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Ferguson: Media, You Are Hurting Us

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screenshot of Jon Stewart on Crossfire

The story read that the FBI had arrested two New Black Panther members for buying explosives to bomb Ferguson protests. Not long after, though, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch posted a story that what really happened is the FBI arrested two men for providing false information when buying guns. And that New Black Panther association? Well, that's implied because a "police source" made the connection. Not the men. Not officially from the FBI. A "police source".

One of the many sources who have added to the confusion and alarm associated with the Ferguson protests. The same sources that both Twitter users and mainstream press reporters have quoted without fact or verification. There is some excuse for the Twitter users: it's not their job to fact check what they retweet. The same cannot be said for the media, who have done a piss poor job of covering Ferguson.

Even today, the Chicago Tribune and Washington Post have stories about a $5,000 bounty placed on Darren Wilson's head by a black militant group. The only problem is, it's all fake, a fraud. There is no black militant group. There is no $5,000 bounty. It's all one anonymous Twitter user making the claim among a set of overly fantastic and conflicting claims, in an account that demonstrates glaringly obvious disconnects in linguistic styles. A Twitter account for a group that has absolutely no hint of existence outside of Twitter. Even photos purportedly showing the Twitter user's hands holding a box of ammo, with dark implications of future mayhem, generated little but doubt from other Twitter users primarily because the hands looked remarkably white, and what most people missed, remarkably feminine. So much for discussions about "fellow warriors".

(The only other reference to the group was a pulled Go Fund Me page.)

fellow "bros".

It was all fake, yet these stalwarts of the press, these icons, dutifully copied each other without any of their journalists once going, "Hey. Maybe we should fact check this or something."

CNN writes last week about a Grand Jury decision on Friday, and it wasn't because they had inside information, as the implication might be. No, it was nothing more than a guess. So we end up having a press conference and all sorts of stories on Saturday about no Grand Jury decision happened on Friday. That's the same as saying, "We didn't get hit by an asteroid this weekend", or, "There's a lot of snow in Buffalo".

How much confusion has been generated by dutifully quoting Chief Jackson from Ferguson, as he makes assertions in the AM, only to add "clarifications" later that day or the next? By the time the media report the clarifications it's already too late: the seeds of doubt are sown, and mismatched stories get flung about in Twitter, like stones fired from slingshots.

All these stories do is add to the tension and distrust. They generate unnecessary suspicion, and add fuel to an already volatile situation. It is like members of the media have gotten together over a beer somewhere and said to each other, "You know, riots in Ferguson would be good for ratings. What can we do to make it happen?"

What did Jon Stewart say on Crossfire Crosstalk years ago? Before his appearance on the show signaled its impending doom?

Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America.

Media, you are hurting us.

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npilon
2873 days ago
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Not Sorry

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Not Sorry

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npilon
2879 days ago
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What Happens When Nobody Proofreads an Academic Paper

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An anonymous reader writes: Drafts are drafts for a reason. Not only do they tend to contain unpolished writing and unfinished thoughts, they're often filled with little notes we leave ourselves to fill in later. Slate reports on a paper recently published in the journal Ethology that contained an unfortunate self-note that made it into the final, published article, despite layers upon layers of editing, peer review, and proofreading. In the middle of a sentence about shoaling preferences, the note asks, "should we cite the crappy Gabor paper here?" When notified of the mistake, the publisher quickly took it down and said they would "investigate" how the line wasn't caught. One of the authors said it wasn't intentional and apologized for the impolite error.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








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npilon
2884 days ago
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The answer is now probably "no"
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2014-11-11

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comic-2014-11-11can_we.png

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npilon
2885 days ago
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Third panel
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Heartbleed

12 Comments and 26 Shares
I looked at some of the data dumps from vulnerable sites, and it was ... bad. I saw emails, passwords, password hints. SSL keys and session cookies. Important servers brimming with visitor IPs. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion, c-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. I should probably patch OpenSSL.
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npilon
3102 days ago
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So very this
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10 public comments
jth
3101 days ago
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Perfect XKCD on heartbleed today.
Saint Paul, MN, USA
aaronwe
3101 days ago
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xkcd is still the most timely comic on the interwebs.
Denver
tedder
3101 days ago
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absolutely perfect Heartbleed XKCD today. Alt text too.
Uranus
Brstrk
3101 days ago
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Updated a third of my passwords and counting. This week's gonna suck.

PS: Not even the fanfics! Those ******* preps ruining the scene. I should cry sexily.
fxer
3101 days ago
As someone else on newsblur noted, changing passwords is only safe once the site confirms it has issued new SSL certs
Brstrk
3101 days ago
... And now I will have to cry more. So much more.
adamgurri
3101 days ago
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Patch your imagination
New York, NY
Michdevilish
3101 days ago
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Worse than (No) imagination
Canada
llucax
3102 days ago
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I still want to check the commit log to see if the commit that introduced the vulnerability was by any chance done by somebody@nsa.gov
Berlin
timdiggerm
3101 days ago
Oh please.
jamiemarie
3100 days ago
http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/security-it/man-who-introduced-serious-heartbleed-security-flaw-denies-he-inserted-it-deliberately-20140410-zqta1.html
llucax
3100 days ago
But it looks like the NSA (or someone) has been taking advantage of this: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/04/wild-heart-were-intelligence-agencies-using-heartbleed-november-2013
tante
3102 days ago
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xkcd on Heartbleed. (check the ALT text)
Berlin/Germany
trparky
3102 days ago
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Alt Text: I looked at some of the data dumps from vulnerable sites, and it was ... bad. I saw emails, passwords, password hints. SSL keys and session cookies. Important servers brimming with visitor IPs. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion, c-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. I should probably patch OpenSSL.
fxer
3101 days ago
Oblig https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JjJzMBGUwo
denubis
3102 days ago
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oh gods. The alt-text. The alt text is me today.

US Tax Plan Singles Out Makers Of ‘Violent Videogames’

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Games have become a mainstream thing. Nearly everyone plays them, talks about them, and interacts with them in some way on a semi-regular basis. But here at RPS, we have this violence in games tag that occasionally gets use, and not usually for good reasons. While I’m a strong advocate for examination of how exactly we’re affected by cultures that glorify violence, I absolutely do not believe that throwing a singular “bad” blanket over a very nuanced issue helps anyone. And yet, despite gaming’s slow ascent out of the cultural gutters, people still blame it for all of society’s ills from time-to-time. John quite frequently holds people accountable for that fear-mongering mentality, and I personally think that’s important given what can happen when people let it warp their worldview.

Case in point: the US Government’s Republican party is suggesting a tax reform that would give sizable tax breaks to companies who create new technologies and practices in their respective fields. Unless they are creators of “violent videogames.”

… [visit site to read more]

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npilon
3141 days ago
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Small government at work!
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