Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Fake News Fox: After Quebec shooting, white nationalists, Twitter bots, and Fox News spread misinformation

Mod: Here is an interesting news item from a decent enough source called The Daily Dot. It appears that Fox News got its initial information on the Quebec shootings from some very interesting places. Neo-Nazis and the Russians being two. Fair and Balanced? You decide, as they say.

After Quebec shooting, white nationalists, Twitter bots, and Fox News spread misinformation (The Daily Dot link): In the small hours of Monday morning, false information presented as facts about the tragic mosque shooting in Quebec rapidly engulfed Twitter.

Fabricated details about the horrendous crime in Quebec City, which left six worshipers dead and more than a dozen others wounded, were promoted by an army of bots and high-profile right-wing commentators.

The shooter, they claimed, was a Muslim. First, a Syrian refugee; then, a man of “Moroccan origin,” as Fox News claimed in an article it quietly deleted around noon without correction. (A Moroccan man interviewed by police was actually a worshipper at the Cultural Islamic Center of Québec.)

However, the accused shooter is not a Muslim and he is not a refugee. He was born in neither Syria nor Morocco. The suspect is a 27-year-old white French Canadian named Alexandre Bissonnette, whom an immigration rights group has identified as a far-right internet troll. What’s more, Bissonnette’s Facebook “likes” include, among various celebrities and musicians, President Donald Trump and far-right French politician Marine Le Pen, in addition to a number of other figures critical of Islam.

But before police in Québec had offered any details about what occurred during the attack, RT News, a state-funded Russian media company, issued an alert that appeared on every page of its website claiming the shooter shouted “God is great” in Arabic while carrying out the murders. Fox News followed suit. The report was wholly unverified, originating from an anonymous tip provided to a Canadian radio station early Monday morning. (“Allahu Akbar” is one of the few widely known Arabic phrases in the West and, hypothetically, could have been shouted by the alleged shooter to mock his victims.)

While most Americans were still asleep, a misinformation campaign was being carried out on Twitter that largely targeted users who lean politically to the right. Pamela Geller, a right-wing commentator famous for her “Draw the Prophet” contests and a partnership with a prominent American white supremacist named Richard Spencer, is among the more well-known individuals who deserve credit for circulating the fake news of the Syrian refugee assailant. (Readers may recognize Spencer from viral videos depicting him getting punched in the face—occasionally to a soundtrack.)

In a series of tweets Sunday night, Spencer mocked the victims of the shooting while calling for the deportation of every Muslim in North America.

Among those circulating fake news about the shooting were accounts supportive of Trump and the visa ban he ordered on Friday restricting travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Many of the accounts appeared to have no regard for the truth and were instead seizing the moment to inspire hatred toward the Muslim victims. Others appear to be gullible bystanders with their own preconceived biases against non-whites.

The concerted spread of misinformation goes to show that even terrorist attacks targeting Muslim communities can be spun by white nationalists to inflame hostilities towards Muslims and refugees.

This was exemplified by none other than White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who inexplicably used the attack—once again, carried out by a Canadian citizen—as evidence of why Trump’s travel ban on Muslim-majority countries was necessary.

“It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the President is taking steps to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to our nation’s safety and security,” Spicer said.

Far Right Media Cite Rumors And Fake News Outlets To Erroneously Report Canadian Mosque Attacker Was A Muslim (Media Matters For America link): A shooter opened fire at the Islamic Cultural Center of Quebec on January 29, killing six and wounding eight more. On the January 30 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Sean Hannity Show, Hannity ran through a list of past violent attacks allegedly tied to Islamic extremism, ending with “somebody, it’s reported, said ‘Allahu Akbar’” at the mosque attack, in an attempt to tie the attack to Muslims.

Hannity’s misinformation made it’s way through conservative media following reports from fake news purveyors central to the alt-right, Gateway Pundit and Prison Planet, both of which claimed the shooter had shouted “Allahu Akbar.” They cited a then-live-updating CBC report claiming a witness heard the gunman yell “Allahu Akbar” as he fired. According to the most recent reports, the suspect in custody is alleged to be an “obviously pro-Trump” 27 year old white French Canadian who has been described as an “anti-immigrant far-right ‘troll’.”

Hannity was not alone in using the eyewitness report to falsely insinuate a Muslim had committed the attack. Alt-right outlets across the internet parroted false reports that the attacker was a Muslim, or used the "Allahu Akbar" report to insinuate that he was. Gateway Pundit even attacked mainstream media outlets that did not repeat their Islamophobic fearmongering, claiming these outlets were “those who hid the truth,” and had promoted “alternative facts.” Fox News also initially reported the attacker “was of Moroccan origin” before correcting themselves, and White House press secretary Sean Spicer used the Quebec mosque attack to defend the administration's dangerous and "un-American" Muslim ban.

Republicans Begin to Break With President Trump (Time.com link): For the first time in his presidency, Donald Trump is facing significant criticism from Republican officials and conservative groups who are rattled by his ban on immigrants and refugees from Muslim-majority nations, questioning his domestic policy agenda and worrying about what steps the New York billionaire might take next in the name of nationalism.

By Sunday evening, more than a dozen GOP members of Congress had spoken out against Trump’s executive order on immigration. Among them were an array of the party’s most influential figures. The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, said the United States should not implement a religious test. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio said the plan to strengthen vetting of refugees was itself not vetted. And the political and policy groups led by Charles and David Koch offered their first public criticism of Trump, whose candidacy the billionaire brothers found so unpalatable they sat out the 2016 election.

The wave of criticism marks the end of a startlingly brief honeymoon period for a new President who has been in office for scarcely a week, and even set the White House on defense as it backtracked on the ban applying to green-card holders. And while much of the blowback was driven by Trump’s immigration orders, the controversial plans he has on the horizon suggest the rest of his term could be just as rocky.

The emerging rifts come amid mass protests in cities around the U.S. against an executive order that would block millions of people from entering the United States. Legal permanent U.S. residents were detained at airports, refugees were trapped en route to the United States and judges from coast to coast stepped in to stop the unprecedented White House action. The chaos knocked the White House back on its heels and prompted Trump on Sunday night to release a defense of the policy.

Trump Going On Vacation This Weekend Confirms FAA (news.groopspeak link): President Donald Trump hasn’t been in office even 10 days and is already scheduling his first vacation to start this coming Friday. He will be taking a trip to his Palm Beach club at the Mar-a-Lago resort and stay there for the entire weekend.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

27 comments:

  1. Donny is going to Florida because he needs a nap.

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    1. That's OK for him, Steve Bannon is running the country anyway and needs more time to create chaos and spread bigotry and misinformation

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    2. Yesterday, I learned of George Enyeti's passing. I read it in the Mountain Views News. If this blog was not so interested in Trump, you would have had the kindness to write about George and all he stood for. I believe he was one of your supporters when you ran for council. Shame on you.

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    3. In Case It Wasn’t Clear Yet, Steve Bannon Is Our President

      http://www.gq.com/story/donald-trump-is-just-a-puppet-steve-bannon-is-president

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  2. I doubt you'll hear an apology from the chap who disseminated the fake news here yesterday.

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    1. I'm sure millions of Fox News watchers went to work yesterday believing that the Quebec shootings were Muslim on Muslim violence. They just do as they're told.

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  3. Canada is the place to be. Refugees have been told that they are welcomed there. Canadians have shown what type of welcome they will be receiving, and that's not fake news.

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  4. Dear all, I confess I am the fool who stated here yesterday that the Canadian terrorist was Muslim. I hereby truly apologize and promise never to fall for fear-mongering right-wing paranoia again. From now on I promise to only consult legitimate news sources and to engage only in meaningful discussions. I pledge to defend the constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. And I swear I will no longer engage in alt-tard douchebaggery.

    Humbly yours,
    Anonymous

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  5. DOW TANKING again today, down 114 now - Drumph better get his billionaire boys club to start buying up something, anything. They can DUMP it a few days from now but ANYTHING to prop up that FAKE Trump rally.

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  6. While Trump Fiddles, Putin Steps Up the War in Ukraine
    http://www.newsweek.com/while-trump-fiddles-putin-steps-war-ukraine-550603

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  7. Trump's creepy creationist billionaire nominee for the head of the department of education just caught plagiarizing her senate questionnaire!

    SWAMP THE VOTE!

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    1. What an inspiration to young students everywhere.

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  8. "Much of the Country backs Trump", it must be exhausting to go out and protest every day.
    President Trump has done more in a week and a half, then President Obama did in four years. Now he will take a weekend vacation. President Trump has to wait on Democrats to complete their background interviews of his cabinet. He can slow his pace, until until the Democrats catch up!

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    1. Trump's approval numbers are at record lows for a new president.

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    2. Dare I say on the seventh day Trump rested?

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    3. All he did was sign documents his handlers stuck under his nose.

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    4. Now, now, you just promised to behave with your confession...

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    5. 8:29, would you be so kind to state your acquired level of formal education? (Formal means that obtained in a school setting, not a bar).

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    6. I love the pompous "acquired level of formal education" question. As though your education, if you have one, gives your opinion more merit than others. It only comes into question when somone has a different opinion from yours. Get over yourself.

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  9. The Department of Education plagiarism moment response to the Senate: "Buller", "Bulller"...!

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    1. Indeed, there were two of every animal on Noah's magical ark

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  10. I also learned of Mr. Enyeti's passing. The Sierra Madre Council gave a mention in name only, again shame, shame, shame.

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    1. I didn't really know the man, so I am not sure what I am going to be able to say. Plus I hate writing obituaries. Don't know why, but I do. Would you like to write something? I would be glad to post it. The same offer is extended to 10:35.

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  11. I will write about George Eynedi as I have known him for several years: He was the treasurer on the Sierra Madre Mountain Conservancy board for many years. His contributions there was invaluable from his profession of being an accountant. I know he was on many boards and community groups over the years. He developed his property at the top of Sunrise Hill, above Camillo and for years you could see his lights forming a Christmas tree every year. Although he had thought of developing more land in the area of his home, (he built an appropriate sized home on a larger lot-not subdividing postage stamp lots with mega houses) so as to preserve more open space around him. He preserved open space around the perimeters when developing the other three lots and houses on the hillside. He was Citizen of the Year, a member of Kiwanis, the Cemetery Assocication, the Sierra Madre Playhouse. He was a member of the Sierra Madre Environmental Action Council and he recieived the city Lifetime Achievement award. He was elected as City Treasurer in 2011.

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  12. Thank you for your kindness. I will miss him.
    Leslee Hinton

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    1. The Eynedi's are a very private family. As to date, there will not be a service.
      Mr. Eynedi was asked by a friend or two, to step in and help the Cemetery finances along with the Play House, straighten out their books; as he was a CPA. Mr. Eynedi also straightened out the books at City Hall. Not once, but twice! I understand he was helpful to Karen Schneider when she was hired by the city.
      Mr. Eynedi did so much for this city, as a dear friend, he will be missed.

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