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Boeing 737 MAX returns to skies with media on board – CTV News

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DALLAS, TEXAS —
Boeing Co’s 737 MAX took off on Wednesday on its first public appearance with media onboard since being grounded over fatal crashes, as one of its biggest customers, American Airlines, seeks to prove it is safe for passengers.

Wednesday’s flight from Dallas, Texas, to Tulsa, Oklahoma, comes weeks before the first commercial passenger flight on Dec. 29, and is part of a concerted PR effort to restore the jet’s image following a 20-month ban.

American Airlines Chief Executive Doug Parker said on Instagram he had flown on the MAX with his wife and airline colleagues on Tuesday “with the utmost peace of mind.”

Boeing’s best-selling jet was grounded in March 2019 after two crashes in five months killed a combined 346 people, marking the industry’s worst safety crisis in decades and undermining U.S. aviation regulatory leadership.

Wednesday’s flight marks the first time anyone besides regulators and industry personnel have flown on the MAX since the grounding, which rocked the aviation industry and ignited investigations focusing on software that overwhelmed pilots.

In a display of the turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to aviation just as the MAX starts its comeback, each of the roughly 90 journalists, flight attendants and other American Airlines employees on Wednesday’s flight wore face masks.

“The history of aviation is built around a chain of safety,” Captain Pete Gamble told passengers just before takeoff. “When the chain of safety breaks it’s up to those of us in the industry to mend it and bring it back.”

Last month, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration cleared the jet following design changes and new training.

A smooth return to service for the MAX is seen as critical for Boeing’s reputation and finances, which have been hit hard by a freeze on MAX deliveries as well as the coronavirus crisis.

It is bracing for intense publicity from even routine glitches by manning a 24-hour “situation room” to monitor every MAX flight globally, and has briefed some industry commentators on details on the return to service, industry sources said.

Boeing has said that airlines will take a direct role in demonstrating to passengers that the 737 MAX is safe.

“We are continuing to work closely with global regulators and our customers to safely return the fleet to commercial service,” a spokesman said.

Brazil’s Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes is planning a similar media event this month, with cautious hopes to fly its first commercial flights as soon as next week.

CEREMONY SCRAPPED

The PR efforts are designed to highlight software and training upgrades which the FAA has said remove any doubt about the plane’s safety.

But families of some victims of the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia have protested the return to service, saying it is premature before a final investigative report on the second crash has been released.

Boeing toned down its original plans for the plane’s return as the crisis dragged on longer than it expected – scrapping a high-profile publicity campaign, a ceremony in the Seattle area and a tour using an Oman Air 737 MAX, industry sources said.

Airlines and leasing companies have spent hundreds of billions of dollars buying the latest upgrade of the 737, the world’s most-sold passenger aircraft.

Lured by sharp discounts and anxious to help repair the MAX’s reputation around which they have built their fleet plans, some airlines are now stepping in to show commercial support.

Alaska Airlines agreed to lease 13 Boeing 737 MAX last week and Ireland’s Ryanair is expected to place a large order for the jets as soon as this week.

Reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Dallas, Texas Additional reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun in Sao Paulo, Tim Hepher in Paris Writing by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle Editing by David Evans and Matthew Lewis.

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Disinformation Propelled By Social Media And Conspiracy Theories Led To Insurrection – Forbes

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The attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2020, was the direct result of a continuous drumbeat of disinformation starting before the Presidential elections in the U.S. in 2020, and continuing past the event itself. That flow of disinformation came largely, but not exclusively, through social media. The constant repetition of false information using a propaganda technique known as “The Big Lie,” has been in common use throughout history.

The advent of mass communication in the 20th Century made this more effective than in the past, and it was perfected by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels before and during World War II. But with social media, it has become even more effective because the claims can be shared and distributed widely. In addition, the nature of social media adds to its effectiveness.

“There’s a consistent pattern of audience cultivation,” says Dave Troy, who researches disinformation on social media. “That’s a hallmark of how psychological operations work. Truth is not a concern and you build out target audiences when you apply a certain type of messaging so you get a response.”

The Effectiveness of Misinformation

Professor David Rand, of MIT’s Sloan School of Management, has studied this in collaboration with Gordon Pennycook of the University of Regina. Rand and Pennycook conducted a survey to find out how effective the Misinformation campaign conducted by then-President Donald Trump and others in the Republican Party was.

“What we found was disturbing if not surprising,” Rand said. “A majority really believed the lie,” he said, “77 percent of Trump voters believed in widespread voter fraud.”

Rand said that President Trump and a number of his followers were able to convince a large majority of Trump voters that he won the election, despite the fact that it was untrue.

Rand said that the continuous assertions that Trump actually won the popular vote led to a belief among Trump supporters that this was actually the case. “Repeating it makes people believe it,” Rand said. “You can understand why a large group of people would believe it was their civic duty,” to protest, he said.

“It’s not surprising that people believe it. If all you hear is election fraud, they will believe it,” Rand said. “There’s good scientific evidence that it works.”

Adding to the effectiveness of social media in spreading disinformation is the tendency of social media consumers to prefer communicating with like minded people. “There’s no dialog occurring,” Troy said. “They are different factions, and there’s always some reason why you can’t talk to the other factions.” This factionalism was exploited by Russian intelligence during the 2016 Presidential election as a way to spread disinformation, and other groups have accelerated this, notably Qanon followers who are making use of the tendency of groups to not communicate with others.

A Coordinated Disinformation Campaign

“These are large coordinated disinformation campaigns,” Troy said, “It’s a big networked effect.”

Rand said that he and Pennycook also studied why people shared false content. “Largely it’s inattention,” Rand said. “They forget to think about whether it’s true, but rather how many likes they’ll get. Another feature of social media is that people are more likely to be friends with people who share common ideas.”

He said the study followed random users that were Republicans and Democrats. “People are three times more likely to follow co-partisan accounts,” Rand said. “It’s very basic human psychology. There’s reason to believe that you want to associate with people who share your partisanship.”

While the practice of spreading falsehoods on social media as was done around the 2020 election is new, the practice itself isn’t. And unfortunately, once people buy into the falsehoods, they appear to be self-sustaining, at least for a while.

While you can’t tell people what to think, it is possible to inhibit the spread of falsehoods and the perpetuation of the big Lie. Social media companies did this after the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Other organizations can do it by limiting the spread of social media withing their organization, either through active management, or by technology methods that limit access to social media, or the sharing of social media, on their networks. And of course, knowing that this phenomenon exists at least gives you a chance to control it.

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Disinformation Propelled By Social Media And Conspiracy Theories Led To Insurrection – Forbes

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The attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2020, was the direct result of a continuous drumbeat of disinformation starting before the Presidential elections in the U.S. in 2020, and continuing past the event itself. That flow of disinformation came largely, but not exclusively, through social media. The constant repetition of false information using a propaganda technique known as “The Big Lie,” has been in common use throughout history.

The advent of mass communication in the 20th Century made this more effective than in the past, and it was perfected by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels before and during World War II. But with social media, it has become even more effective because the claims can be shared and distributed widely. In addition, the nature of social media adds to its effectiveness.

“There’s a consistent pattern of audience cultivation,” says Dave Troy, who researches disinformation on social media. “That’s a hallmark of how psychological operations work. Truth is not a concern and you build out target audiences when you apply a certain type of messaging so you get a response.”

The Effectiveness of Misinformation

Professor David Rand, of MIT’s Sloan School of Management, has studied this in collaboration with Gordon Pennycook of the University of Regina. Rand and Pennycook conducted a survey to find out how effective the Misinformation campaign conducted by then-President Donald Trump and others in the Republican Party was.

“What we found was disturbing if not surprising,” Rand said. “A majority really believed the lie,” he said, “77 percent of Trump voters believed in widespread voter fraud.”

Rand said that President Trump and a number of his followers were able to convince a large majority of Trump voters that he won the election, despite the fact that it was untrue.

Rand said that the continuous assertions that Trump actually won the popular vote led to a belief among Trump supporters that this was actually the case. “Repeating it makes people believe it,” Rand said. “You can understand why a large group of people would believe it was their civic duty,” to protest, he said.

“It’s not surprising that people believe it. If all you hear is election fraud, they will believe it,” Rand said. “There’s good scientific evidence that it works.”

Adding to the effectiveness of social media in spreading disinformation is the tendency of social media consumers to prefer communicating with like minded people. “There’s no dialog occurring,” Troy said. “They are different factions, and there’s always some reason why you can’t talk to the other factions.” This factionalism was exploited by Russian intelligence during the 2016 Presidential election as a way to spread disinformation, and other groups have accelerated this, notably Qanon followers who are making use of the tendency of groups to not communicate with others.

A Coordinated Disinformation Campaign

“These are large coordinated disinformation campaigns,” Troy said, “It’s a big networked effect.”

Rand said that he and Pennycook also studied why people shared false content. “Largely it’s inattention,” Rand said. “They forget to think about whether it’s true, but rather how many likes they’ll get. Another feature of social media is that people are more likely to be friends with people who share common ideas.”

He said the study followed random users that were Republicans and Democrats. “People are three times more likely to follow co-partisan accounts,” Rand said. “It’s very basic human psychology. There’s reason to believe that you want to associate with people who share your partisanship.”

While the practice of spreading falsehoods on social media as was done around the 2020 election is new, the practice itself isn’t. And unfortunately, once people buy into the falsehoods, they appear to be self-sustaining, at least for a while.

While you can’t tell people what to think, it is possible to inhibit the spread of falsehoods and the perpetuation of the big Lie. Social media companies did this after the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Other organizations can do it by limiting the spread of social media withing their organization, either through active management, or by technology methods that limit access to social media, or the sharing of social media, on their networks. And of course, knowing that this phenomenon exists at least gives you a chance to control it.

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Turkey slaps ad ban on Twitter under new social media law – The Guardian

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By Can Sezer and Daren Butler

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Ankara has imposed advertising bans on Twitter, Periscope and Pinterest after they failed to appoint local representatives in Turkey under a new social media law, according to decisions published on Tuesday.

Under the law, which critics say stifles dissent, social media companies that do not appoint such representatives are liable for a series of penalties, including the latest move by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK).

The law allows authorities to remove content from platforms, rather than blocking access as they did in the past. It has caused concern as people turn more to online platforms after Ankara tightened its grip on mainstream media.

The latest decisions in the country’s Official Gazette said the advertising bans went into effect from Tuesday. Twitter, its live-streaming app Periscope, and image sharing app Pinterest were not immediately available to comment.

Deputy Transport Minister Omer Fatih Sayan said Twitter and Pinterest’s bandwidth would be cut by 50% in April and by 90% in May. Twitter said last month it would shut down Periscope by March due to declining usage.

“We are determined to do whatever is necessary to protect the data, privacy and rights of our nation,” Sayan said on Twitter. “We will never allow digital fascism and disregard of rules to prevail in Turkey,” he said, echoing tough comments by President Tayyip Erdogan.

On Monday, Facebook Inc joined other companies in saying it would appoint a local representative, but added it would withdraw the person if it faced pressure regarding what is allowed on its platform.

YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc’s Google, said a month ago it would abide the new law, which the government says enhances local oversight of foreign companies.

In previous months Facebook, YouTube and Twitter had faced fines in Turkey for not complying. Companies that do not abide the law will ultimately have their bandwidth slashed, essentially blocking access.

Erdogan said last week that those who control data can establish “digital dictatorships by disregarding democracy, the law, rights and freedoms”. He vowed to defend what he described as the country’s “cyber homeland”.

(Reporting by Can Sezer; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Michael Perry and Jonathan Spicer)

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