Dear Buzzfeed: in 2005, I pointed out the fake news crisis in my first book. My 2018 book and this web site has said we are now in an information apocalypse. Why is Aviv Ovadya’s belated word is worth more than mine? Because he’s a man and I am a woman?

Journalism is rife with rank misogyny. Unless a man says it is so, a woman’s well-researched word means absolutely nothing.

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Buzzfeed’s sexism continues with this article:

He Predicted The 2016 Fake News Crisis. Now He’s Worried About An Information Apocalypse.

Sorry, Buzzfeed, I predate Aviv Ovadya.

My proof:

Don’t Believe It!: How lies becomes news.

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and

When Journalism was a Thing.

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But journalism has attracted men who cannot imagine a woman could actually predict anything. It is an inherent rig within their own structures.

And, by the way, my first book has been quoted in other books, academic journals, and been used as a textbook. It is not as if it is some obscure, extremist book. It is well researched, and warned the profession that they had to make serious changes, or else no one would be able to discern their work from propaganda, which is what fake news essentially is.

This web site has also repeatedly shown that the profession has collapsed. My book is coming out, but it goes into greater detail.

But when you are a woman pointing out troubles, you are dismissed as silly and hysterical.

I am neither silly nor hysterical. I am rightfully angry that I am being ignored and shut out.

But I also know that I am not the only woman who gets ignored this way.

Journalism collapsed because of the conniving games they play: and they should stop having the default assumption that only men can see the troubles in a profession and society.

Why fooling journalists has always been child’s play

The Hijab hoax is yet another black eye for journalists.

CNN reported the story as fact.

So did the BBC.

And the Guardian.

Newsweek did.

The New York Times did.

The Toronto Star did.

The Globe and Mail did.

BuzzFeed did before their cleansing.

The CBC did, linking it to other hate crimes.

Oh dear, and a 11-year-old can fool the international press with ease.

No wonder people no longer believe the press.

How can such a hoax be believed by “seasoned” reporters?

In this case, the “hate crime” was part of a convenient narrative for the press in their never-ending feud with the American president.

It is the reason #MeToo took off so rapidly. It was part of connecting the dots.

Or removing liberties in a game of Go.

Except there were way too many red flags to ignore.

There are real cases of things happening, except the crimes are not palatable for the press. Here is a cute little kid who is eloquent, and the crime was PG-13 friendly.

Real-life attacks are not so clean and sanitary.

So the press rolled with it with a roar, without asking hard questions.

You ask about the surveillance footage. You walk the same path with a stopwatch, and take notes of possible witnesses and possible inconsistencies.

That was the problem from the get-go. The media didn’t look at all for corroborating evidence. You talk to neighbours and teachers. You talk to the local gossips. You talk to the crossing guards and schoolmates.

You find out who is the victim. You work toward finding the culprit. Even as a journalist, you have to do the legwork. Why would this girl be a target, rather than another girl. Was it convenience, for instance, or something else?

This was a classic case of journalism by stenography. Grab a press release and roll with it.

And then other media crib the notes, amplifying the story that was never, even if it were true, been overplayed as it did, considering the number of real hate crimes that never make it into the news that were far more violent, severe, and persistent. It did not warrant that kind of coverage it got. I can see the Toronto Star and the Toronto Sun making a mention of it without naming the victim to protect her identity…and ensure what was reported was, you know, true, and a couple of local stations, but that’s it.

Hate crime hoaxes are a murky area: people feel uncomfortable with them, and they are on the outskirts of being a more hardcore version of a hoax: it is a form, inventional or otherwise, of propaganda, and even war propaganda.

Because it incites and takes advantage of the already established line in the sand.

This will set back a lot of real hate crimes. It will play into the hands of those who think these are not real cases. The press had the duty to pull back. They could have said there was a report of an attack, but instead of giving the girl’s identity and then speculate whether it was a hate crime or not, they should have given the details of what they had — and didn’t have. Was there surveillance? Witnesses? Evidence?

That’s what good journalism needed to be — but as usual, we didn’t get that at all.

And that is the reason a world of grown-ups got fooled by a child.

 

It’s not about the advertising model: it’s about sophistry fatigue: Mashable and Buzzfeed’s woes show the need for a new model of journalism.

Mashable and Buzzfeed are fast becoming yesterday’s reads. The received funding from investors and thought they could buck a trend plaguing traditional media. No dice.

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Because they have the same problems of the traditional press.

They are filled with sophistry, opinion, and filler. The facts are sprinkled here and there to maintain a façade of legitimacy.

The press has diluted the products so much, that they have lost their mandates, and most online news outfits (The Intercept being a noted exception as is WikiLeaks), roared on to the scene with a model that was all filler and sophistry because they were going to wow the crowds with attitude.

Attitude doesn’t cut it. Attitude is cheap and it is usually a feint to disguise the fact that you’re not all that. It is a form of misdirection, and no matter how sassy you are, your product speaks louder than your sass.

The advertising model is being blamed, but really, if the crowds were there, advertisers wouldn’t even care. They would not turn up their nose at the rush. The Drudge Report could not be simpler, but its elegance in presentation ensures that people will come frequently to get a pulse of what’s going down in the world. No one in the news world has managed to clue in to the its structure’s significance.

So it is not about the finding model. It is about trying to stretch the tiny attention spans of audiences who are trained to point and click by the way tablets and smartphones have been set-up.

People come to a site, determine tl;dr, and then leave. No investment, and why not?

Because the Internet is all about fragmentation.

It is about reacting, not reflecting.

That is the problem that has to be addressed just as news producers have to relearn how to understand their atom of their existence: the fact.

They have to understand reality and truth, and Buzzfeed and Mashable never got any of it.

The model of journalism needs to change. The new media and the old are both equally clueless that their structure is flawed and unworkable.

Figure out the news part, and everything else begins to fall into place.

 

Only a true media critic knows that Buzzfeed is in serious trouble. That’s right; cheap filler quizzes and first-world GIFs are not going to save Buzzfeed or journalism.

Buzzfeed is purging its ranks.

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I guess the inane quizzes, shallow commentary, and blasting Donald Trump is not helping its bottom line.

It is the easy and cheap way of doing business.

They shamelessly pander to Millennials and evoke countless pop culture references, which isn’t easy these days as there has been so much splintering in the entertainment industry, that you don’t have the Michael Jacksons or the Princess Dianas to ride on their iconic coattails.

Their journalism is not even journalism. It is beyond horrible. The Intercept it is not. It is for vapid and shallow self-obsessed people with no attention spans, and you really cannot build an audience around people like that.

That the Internet is not saving journalism is a very troubling sign: when there were newspapers, there was news. When radio came along, there was news from two different media. When television came along, there was news from three different media.

But when the Internet came, the profession imploded.

The natural assumption was that there would be new breeds of journalists and new outlets that began online, but the offerings have been shoddy and disturbingly bad.

And now it is becoming obvious these ventures will not be able to sustain themselves.

These properties have been vastly overinflated, but they cannot deliver.

What has been happening to traditional media outlets is starting to happen to the online ones as well.

And the problems will not just go away. Because operations such as Buzzfeed have no clue about creating a news product, there will be no traction.

And there only so many life-sink quizzes you can do before you realize you are wasting your life for nothing.