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charlesarthur : hoax   6

The Sandy Hook hoax, and the parent who believed in conspiracy theories - until his child died there • NY Mag
Reeves Wiedeman:
<p>Lenny [Pozner] may have been the first Newtown parent to discover that conspiracy theorists didn’t believe his son had been killed, because he used to be a serious conspiracy theorist himself. “I probably listened to an Alex Jones podcast after I dropped the kids off at school that morning,” Pozner said, referencing the fearmongering proprietor of InfoWars. Pozner had entertained everything from specific cover-ups (the moon landing was faked) to geopolitical intrigue (the “real” reasons why the price of gold sometimes shifted so dramatically) and saw value in skepticism. But for him, the appeal of conspiracy theories was the same as watching a good science-fiction movie. “I have an imaginative mind,” he said.

When he first discovered the theories about Noah, Lenny, who grew up in Brooklyn, made only a halfhearted attempt to respond. “I feel that your type of show created these hateful people,” Pozner wrote in an email to Alex Jones, to which one of Jones’s employees replied that Jones would love to speak to him if “we confirm that you are the real Lenny Pozner.” Pozner declined, in part because he found himself unable to do much of anything.

While Noah’s death had given [his wife] Veronique a mission [advocating gun control], Lenny “was just numb,” he said. Lenny had worked for two decades as an IT consultant but now found the crisis management that the job required to be too overwhelming. In the year after Noah’s death, Lenny’s mother died following a battle with Alzheimer’s, and he and Veronique separated. “People tell me it’s supposed to get easier,” Lenny said at the shooting’s first anniversary. “We’re waiting for that to happen.”

But by the spring of 2014, as he watched the hoaxer movement bloom, Pozner decided to try fighting back. He released Noah’s death certificate, to convince those who believed he had not been killed, and his report card — “Noah is a bright, inquisitive boy” — for those who believed he had never lived at all. One Friday night, a year and a half after the shooting, he joined a Facebook group called Sandy Hook Hoax, one of the more prominent hoaxer meeting grounds. (Its logo features a ghostly child holding an index finger to her mouth.) Pozner told the group he was there to answer questions, and he expressed empathy for their mind-set. “I used to argue with people about 9/11 being an inside job,” he wrote.</p>

Eye-opening piece.
sandyhook  hoax  conspiracy 
march 2019 by charlesarthur
The extremely mad professors • The Outline
Christian McCrea:
<p>Pluckrose, Lindsay, and Boghossian [who perpetrated the "Sokhal Squared" effort to get hoax papers published in social science journals] will tell you that the crisis in the humanities they’ve ginned up is very current and real, but things get real curious when you scratch the surface. <a href="">Jason Wilson’s piece in the Guardian from March</a> outlines how the right-wing outrage machine draws in media hucksters and funds right-wing campus activists alike. In that piece, Boghossian is quoted as saying that the target of his hoaxes is “all disciplines infected by postmodernism, and women’s studies and gender studies in particular.” That’s right — hoaxes, plural. Last year, Boghossian and Lindsay employed the same tactic with a fake paper that argued the penis is less of a physical organ than it is something “a social construct isomorphic to performative toxic masculinity.”

Sensing a theme yet? Their long-running, multi-year media circus, based upon a deeply-held well... grievance, resonates with the broadly-held suspicions that some of the stuff that happens on campus is a bit crap — and anything remotely feminist comes first. Because looking around at the world in late 2018, gender doesn’t seem to be any kind of problem for anybody.

But — and I say this confidently — nobody in the humanities actually reads journals the way they do in science. You search journal databases by keywords. You read one paper from a new journal issue. You use what works. You skip over the paper that’s obviously rushed. You know that, in many areas, much more effort goes into book chapters. You know that some journals barely peer-review at all. This includes science journals, where hoaxes have also been perpetrated.

The hoaxers know all of this very well; they’re anything but stupid. The goal is plainly obvious: They don’t want these fields to exist.</p>
Hoax  science  publishing 
october 2018 by charlesarthur
Hoaxy beta • Indiana University
<p><strong>What is the difference between Hoaxy search and Twitter search?</strong><br />
There are two search modes. Hoaxy search finds claims and related fact checking in a limited corpus of articles from low-credibility and fact-checking sources, dating back to 2016. This mode leverages the Hoaxy API to retrieve relevant articles, accounts, and tweets. Twitter search lets users track articles from any sources posted on Twitter, but only within the last 7 days. Twitter mode uses the Twitter Search API to retrieve relevant, popular, or mixed tweets matching your search query. It is compatible with all advanced search operators. At most, Hoaxy is capable of visualizing the top 1000 accounts and in the case of a Twitter search, this will be the most recently active 1000 accounts if sorted by Recent.

<strong>How does Hoaxy search work?</strong><br />The Hoaxy corpus tracks the social sharing of links to stories published by two types of websites: (1) Low-credibility sources that often publish inaccurate, unverified, or satirical claims according to lists compiled and published by reputable news and fact-checking organizations. (2) Independent fact-checking organizations, such as,, and, that routinely fact check unverified claims.</p>

A little unwieldy, but folks interested in tracking unreliable discussions on Twitter might find it useful.
Hoax  twitter  hoaxy 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
‘Oh my God…It’s fake’: Far right falls for hoax about Broward County sheriff • POLITICO
Marc Caputo:
<p>In the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, the far-right fever swamps buzzed with false information and conspiracy theories about student “crisis actors” who were paid to lie about the mass shooting.

But ironically, conspiracy-minded conservatives fell for a political hoax involving a different kind of actor. The subject? Broward County’s Democratic sheriff, Scott Israel.

Israel for the past month has been assailed as everything from a “rapist” to a philanderer to a crooked cop thanks to three old YouTube videos in which a mystery woman accused him of impregnating her when she was 17 and forcing her to get an abortion. The videos together have been viewed almost 130,000 times since the Feb. 14 shooting.

But all of it was a lie, the woman and her attorney, Yechezkel Rodal, now tell POLITICO, which found her by combing internet videos and social media.

“I was paid to say these things. I didn’t even know what I was saying,” said the woman, who spoke with POLITICO on condition of anonymity because she fears political retribution from Internet trolls or from the sheriff’s office, which does not know her identity. “I’m sorry … It’s fake.”

The revelation comes amid growing concerns about the spate of conspiracy theories and “false flag” attacks surrounding recent mass shootings — especially in Florida — that are surfacing on right-wing and fringe media sites.</p>

This happens at both extremes of political belief, of course.
politics  hoax 
march 2018 by charlesarthur
News Feed FYI: showing fewer hoaxes >> Facebook Newsroom
Today’s update to News Feed reduces the distribution of posts that people have reported as hoaxes and adds an annotation to posts that have received many of these types of reports to warn others on Facebook. We are not removing stories people report as false and we are not reviewing content and making a determination on its accuracy.

Bah - just add a link on each story to <a href="">Emergent</a>. Job done.
facebook  hoax 
january 2015 by charlesarthur
Here's proof the Xiaomi MacBook Air clone story is fake
Steven Millward:
A reverse Google image search on the fake Xiaomi laptop reveals that the closest image source seems to be an undated clone, with the splendid name Kaka i5 (pictured below), that already has an orange power button. So the Xiaomi laptop hoaxers simply had to Photoshop on an orange Xiaomi logo.

The dubious story first appeared in English on GizmoChina, a site we’ve never heard of before, and then was picked up without further investigation by well-known sites such as 9to5Mac and BusinessInsider (update: story screenshots <a href="">here</a> and <a href="">here</a>, respectively). Not so much Pulitzer prize for journalism as Wurlitzer prize for churnalism.

Round of applause for that last phrase, sir. Chapeau.
xiaomi  hoax  laptop 
december 2014 by charlesarthur

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