Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Fake News Fixing: Multi Step Solution

Last week, I met with a long term friend who stated he was going to write a book about fake news. The issues though:

A: He admitted he never reads the news - not exactly reassurance to his book readers of his expertise
B: He had no solution as to fixing fake news (thriller book with no cliffhanger ending....?)
C: He's a die-hard procrastinator

So in my A-type typical fashion, I dove head first into self brainstorming ideas. I wouldn't want to read a book that only talks about this topic, I want a book that gives concrete solutions. Over the next four hours (on and off), I threw suggestions at him. Granted, he did add 20% to the mix, on top of my foundation. But I know when it's a conversation with dual ideas thrown into the equation...and I know when I'm leading the initiatives. I ran the latter gauntlet on this occasion, giving him solid objectives so he could pitch the book idea to a third party. Yet he seemed to want to follow the typical SF bounder trend i.e. an idea with zero thought process nor end result. The summary of ideas I ran by him:

Online News Media:

Create a moderating type system where the article has a 20 second delay before being posted, giving Google a heads up that a stand alone piece may come under fake news triggers. This primarily works for articles that are focused on a sole topic, business or person (aka 'recipient.') The recipient is then notified (@ Twitter, Google Alert, email etc) and has the first right to respond before Joe Public can add comments. The recipient has a time limit (i.e. 4 or 8 hour) to reply. The recipient can press 'no,' meaning they believe the article will have no significant impact on them or is near factually sound. They can click 'yes' and respond (with concrete sources). The response is then permanently featured, boldly to the right of the article. Result: Readers can then see if the article is worth reading based on the recipient's response, or lack of, and can start spewing their commenting tailspins.

Google Algorithms:

A search of the recipient will show 'waiting for recipient's response' or 'recipient responded.' If the recipient pressed 'no,' the typical Google algorithms come into effect as normal. If the recipient pressed 'yes,' Google acts accordingly by moving the article into a 'debatable' news category' filter (or possibly in the right column white space, alongside related/trending topics of fake news). They'd also move it higher or lower down the search results, magnifying the lack of authenticity. Google has the ability to create this with simple code. They employ clever people who would have a field day in setting this new authenticity system in motion and finally use that white space productively. Result: Google features authentic vs fake news in a seamless, and aesthetically pleasing visual while not interfering nor compromising their algo set up.

Facebook Fake News:

November 12, 2016 Zuckerberg wrote a public post about Facebook taking ownership of fake news. This is wrong. Facebook should never have taken liability of this issue. They don't have their own news section, don't create the content yet solely provide the platform for people to copy/paste external links to their Facebook feed. Facebook made a mistake in stating they accept this problem and bringing in a heavy-duty team to address it...well that's just futile. But what they could do is have country flag highlighters by people's posts stating geographical origin (IP address) where the fake story originated. For example, check this NBC article about Macedonian fake news authors, making thousands of $$ from turning it into a business. If you see a Macedonia flag next to a Facebook post, then you know to either read it for non-serious entertainment or ignore it. That's all Facebook has to do - grab the IP's and country-flag them up. They can also feature a red flag next to a posted article that the recipient has cited as fake. Either read it or ignore it. Result: Facebook can back away from trying to be in the fake news hype from jumping on a redundant bandwagon. It wasn't their problem and never will be unless they start publishing their own news. Yes, the fake news authors will get clever and start changing IP's but at least the Facebook system wheels are turning productively.

TV Fake News Show:

The friend said he wanted to write a book to get mediocre-paid speaking engagements. I said he should think a LOT bigger in his strategy. I suggested he contact NBC and pitch the idea of an ongoing show, immediately following Meet The Press and call it 'Press: Meet the Facts.' His idea was to remove the colon so it reworded to 'The Facts Meet the Press.' His choice, it's neither here nor there in importance but by this time, he was fighting tooth & nail to feel he had at least one idea. I explained the show would be factually based with no observations nor opinions. Result: It would purely show rankings of the week based on the above i.e. how many journalists wrote great articles yet the editors wrote misleading headlines, how many journalists wrote fake articles, how many countries ranked in fake news authorship, recipient rebuttal rankings vs how many pressed 'no' - and the list goes on. This would create an ongoing foundation that could make/break the news media and journalists.

More Astute Advertisers:

All the collective above would now create a more powerful foundation for advertisers, knowing that more eyeballs to a fake news story was worth advertising on, or being associated by factual news to build their brand as a serious player. Maybe a journalist was getting some heat from a series of fake articles so a deodorant brand could advertise 'don't sweat the small stuff' and max on originality...and revenue sales along with viral traction. There could be a huge, new bidding war and original business model for media news outlets: charging brands more for (relevant) advertising by the recipient's rebuttal or the trending fake article. The playing field in the media buying circus may change for the better. It'd also be great if web news stopped having banner ads that intentionally covered the headline (slap on the wrists to the Daily Mail). Maybe the banner ad could be a curtain instead - revealing the newest authentic or fake story. Grab your popcorn because the article movie is about to start and it's a blockbuster.

Conclusion:

The ideas I suggested would start creating a new stance, putting journalists and media on alert to start creating authentic articles, and bring back some dignity to their (currently) diminishing respect to the public. It doesn't require heavy lifting from all parties - just some common sense.


A History of Fake News:

During our conversation, I mentioned to the friend I was seriously interested in addressing the issue on a history of fake news. Maybe a recent (last 50 years) history or further back. How many wars have been initiated from fake news that triggered retaliation from one party? How many celebrity break ups resulted from non-tabloid hyperbole? How could fake news have changed the way we voted in the past? Are climate change trends & statistics accurate and if not, who the heck is causing us to freak out for financial/business self gain? Is there a simple, fruit or veg based, cure for cancer or does big pharma always kill the publicity for fear they'll be caught out...and out of business? Maybe I'll delve into this one day - maybe someone else will. Either way, I find it fascinating to see if the world would be completely different without a history of (undocumented) fake news or would we still have ended up where we are today? I'll probably have a lucid dream about it soon. I always do.


Severing Ties:

After an impressive few hours of giving this friend a huge amount of ammunition for his book pitching and TV show spin-off, he had the audacity to (quote): "What you gave me was nothing new or nothing I'd not thought of myself.' So I grabbed Muppet and walked out. This is not the first time someone felt intimidated by me or my ideas. His comments were spiteful, stinking of his bitter insecurity and historic patterns of mental abuse towards anyone who challenged him. It was a long time coming. I don't need to be around people like that, no one does. He was immediately severed as a friend yet adoringly enough, the next day I met someone the exact polar opposite - the extremity of these two people were staggering. This image is for the ex friend, Ironically, I don't have time for procrastinators:



Five Step Unfriending Program:

People I've had to permanently cut off fall into the same five step traits: #1: consciously pushing me to a limit they'd not do with some else, purely to crave my attention, #2: feeling embarrassed of their actions, causing them to try (yet fail) in re-spinning the problem as mine to save their own bacon when having to (fabricate) explain to others, #3: using anger to cause me to respond which I don't (by then, I've blocked them), #4: feeling utter remorse and stuck in a rut, not knowing what was truth vs their new imaginative lies to anyone & everyone that will listen, #5: realizing they permanently lost a very good friend from their unethical ego inflation. Poor sods - what a way to live.


I saved this blog post (and all link posts) so you know it's authentic (typo warts et al) and not edited. It's now date/time stamped, just in case. How do we know if I created these ideas or he did? A: I screenshot the text message the ex friend sent me 10 minutes after I departed, stating he'd not infringe on my ideas. How do we know which were his or mine? Because B: I don't lie, ever. I don't need to. I have a great brain and a billion ideas. I don't need to steal others. I never have done and never will.

NB: During the conversation, the friend had no knowledge of Facebook's announcement, advertising covering headline titles nor a multitude of other facts I gave him from cited news (and TV anchor) media examples to support my suggestions. Then again, this is the same guy who stated that no one ever learns anything from TV. If you were debating on giving him the benefit of the doubt, now you have your answer.


Friday, February 3, 2017

A New Political Eccentric CEO Playing Field

Say what you want about Trump but every news outlet this week has confirmed they just can't catch up with him. The guy's giving them more announcements than they can handle - and it's coming at a rate of knots. To me, this is normal. To 'normal' people, it's abnormal. No other President in the past few decades has slam dunked mass curve balls, record breaking speed changes and twists in new-change policies in such a short, consistent time-frame.

He communicates through Twitter to world leaders (and why not?), he sets the record of bias news straight through Facebook, he's naturally abrasive, he completely lacks a filter, and has no patience for small talk. This list goes on.

Changing Political Linguistics

Any future wannabe President that tries to take his additional four years come 2020, will have to absolutely alter the way they communicate (online and offline) or they'll be left in the beige dust. Because Trump's training the world how to run the US business with a new way of talking & action, and the old world of political speech patterns are now in the back of the cupboard. In the next primary debates, the traditional politicians will look abnormal and stale in comparison. Trump is method training you so get used to it. He's getting into your head intentionally, and it's working. When people hear my speech style, they are dumbfounded. Within time, they can't imagine not understanding it. You have four years to learn this about Trump.

During the election debates, Trump (IMO) was abysmal as he didn't run the typical political gauntlet in linguistics. He naturally couldn't fit in, compared to autocue-Hillary at the other end of the spectrum. But that's what made him different.

Trump refused to conform to D.C. lingo because he naturally can't. And the 'so called' linguistic expert, John McWhorter recently decided to use every attempt to patronize him on CNN (poor quality clip so deal with it). I tweeted, emailed and left a message for John to maybe educate himself on eccentrics. He'd learn a LOT from us and be less condescending in future if he stopped his insecure belittling tactics, to cover up that he's clueless on a whole breed of eccentric speech patterns. His interview disgusted me. It was a classic case of 'I don't know this style of linguistics so I'll simply use the bullying, ignorant tactic.' In my scathing email to him, I made it crystal clear he was a disgrace during the interview. My email was saturated in vinegar so I doubt I'll ever hear back. I'm on the highest ranking of A-type eccentricity which is why I know what Trump is doing - I talk the same language. John should be ashamed of himself for not finding Trump's unique linguistic patterns before his interview. It made him look stupid. I despise ignorant, know it all's, especially when they don't know squat yet spout their uneducated mouths with zero merit.


Trumping Nonconforming Methods

His obvious disinterest in waving from Air Force One on his first flight (a standard gesture) was missing, his 'about me, me, me' speech at the Prayer Breakfast and his inability to stick to one topic at a time are classic traits of eccentrics who are unable to conform. CNN's Richard Quest was featured as an Anderson Cooper guest in the past week. Verbatim, he stated it'd be interesting to see which Donald Trump we see next. Because none of the liberal media bods have a clue what to make of him. It's brilliant TV viewing, watching the liberals run around in a tailspin like elite, narrow-minded fish out of water.

Odd Traits Have Common Patterns

Trump has multiple sides to him - the astute leader, the brash annihilator and the calm, strategic thinker. For him, these personality characteristics are perfectly in sync. I see this clearly. Normal people don't. They see him as scattered, unfocused and a wild horse. He's not because I've been called the same through my whole life...and I'm not either. The wild horse is the one that actually easily gets the job done of five others and has a proven track record of this. He has a definitive style so start connecting the dots. I connected the dots about him a long time ago. There's a method to his non-madness.

So heed this learning curve: He is normal and you are not.