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abraçando o absurdo

A transição da especulação original para o espírito do público e para as páginas dos jornais aconteceu rapidamente após os meados do século o final da segunda guerra. Com uma atmosfera saturada de relatórios das verdades científicas contrárias ao senso; poemas e peças e pinturas «que exprimem o nosso tempo», embora fossem no verdade enigmas sem solução; teorias críticas das quais aprendemos que os significados superficiais são uma capa e só os ocultos importam; ou antes, que não havendo intenção da parte do autor não há significações verificáveis na obra; final mente as leis e normas que enredam uma pessoa em situações fantásticas — tantos encontros diários com o absurdo fizeram dele parte do equipamento normal do espírito. O absurdo ocupou sempre um espaço alargado na vida quotidiana (...) mas o século XX levou a melhor (...) ao fazer do absurdo um sinal de rectidão, de apelo bem sucedido. Qualquer doutrina ou programa que reivindique o mérito de ir contra o senso comum tem a presunção a seu favor — há uma descoberta importante ao seu alcance. Enquanto anteriormente o proponente era declarado charlatão, agora é o portador da novidade desejável e tido por iluminado.

Um reportório destas doutrinas e programas seria extenso. Aqui vão algumas -

Porque o burst das fake news será inseparável das nossas teses, apontamos a cronologia pela Wired 25 fev 2017no tópico. Mais do que datas ou nomes no passado, interessa-vos a distorção que se adivinha para o futuro.

Watching the meaning of "fake news" evolve shows just how easily even facts about facts can slip away.
The origin story of "fake news" reflects the dizzying speed at which semantic shifts occur in the social media era. But it reveals far more: what happens to factuality itself as algorithms replace humans, Facebook supplants traditional media, and the president declares war on the press.

"1 – Fake Trends – May 9, 2016"

Eventually algorithms and computers are going to get smart enough to do our jobs, but I don’t think that this robot was ready yet.

9 maio 2016, Gizmodo: "Former Facebook Workers: We Routinely Suppressed Conservative News."

"Backlash is swift", seguido de queixas pelos Republicanos e uma investigação interna. Motivo: tendencialmente, as notícias conservadoras revelavam-se falsas, e eram suprimidas pelos humanos de serviço.

24 agosto 2016, New York Times Magazine, "Inside Facebook’s (Totally Insane, Unintentionally Gigantic, Hyperpartisan) Political-Media Machine"

- details the platform’s plague of ideologically-themed pages that become a primary vector for sensationalized "news" and worse. (...) Two days later, Facebook announces it’s automating Trending Topics, reportedly firing the section’s editorial team and replacing them with engineers.

"2 – Fake News Becomes Real – October 12, 2016"

12 out 2016, Washington Post, "Facebook has repeatedly trended fake news since firing its human editors".

Other media outlets pick up the newspaper’s story, from Fortune "Facebook Still Has a Fake News Problem" to Vanity Fair "Facebook Is Still Grappling with Its Fake-News Problem".

20 out 2016, Buzzfeed, "Hyperpartisan Facebook Pages Are Publishing False And Misleading Information At An Alarming Rate."

Buzzfeed -which had regularly reported on fake news for years, unveils the results of its investigation- finds that hyperpartisan Facebook pages most likely to post inaccurate stories received far more shares, likes, and comments than mainstream news pages.

"3 – Trump Rises – November 9, 2016"

Anger and humor are probably the two big reasons why it spread

9 nov 2016, New York Magazine, "Donald Trump Won Because of Facebook."

The most obvious way in which Facebook enabled a Trump victory has been its inability (or refusal) to address the problem of hoax or fake news
[O autor do artigo] meant more to critique technology’s influence on politics, less to contribute to the idea of fake news as the great journalistic moral panic of late-2016 early-2017.

Speaking at a tech conference three days after the election, Zuckerberg disputes that Facebook-propagated fake news was a serious problem.

[Pizzaria em Washington:] then "fake news" erupts with violence into the real world on December 4

"4 – Presidential Fake-Out – Dec. 10, 2017"

President-elect Donald Trump tweets.
Trump makes "fake news" his own - now "fake news" has a completely different meaning. Now anything that Trump doesn’t like can be fake news.
Sensing the term’s co-optable potential, Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan on January 8 warns fellow journalists: "It’s time to retire the tainted term ‘fake news. Though the term hasn’t been around long, its meaning already is lost".

APROPRIAÇÃO in reverse... Como funciona:

[10 jan 2017] Buzzfeed publishes an unverified dossier detailing allegedly deep ties between Trump and Russia. "FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!" Trump tweets in response.

E dai em diante é um blur em acelerado:

The number of searches for "fake news" on Google reaches its zenith when Trump’s press conference goes viral.

After the Inauguration, Kellyanne Conway inaugurates "alternative facts."

The term goes global: Emmanuel Macron preemptively blames Russia for influencing the outcome through its use of "fausse nouvelle."

On reports of aides’ contact with Russia, Trump raises the stakes again: "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!"

Etc. E chegamos à última semana...

5 - Finais de Fevereiro

TRUMP: "I want you all to know that we are fighting the fake news. It’s fake, phony, fake," Trump says at the Conservative Political Action Conference, to cheers. "A few days ago I called the fake news ‘the enemy of the people,’ and they are."

...e à conferência que se seguiu alguma imprensa foi posta a pastar ao largo.

It’s a rallying cry to some, a joke to others.
And so the cries of "fake news" echo still. Like its forebear "political correctness," the protean meanings of "fake news" have made the term meaningless.

Mostly, it’s become a signifier of cynicism, a term feeding a public sense that maybe nothing is believable, or worth believing, anymore.

Absurdo? Modernismos. Não é a primeira ou a última. O "political correctness" acima? Outra apropriação de sucesso da direita de um conceito originalmente de esquerda. Deixamos o excerto, mas vale o long read se/quando puderem:

Until the late 1980s, "political correctness" was used exclusively within the left, and almost always ironically as a critique of excessive orthodoxy. In fact, some of the first people to organise against "political correctness" were a group of feminists who called themselves the Lesbian Sex Mafia.

But soon enough, the term was rebranded by the right, who turned its meaning inside out. All of a sudden, instead of being a phrase that leftists used to check dogmatic tendencies within their movement, "political correctness" became a talking point for neoconservatives. They said that PC constituted a leftwing political programme that was seizing control of American universities and cultural institutions – and they were determined to stop it.
in "Political correctness: how the right invented a phantom enemy" 30 nov 2016

leituras adicionais

  • fake news
  • apropriação
The biggest problem with "fake news" is that it's a blanket dismissal that requires no elaboration or proof.

Few political terms have been weaponized as quickly and effectively as "fake news." It's now a mainstay of the Trump White House's rhetoric and a pithy talking point for conservatives.

[The White House's press strategy this week:] a tendency to not comment on negative stories until they have already published, and then it simply dismisses them out of hand and attacks the media. (...) When we publish something, we expect it to be picked apart. And it would be nice if the White House spent more time actually doing that rather than just dropping a "fake news" or two and walking away.
in "The White House’s big ‘fake news’ cop-out" 26 fev 2017

cheatin' on big data