A collaborative list or spreadsheet of known media hoaxes

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A collaborative list or spreadsheet of known media hoaxes

Postby Seneca on Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:50 pm

hoi.polloi wrote:What I was really considering was the possibility of making something like CluesForum as a journal. brianv had mentioned the idea of an online encyclopedia or "Wiki" of our own. All of it sounds good to me. Doing something instead of nothing seems good to me, though.

I really like the idea of a wiki. But even just a chronological list of all the known hoaxes would be very useful to get an overview of the entire operation. There must be a way to make such a list that can then be filled in by cluesforum members.
Including more information, like in a spreadsheet, should help us to find patterns. But more information can make it also more difficult to see patterns, unless it is structured well and searchable.

I would propose the following data:

Date of purported event
Place
Name of purported event
Major Themes (for example: nukes, disease, racism, terrorism, space travel, war..): we should probably make a predefined list
More specific themes: (for example: Muslim terrorism, ISIS, Al-qaueda, Ebola, domestic terrorism, antisemitism, satellites...)
Links with other specific hoaxes:
Most popular conspiracy theory
CGI
photoshop
vicsims (do we have a clear definition of what a vicsim is?)
other sims:
actors
false witnesses
false audio
airplanes involved?
special remarks?
sources (if we know the real source, else the claimed source, important witnesses can also be mentioned)
Barriers to witnesses: What barriers were there that would prevent honest witnesses or investigators from seeing or investigating the evidence?(not necessary in case of CGI). Besides the obvious barriers,for example that real witnesses are barred from the media.
Special remarks



Here are some examples

Date: 24/5/2014 (or is it 5/24/2014?)
Place: Brussels / Belgium / Europe
Name of purported event: Jewish Museum of Belgium shooting (Wikipedia)
Major Themes: terrorism, racism, war
More specific themes: (muslim terrorism, ISIS, antisemitism, Syrian Fighters
Links with other specific hoaxes: killings by Mohammed Merah (was copycat), Beheading of James Foley, arrest of Mehdi Nemmouche, trial of Mehdi Nemmouche, burials of the vicsims, press-conference by relased french journalists
Most popular conspiracy theory: infighting inside Mossad
CGI: ?
photoshop: need help here but at least the faces were made unrecognizable
vicsims: 4
other sims: killer, later identified as Mehdi Nemmouche
actors: yes
false witnesses: yes
false audio: yes (creepy music added to camera footage)
airplanes involved? no
sources: museum security camera, police surveillance camera, AFP, Belgian minister Didier Reynders
Barriers to witnesses: police blockade, jazz festival nearby
special remarks? 1 day before European and Belgium elections, Shooting on camera,

Date: 11/9/2014 (or is it 9/11/2014?)
Place: Monrovia / Liberia / Africa
Name of purported event: Dying of Ebola at the Hospital Door
Major Themes: disease, poverty
More specific themes: Ebola outbreak, African health infrastructure
Links with other specific hoaxes:
Most popular conspiracy theory:
CGI: no
photoshop: no
vicsims: 1
other sims:
actors: yes
false witnesses: yes
false audio: yes, continuous background noise of a large crowd
airplanes involved? no
source: Ben C. Solomon, New York Times
Barriers to witnesses: fear of disease
special remarks? "black man in green T-shirt" is very popular in Ebola Hoaxes, actor appears to have been paid on camera

It seems strange to register this little event on the same level as major hoaxes as 9/11 or Hiroshima, but I don't think it is wrong.
Some hoaxes consist of all these small events, some could even involve only 1 photograph.
Another possibility would be to treat the Ebola outbreak hoax as one big hoax

Date: december 2013
Place: Guinea / Africa (spreading to other countries)
Name of purported event: West African Ebola outbreak
Major Themes: disease, poverty
More specific themes: Ebola outbreak, African health infrastructure, Vaccination
Links with other specific hoaxes: swine flue hoax
Most popular conspiracy theory: Ebola is a bioweapon
CGI: ?
photoshop: ?
vicsims: 9268 deaths as of 10 februari 2015
other sims:
actors: yes
false witnesses: yes
false audio: yes
airplanes involved? yes
source: WHO, governments..
Barriers to witnesses: fear of disease, critics are perceived as endangering public health
special remarks?

We can see this last example creates some problems. We don't have an exact location or date. I wouldn't use this last example as an entry in the table. But it has important information that is missing from the previous one, like the links with other big hoaxes, the most popular conspiracy theory and the total number of purported deaths. And the involvement of large organisations like the WHO.
It illustrates that it would be useful to have a separate spreadsheet with additional information on the major hoaxes like Ebola, ISIS, Al-Quaeda, space travel, nukes... Other useful information could be the fall-back positions that we identify.
Maybe we need some new words or concepts, to separate different hoaxes, like for example sub-hoax.
Internal links would be handy. As well as links to sources, preferably sources on this forum, where it can be discussed. An obligation to provide sources will prevent mistakes and abuse for disinfo purposes.

Please criticize my proposition so it can be improved. (It is not about the exact details of the examples but how I portrayed the information).
Seneca
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A collaborative list or spreadsheet of known media hoaxes

Postby hoi.polloi on Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:26 pm

Some Fakeologists wanted to put together something very similar, and there is a Google Doc or something like it.

I think the key is constant improvement of communication. Not sure if there is such a thing as a "sub-hoax". There seem to be predicted events that are modified and taken control of. There seem to be entirely faked ones, perhaps as an attempt at catching terrorists they are forced to imagine by paranoid superiors. There seem to be a great deal of other ones that are just obnoxious social experiments.

Perhaps it's too difficult. Perhaps to assume we can categorize them all and list them all is too academic; maybe this complex forum where data is "cloudy" and related in as many ways as a "discussion" allows is actually the best we have.

A wiki is better for making a religion or other canonical work — erasing inconsistencies, erasing ambiguities, forcing facts and figures where multiple possibilities are more realistic. Perhaps there is no "getting around" the fact that research takes time, personal expertise takes experience at reading and discerning, and previously assumed facts change all the time as new information becomes available.

The process of documenting our thoughts and impressions might not be an authoritative text book, but it might be the closest thing we have to real science, rooted strongly in the personal experience every scientist comes from rather than an abstracted and rigid model of history, like the one we've been forced to choke down for the last century or three.

Also, I'm a bit lazy about it. Anyone else want to try moderating something like that? Just install a TikiWiki package on a server somewhere and see what we do with it?
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A collaborative list or spreadsheet of known media hoaxes

Postby Seneca on Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:05 am

I think this post of mine is an example of how we can use what we have documented about hoaxes to make predictions and test hypotheses about other hoaxes.
hoi.polloi wrote:Some Fakeologists wanted to put together something very similar, and there is a Google Doc or something like it.

Thanks. I think this is what you mean: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... edit#gid=0.
They also have a "shill sheet": http://bit.ly/1m59HKY
That's a good step in the right direction. But I think it would be better if it was moderated.

hoi.polloi wrote:I think the key is constant improvement of communication. Not sure if there is such a thing as a "sub-hoax". There seem to be predicted events that are modified and taken control of. There seem to be entirely faked ones, perhaps as an attempt at catching terrorists they are forced to imagine by paranoid superiors. There seem to be a great deal of other ones that are just obnoxious social experiments.

Sorry, I was not clear what I meant by sub-hoax. To give an example: I would use another word, like sub-hoax, for the hoax "JAMES FOLEY" - beheaded by "ISIS". The hoax (metahoax?) would then be The Rise & fall of ISIS.

hoi.polloi wrote:Perhaps it's too difficult. Perhaps to assume we can categorize them all and list them all is too academic; maybe this complex forum where data is "cloudy" and related in as many ways as a "discussion" allows is actually the best we have.

I am not saying we have to list all known hoaxes, if that's what you mean. But we could try. And I don't see why we can't categorise them, unless we choose the wrong categories. I am not saying it is easy but other scientists seem to be able to cope with complex data.
I think an overview could clarify some things, especially to those newer in the field.
hoi.polloi wrote:A wiki is better for making a religion or other canonical work — erasing inconsistencies, erasing ambiguities, forcing facts and figures where multiple possibilities are more realistic. Perhaps there is no "getting around" the fact that research takes time, personal expertise takes experience at reading and discerning, and previously assumed facts change all the time as new information becomes available.

OK but I thought that this is what science is about: erasing inconsistencies, changing previously assumed facts. If there are multiple possibilities I am fine with that. We are obviously dealing with facts. Firstly we can show that many (or most) of the assumed facts by other people have no factual basis. Secondly we can establish our own facts: A photo or film that is faked=fact. An actor impersonating someone else=fact. A person telling something other than the truth=fact.
It is normal for scientific knowledge to change. I think the problems you see are true, but they apply to any science.
hoi.polloi wrote:The process of documenting our thoughts and impressions might not be an authoritative text book, but it might be the closest thing we have to real science, rooted strongly in the personal experience every scientist comes from rather than an abstracted and rigid model of history, like the one we've been forced to choke down for the last century or three.

What we have is good but I think we can do better. Abstraction is not bad as such. Your concept of vicsims is an abstraction but it has proved to be very useful. Off course it would be wrong if we had only looked at the abstractions and stopped looking at the actual facts.
I think for the first time in history we have a chance to do some real historical research. Because we are not subjected to any authority or dogma. We don't have an ideal that we want to force on people beside that we need to be more truthful. We are not deceived by new-age concepts or concepts that are based on science fiction.
hoi.polloi wrote:Also, I'm a bit lazy about it. Anyone else want to try moderating something like that? Just install a TikiWiki package on a server somewhere and see what we do with it?

I understand. That is the beauty of collaboration, one mans "laziness" is another man's challenge. Apparently I am just as lazy about it. An advantage of it being incorporated in the forum would be that we can taken advantage of the forum's capacity to expose shills.

To illustrate what I mean here is a list of what sort of questions can be answered by the approach I am proposing. (The more experienced of you know probably some answers already.)

-what is the frequency of hoaxes and how does this change over time?
-if there are periods where there are few or no hoaxes, we should look harder because we probably have missed them. Otherwise we have to find an explanation. Maybe we find some vulnerability of the hoaxers.
-when did a particular theme started in history? (terrorists, diseases, nuclear fallout, ufo's, crop circles, dinosaurs.......-
-have some themes stopped or have some just been put on pause?
-when was a particular technique first used? (photoshop, vicsims. CGI...) compared with the time that the technology was theoretically possible/officially invented/used by military or Hollywood/popularized/understood by critical people
-which countries participate in hoaxes, which countries participate more?
-are there (international) teams that travel around the country that participate in these hoaxes?
-Or do they leave the groundwork to locals?
-Can we distinguish if there are international different teams at work? How? Of we see multiple bigger hoaxes appear at the same time? Or by recognizing certain elements.
-Are the different groups always sometimes interfering with each others agenda?
-how soon are the hoaxes debunked?*
-what were the first examples of media fakery?
-we can also study the different conspiracy theories that are being proposed? We could find patterns there.

This is just me brainstorming for a few minutes. Together we can do much better.
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Re: A collaborative list or spreadsheet of known media hoaxe

Postby hoi.polloi on Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:03 pm

That "shill sheet" is just comical, and clearly evidence of failure to talk about terms of approaching a project before it gets started. I tried adding some data to it once but it was like blowing into a gale force. I know that's not your point of posting it. Just musing.

Presently, the most exciting and generally useful science that I have seen has been produced by a small section of the academic world. It has been independent researchers building on others in their free time, independently, patiently collecting data, alone or in very small tight-knit groups; and it has been good when that science is generally left alone out of sheer luck — or else, it is smeared, manipulated or exploited by larger institutions.

Seems like a database of hoaxes would be easily exploited by setting up an unrealistic, never-achievable goal from the start. Then, if we succeeded in maintaining this somehow, the principle that we can protect one single tower of knowledge makes me a bit nervous. It sounds like the methods that have been used to browbeat the public recently. However, you make a point that we could at least compile what we know. I admire your spunk. If something effective is going to happen, it'll happen as a collaboration. Thanks for getting the ball rolling, anyway. It has promise. Not sure how or where or in what way yet.

Please also see it from my perspective and understand I am not discouraging your idea. It's not to insult our research if the most we do is say, "this image/video has problems." That standard sounds (to me) like it's a forensics database of "negative" information, not a database of constructing new "positive" information. We would take each bit of evidence from major events, organize them by event and by "family of events" and show what is believable or not believable? Okay. Maybe new info could be built from that. We are more "compilers" than "experimenters" (as much as we'd like to be the latter at times). It sounds like trying to empty the ocean with a bucket, to be frank. I think our forum is more successful at what it does because it's not as thorough or energy intensive as an academic study of all information, but rather a focused concentration on the most aggressively ubiquitous information.

Yet, in our present age of misinformation, the project you are imagining could be useful to help people reach a state of mind where they are even willing to use their heads. I see the good in that, definitely. Maybe that's what you're going for? It seems like I am just not understanding a brilliant idea you are having trouble articulating and I don't want to be discouraging if that's true. Definitely keep pitching it to the forum and see if someone else gets it. I am just not sure if I'm going to be as useful to that as I would be to attempt broadly teaching people to think critically so a universal database isn't necessary.

Everyone sort of keeps their own personal database in their head, no? And that seems like a potential source of improvement over "top down" information.

Sorry. Words words words. No action. But it takes spitballing to get something going sometimes. For now, I just wish us all success in spreading the word (and organizing) in our own ways. I agree that together much can be achieved. Vision is the most important at the start of organization. And we don't have that yet. Unless you do ... ?
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