Carmela Guaglianone Post-Workshop Reflection

The most overarching theme my group (group 10) was able to discern in our analysis of fake news through different cultures was the distinction that each narrative created between an “us” group and a “them” group. The strategy of the news, in each case, was to take an event or image of some kind and misconstrue the context to further develop some argument that the perpetrators of the fake news supported. In one case, this meant the direct tampering with the language on a sign that a woman was holding up in an image. The woman was supporting immigration in her sign, which read “our ports are open” (or something to that effect) and the words had been photoshopped to read “my legs are open”. This change not only erased the actual rhetoric and opinion of the woman protesting, but othered her by humiliating her on social media platforms. This embarrassment acts as an example of a common sentiment within fake news– not only is the other side wrong, but they are not worthy of our respect. In another example, the words of a minister of immigration were changed and placed in quotes; a similarly blatant disregard for the rules of mass communication and journalism especially. Again in this case, the reporters disregarded the words and humanity of the speaker and used her speech as a platform to further their own central arguments against immigration and migrants (and consequently, anyone seen in support of said migrants).

What I found most interesting throughout our analysis was the manner in which the migrant was othered and the impact that it had on the perception of migrants throughout the nation. Often migrants are depicted (through many different mechanisms) as victims or criminals or both. The news uses cultural differences and pre-existing stereotypes as cultural borders of sorts, and then as mechanisms of distinction between and in group and an out group. In using them in this migrants and “the migrant experience” becomes an object of sorts. It becomes a facet of the world they perceive, rather than a web of complex histories and experiences. And furthermore, it becomes a tool to criticize and exclude actual people from the stories they have crafted and the arguments they are attending. Similarly, this creates a pre-existing stratification between migrants and nationals which feeds back into the state power dynamic and polarizes the groups when migrants do arrive.

 

Un ruso borracho, hooligans o imágenes de una película: 5 vídeos de supuestos inmigrantes y musulmanes agresivos que no son lo que parecen

Nombre: Matt y Will

Preparación del taller de las noticias falsas.

Contesta las siguientes las preguntas:
¿Por qué ponen imágenes manipuladas las noticias?
La primera foto no es de Venezuela es de estudiantes en ….
¿Qué hay en la segunda foto?
¿Qué emociones evocan?

Explicit meaning: What is the content of the fake news? What explicit claims does it make?

The content of the fake news is a video that was posted on a tweet. It claims that a muslim man in Spain was seen fighting a doctor in a hospital.

Audience: What is the intended audience of the fake news?

The intended audience of this fake news is likely all of the citizens of Spain, or people who are interested in the immigration debate that could be potentially influenced by this video.

Circulation: Where does the fake news appear? How did it circulate? Can you identify its point of origin or author?

This fake news appears on twitter, and appears to have originated from a twitter handle called “@_gabiortiz”. It gained popularity on twitter through retweets and favorites. It was then posted on some news sources websites in Spain.

Communicative Strategy: What kind of communicative strategy(ies) does the fake news use (language, image, sounds etc)? How do these strategies attempt to affect its intended audience? What kind of emotions does it try to evoke in this audience?

The used a video that appeared to clearly show what happened, however they took this video out of context. These strategies intend bias the audience against Muslims and immigrants in general so that they may be more hesitant to letting them into the country. It tries to evoke emotions anger, frustration, and intolerance.

Context: What is not explicitly discussed in the fake news but is still necessary to understand its meaning? In other words, what kind of cultural knowledge must the reader have in order to understand the point the fake news is trying to make? (Ex. “they steal our jobs”– Who are “they”?)

There isn’t necessarily much context needed to understand this video, but knowledge of the controversy surrounding immigration might increase the effect on the target audience. Also the knowledge of Islamophobia in Europe and the United States may help users understand the point that the author is trying to make.

Fact-checking: Why is this an example of fake news? (Don’t forget to cite the sources that demonstrate that this is fake news, if possible. A link to the real news source that was deviated, for example.)

There is no evidence that this incident happened in Spain, and there is also no evidence that the perpetrator was Muslim. There were very little reputable sources that spoke on this incident, and the prevailing knowledge thinks that it was a drunk man in Russia.

Las Noticias Falsas sobre inmigración

Explicit meaning: What is the content of the fake news? What explicit claims does it make?
_Images/videos of violence and destruction taken out of context to portray immigrants as dangerous._Claims that allowing immigrants to enter country will open doors for danger and violence, one video comes with the claim “We are importing archaic cultures”.

Audience: What is the intended audience of the fake news?

_Christians that are Islamophobic, many of the videos portray Muslims attacking Christian images and being violent towards Christians.

Xenophobic people in general, one video shows “cannibalism” by an immigrant, but the video is from a movie, not real news footage.

Circulation: Where does the fake news appear? How did it circulate? Can you identify its point of origin or author?

Twitter and youtube

Communicative Strategy: What kind of communicative strategy(ies) does the fake news use (language, image, sounds etc)? How do these strategies attempt to affect its intended audience? What kind of emotions does it try to evoke in this audience?
Images/videos. These strategies can be used on audiences because they may feel they are viewing the acts with their own eyes, therefore accepting it must be true. The videos invoke fear of people from other cultures.

Context: What is not explicitly discussed in the fake news but is still necessary to understand its meaning? In other words, what kind of cultural knowledge must the reader have in order to understand the point the fake news is trying to make? (Ex. “they steal our jobs”– Who are “they”?)
Heavily Christian/Catholic population in Spain so the claims that Muslims are dangerous and a threat to Christians are effective because they create a divide between Christians and Muslims, making a large part of the home population fearful of immigrants. Additionally, Islamophobia in Spain is perpetuated by these images. Studies have shown Islamophobia related crimes have been increasing in Spain.

Fact-checking: Why is this an example of fake news? (Don’t forget to cite the sources that demonstrate that this is fake news, if possible. A link to the real news source that was deviated, for example.)

_This is an example of fake news because the fact checking website explains how the videos were taken out of context and used to put a negative light on immigration. The cite tracks down the origins of the videos, clarifying that they were not intended be used as anti-immigration news.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkaVDJMHhwG/?hl=fr&taken-by=hakeemeffect Post shows that cannibalism video was actually from a  movie set 

https://maldita.es/maldito-bulo/un-ruso-borracho-hooligans-o-imagenes-de-una-pelicula-5-videos-de-supuestos-inmigrantes-y-musulmanes-agresivos-que-no-son-lo-que-parecen/

Fact checking article

Ava LeWinter and Hope Morales – personificación de una actriz

https://maldita.es/bulo/no-la-que-aparece-en-estas-fotos-en-blanco-y-negro-no-es-la-bruja-del-71-con-22-anos/

English translation of title- “The witch of 71” at 22 years old

English translation of article – No. These photos in black and white which claim to be related to the actress Angelina Fernández, known as “the witch of 71” are not of her when she was young. The woman who is actually in the images is actress Sara Montiel when she was young.

Explicit meaning: What is the content of the fake news? What explicit claims does it make?

The article claims to show pictures of actress Angelina Fernández when she was young. However, the pictures are really of actress Sara Montiel.

Audience: What is the intended audience of the fake news?

The intended audience is the younger generation and fans of popular culture

Circulation: Where does the fake news appear? How did it circulate? Can you identify its point of origin or author?

The article appears on Facebook and is circulated through shares, likes, and comments. The point of origin is page it was originally posted on, called Viaje en el timpo. 

Communicative Strategy: What kind of communicative strategy(ies) does the fake news use (language, image, sounds etc)? How do these strategies attempt to affect its intended audience? What kind of emotions does it try to evoke in this audience?

It uses images and language as it shows a photo with a false name. The post is meant to show how beautiful the actress was and make them feel nostalgic of the past. This is an example of misinformation and false connection.

 Context: What is not explicitly discussed in the fake news but is still necessary to understand its meaning? In other words, what kind of cultural knowledge must the reader have in order to understand the point the fake news is trying to make? (Ex. “they steal our jobs”– Who are “they”?)

The audience needs to understand / believe that the younger woman is the same person as the older woman. It would also be helpful for the audience to know what TV show she was in to understand the caption, “La bruja de 71 a did 22 años” as la bruja de 71 was her character in the show.

Fact-checking: Why is this an example of fake news? (Don’t forget to cite the sources that demonstrate that this is fake news, if possible. A link to the real news source that was deviated, for example.) 

This is an example of fake news because it pairs imagery and language in a false manner. The content leads the audience to believe that the younger woman is the same person as the older woman.

https://www.facebook.com/viajetiempomusica/photos/rpp.667192773468791/1074829016038496/?type=3&theater

L’agression contre les homosexuels – Margaryta Bilokin

Sousse : Deux homos portent plainte pour agression policière

“Two homos file complaint for police assault”

Two homosexuals accused police officers in Sousse of having assaulted and insulted them. They denounce a homophobic assault.

This happened on the evening of Wednesday, July 12 2017, near the Corniche. The victims, wishing to remain anonymous, told Kapitalis that a complaint will be made against the police, especially since they believe they have done nothing to deserve to be abused.

Explicit meaning: Two men were beaten up on the street up by police because they were homosexuals.

Audience: The public and their perception of homosexuals.

Circulation: I could not find any other articles online about this incident. It only appeared on this website. There is no clearly identified author, only “Y.N.” initials on the bottom.

Communicative strategy: There are images of scratches and bruises on men. The article also seems to exaggerate the situation. This is done in order to evoke sympathy and understanding towards homosexuals.

Context: The reader must know the attitude towards homosexuals and how they are perceived by the public in Tunisia. They should also know a little about Tunisian police and about their reputation in the city/country.

This is Fake News because 1) there are no other articles about this, 2) there is no defined author, 3) the situation seems exaggerated and made up to evoke sympathy, 4) the website does not seem very credible, 5) the victims did not disclose their names, 6) source of images is unknown and questionable.

 

 

22 études médicales montrent que les vaccins peuvent provoquer l’autisme

English Translation: 22 medical studies show that vaccines can cause autism

Explicit meaning: This photo is of shows a baby being injected and is being used in a blog to talk about how some medical studies show that vaccination correlates to developing autism.

Audience: The intended audiences are people who are anti-vax in France.

Communicative Strategy: This blog is called “initiative citoyenne” (citizen initiative), and several of its articles, including this one, tries to call French citizen to action to protest against vaccines and tries to persuade people about how vaccinating their children can cause those children to develop autism. By saying that multiple studies support their claims, many people will easily believe what is told to them without actually reading through the articles.

Context: This photo shows the growing anti-vax movement in the western hemisphere, more specifically in France.

Fact-checking: Despite saying that 22 studies support their claims. If you read through these studies, most of them state no clear conclusion can be drawn from their findings. Moreover, a lot of these findings have nothing do with vaccines and talk about metabolism in children with autism, for example.

http://initiativecitoyenne.be/article-22-etudes-scientifiques-montrent-que-les-vaccins-peuvent-causer-l-autisme-123110741.html

Alec Schenk – African Woman Reveals: “85% Of Those Who Embark Have Work At Home, But Come To Be Maintained”

Before leaving, 85 percent of Ivorians leave a job, or a source of income, in their place of origin “: so the agency ‘Dire’ Goita Insiata Ouattara, director of the Ministry of Ivory Coast for the African integration and the diaspora. “If they leave it’s because they are looking for something better, they are pursuing an illusion”, the manager points out.

Explicit Meaning:

This article claims that Goita Insiata Ouattara, director of the Ministry of Ivory Coast for the African integration and the diaspora, made the statement that 85% of those who embark leave work but come to be maintained. She is allegedly referring to Ivorians are leaving some source of income to immigrate elsewhere, however their pursuit of finding something better is an illusion.

Audience:

The intended audience of this fake news is mainly Italians who are looking to read about immigration.

Circulation:

The original article of this fake news was first published by the agency Dire and then appeared on the website ‘cronacaora.it’ or Cronaca Ora, an Italian website deeming itself a ‘topical blog loved by most Italians’. It appears that the popularity in circulation first stemmed from Cronaca Ora, although the author is not shown.

Communicative Strategy:

This fake news uses an image of Goita Insiata Ouattara speaking during an interview which is supposed to be the interview that she made this statement about immigrants. The language used attempts to appeal to the Italian population who have negative feelings towards immigrants. Not only this, but race is important. By stating that the immigrants are from Africa, the article looks to gain attention from the racist population of Italians.

Context:

What is important to know is that there is a large population of Italians who have negative feelings towards immigrants. In a European survey conducted which aimed to find out what countries feel as though immigrants make their country a worse place to live, of the respondents Italy ranked third highest. Further, Italy has historically had problems with ongoing racism. The large majority of the Italian population is considered caucasian, making African immigrants typically easier to identify and detach from.

Fact-checking:

This is an example of fake news because Ouattara never made this statement to the press in the alleged interview where she said it.
  • In the original article published by Dire on their website, the statement is never made:
  • There is confirmation of this in the actual footage of the interview:
  • Fact checking websites have confirmed that is it fake news:

August Meny – The Lake Pontchartrain Bridge (Flat-Earth Facebook Post)

My chosen piece of fake news is this Facebook post in a Flat-Earth group on Facebook. Here is the link:https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10156357274641925&set=pcb.2634498766565283&type=3&theater&ifg=1

The following is a rough translation of the first picture: “The Lake Pontchartrain Bridge, forms a fixed [???] composed of two parallel bridges, traversing Lake Pontchartrain (South Louisiana in the US). The longest of the two bridges has a length of 38.35km. In 1969, the Guinness Book of Records classified it as the longest bridge in the world. In 2011, in response to the opening of a bridge over the Jiaozhou Bay in China, Guinness World Records created two categories of bridges over water: continuous lengths and suspended over water. The causeway of Lake Pontchartrain became the longest bridge above the water (continuous system) while for the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in China, the bridge is the longest suspended. Concerning the towers of the Pontchartrain Bridge, which you can find on a map, the legend states that they are separated by roughly 300 meters . The 1st photo was taken by Brad Zerangue, from the other parallel bridge. You make out roughly thirty towers in the photo; they fade more and more, becoming diffuse gray stains, but they’re always visible. 30 times 300 equals 9000 meters which would be 9km. I’ll leave it to you to go over the given known official statements by the round earth, so that you know at what moment the difference in height of the earth’s curvature becomes apparent…”

If you’d like to hear some more, this is the end of the post and the subsequent translation:

“In any case, the architects will take it well in counting everything into their collection of parameters, but the supposed curvature of the earth is not in fact part of that. In reality, you note that the observer on the ground, in moving higher, will be able to see too far, because of the logic and the given handouts on the round earth. You could begin to become interested in the functions of the eye just as the field of vision restrains, as a function of the perspective due to the position of the observer on the ground… and once again, the water doesn’t curve, and will rest level, from tower to tower. The Earth is fixed, and we move about liberally on it, by earth or by sea, and in a limited aerial space.” You can visit the link to find the discussed pictures.

Analysis:

Explicit meaning: This piece of Fake News is something of a ‘proof’; it’s trying to demonstrate logically that the Earth is flat because of the given discrepancies in Round-Earth descriptions.

Audience: While the intended audience may be the general public (the logic is written as if it is for anyone to see and discover the apparent discrepancies in Round-Earth descriptions), it is written with language that implies it is also meant for people who understand flat earth arguments.

Circulation: It appears in a Flat Earth Facebook Group, but could just as easily be shared by users on Facebook who find it compelling. The author of the post is a common poster in the group, although the origin of the given pictures is unknown.

Communicative Strategy: Essentially, the post wants to display the common sense of the Flat Earth narrative. By showing empirical evidence (images) and explaining the interpretation in a very simple way, the poster hopes to convince others. In terms of emotions that it evokes, only one phrase suffices. “Oh, duh, that makes way more sense!”

Context: In order to understand the post, one has to understand that the Round-Earth narrative is widespread and that Flat-Earth narratives are looked at as obviously wrong. In concert with the derision their narratives receive, when one sees the basic logic, it seems that the Flat-Earth narratives are not ‘obviously’ wrong.

Fact-Checking: It’s hard to fact-check Flat-Earther materials because one has to know the actual physics involved. But what suffices in my book is the relative simplicity of the given argument; physicists are often dealing with results that seem to go against common sense (e.g. quantum physics, which shows that certain particles can pass through walls [kind of- I’m providing a terribly oversimplified explanation here]; special relativity, which depends on the fact that one can never go faster than the speed of light). The two cases I’ve just mentioned, in fact, occur on non-human scales (the incredibly small and the incredibly fast), just as the curvature of the Earth would occur on a fairly large scale. The poster is also arguing against Round-Earther arguments from other non-scientific entities – she engages with a Round-Earth meme, not an actual scientific paper which explains the arguments for a Round Earth. So, while I cannot explain to you all of the necessary physics as to why the Earth is round, I can say that what seems like ‘common sense’ cannot really displace the work of experienced physicists.

Nicole Yoon + L’armée Française

e

https://factuel.afp.com/non-cette-video-ne-montre-pas-larmee-francaise-au-cameroun

Explicit Meaning: French Army in Cameroon

Audience:Those against the French army’s involvement in other countries, especially in previously colonized ones.

Circulation: This short segment of the video circulated around Facebook and Youtube. There were at least 3,000 shares and 130,000 views on Facebook.

Communicative Strategy: The main strategy is the caption, which gives enough context for this video to look outrageous. For example, one user commented “true recolonization,”  as the “French” army checks the identities of people in Cameroon.

Context: Cameroon was a French colony for around 100 years.

Fact-checking: This video is just a segment of “Côte d’ivoire 2003. Opeération Licorne.” and it was posted online on November 26th 2014.