Hundreds of ‘pink slime’ local news outlets are distributing algorithmic stories and conservative talking points (2019)

[T]he Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School has discovered at least 450 websites ... distributing thousands of algorithmically generated articles ... at least 189 [websites]were set up as local news networks across ten states within the last twelve months by an organization called Metric Media.

@dredmorbius fuck this sucks. Media/technology 'literacy' is going to be so important in the future. Bullshit asymmetry (it's easier to bullshit, than to disprove) means that it feels like it's hard to fight this. The only way to win is to get people to thing more deeply about media, but I'm not sure that is feasible to do on a large scale?

Really reminds me of this script, that Sinclair media spread:

I feel that media conglomerates are incompatible with democracy.

@conatus The thing I've realised looking at media history and theory is that this is what it is. I'm saying this not in an "but it's always been this way, deal" but as "this is the nature of the beast, fight it, but intelligently".

In Roman mythology "The hundred-tongued godess of fame, Fama, trumpet in hand, proclaimed, at [Jupiter's] bidding, anything he wished, never questioning whether it were true or false." (H.A. Guerber).

I've compiled a media bibliography:

@conatus .... and am (slowly) making my own way through it.

Also from Greek/Roman mythology: Mercury/Hermes is the messenger god, but also of trade, commerce, financial gain, trickery, and thieves.

If you read the pantheon and myths as allegories and archetypes (as I do), what comes out is that false trumpeting acompanies power, that travel, commerce, and messages accompany fraud and deception. (Herman Melville's "The Confidence Man" similarly takes place on a highway: the Mississippi).

@conatus And there's Plato's conflict with the Sophists. His trade was dialectic, seeking truth, theirs was rhetoric, promulgating ideology or doctrine. Those are still two of the major forms of communication frequently encountered, especially in media.

(There are other forms and functions, e.g., phatic, performative, amusement, poetic, etc.)

Figuring how to counter this is ... challenging. I think it's a constant battle, though one in which ground can be gained.

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