[Das Geile Neue Internet 20.12.2019] Falsche Erinnerungen durch Fake News; Atomwaffen-Leak analyzed; The Man Who Reads 1000 Articles a Day (and who is not yours truly)

👾 Bellingcat analysiert einen geleakten Datensatz der Nazi-Terrorgruppe Atomwaffen Division, die auch in Deutschland aktiv sind und Bundestagsabgeordnete der Grünen mit dem Tode bedrohen: Transnational White Terror: Exposing Atomwaffen And The Iron March Networks. Die Rekrutierung des Nazinachwuchses dieser Terror-Orga läuft unter anderem über Gaming-Communities. Tja.

To understand the rise of Iron March’s role in Atomwaffen’s rise from Central Florida teens to transnational terror networks, we tracked down an early member of Atomwaffen who has since left the group and spoke to us under condition of anonymity.

“It started off with these gaming groups. We would just play video games, talk shit… we would talk politics and history and they seemed obviously nationalist leaning, but I was like, ‘ok,’” he said. The former member continued, “I guess they added me to the Atomwaffen group… it started off all on Skype.” Soon, the group branched out through Iron March, recruiting members from Orange County to Colorado to a North Carolina military base.

Our source mentioned that, as well as video games, Trump’s 2015 presidential campaign became “part of the way for us to connect, like, nationalism, patriotism, and fascism.” Despite the original Attomwaffen members’ disdain for some aspects of Trump, they found anti-liberalism a common denominator. Atomwaffen also often bonded over misogyny and relationships, mixing extreme hatred and potential violence towards women with inability to maintain relationships.

🧠 Nieman Lab über die Produktion falscher Erinnerung über emotional triggernde Fake News: Galaxy brain: The neuroscience of how fake news grabs our attention, produces false memories, and appeals to our emotions. Die Regeln dieser nach Emotionen selektierten Informationsdistribution bilden die Regeln der neuen Mechanismen gesellschaftlicher Kanonisierung (Vgl: Digitalmediale Vernetzung der Massen als neuer Mechanismus gesellschaftlicher Kanons). Die Lehre dieser neuen Regeln der Informationsverbreitung aufgrund neuronaler und psychologischer Prozesse ist das, was ich unter Memetik begreife.

The novelty and emotional conviction of fake news, and the way these properties interact with the framework of our memories, exceeds our brains’ analytical capabilities. Though it’s impossible to imagine a democratic structure without disagreement, no constitutional settlement can function if everything is a value judgement based on misinformation. In the absence of any authoritative perspective on reality, we are doomed to navigate our identities and political beliefs at the mercy of our brains’ more basal functions.

The capacity to nurture and sustain peaceful disagreement is a positive characteristic of a truly democratic political system. But before democratic politics can begin, we must be able to distinguish between opinions and facts, fake news and objective truth.

☝️ Klares ideologisches Vorfeld solcher Rekrutierungen sind die „ironischen“ Jokes von Youtube-Stars wie PewDiePie, der sicher kein Nazi ist oder wirklich rechtes Gedankengut teilt, wohl aber mit seinen unverfänglichen Grenzüberschreitungen den Acker bereitet, auf dem echte Nazis dann ihre Gewalt- und Untergangsfantasien pflanzen können. Youtubes Algorithmen spielt dabei eine entscheidende Rolle: How Hate Makes Money: YouTube’s Hypocrisy on Hate Speech.

more insidious than YouTube’s lack of tangible action is the way in which irony and nihilism have come to define our digital modes of communication, ultimately feeding into outrage culture, cancel culture, and the capitalist absurdity of brands making dad jokes on Twitter. Is PewDiePie really joking? Does it matter, when his clickbait videos were in the same playlists as right-wing personalities like Alex Jones (who offered him a guest slot on Infowars, which Kjellberg declined)? Roose notes, “Edgelords—people who post offensive things online for attention—had always existed on message boards like 4chan. But YouTube brought them out of the shadows and turned provocation into a viable career path.” He adds, “On YouTube, there were few rules and no lawyers looking over creators’ shoulders — which is precisely why millions of young people went there, to find the kind of stuff they couldn’t get on TV.”

Das Thema ist natürlich weitaus komplexer als dieser eine Aspekt, hier liegt zu allem Übel auch ein Historisierungsprozess der Geschehnisse um den zweiten Weltkrieg vor, die von der nun jungen Generationen in den nächsten Jahren kollektiv „archiviert und abgelegt“ werden, ähnlich wie wir heute auf die Napoleon-Kriege oder den Dreißigjährigen Krieg schauen. Das kollektive Gedächtnis reicht circa 80 Jahre zurück, der Beginn dieses Prozesses startet also genau in unserer heutigen Zeit.

Die Aufgabe dieser nun jungen Generation wird es sein, die kollektive Erinnerung an die Shoah, die Verbrechen der Nazis und den historisch singulären industriellen Massenmord, der ihn auch als Genozid eben einzigartig macht, in angemessener Weise zu kommunizieren und in eben diesem kollektiven Gedächtnis zu halten. Also das genaue Gegenteil von dem, was die AFD und ihrer historisch schwachsinnigen Forderung einer „180° Wende in der Erinnerungskultur“ fordert.

☠️ Ich muss seit einigen Jahren ja nur noch lachen, wenn jemand heute noch „Hach Internet“ ins Internet schreibt: The Decade the Internet Lost Its Joy. Hätte uns doch nur jemand gewarnt! (Also: I miss The Awl.)

At the beginning of 2015, Alex Balk, then-editor of the now-defunct website the Awl, wrote a post of advice for young people in which he supplied three laws about the internet. The first: “Everything you hate about The Internet is actually everything you hate about people.” The second: “The worst thing is knowing what everyone thinks about anything.” But Balk’s third law was most prescient, especially as we end this miserable decade: “If you think The Internet is terrible now, just wait a while.” He went on: “The moment you were just in was as good as it got. The stuff you shake your head about now will seem like fucking Shakespeare in 2016.” Reader, we’ve waited a while, and today it seems indisputable that Balk’s law has held: The 2010s is the decade when the internet lost its joy.

🙀 Neue Studie sieht keinen Zusammenhang zwischen Social Media-Nutzung, der Existenz von Echo Chambers und der Unterstützung rechten Gedankenguts: Right-Wing Populism, Social Media and Echo Chambers in Western Democracies (PDF, Diskussion auf Marginal Revolution).

Many observers are concerned that echo chamber effects in digital media are contributing to the polarization of publics and in some places to the rise of right-wing populism. This study employs survey data collected in France, the United Kingdom, and United States (1500 respondents in each country) from April to May 2017. Overall, we do not find evidence that online/social media explain support for right-wing populist candidates and parties. Instead, in the USA, use of online media decreases support for right-wing populism. Looking specifically at echo chambers measures, we find offline discussion with those who are similar in race, ethnicity, and class positively correlates with support for populist candidates and parties in the UK and France. The findings challenge claims about the role of social media and the rise of populism.

🐤 Twitter veröffentlicht ein Dataset von Accounts, die Falschinformationen verbreiteten und den Kern einer State Sponsored Desinformationskampagne von Saudi Arabien bilden.

❗️ Report: Industry responses to computational propaganda and social media manipulation

Overall, no major changes to terms and policies directly related to computational propaganda were observed, leading to the conclusion that current terms and policies provide plenty of opportunities to address these issues. The language of the terms and policies relating to users and advertisers tends to be widely drawn, offering flexibility for creative interpretation and different degrees and forms of enforcement. The major change indicated by the official blogs of the companies is that they have ramped up their enforcement activities, often through a combination of new automated efforts and increased investment in human content moderation.

🤝 Ah! Kollege: The Man Who Reads 1,000 Articles a Day. Robert Cottrell ist Kurator des Newsletters The Browser, den ich in seiner Gratis-Blogform vor einigen Jahren täglich gelesen habe.

👩‍🎨 Is Instagram Changing Art? (Youtube): „Many of us who make and appreciate art spend loads of time on Instagram. How is it changing the way we interpret and interact with art? And is it actually changing the art that gets made?“

📲 One Nation, tracked: Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy. An investigation into the smartphone tracking industry from Times Opinion.

EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY, everywhere on the planet, dozens of companies — largely unregulated, little scrutinized — are logging the movements of tens of millions of people with mobile phones and storing the information in gigantic data files. The Times Privacy Project obtained one such file, by far the largest and most sensitive ever to be reviewed by journalists. It holds more than 50 billion location pings from the phones of more than 12 million Americans as they moved through several major cities, including Washington, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Each piece of information in this file represents the precise location of a single smartphone over a period of several months in 2016 and 2017. The data was provided to Times Opinion by sources who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to share it and could face severe penalties for doing so.

👎 Die Angst der Rechten wegen angeblicher Überfremdung ist nichts anderes als eine künstlich erzeugten, durch Plattformen gepushte, virale Moral Panic und die Streuung von Gerüchten auf Facebook ist nichts anderes als digitaler Gossip in seiner niederträchtigsten Form: Immigration panic: how the west fell for manufactured rage: But the greatest facilitator of race-hatred against refugees isn’t a tabloid; it’s Facebook. Researchers at the University of Warwick recently studied every anti-refugee attack – 3,335, over two years – in Germany. They found that among the strongest predictors of the attacks was whether the attackers are on Facebook. The social network aids the dissemination of rumours, such as that all refugees are welfare cheats or rapists; and, unmediated by gatekeepers or editors, the rumours spread, and ordinary people are roused to violence. Wherever Facebook usage rose to one standard deviation above normal, the researchers found, attacks on refugees increased by 50%. When there were internet outages in areas with high Facebook usage, the attacks dropped significantly.

🤖 Algorithmic Bias, once more: Federal study confirms racial bias of many facial-recognition systems, casts doubt on their expanding use: Asian and African American people were up to 100 times more likely to be misidentified than white men, depending on the particular algorithm and type of search. Native Americans had the highest false-positive rate of all ethnicities, according to the study, which found that systems varied widely in their accuracy.

💀 Das alteingesessene, im Jahr 2001 gegründete britische Online-Magazin The Inquirer macht dicht.

🦠 The perfect content moderators: People with aphantasia, the inability to call up mental images, might be naturally resilient to post-traumatic stress disorder.

🤖 Guter Artikel mit einer sehr guten und allgemeinverständlichen Erklärung von Deepfake-Tech: I created my own deepfake—it took two weeks and cost $552.

An autoencoder is structured like two funnels with the narrow ends stuck together. One side of the network is an encoder that takes the image and squeezes it down to a small number of variables—in the Faceswap model I used, it’s 1024 32-bit floating-point values. The other side of the neural network is a decoder. It takes this compact representation, known as a “latent space,” and tries to expand it into the original image.

Artificially constraining how much data the encoder can pass to the decoder forces the two networks to develop a compact representation for a human face. You can think of an encoder as a lossy compression algorithm—one that tries to capture as much information about a face as possible given limited storage space. The latent space must somehow capture important details like which direction the subject is facing, whether the subject’s eyes are open or closed, and whether the subject is smiling or frowning.

But crucially, the autoencoder only needs to record aspects of a person’s face that change over time. It doesn’t need to capture permanent details like eye color or nose shape. If every photo of Mark Zuckerberg shows him with blue eyes, for example, the Zuck decoder network will learn to automatically render his face with blue eyes. There’s no need to clutter up the crowded latent space with information that doesn’t change from one image to another. As we’ll see, the fact that autoencoders treat a face’s transitory features differently from its permanent ones is key to their ability to generate deepfakes.

Which Face Is Real?: Our aim is to make you aware of the ease with which digital identities can be faked, and to help you spot these fakes at a single glance.

🙃 Karl Kraus and the Birth of Fake News:

Karl Kraus was the son of a wealthy Viennese paper merchant. Born a Jew, 145 years ago this week, he renounced his religion of birth, converted to Roman Catholicism, only to renounce that faith in turn. When asked why, Kraus attributed his departure from the Catholic Church to “anti-Semitism.” Kraus was a funny man.

Kraus loved paradoxes and published a magazine, Die Fackel, full of them. “An aphorism can never be the whole truth; it is either a half truth or a truth-and-a-half,” he wrote. Kraus also gave popular stage performances, in which he played piano, read Shakespeare’s sonnets, and acted out parts from his monumental masterpiece, the 800-page play, Die letzten Tage der Menschheit, usually translated as The Last Days of Mankind. […]

Deceptions—whether white, black, or rainbow-colored—accumulate. When they are formulated as social dogma, they’re represented forcefully by media as orthodoxy, which we must wholly accept, as good citizens, or entirely reject, as immoral fools, traitors, and lunatics. As Russell says, “Kraus responded to agitation for Anschluss, annexation by Germany, declaring that “the hypnotic power of newsprint was creating a ‘counterfeit reality’ in which ‘nothing is real except for the lies.’”

Bertolt Brecht wrote of Kraus, on hearing of his death in 1936: “As the epoch raised its hand to end its own life, he [Kraus] was the hand.” Brecht, presumably referred to the 19th century: The era Kraus foresaw ending was our own, of lies spread by digital platforms with unprecedented velocity and social penetration and enforced as a single compounded orthodoxy.

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