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Americans think “made-up news” is a bigger problem than climate change

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U.S. adults are more likely to say that “made-up news/info” is a big problem than they are to identify climate change, racism, terrorism, or sexism as such, according to a study out from the Pew Research Center Wednesday: Fifty percent of those surveyed said made-up news (the artist formerly known as “fake news”) is a “very big problem” in the United States. By comparison, 46 percent called climate change a “very big problem”; 40 percent said the same about racism; 34 percent said the same about terrorism.

“Made-up news/info” can’t touch some other issues, though — like drug addiction and affordable health care. It ranks only a hair behind income inequality.

The report is the bleakest I’ve seen when it comes to the partisan divide in the United States around fake news. Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to identify made-up news as a “very big problem.” (They are, after all, told it’s a huge problem repeatedly by the president.) They are also more likely to say that they see it “often,” and they are three times as likely as Democrats to blame journalists for creating it. Republicans are also more likely to say that they have “reduced the amount of news they get overall” out of their concerns over fake news.

Here, for instance, are Americans overall:

And here are Republicans:

Seventy-nine percent of Americans think “steps should be taken to restrict made-up news and information intended to mislead” — a statistic that is frightening for journalists considering that Republicans are more likely to think fake news is a big problem and to blame journalists for it, and when you consider that some of the harshest “fake news” bans have come from countries with authoritarian governments where the bans can be seen as clamping down on journalism and free speech. Pew didn’t ask, in this survey, precisely what measures Americans think should be taken to reduce fake news — but 53 percent of survey respondents said the greatest responsibility comes from “the news media,” compared to only 9 percent who said the same about tech companies.

In addition to the political divide, Pew identified other demographic differences in Americans’ concerns about fake news. 18- to 29-year-olds are less concerned about fake news than those ages 50 and older, are less likely to say they encounter it often, and are less likely to blame journalists for it. In fact, “the only group that the youngest adults put somewhat greater blame on is the public (30% vs. 23% of the oldest age group).” 18- to 29-year-olds are also more likely than older age groups “to have taken certain steps to combat [fake news] or to limit their exposure to it.”

The full report is here.

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SteveRB511
132 days ago
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One issue with the perception and lack of critical thinking in regards to real and imagined fake news is that it affects the results of how people view all of the other problems listed
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2 public comments
betajames
132 days ago
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WTF
Michigan
cjmcnamara
132 days ago
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very normal and cool

The Manchurian Idiot

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After Helsinki, Trump isn’t as useful to Putin as one might think.
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SteveRB511
453 days ago
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Pretty much sums it up...
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White House Eliminates Cybersecurity Position

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The White House has eliminated the cybersecurity coordinator position.

This seems like a spectacularly bad idea.

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SteveRB511
516 days ago
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With collusion investigations, Russian hacking, emails, etc., why would the white House want cybersecurity people keeping an eye on things? ;)
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https://t.co/RCBGJXlm6c

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Posted by bloomcounty on Tue Nov 15 13:57:59 2016.


108 likes, 73 retweets


27 likes, 25 retweets
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SteveRB511
1064 days ago
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It's going to take a lot of scrubbing...
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All Things Work Together For Good

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All Things Work Together For Good There’s a verse in Romans that says something like this: “All things work together for good”.

I had a teacher who didn’t like that verse. He thought it was saying that all things are already good—we just can’t see it yet. And, rightly I think, he was offended by that idea.

He was offended because it is obvious that the world around us is not one where all things are good. There is suffering, there is pain, there are horrors too unspeakable to want to mention here.

To say that all these horrors have a purpose, have some kind of benevolent reason behind them, seems wrong. In fact, it seems like a way of deadening yourself to the world, convincing yourself to turn away from the reality in front of you, and live in a sort of denial.

This is something that Christian thinkers have criticized in many forms of Eastern spirituality. Many times it seems like those forms of spirituality are simply trying to convince us that suffering doesn’t matter—that we should learn not to care about it, or that it’s an illusion, or that it would go away if we stopped desiring not to suffer.

There are branches of Christianity which do the same thing. Every time a tornado strikes a town, or an earthquake demolishes a village, there are people who will come out of the woodwork and declare this an act of God. In claiming that this event was all part of God’s plan, they convince themselves that there is nothing unjust happening, that they can safely turn their eyes away, and pretend that suffering never happens.

Even very sophisticated thinkers, who don’t resort to blaming the victims for their presumed sins, still often attribute some purpose or reason to the event. During a recent disaster, a well-known theologian tweeted something about God’s plan at work. On seeing the backlash from that statement, he replied that he had just intended to offer comfort.

This is telling. For him, this belief allows him to disengage from the suffering around him, convinced that it is already good.

Interestingly, this is not what the verse says. “All things work together for good” is not a declaration that things are okay. It is a declaration that the arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice. It is a declaration that all the chaos and disaster and destruction of life become the raw material for new good things which will emerge. It is a declaration that life itself is always in the process of overcoming evil with good, of picking up the pieces and building something even better, of adapting to new situations and circumstances to keep things moving forward.

In some ways, it is a statement of infinite play. The world is not pre-planned, but something we will engage with and adapt to. Every setback will be met with greater creativity, every destruction will be met with greater creation, every suffering will be met with greater compassion.

This is what we see in nature: every living thing, always growing and changing and adapting, not stopping for a second when things go wrong. Instead, life rushes in to fill the space, to use the raw materials of that destruction as seeds for the next generation, the next growth, the next forest.

Of course, it’s possible that the Calvinists and the Buddhists are right in their approach to suffering. It’s possible that all of this is pre-planned. There’s no way to disprove something like that.

But to me, the distinctively Christian notion seems to be that God is working in and through life, constantly meeting evil with compassion, constantly meeting destruction with growth and creation, constantly meeting death with resurrection—working all things together for good.

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SteveRB511
1330 days ago
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Confusion comes from the partial quote: "all things work together for good..." The qualifiers are often left off: "...to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
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Keyboard Problems

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In the future, a group of resistance fighters send me back in time with instructions to find the Skynet prototype and try to upgrade it.
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SteveRB511
1471 days ago
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Resistentialism: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/21/magazine/21ONLANGUAGE.html
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chrisminett
1471 days ago
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My Dad
Milton Keynes, UK
kazriko
1471 days ago
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I have the opposite problem. When someone tries to replicate a problem with software in my presence, it inexplicably works correctly.
Colorado Plateau
satadru
1471 days ago
Which is great if you're an IT Consultant. ;)
Lythimus
1471 days ago
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I used to feel like complex computer issues followed around because I was doing things slightly out of my depth. Now it seems like I'm just able to fix other things which normal people would have to replace. So I guess what I'm saying is, it probably gets better... or you stop caring as much and just give up.
uvayankee
1471 days ago
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Recently, I installed a new network card so I could upgrade to Windows 10. The upgrade system refused to recognize this card for 2 weeks, then decided to use the old card after the upgrade (poorly). Normal people don't have these problems.
Colorado
tsuckow
1471 days ago
Note that in windows ten shutdown is like hibernate. You have to choose reboot if you change hardware. I changed my processor after upgrading to 10, it thought it was the old one. Surprised it ran at all
aaronwe
1471 days ago
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We all know this person.
Denver
minderella
1471 days ago
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I am the glitch finder.
lrwrp
1471 days ago
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This is how I feel around technology.
??, NC
alt_text_bot
1471 days ago
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In the future, a group of resistance fighters send me back in time with instructions to find the Skynet prototype and try to upgrade it.
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