Fake Donald

By: Connor Gray

Between fake news and political blowhards, managing the truth on social media is getting extremely difficult. This week I wanted to write a thank you to one of my favorite Twitter accounts on social media platforms: @realdonaldcontxt

 

A division of Washington Post, “Real Donald Context” takes apart each of our 45th president’s excessive and intense tweets and analyzes them for the truth. It’s really just to assume that this man is lying because you don’t like him for his opinions. The well-established news source, Washington Post has taken it upon themselves to fact-check each of his tweets and explain the meaning behind each ambiguity.

 

Recently, they launched an actual plug-in for your browser that will analyze Trump’s tweets in real time on his actual account to let you know what’s going on. Lately, it seems like we are getting bombarded with so many opposing facts that I depend on reputable news/media outlets to unravel and untangle the truth from the lies.

 

They’re event quick to let you know about who’s actually posting the tweet, Trump or a staffer. A programmer with an organization called Stack Overflow, David Robinson, analyzed 1000s of tweets and found of the best ways to confirm who is tweeting. It’s been established that the POTUS account has tweeted from both an iPhone and an Android phone. Based on the content from each phone’s tweets, it’s been determined that Trump uses the Android (he would use an Android…). From there, the Post has been able to hone on specific spurts of nonsense and establish some coherence.

 

The best plight to ignorance is information. I think it’s genius. What better way to combast Twitter misinformation than with Twitter information?

 

My handsdown favorite of the corrections happens to be:

Sources:

 

Bump, P. (2016, December 19). Now you can fact-check Trump’s tweets — in the tweets themselves. Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/12/16/now-you-can-fact-check-trumps-tweets-in-the-tweets-themselves/?utm_term=.8b01ab2381ec

Real Donald Context Twitter: https://twitter.com/realDonaldCntxt

 https://twitter.com/realDonaldCntxt/status/831890879384260609

 Chrome Plug-In: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/realdonaldcontext/ddbkmnomngnlcdglabflidgmhmcafogn

The American People Hereby Demand a Copy Editor

By: Courtney Smith

Perhaps the White House should look into spending some of their budget on hiring a copy editor for Trump’s Twitter habit.

I originally sat down to write a blog post about the Oscars mishap, but scrolling through my Twitter account over the last couple of days has presented me with another mishap, a mishap that continuously presents itself: Trump’s tweets.

Over the past couple of days there has been a swarm of press surrounding investigations involving a relationship with Russia coming from both Democrats and Republicans, accusations that Obama wire-tapped Trump’s phone during the campaign, and more. However, one of the more comical musings that came from this mess is the president’s hilarious misspelling of the word hereby.

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Reactions to Trump’s Tweets

Over the course of 15 minutes or so, the Donald attempted not once, not twice but three times to manage the correct spelling of the word.

 

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People poked fun, teasing Trump with his own rhetoric. 

This isn’t the first, or even the second, time Trump has showcased his excellent spelling skills on the social media site. Since he began his campaign, Trump could’ve used a personal copy editor a number of times.

But one of the best Twitter accounts to handle these goofs is Merriam-Webster. Chiming in on the president’s most recent “hear by” disaster, whoever runs this account uses their leverage to make sure everyone knows that #wordsmatter.

These next four years, as scary as they might become, will still get that much needed comic relief so long as Trump has full access to his Twitter account.

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Thoughts on Immigration

Hey JOUR 4270!

** DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional on the subject of immigration and its current laws in the US, I would simply like to reflect on my own thoughts over the subject and how I feel. I do not mean to offend anyone.

Since the last election, it feels like the nation is divided in two. While there are many reasons for this division, the main one always seems to focus on race and nationality and where you are from. The color of your skin, and what you look like. The texture of your hair and the languages you speak. In a country founded on diversity and equality, it seems the more diverse you are, the worse it may get.

In more recent events, President Trump has issued a travel ban targeting seven Muslim-majority countries, as well as has promised America a wall between Mexico and the United States. While these promises may seem far fetched, these acts have been enough to cause real panic nationwide. Because although many immigrants have gone through the painstakingly long process of applying to become a US citizen, he is also beginning to implement these rules on immigrants who have earned it.

As and American and someone who has many friends with immigrant parents and family who have rightfully earned their life in this country, it hurts to see such hard work, sacrifice, and dedication living in the shadow of uncertainty.

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Donald Trump’s actions have also caused nationwide protests, riots, and boycotts, hoping to bring justice and equality for all.

While most of these efforts make no change for the politicians who make the most important decisions, they are starting to open the eyes of fellow Americans, helping them see the pain being caused and how to make it better for everyone in the nation.

Will Trump kill tourism, by demanding social media passwords?

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Image Credit: Michael Sloan, The Christian Science Monitor

 

By: Tiffany Ditto 

The Trump administration announced Tuesday that they may be requiring visitors to provide their social-media account passwords to government officials, NBC News reported. A move that the administration said will help prevent terrorism, but one that raises questions for the tourism industry, and if the administration is made up of officials with a sound mind.

The Homeland Security Administration is considering this among other measures to vet refugees, visa applicants, and those with passports from seven typically Muslim countries. The administration claims by having the passwords of these individuals they will have access to what they say and do on social media. After ISIS’ successful social-media recruitment tactics, it’s no wonder the administration is concerned.

However, large percentages of people who subscribe to the Muslim faith disapprove of actions taken by radical Islam. In 2014, the Pew Research Center found that only three percent of Pakistani Muslims support suicide bombings in the name of Islam. The same survey found the country with the highest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia, overwhelmingly (89 percent) said that forms of violence against civilians are rarely or never justified.

Likewise. People Magazine found that in all the major terrorist attacks dating back to 9/11, only two terrorists came from Trump’s seven banned Muslim countries.

So if Trump’s strict regulations, and demands for social media accounts, won’t prevent terrorism, what will they do? The answer is simple: impact U.S. tourism revenue. Foreign tourists were responsible for $199 billion worth of economic revenue for 2015, making up nine percent of exports for that year.

To look at how tougher travel restrictions affect the United States, one can turn to the 10-year-period after 9/11. Overseas travel to the U.S. fell by nearly one third, and cost the U.S. economy $500 billion, the Denver Post reported.

If the Trump administration insists on having tighter travel restrictions, requiring the passwords of visitor’s social media accounts should not be one of the criteria. In no way will this prevent terrorism, as many people do not post on social media about their private beliefs. Furthermore, once the visitors are allowed access into the U.S. what is to keep them from changing their passwords?

Trump needs to stop placing so much importance on social media because, he is an adult, not a hormonal teenage girl.

___________________________________

Video credit: The Huffington Post via YouTube

The blurred line between reality and the internet

Matt Payne | @PatteMaper

Rather than merely present a block of text, a graph or some sort of graphic, Senator Bernie Sanders presented a tweet from @realDonaldTrump during a Senate hearing in early January.

This tweet showed President Donald Trump asserting zero cuts in funding to federal programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Sanders presented this tweet as a way to hold Trump accountable. Despite not ever saying this in any presser or in public, he assured those present that “This was a central part of his campaign.”

What does this say about the accountability behind 140 characters?

It says that we’re realizing an age we’ve been in for more than a decade now. Politicians, celebrities and large figures of all varieties all project what they believe in or announce things via not just Twitter, but Instagram, Snapchat and whatever they can download onto their smartphones. Just this past week, Trump announced his Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch via Facebook Live.

Social media even sees its way into the White House nowadays. On Jan. 30, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer printed out a tweet from former National Security Advisor Susan Rice about where the CIA stands in Trump’s administration. Spicer used this tweet as a talking point to address that very question that day.

As we progress in a nation under a president with speedy Twitter fingers, it’s only natural to assume that the Senate and house, state legislatures and local governments will follow suit.

Featured image: Senator Bernie Sanders presents a tweet from President Donald Trump during a Senate hearing in early January. (Source: CNET)

The Post’s In-Tweet Fact-Checker For Trump Probably Wont Help

In December, The Washington Post released an extension for the Google Chrome internet browser (and later Firefox) which fact-checks and provides vital context to President Trump’s numerous tweets, all right under the tweet itself.

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From The Washington Post

Trump often traffics in conspiracy theories, and false narratives into the mainstream media. The Post’s browser extension is the first fact-checking device I’ve seen which functions within twitter, providing context and fact-checking directly adjacent to Trump’s tweets. While this is ground-breaking in some sense, I am skeptical of its potential to impact the effects of Trump’s main-streaming of provably false information to his followers, and the general public.

There are numerous studies in political science and psychology about how ineffective fact-checking actually is when it comes to moving people to discard bad information for newer, better, and more correct information. It is also particularly ineffective when the challenger information comes from a source that a person doesn’t align with ideologically, a situation bound to happen if a Trump supporter is reading a publication like The Washington Post.

A Yale research paper titled “Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government,” by Dan Kahan, found that the more information a person had on a given subject, the more well-equipped they were to defend their partisan position on that subject, and thus less likely to be persuaded by any newer, better information which might change their mind. People who believe any falsehoods perpetuated by Trump are thus likely to entrench themselves in their belief of those falsehoods, using their accumulation of old (and sometimes false) information to defend themselves from the new information or context which might be presented by The Post in their fact-checking.

Similar findings on the subject of partisan news media were found by the studies of Arceneaux and Johnson in their book, “Changing Minds or Changing Channels.” They found that people who actively seek news (and thus had an ample supply of political information already accrued) were less likely to be persuaded by news media to change their position on a partisan issue, and typically became more entrenched in their positions, especially when presented with information from a counter-attitudinal news program. A conservative who reads from a news source which is left-leaning, and sometimes even centrist, is unlikely to change their position on an issue, and vise-versa. This is true even if the information from the counter-attitudinal news sources is more correct.

In the paper “When Corrections Fail: The Persistence of Political Misperceptions,” by Nyhan and Reifler, a phenomenon called “The Backfire-Effect” is observed. They show that when a person who holds a false belief comes into contact with information which should debunk that belief, the person can actually become more convinced that their false belief is actually true. Someone who already believes false information that Trump has told them is thus unlikely to persuaded to discard that information, despite evidence from The Post.

While normally these issues affect liberals and conservatives equally, they are especially exasperated  for the right because of their current Republican presidents’ persistent perpetuation of falsehoods and conspiracy theories. The issue is also more salient in general because the President is not just the leader of the Republican party, but of the country, and indeed the free world.

Social media is a main source of news for many Americans, and given the amount of false information circulating around on social media platforms, the fight to make factual evidence matter is a worthy one. I applaud the Post’s efforts in that fight, but I assert that this fact-checking extension for Twitter is severely limited in its capabilities to make the truth more relevant than falsehoods. I hope to see more research in this area, and as we learn how to push truth above the political fray effectively on social media I am confident that great news sources like The Washington Post will innovate to do just that.

– Dallas Schwab, @schwabsyy

Stop Saying “Not my President”

By Mackenzy Hand

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Blatant disrespect.
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But he is, though…

At the end of last Fall semester, my political science professor said something to my class that has really resonated with me. She said “whether you voted for Donald Trump or not, he is your president, and you must respect that position.” To me, one of the things that makes America so great is that we have the freedom to choose who our leader will be. By nature of elections, not everyone can win all of the time. There will always be a victor, and there will always be those that feel like they have lost. This doesn’t need to be the case, though.

If you did not vote for Donald Trump, you are expected to take the necessary time to grieve your loss, but you are also expected to respect your commander in chief. Something that Americans have always done in the past is respect the outcome of an election, regardless of if their candidate won or lost. We as Americans seem to have lost something as well; our dignity. What happened to being a good sport? What happened to civility, and respect? What happened to class? I completely understand being so completely enraged by something that you feel the need to shout it from the rooftops, and make sure that everyone in the world hears how you feel. Every single person in this country has the right to express how they feel. It’s the way that some are going about doing that, that is the problem.

I believe that the way some of our fellow citizens are behaving in the aftermath of this election is undoubtedly revolting. It is understandable that people are upset and angered in so many ways, but I fail to see how violent riots, theft, vulgarity, and blatant lack of respect will change any of that. Follow through on what you are fighting for, but be civil about it. State your grievances, but do so in a positive, productive way. Yes, by all means, organize! But do so with love in your heart, not hate.

We as Americans need to realize that yes, Donald J. Trump is the President of the United States of America, and whether you like him or not, it’s a tough job. He needs us. He needs the American people behind his back. We need to stop thinking about the things we don’t like about him, and start thinking of ways we can help him accomplish his goals. He wants nothing but greatness for America, and I know that, that is exactly what everyone else wants as well. We need to bridge this divide and come together as a united American people once again, and make change happen. So please, stop saying “not my president”, because he your president, and you should embrace that.

Photo Credit: Instagram

Citations:

Dvorak, Petula. “Stop Protesting Democracy. Saying #notmypresident Is the Same as Saying #notmyconstitution.” The Washington Post. WP Company, n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2017.

Miniter, Frank. “Nine Ways to Help the ‘Not My President’ Protestors Man up.” Fox News. FOX News Network, n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2017.