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Author Topic: Corporate Mendacity and Duplicity  (Read 3821 times)

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A Short Course in Clever Propaganda Part 1
« on: October 27, 2013, 06:49:27 pm »
Take a look at this seemingly well intentioned and informative article urging people to confirm what they read.

Something is REALLY MISSING here. Can you tell what it is? How about the upiquitous (and mostly surreptitious) government efforts to manufacture consent when they aren't financing astro-turf fake grass roots popularity, **** and sensationalism to keep people distracted?

See my comment after the article. My remarks are in red in the article as well or my opinion is voiced with an emoticon.

How the internet is breaking  ;) journalism  ;D (and what it means to you)
Article by Leo on the Ask Leo web site.

When it comes to journalism and other information that you read on the internet, there's a very strong argument that things are seriously broken. The result is that we all need to be more vigilant than ever to separate the truth from falsehood and recognize what's important as opposed to what's popular.

Last week’s revelations, investigations, and clarifications regarding Microsoft Security Essentials really made me realize something very critical about how the internet works today and how broken it is.

The assumptions that readers are making about the information that they find online – even at relatively “reputable” sites – are wrong. The internet is breaking what “journalism” means. As a result, it’s become even more critical for online information consumers (that’s you and me, by the way) to take on a burden that we have not been trained to even concern ourselves with until now.

The burden of confirmation.

I’ve written about it before, but the sad fact is that you just can’t believe everything you read on the internet. And it is now your practical responsibility to do the legwork to confirm whether something is, or is not, true.

And yes, I agree, that’s totally broken.

And it’s partly our fault.  ???
What drives the internet

Most websites on the internet measure traffic. More visitors equals more success. It’s as simple as that. Whether the success is measured in advertising revenue or product sales, the bottom line is that more eyeballs are critical to most site’s success.

And I’ll admit that this is true for Ask Leo! More visitors make my endeavor more successful.
So, how does one get traffic? Uh... Shouldn't there be a discussion of, like, ETHICS HERE  ??? So this "traffic" thing is ONLY about MONEY, Leo?  >:( Product quality, content, Good will, reliability, no ad overload, no spam, no cookies, good fact checking,  etc. have nothing whatsoever to do with obtaining traffic?  >:( ???  :P

My approach has been relatively straightforward: write articles that I think are helpful and informative, that answer real questions asked by real people, sprinkle them with my own editorial and other content, and hope that people discover me via the search engines when they’re looking for an answer to a problem. Unfortunately, that approach isn’t as effective as it once was.

Perhaps as a result, more and more sites use different techniques to attract site visitors or “clicks.”

Attracting clicks

Perhaps the most common approach to generating traffic these days is the sensational or salacious headline – one that says something so strong or outrageous that you just have to click through to read more.

“How the Internet is Breaking Journalism” might be considered such a headline, although I think it’s fairly mild in comparison to some that I’ve seen. (I’m not really very good at headline writing.) I get it Leo. You are mild, milquetoast and extremely non-confrontational because that would be bad for business.

The resulting article may, or may not, deliver on the headline’s promise. Many do not. I hope this one does. We'll see.

The headline served its purpose: it got you to click, the site got a “page view,” and perhaps an ad was shown. Mission accomplished. The fact that the accompanying article was total rubbish or content-free is immaterial. (I hope this one isn’t one of those).

Many go further, continuing with provocative and typically unsubstantiated information – all to get you to spend more time on the site, click through to additional pages, or even better, recommend the article to your friends.

All at the expense of what we often refer to as the truth, accuracy, or occasionally balance. And future clicks TOO, LEO! Why didn't you mention REPUTATION in your zeal to brand us as pavlovian dogs?

The truth is often boring and doesn’t generate page views.  BULLSHIT. 

Continued in "A Short Course in Clever Propaganda Part 2"
« Last Edit: October 27, 2013, 08:35:06 pm by AGelbert »
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.. -- Psalm 34:6


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