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Advocate III

A win in the fight against fake news ...

A guy who "sold" fake reviews on TripAdvisor is going to jail.  Nine months in prison and 8,000 Euros in costs and damages.


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9 Replies
Newcomer I

Re: A win in the fight against fake news ...

Such wins need to be well publicized to send the message out that there is a risk in perpetrating fake news. Risk of being caught and chances of being persecuted is one of the best way to deter such actions.ACtions have consequences.

Reader I

Re: A win in the fight against fake news ...

It sounds like the "unlawful" aspect is linked solely to fraud (i.e., using multiple names for reviews); anything else would fall under the terms of service for the platform.

 

It's interesting to hear that AI is being used to help counter the problem, though hopefully the algorithms used are better than what YouTube uses for flagging content violations.

Advocate III

Re: A win in the fight against fake news ...

> Calv1n (Viewer III) posted a new reply in Industry News on 09-23-2018 10:30 AM

> Such wins need to be well publicized to send the message out that there is a
> risk in perpetrating fake news. Risk of being caught and chances of being
> persecuted is one of the best way to deter such actions.ACtions have
> consequences.

True that. Part of the point I'm trying to make in the "Ethics of Active
Defence" presentations.

I'm probably a bit sensitive on the topic of fake news. (Or, as we say in simpler
terms, "lying.") I'm an information scientist. (It says so on my Masters degree.)
I probably was before I even knew what it was. I have always loved information,
and, therefore, hate anything that pollutes or degrades it. (My wife, who is also
my editor, can tell you that, back when I was doing book reviews in a big way, the
most damning [I hope that gets past the pr0n filter] indictment I could make of a
book was that it was "misleading.")

So all this bother about "fake news" is old news, to me. I was there long ago. In
the CIA triad, integrity is a big one for me. I'm not absolutely certain about the
Pro-Truth Pledge ( https://www.protruthpledge.org/ ) but I'm certainly in
sympathy with the idea.

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Newcomer III

Re: A win in the fight against fake news ...

Sorry what a crock.  He gets nine months (of which he may do 2 or 3) and pays a small fine.

 

In the interim, many folks have been damaged by his/her lies and have lost money and precious time.

 

Glad to see something is being done.  Unfortunately, as pointed out, this type of behaviour has been around for years in one form or another.

 

Don't get me wrong, I am glad to see it, but it really does need to be more public.....ah well off to work for the day......

 

 

Advocate I

Re: A win in the fight against fake news ...

I would not have put this case into the category of "fake news."  Yes, this was about fraud, lying, deception, and possible personal financial gain. However, TripAdvisor (and Yelp, Amazon, GoodReads, etc.) reviews are individual, personal statements, just like the public comments in this forum or in the reader comments trail after a news article.

 

In my lexicon, fake news refers to false or deliberately misleading news published either by established news organizations or fraudulent sources masquerading as such. In some cases the news source, itself, appears ot be the creator of the falsehood; in other cases it appears that a third party pl.anted the false information and the news source published it without adequate fact checking or verification. 

 

Not all lies are fake news, and not all fake news articles are lies. 

 

I am reminded of the many instances in which the New China News Agency published extracts from The Onion, apparently thinking that to be a legitimate US news source, and then other western news agencies re-published based on the NCNA article. THOSE were definitely fake news.

 

 

 

Dr. D. Cragin Shelton, CISSP
Dr.Cragin@iCloud.com
https://CraginS.blogspot.com/
Advocate III

Re: A win in the fight against fake news ...

> dcontesti (Newcomer III) posted a new reply in Industry News on 10-02-2018 08:59

> Sorry what a crock.  He gets nine months (of which he may do 2 or 3) and pays a
> small fine.   In the interim, many folks have been damaged by his/her lies and
> have lost money and precious time.

Oh, don't say that. You'll let the newbies in on the deep, dark secret of our
profession: that most of what we do is insufficient; that our "wins" are few, far
between, and minor; and that "the other side" tends to lead in the ongoing race.

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elder Cato began at the age of 80 to learn Greek. I am amazed no
longer. Old age is ready to undertake tasks that youth shirked
because they would take too long. - Groucho Marx
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Advocate III

Re: A win in the fight against fake news ...

> CraginS (Contributor II) posted a new reply in Industry News on 10-02-2018 09:29

>     Not all lies
> are fake news, and not all fake news articles are lies.

I'm going to go lie down, now ...


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Contributor I

Re: A win in the fight against fake news ...


@Calv1n wrote:

Such wins need to be well publicized to send the message out that there is a risk in perpetrating fake news. Risk of being caught and chances of being persecuted is one of the best way to deter such actions.ACtions have consequences.


@Calv1n - Maybe it was a slip of the fingers, but I suspect you mean prosecuted - not persecuted! Two thoughts:

  1. In the US, the courts long distinguished between a publisher (e.g. the New York Times), which produces content, and those who merely distribute it. Publishers are liable for libel, invasion of privacy, and other such transgressions. A distributor, such as the person who owns the newstand that sells the New York Times is not liable for what he or she sells. However, it appears our courts have lagged a bit in figuring out how to apply these distinctions online. All it will take is one ruling from one judge that says if you sell advertising around content, you are responsible for that content. I suspect we will soon be there and we can move on.
  2. Fake news has always been with us. With every communication advance, there has been the abuse of that advance. So today it is the Internet. Yesterday, it was the airwaves, a couple hundred years ago, it was the printing press. Even in ancient Greece, there was the concern that some crackpot could be spouting falsehoods on the steps of the forum. This leads us to the study of logic. Since the days of Aristotle, we have been teaching ourselves how to discern truth from distraction. What has changed isn't the message or (really) the media used. It's that critical thinking skills have atrophied. If people are susceptible to "fake news" then they have only themselves to blame. What next? Are we going to start hauling casino and lottery (including every state run lottery) owners into the courts and launch Congressional investigations into "fake math?"
Newcomer I

Re: A win in the fight against fake news ...


@JoePete wrote:

Since the days of Aristotle, we have been teaching ourselves how to discern truth from distraction. <snip> If people are susceptible to "fake news" then they have only themselves to blame.

People who can't tell fake news from real have more than themselves to blame. See The Death of Truth and Thinking Fast and Slow. Using logic is hard; it requires training and practice. Unscrupulous would-be leaders know this and use various methods, including propaganda and lies, to confuse and disorient the populace. The Death of Truth suggests that education and a free press are required to effectively counter such methods. I recall reading in The Demon-Haunted World that American education has been in decline for decades. This is probably also true of other Western nations. Today's populist leaders are doing their best to discredit the press.

 

All I can suggest is point out falsehoods whenever you see them. Ignoring the lies is easier and less work, but it is not helping.

 

Mike