Rumour, Gossip and Fake News Sites

A440
Posts: 4738
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:56 am

An experiment on the unconscious effects of disinformation

Post by A440 » Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:57 am

This article addresses the issue of online "fake news" and how disinformation can covertly modify the behavior of individuals and how this causes harm to the society at large.

• Disinformation can do this by manipulating implicit attitudes and emotions.

• Current mitigation methods do not prevent behavior modification.

• It is urgent to address this threat to democracy and individual autonomy.

It was found that even short (under 5-min) exposure to fake news was able to significantly modify the unconscious behavior of individuals. This paper provides initial evidence that fake news can be used to covertly modify behavior, it argues that current approaches to mitigating fake news, and disinformation in general, are insufficient to protect social media users from this threat, and it highlights the implications of this for democracy. It raises the need for an urgent cross-sectoral effort to investigate, protect against, and mitigate the risks of covert, widespread and decentralized behavior modification over online social networks.

This is why WOT should move more towards identifying and addressing sites that engage in this sort of activity. Where in the past one might be concerned with sites that harbor malware and exploits, nowadays the real malware is that disinformation which promotes discord within society, regardless of the country. This is the real dangerous exploit that should be addressed.

Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563220303800

huckleberrypie
Posts: 97
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:18 am

Re: acu2020.org and affilates

Post by huckleberrypie » Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:23 am

A440 wrote: ↑
Sat Nov 14, 2020 4:42 pm
huckleberrypie wrote: ↑
Sat Nov 14, 2020 2:58 am
Had to bring that to my aunt's attention as she apparently bought into the hoax hook, line and sinker, thinking it was trustworthy as she claimed that a doctor shared said BS to her. Just because a doctor shared it doesn't automatically make it an infallible gospel.
This is why, in this day and age, I believe WOT's mission should include sites which, though may not host software exploits, does host exploits of the mind and body, which could cause a great deal more harm in the physical world of hard, shiny objects.
It's a form of social engineering so I guess they should count as red.

A440
Posts: 4738
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:56 am

Epoch Media Group — a news organization dedicated to conspiracy theories and political misinformation

Post by A440 » Sun Mar 21, 2021 9:43 am

I've known that this organization is rabidly anti-CCP (Chinese Communist Party), which does not bother me too much seeing how lacking in ethics and morality the CCP is, however, the Epoch Media Group has assumed the worst vices of its erstwhile allies as being politically useful, thus they now mix political disinformation into their news feeds and promote conspiracy as well as pseudoscience. Falun Gong extensions have also been active in promoting the European alt-right. See: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/09/technology/epoch-media-right-wing-disinformation.html

The Epoch Media Group is a product of the Falun Gong Movement that was banned in the PRC (China) and is religious based. Their creed is "Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance", yet they now spread disinformation and are completely intolerant of anyone who criticizes them, or their esteemed leader, Li Hongzhi and recruit members in the same way evangelical groups do, which is focused upon group think:
Falun Gong melds traditional Taoist principles with occasionally bizarre pronouncements from its Chinese-born founder and leader, Li Hongzhi. Among other pronouncements, Li has claimed that aliens started invading human minds in the beginning of the 20th century, leading to mass corruption and the invention of computers. He has also denounced feminism and homosexuality and claimed he can walk through walls and levitate. But the central tenet of the group's wide-ranging belief system is its fierce opposition to communism.
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falun_Gong#The_Epoch_Times_and_Shen_Yun

Epoch Media Group
This media group consists of several sites which dispense information deemed useful by this religious group:
News-style sites:
dongtaiwang.com
eaglevisiontimes.com
kanzhongguo.eu
pureinsight.org
secretchina.com
thebl.com
visiontimes.com
watchinese.com
xfstory.com
zhengjian.org

Platform-Like Websites
rightontimes.com
sagebook.com
youmaker.com
. . . Youmaker, a little-known video site, prominently featured a video alleging that a far-left extremist movement was plotting to destroy America.

On Sagebook, a Twitter-like social network filled with posts from right-leaning users, a sidebar of trending topics contained the hashtags for “Stop the Steal,” “Censorship” and “Facebook.”
Right on Times, an obscure right-wing news aggregator, recently promoted favorable articles about Republican officials who refused to recognize Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in the 2020 election.
All three are among about a dozen websites spreading misleading information with ties to the Epoch Media Group, a news organization that has become a top purveyor of conspiracy theories and political misinformation, according to data provided by the research group Advance Democracy and analyzed by Global Disinformation Index, a nonprofit that studies disinformation.
See: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/09/technology/epoch-media-right-wing-disinformation.html

Additionally Media Bias Factcheck notes that:
. . . the Epoch Times has a section called Beyond Science that publishes pseudoscience news, such as Supernormal Abilities Developed Through Meditation: Dr. Dean Radin Discusses. Finally, the above referenced NBC News report states “In addition to claims that alien abductions are real and the drug epidemic was engineered by the “deep state,” the channel pushes the QAnon conspiracy theory, which falsely posits that the same “Spygate” cabal is a front for a global pedophile ring being taken down by Trump.”
See: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1044121
and
https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-epoch-times/

Failed fact checks include:
Jack Andraka, 15, came up with a “100 percent accurate” cancer-detection method that was “168 times faster, 26,000 times less expensive, and 400 times more sensitive” than current methods. – False
Dubious Posts Tie Political Families to Ukraine Work – False
No, Yellowstone volcano’s eruption threat level did not increase in 2018 – False (Corrected)
Concerned artificial intelligence researchers hurriedly abandoned an experimental chatbot program after they realized that the bots were inventing their own language. – False
Did China’s Communist government create the novel coronavirus in a laboratory and release it into the world as a deadly bioweapon? – False 
President Donald Trump has 232 electoral votes, Joe Biden has 212, 226 or 227. – False
I invite members to rate these sites accordingly.

A440
Posts: 4738
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:56 am

Abovetopsecret.com — Above Credibility As Well

Post by A440 » Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:08 am

This site is an absolute nexus of conspiracy theories and pseudoscience, yet enjoys a remarkably high rating in WOT — higher than other legitimate news sites which are fact based. Their comment sections act as amplifiers for disinformation and rumour.

abovetopsecret.com
Founded in 1997, Above Top Secret is a news and discussion board that promotes conspiracy theories and pseudoscience. The website lacks transparency as they do not disclose owners. . . Topics include UFOs, 9/11 conspiracies, Chemtrails, pretty much anything you can imagine that relates to a sinister Government. During the Covid-19 pandemic, they promoted conspiracy theories such as this Timing of New Super Duper Mutant Covid Strain as well as election fraud misinformation such as this Joe Biden Spilled the Beans on Democrats 2020 Election Fraud and Cheating Plans, which relies on unreliable sources such as Just The News and the Epoch Times.
See: https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/above-top-secret/
https://forum.mywot.com/reputation-discussions-f5/rumour-gossip-and-fake-news-sites-t71902-s210.html#p277419
https://www.mywot.com/scorecard/justthenews.com

This site has failed multiple fact checks:
Adam Schiff’s sister Melissa was married to George Soros’s son, Robert. – False
The Obama administration has ordered $1 billion worth of ‘disposable coffins’ for use with ‘FEMA camps.’ – False
Biden Admin Urges Supreme Court Let Cops Enter Homes Seize Guns Without Warrant. – False
President Obama has signed an executive order banning the Pledge of Allegiance in all public schools. – False
It is really easy to add to this list of failed fact checks simply by going to the site and reading!

Please feel free to rate this site accordingly: https://www.mywot.com/scorecard/abovetopsecret.com

A440
Posts: 4738
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:56 am

ussanews.com — Tea Party Disinformation Redux

Post by A440 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:13 am

This site promotes extreme political disinformation, conspiracy theory, psuedoscience, you name it, they've fronting for it.

ussanews.com
USSA News is a news and opinion website established in 2010 in response to the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA-Obamacare). The tagline for this website is “The Tea Party’s Front Page”, which indicates a right-wing/pseudo-libertarian position. . . the about page contains an entirely false, so-called fact that reads “Illegal aliens have more rights than most citizens.” This is false. Further, this site does not list any names associated with it.
See: https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/ussa-news/

This site also makes the Columbia Journalism Review's index of fake news, click-bait and hate sites as being "unreliable".
See: https://www.cjr.org/fake-beta
See: https://decodingdisinformation.com/2020/07/19/what-are-some-fake-news-sites/

Their editorial bias is clearly over the top in rhetoric and often uses Cold War and Evangelical descriptions, for example:
‘Angel families’ who had kids murdered by illegal imigrants
Satan Soldier Bill Gates Warns About a Plandemic
Every Single Day, Christians Are Being Tortured, Beaten & Killed All Over The Globe – Where Is The Outrage?
CDMedia CoFounder And Former Delta Pilot Talks On War Room About Boycotting Corporate Communists
This site acts as an amplifier for conspiracy theory (Qanon) COVID disinformation and hides this behind a registered user disscussion section of the site. Topics covered are:
The Election was Stolen. Trump won!
How do we combat and beat Democrats now that they've cheated?
WINTERIZE OUR “wind turbines “ REMOVE THEM
Keeping Score? How are the Communists doing?
Vote Trump, Save Humanity
Is Kamala Harris Eligible to be Vice President?
Is Covid-19 just the common flu with a scary new name?

Which yields commentary such as:
Good thing I have my guns, ammo, and food! Dammed politicians
To me the only important number is the total deaths in the US in 2020 (COVID). So far it looks like a normal year and we've been scammed.
Check out this video when you have an hour. It's about the scamdemic...
No mask for me either, law be Damned
Breathing in your own breath all day is bad for you. More will suffer illnesses having a mask on all day.
You're convinced Biden won a fair election! Who is the idiot now? The proof to the contrary is endless.
This site has failed fact checks:
“human cages” found in Caruthers, California are being used to hold human trafficking victims captive. – False
Becton had “openly admitted that she’s going to look the other way at looting in her jurisdiction as long as the people involved can prove they needed the Louis Vuitton purse and weren’t stealing it for personal gain.” – False
The deaths of John Beilman and his daughter were linked to the Las Vegas mass shooting via a device found in Stephen Paddock’s hotel room. – False
Please feel free to rate this site accordingly: https://www.mywot.com/scorecard/ussanews.com

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