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21 March 2013 No Comment

Welcome to unplugged!

If you contact Marinka and do not hear back, it is likely because she is living offline as opposed to living online.

While Marinka is not a lawyer, she does enjoy looking up case law.   In the United States, for example, in the era of fake news and disinformation …

The United States Supreme Court has stated that there is “no constitutional value in false statements of fact.” Gertz V. Robert Welch, Inc.. 418 U.S. 323,338, 94 S.Ct. 2997,41 L.Ed.2d 789 (1974). The intentional lie does not materially advance society’s interest in “uninhibited, robust, and wideopen” debate on public issues. New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. at 265, 84 S.Ct. 710.

Falsehoods belong to that category of utterances that “are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.” Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568, 572,62 S.Ct. 766, 86 L.Ed. 1031 (1942).

The Court has further stated that “[f]alse statements of fact are particularly valueless; they interfere with the truth seeking function of the marketplace of ideas, and they cause damage to an individual’s reputation that cannot easily be repaired by counter speech, however persuasive or effective.” Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46, 51, 108 S.Ct. 876,99 L.Ed.2d 41 (1988).

See also: “American journalism is suffering from ‘truth decay’ — the media have become more biased over the last 30 years, RAND study says.”

Cheer leading and pandering to the choir is not journalism.

Journalists are not supposed to only cover one side’s negatives.

As such, the alt-right and Clinton/Obama murder conspiracy peddlers were thankfully not fans.

The same applies to some knee jerk left-leaning-ideologue-journalists. Especially those who do not read books, or speak to me, before publishing falsehoods to fit their political leanings.

There is a difference between being a journalist and a partisan hack.

Helpful Tip: Fraud on the Internet

From The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

Fraud, in law, the deliberate misrepresentation of fact for the purpose of depriving someone of a valuable possession. Although fraud is sometimes a crime in itself, more often it is an element of crimes such as obtaining money by false pretense or by impersonation.

European legal codes and their derivatives often broadly define fraud to include not only intentional misrepresentations of fact, clearly designed to trick another into parting with valuable property, but also misunderstandings arising out of normal business transactions. Thus, any omission or concealment that is injurious to another or that allows a person to take unconscionable advantage of another may constitute criminal fraud. In Anglo-American legal systems, this latter type of fraud may be treated as deceit, subject to action in civil rather than criminal law.

A common type of criminal fraud is the obtaining of property by giving a check for which there are insufficient funds in the signer’s account. Another is the so-called confidence game (q.v.), which involves not only a misrepresentation of fact but also the betrayal of confidence induced by the offender in the victim. The fraud of impersonation is the false representation by one person that he is another or that he occupies the position of another.

Beware of “sources” who will not look you in the eye or produce promised bona fides.

Anyone can publish anything on the Internet and claim to be anyone. Pretending to be someone you are not for unjust gain and gratification and the furtherance thereof is a crime.

See for instance:

♦ Judge Orders Alleged Fake CIA Operative Wayne Simmons to Remain in Jail, ABC News, October 20, 2015.

♦ Frequent Fox Business ‘Expert’ Arrested for Felony Fraud and Embezzlement, Mediate.com, May 5, 2017.

♦ Man Who Posed as a Doctor at 18 Is Going to Prison at 20, New York Times, January 5, 2018.

♦ Kevin Trudeau sentenced to 10 years in prison over book, TV claims, Los Angeles Times, March 19, 2014

♦ Fake Priest Sentenced To Jail For Swindling Los Angeles Parishioners, Associated Press, March 26, 2016

Alt-media online echo chambers is like the broken telephone of the Internet.  It is also not journalism.

Group think is cult-like.  It is also not journalism.  It is disturbing, destructive and creepy.  Snap out of it.  Think critically.  No one is an expert on everything.

Just because you have read something online, or you listened to some unsubstantiated claim on internet talk radio, or you have a friend of a friend, with another friend, with a cousin who said …. it does not make it true.

Everyone makes mistakes. It is what they do about it after the fact which is a measure of their true character.

And it is worthwhile to learn the difference between censorship versus protected speech and unprotected speech.

See for instance:

Without defamation law, public discourse “would have no necessary anchor in truth.” —David A. Anderson, Is Libel Law Worth Reforming?, 140 U. PA. L. Rev. 487, 490 (1991).

The Weaponization of the Internet

Watching the weaponization of the Internet and the spread of disinformation and fake/false news with real world consequences has been disturbing.  Already, too many people have ended up in prison who acted upon “news” they believed to be true.

Please do not become the next person who ends up in prison over false/fake “news.”  Innocent people, not “crisis actors,” are being seriously harmed.

See for e.g. 

  • ‘Pizzagate’ gunman pleads guilty as conspiracy theorist apologizes over case,” The Guardian
  • Anatomy of a Fake News Scandal: Inside the web of conspiracy theorists, Russian operatives, Trump campaigners and Twitter bots who manufactured the ‘news’ that Hillary Clinton ran a pizza-restaurant child-sex ring, Rolling Stone Magazine.
  • Edgar Welch, ‘pizzagate’ gunman in Washington, sentenced to 4 years in prison, CBC
  • Bundy follower gets 68 years for role in armed Nevada standoff, Reuters
  • Sandy Hook hoaxer gets prison time for threatening 6-year-old victim’s father, Washington Post
  • Mail bomber Cesar Sayoc pleads guilty; devices were sent to critics of Trump, NBC
  • Qanon-Believing Proud Boy Accused of Murdering ‘Lizard’ Brother With Sword: Prosecutors say Buckey Wolfe spoke about reptile people and the illuminati, showing his beliefs are straight out of a wild pro-Trump conspiracy theory. Daily Beast