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Conservative media decry Capitol riot, but grievances remain – EverythingGP

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Similarly, Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson said that voting is democracy’s pressure relief valve but trouble ensues when people lose faith in the act.

“Millions of Americans sincerely believe the last election was fake,” Carlson said. “You can dismiss them as crazy, you can call them conspiracy theorists, you can kick them off Twitter, but that won’t change their minds.”

Opponents would rather silence these people — many of whom have made Carlson television’s top-rated political opinion host — than understand them, he said.

“It’s not your fault,” he said. “It’s their fault.”

There was little talk, though, about how none of the allegations of widespread voter fraud have been found true. To the contrary, Red State’s Mike Ford said it was “not even debatable” that November’s presidential election was stolen from President Donald Trump.

Results were certified in all 50 states, many by Republican officials, without finding major problems and the president has consistently had his challenges to the election rejected by state and federal courts.

Carlson’s colleague, Sean Hannity, denounced the violence. Like his show has consistently over the past few months, however, he amplified Trump’s claims of wrongdoing. Hannity said the vast majority of people who attended Trump’s rally in Washington were peaceful. While he talked, the screen flashed a picture of a demonstrator holding a flag that depicted a Rambo-like Trump clutching a rocket launcher.

While Fox’s Laura Ingraham said there are legitimate concerns about the election, “if you were a Trump supporter hoping to display your support for the president, well, today’s antics at the Capitol did just the opposite.”

Fox highlighted its lineup of prime-time opinion stars Wednesday, in contrast to networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC, which focused more on members of Congress speaking about the election certification.

A number of Fox personalities expressed disgust in the riot’s wake, including Stuart Varney, Karl Rove and Geraldo Rivera. “Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade on Thursday said Trump’s behaviour since the election has been “terrible.”

Fox did not make an executive available to talk about the network’s approach.

Several figures in conservative media suggested liberal politicians and mainstream media outlets are more outraged when Trump supporters are violent than they were about civil rights demonstrations last summer.

Leading Newsmax’s website for part of Thursday was a story headlined “Media Have Hypocritical Double Standard on Trump vs. BLM Protests.”

Tim Graham, director of media analysis at the conservative Media Research Center, objected to that approach in a tweet on Thursday: “This is not a time for calling out double standards. This is a time for standards. Respecting the home of Congress is the lowest possible standard for American civilization.”

Another popular theme was the suggestion, to date unsubstantiated, that Antifa demonstrators infiltrated the crowd at the Capitol to cause trouble. “Were left-wing provocateurs leading the way into the Capitol?” questioned Thomas Lifson of American Thinker.

Newsmax has discussed that theory on its website and TV network. But its personalities have been instructed to note that the company has no evidence that Antifa was in any way involved, said Chris Ruddy, the company’s CEO.

In much the same way that Trump’s critics have accused him of inciting Wednesday’s riot, media outlets that appeal to conservatives face questions about the impact repeated coverage of the president’s election claims have on his fans.

Ruddy said it has been an important issue to cover since it has consumed so much of the president’s time.

“I think our coverage has been fair,” he said. “We’ve been going out of our way to get other sides of this.”

Howard Polskin, whose website “The Righting” follows conservative media, said he’s seen no examples of second-guessing following the riot, no questioning about the effect of the attention paid to Trump’s unfounded claim that the election was stolen from him.

“It doesn’t seem like a note that they hit,” he said.

Many conservative media figures have sold themselves as truth-tellers and admitting error isn’t good for business, said Brian Rosenwald, author of “Talk Radio America” and a scholar in residence at the University of Pennsylvania.

Neither is bucking a popular president, he said.

“Introspection and regret would require peeling back the curtain and admitting that in the interest of putting on the best show possible, they often use hyperbolic or … extreme presentations because they are more gripping or entertaining than nuance,” Rosenwald said.

The king of talk radio, Rush Limbaugh, on Thursday dismissed demonstrators at the Capitol who “breached the doors and took some selfies,” which he depicted as far less violent as civil rights demonstrations last summer.

“There’s a lot of conservatives on social media who say that any violence or aggression at all is unacceptable, regardless of the circumstances,” Limbaugh said. “I’m glad Sam Adams, Thomas Paine, the actual Tea Party guys, the men at Lexington and Concord — didn’t feel that way.”

___

Associated Press writers Lynn Elber in Los Angeles and Jocelyn Noveck in New York contributed to this report.

David Bauder, The Associated Press

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Firstlight Media Teams with Google Cloud to Deliver Next-Gen OTT – Canada NewsWire

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Unlocks Service Agility, Scalability, Extensibility Across Partner Ecosystems

TORONTO, Jan. 19, 2021 /CNW/ – Firstlight Media today announced that it has partnered with Google Cloud to support rapid deployment and expansion of OTT video streaming services.

Firstlight Media’s microservices-based architecture takes full advantage of Google Cloud capabilities, including:

  • Agility to launch services in weeks, rather than months;
  • Scalability for cost effective growth with customers’ businesses and support for complex use cases; and
  • Extensibility that futureproofs platforms with simplified integrations into best of breed technology solutions, as well as product features that drive innovation and deliver on customer acquisition, retention and revenue.

By combining Firstlight Media’s extensive background in solving complex issues for Tier 1 operators with the scale, reach and tools of Google Cloud, Firstlight Media now enables video providers to capitalize quickly and efficiently on new market opportunities in delivering AI/ML-powered personalization and monetization. Customers can leverage Firstlight’s OTT headend in San Diego and digital expertise in the media and entertainment industry to navigate the increasingly complex world of advertising and subscription direct-to-consumer business models with confidence.

“For the industry, our partnership with Google Cloud exponentially expands options for new services that can rapidly address viewer demand,” said Andre Christensen, CEO and co-founder of Firstlight Media. “Our customers can leverage three formidable resources—Firstlight Media’s cloud native platform, Google Cloud’s platform, and the technology of other Google Cloud partners—all to create opportunities that maximize the long-term value of each subscriber.”

“Increasingly, media and entertainment need to deliver digital-first experiences to consumers, in person and online,” said Kip Schauer, Global Head of Media and Entertainment Partnerships at Google Cloud. “We’re excited to partner with Firstlight Media to scale and extend their platform on Google Cloud, and help businesses deliver exciting, new digital experiences to consumers.”

About Firstlight Media
Firstlight Media is expediting OTT’s transformation to ultra-scalable, cloud-based platforms that use artificial intelligence to drive true engagement and monetization for Tier 1 operators. Founded by a team with deep OTT video expertise and a strong track record of building successful B2B businesses, Firstlight Media is poised to capture the next wave of growth in premium OTT entertainment services. The company is headquartered in Toronto and has additional locations in Los Angeles, San Diego and Chennai, India. For more information, visit firstlight.ai.

SOURCE Firstlight Media

For further information: Paul Schneider, PSPR, Inc. for Firstlight Media, [email protected], +1.215.817.4384

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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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 on


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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