area for research. Murder is a very definable topic. “Misinformation” is a false category designed to allow some debatable assertions gain priority and credibility over others.
Both Oxford and Merriam Webster provide definitions for misinformation. Of course, not everyone accepts those definitions, and they do vary slightly. (Likewise for ‘ethics’ in both publications.)
“When misinformation becomes a category for opinions one disagrees with, then it is no longer a legitimate area for research.” Huh? If the term is used that way, then it’s a misuse of the term, and misuse does not obviate the need for understanding how and why misinformation spreads nor how to counter it.
The term is not going to go away, and it is tossed out frivolously by those on the left and the right. And, there are sub-categories, including intentional lies, unintentional lies, spin, shading the truth, opinions based on belief, propaganda, selective editing (cf: the End Wokeness Twitter clip), and so on. But, we’re supposed to believe there’s no need for a better understanding of what these are, how they are used, and how to guard against them? Really?
Except that we’ve already seen that, under the rubric of combating misinformation, lies have been told, valid hypotheses and even true facts have been surpressed. Several of these experts have already exposed themselves quite effectively as propagandists, the only real question is whether there are any who are not. Which leaves is exactly where we started – doing your own research and critically examining sources for yourself, including so-called “misinformation experts.”
misinformation: noun. Anything that contradicts an authority. The authority can be the consensus of government bureaucrats, a company authorized by a government agency to be an authority, the bureaucracy-approved media, or a government official authorized to speak on behalf of the bureaucracy.
Example: Yesterday, President Biden stated that the US wouldn’t rest until Vladimir Putin is removed from power. This is misinformation because this contradicts the official White House position.
“There are no coincidences” -Garak on Star Trek, Deep Space 9.
This is a common phrase that Garak uses when he knows something ISN’T a coincidence. This may be a reference to the fact that it is not a coincidence that the person ‘accidentally’ issued a driver’s license with MY address coincidentally has felony convictions for fraud. “There are no coincidences”. See how that works?
No. How does “there are no coincidences” mean “this isn’t a coincidence” under any interpretation?
In Deep Space 9, Garak is a ‘tailor’ who is widely known to be a spy of the Obsidian order. He insists he isn’t, but everyone knows he is. He pops up when there is any number of espionage activities happening. Garak will bring up something suspicious that just happened as some grand conspiracy and someone (almost always Dr. Bashir) will say ‘that is just a coincidence’. Garak will always respond to that with ‘There are NO coincidences’ or “I don’t trust coincidences’ because he know what is really going on. It is basically a running gag. If “there are no coincidences” is referencing this, then it is suggesting that the speaker has knowledge that this ACTUALLY isn’t a coincidence. Garak is an interesting character. Dr. Bashir points out that Garak’s accounts of who he is are contradictory. Garak tells them that they are all true. Bashir asks “Even the lies?” and Garak responds “ESPECIALLY the lies!”.
I was wondering if “There are no coincidences” is meant literally or it is like “Let’s go Brandon”? I just haven’t seen what they are talking about unless it is referencing DS9. Maybe I am too big of a geek.