Links 10.12.2016: Manufacturing Normality, South Parks Trevor Axiom und die Subjektivität von Fake News

trevor

South Park hat den Algorithmus für das gefunden, was ich Outrage-Memetik nenne: Trevors Axiom.

Erinnert mich auch so ein bisschen an das Webcomic, das ich unter diesen Text gepinselt hatte:

firecomic

Der Bombenleger von Dresden war Pegida-Redner. Tja. Telepolis: Verdächtiger nach Anschlägen in Dresden gefasst: „Kurz vor den Feierlichkeiten zum Tag der deutschen Einheit kam es in Dresden zu Anschlägen gegen eine Moschee und ein Kongresszentrum. Heute Morgen hat die Polizei in Dresden einen Verdächtigen festgenommen. DNA-Spuren haben laut Ermittler zu dem 29-Jährigen geführt, der laut Medienberichten 2015 als Redner bei 'Pegida' aufgetreten sein soll.“

Die Zeit über militante „besorgte Bürger“, die sich Knarren beim Nazi-Onlineversand Migrantenschreck kaufen: Zeit.de: "Migrantenschreck" – Die Waffenbürger: „M. ist einer von 198 Menschen, die in den vergangenen sieben Monaten auf Migrantenschreck Waffen gekauft haben. Das geht aus detaillierten Kundendaten hervor, die ZEIT ONLINE zugespielt wurden. Die Daten belegen, dass das Geschäft mit der Panik vom extremen rechten Rand bis in die Mitte der Gesellschaft reicht. Ärzte, Lokalpolitiker, Unternehmer, Erzieher, Computerfachleute und Zierfisch-Züchter glauben inzwischen offenbar, sie müssten sich sich mit einer Waffe in der Hand gegen Fremde verteidigen. Wenn es stimmt, dass sich die deutsche Gesellschaft im Zuge der Flüchtlingswanderung radikalisiert hat, dann sind die Kundendaten ein Beleg dafür.“

Wired.de: Nach Cambridge Analytica: Wie arbeiten die deutschen Parteien im digitalen Wahlkampf 2017?:

Knapp 5000 User haben sich der der Reddit-Gruppe The Schulz in etwas mehr als einer Woche angeschlossen. Gedacht war sie als ironische Anspielung auf das Forum The Donald, in dem sich die Unterstützer von Donald Trump erstmals online zusammenrauften. FlamingForFame und andere Reddit-Moderatoren aus Deutschland dachten sich nach den US-Wahlen: Was für einen misogynen Macho wie Trump funktioniert, könnte durch das Anhimmeln eines „Anti-Trump“ ad absurdum geführt werden.

Ihre Wahl fiel auf den manchmal polternden, pro-europäischen Sozialdemokraten Martin Schulz. Und es klappte, die Besucherzahlen explodierten. Sogar Fernsehmoderator Jan Böhmermann übernahm einen der Witze des Forums: Für den „Gottkanzler“ Schulz gebe es auf dem Weg ins Kanzleramt „keine Bremsen“.

HOW TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING THE WAY WE THINK - Daniel Suarez, Jan Kalbitzer & Frank Rieger

Whenever new information technologies have appeared, they have had an impact on how people perceive the world and how they manipulate the perceptions of the world held by their fellow human beings. Today, we use digital artefacts and networked technologies as tools for thinking and media for information. Without them, we would hardly be able to cope with our accelerated lives. It is therefore more necessary than ever to recognise the patterns of change. What direction are they pointing in and what will they lead to – now and in the near future?

Enough with the “Fake News is Hard” BS: „Once upon a time in America, our mainstream news sources couldn’t be trusted much more than we can now trust our assorted social platforms. In fixing the situation, they didn’t just say 'Hey, our bad. We will stop lying to you.' They had, after all, been saying that the whole time they had been lying to us. What they did, rather is institute a set of policies, people and procedures to fix the situation, and they did so openly.“

The Intercept: Disinformation, Not Fake News, Got Trump Elected, and It Is Not Stopping. (Cernovich, it should be noted, rose to wider fame with Gamergate.)

before he started styling himself as an investigative journalist, Cernovich was quite frank about his role as a propagandist, telling the New Yorker in September that his objective was simply to get as much attention as possible any “story that can hurt Hillary.”

Given the results, it is hard to argue that I was anything but foolish to have tried to argue sense into these people, but it is important to realize that the phenomenon we are confronting here is not simply fake news of the sort peddled for profit by apolitical entrepreneurs on Facebook. This is something different: a hoax created and released into the darker reaches of the internet for the express purpose of damaging the reputation of the Democratic candidate for the presidency.

As with many other false stories about Clinton that have widely spread online — like the baseless rumor promoted by Infowars and then Trump that millions of non-citizens illegally voted for her, and were encouraged to do so by President Obama — this should be described as what it is: disinformation, or the sort of “black propaganda” intelligence agencies have fabricated in decades past to smear politicians they see as enemies.

hilaryThe Intercept: A Clinton Fan Manufactured Fake News That MSNBC Personalities Spread to Discredit WikiLeaks Docs

When Nance – MSNBC’s “intelligence analyst” – issued his “Official Warning,” he linked to a tweet that warned: “Please be skeptical of alleged #PodestaEmails. Trumpists are dirtying docs.” That tweet, in turn, linked to a tweet from an anonymous account calling itself “The Omnivore,” which had posted an obviously fake transcript purporting to be a Hillary Clinton speech to Goldman Sachs. Even though that fake document was never published by WikiLeaks, that was the entire basis for the MSNBC-inspired claim that some of the WikiLeaks documents were doctored.

But the person who created that forged Goldman Sachs transcript was not a “Trumpist” at all; he was a devoted supporter of Hillary Clinton. In the Daily Beast, the person behind the anonymous “The Omnivore” account unmasks himself as “Marco Chacon,” a self-professed creator of “viral fake news” whose targets were Sanders and Trump supporters (he specialized in blatantly fake anti-Clinton frauds with the goal of tricking her opponents into citing them, so that they would be discredited). When he wasn’t posting fabricated news accounts designed to make Clintons’ opponents look bad, his account looked like any other standard pro-Clinton account: numerous negative items about Sanders and then Trump, with links to many Clinton-defending articles.

Telepolis: Wider die Rede vom "Postfaktischen"

Mit dem Aufstieg des Internets sind die traditionellen Leitmedien nicht mehr die unangefochtenen Konstrukteure von Wirklichkeit (siehe Merten u.a. 1994). Was sie, etwa die Tagesschau täglich um 20 Uhr, als "zutreffend und wahr" verkünden, erhält nicht mehr automatisch den Status kulturell unstrittigen orthodoxen Wissens. Vielmehr ist eine Konkurrenz durch Netzwerkmedien entstanden, welche die gewohnte monodirektionale Informationsverbreitung (ein Sender, viele Empfänger) durch neue Formen der Verbreitung von Wissen ergänzt - und zwar von Wissen, das im Regelfall nicht von einer speziellen Berufsgruppe (Journalisten und Redakteuren) vor seiner Verbreitung kontrolliert, angepasst und zugerichtet wurde.

Stattdessen ermöglichen die "Neuen Medien" es jedem Nutzer und jeder Nutzerin (und das ist in Ländern wie dem unseren inzwischen die große Mehrheit der Bevölkerung), seine eigene politische Meinung, ihre eigenen Thesen über den Zustand der Gesellschaft und eben auch eine beliebige Anzahl von so genannten Tatsachenbehauptungen über dieses und jenes in die Welt zu setzen.

Diese Meinungen, Thesen, Behauptungen sind oftmals lebensweltnäher als das, was sich in "Welt" und "Spiegel" nachlesen oder in der Tagesschau anschauen lässt, ist aber genauso oft durch keinerlei Kenntnis gesellschaftspolitischer Zusammenhänge oder auch wissenschaftliche Befunde zu einem Thema getrübt. "Postfaktisch" jedoch ist es in einem wissenssoziologisch informierten Sinne genauso sehr oder genauso wenig wie das, was die genannten und viele andere Medien uns vermeintlich rein "faktenbasiert und objektiv" über die Wirklichkeit zu vermitteln suchen.

Counterpunch: Fake News is subjective

beyond this is a crucial miscalculation as to how our subjectivities always enwrapped in a world we yet see as outside ourselves could find encouragement and confirmation of that separation, of a thoroughly detached and dominating subjectivity, in an alter-world — a cyberspace, online world.

That challenging alternative universe in which our subjectivities could roam had not “back in the day” established itself as a “society,” one endlessly divided and home to an equal number of voices establishing a new media broadcasting those voices. Subjectivities had not only found a “world” they could shape, a bespoke reality, but a place where they could voice, often in 140 characters, what was unchallenged within their personally designed realities.

I had no way of knowing nor could I imagine an entire culture would so quickly cast aside the tradition of truth, reality, objectivity, and rationality, disarming itself from any determination of fake and true commonly shared. It seemed that in one fantastical leap in the American mass psyche everyone now skeptically and angrily rejected the methods and institutions authorizing and authorized by reason and reality. This mass psyche is now losing itself in endless battles of words unmoored from any commonly shared apprehension of “conditions of the real.” What could be mutually perceived has given way to uncontested affirmations of “the world as it appears to me.” It is a triumph of the phenomenal witnessed repeatedly in individuals but rarely in an entire culture.

The chap who fired an automatic weapon in a pizzeria in an effort to rescue young girls caught in Hillary Clinton’s sex slave operation had come to the Truth of all that on a website. He is, you might say, a recent spawn of President-elect Trump’s own breezy replacement of fact and evidence as to what is true with both lies and bullshit. Lies, according to philosopher, Harry Frankfurt, indicate knowledge of the truth and a decision to stand it on its head. Bullshit is free of both truth and falsehood, the bullshitter unconcerned and ignorant of both but spinning a story nonetheless. There’s a mighty arrogance here and in Trump’s case it has proven to be magnetic and charismatic. Trump seems to be more of a bullshitter than a liar, his narcissism indifferent to what remains outside, true or false, of his own mind. […]

Much of this fragmentation of truth and the methods and words that reveal it have been bred and nurtured in cyberspace where everything indiscriminately finds a place. A great democratization not unlike the chaos of an abyss.

Counterpunch: Manufacturing Normality

As I suggested in these pages previously, what we are experiencing is the pathologization (or the “abnormalization”) of political dissent, i.e., the systematic stigmatization of any and all forms of non-compliance with neoliberal consensus reality. Political distinctions like “left” and “right” are disappearing, and are being replaced by imponderable distinctions like “normal” and “abnormal,” “true” and “false,” and “real” and “fake.” Such distinctions do not lend themselves to argument. They are proffered to us as axiomatic truths, empirical facts which no normal person would ever dream of contradicting.

In place of competing political philosophies, the neoliberal intelligentsia is substituting a simpler choice, “normality” or “abnormality.” The nature of the “abnormality” varies according to what is being stigmatized. Today it’s “Corbyn the anti-Semite,” tomorrow it’s “Sanders the racist crackpot,” or “Trump the Manchurian candidate,” or whatever. That the smears themselves are indiscriminate (and, in many instances, totally ridiculous) belies the effectiveness of the broader strategy, which is simply to abnormalize the target and whatever he or she represents. It makes no difference whether one is smeared as a racist, as Sanders was during the primaries, or as an anti-Semite, as Corbyn has been, or a fascist, as Trump has relentlessly been, or peddlers of Russian propaganda, as Truthout, CounterPunch, Naked Capitalism, and a number of other publications have been … the message is, they are somehow “not normal.” […]

The meaningless binary oppositions that the neoliberal intelligentsia and the corporate media are supplanting traditional opposing political philosophies with (i.e., normal/abnormal, real/fake), in addition to stigmatizing a diversity of sources of non-conforming information and ideas, are also restructuring our consensus reality as a conceptual territory in which anyone thinking, writing, or speaking outside the mainstream is deemed some kind of “deviant,” or “extremist,” or some other form of social pariah. Again, it doesn’t matter what kind, as “deviance” in itself is the point.

Actually, the opposite of deviance is the point. Because this is how “normality” is manufactured. And how consensus reality as a whole is manufactured … and how the manufacturing process is concealed. Apologies for getting all Baudrillardian, but this is actually how this stuff works.

The media’s current obsession with “fake news” conceals the fact that there is no “real news,” and simultaneously produces “real news,” or, rather, the simulation thereof. It does so by means of the binary opposition (i.e., if such a thing as “fake news” exists … then, ipso facto, “real news” exists). Likewise, the focus on “not normalizing Trump” conceals the fact that there is no “normality,” and simultaneously manufactures “normality” … which is always only a simulation.

Similarly, the stigmatization of Trump as a modern-day Hitler, or Mussolini, or some other type of fascist dictator, conceals the fact that the United States is already virtually a one-party system, with concentrated ownership and control of the media, an omnipresent militarized police force, arbitrary enforcement of the rule of law, the maintenance of a more or less permanent state of war, and many other standard features of authoritarian systems of government. At the same time, this projection of “fascism” conjures, or manufactures, its opposite, “democracy” … or the simulation of democracy.

This neoliberal simulation of democracy, and normality, and reality, is what the corporate media, and the entire neoliberal intelligentsia, is desperately working to shore up at the moment, as they took quite a hit with this election mess.

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