dear auntie – updated

by ibull

chapter 1

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Thanks for sharing Auntie. This isn’t the kind of news I ever see on Facebook, so it helps to see what is also out there in terms of information that circulates about social justice activism.

I wanted to point out a few things that may not have been obvious when you first read the post, and I want to outline these things because I believe this type of article is exactly the kind of news that circulates on Facebook as “fake news” or misinformation.

First, the author’s argument that protestors have been paid for their effort seems to be evidenced by this article (which they link): http://abcnews.com.co/donald-trump-protester-speaks-out-i-was-paid-to-protest/

The website that this link takes you is a fake version of ABC News. One way we can tell is by looking at the URL for the website; it contains “abcnews.com.co”—the real ABC News website does not have “.co” in the URL. Another clue that this website is fake is in the ‘footer’ section at the very bottom of the webpage. There is a paragraph of text on the right hand side of the page that spoofs an ‘About Us’ description found on most blogs. It reads: “Thanks to ABC News President & CEO, Dr. Paul “Un-Buzz Killington” Horner for making ABC News the greatest website in the multiverse. We need writers! Contact us! Looking to advertise? Contact us! All trademarks, service marks, trade names, trade dress, product names, images and logos appearing on the site are the property of their respective owners. Do you have a complaint? We love to hear them! You can call our complaint department directly at (785) 273-0325. Do you have a problem with self-rape? Are you looking to get off the Devil’s playground? Fappy The Anti-Masturbation Dolphin can help! Praise Fappy! We reserve the right to change, modify or delete comments on this website, so post accordingly!” I think we can both agree that an international news website would not likely have “Praise Fappy” associated with their brand. 

Second, the author uses screenshots of Craigslist ads to evidence the existence of these acts. We should not consider these screenshots and the accompanying text as valid evidence for the existence of real life activity and real life business transactions going on before protests/rallies. The simple fact is, these things are incredibly easy to fake. Anyone can create these posts, take screenshots, and then delete the posts. We should be very suspicious of the fact that the article does not link the craigslist post, and nor does the screenshot reveal a URL that we could type in ourselves to verify. 

Third, the author makes reference to “how the Clinton campaign caused disruptions via ‘bird-dogging,’” and again, the author links to another suspicious blog. The claims made there are also relying on evidence that leads to either other well-known fake-news sites, or to websites that regularly publish white supremacist propaganda. 

Fourth, the author cites a single tweet as evidence that protestors were bussed in from other places to inflate the significance of anti-trump protests. Again, if you click on the link that directly references the tweet on Twitter, it takes you to a page that says “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!” While it is not clear why the tweet author seems to have deleted the tweet, we should be suspicious that no other source of evidence is used to verify this account. 

While I don’t want you to think I am defending or advocating for the ways in which George Soros spends his time and money—I don’t think he is particularly unique in terms of wealthy businessmen who support grassroots organizations (the same kind of thing happened for the Tea Party not long ago)—what I do want to argue is that articles like this don’t necessarily provide us with the best information about what’s going on with protest movements happening all across the country. Nor do they help us evaluate whether we are in danger. This article belongs to a genre of internet web ’news’ that is designed to provoke strong feelings—one Buzzfeed article on this topic that you might find useful is here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/craigsilverman/can-facebook-trending-fight-off-fake-news?utm_term=.ahXjvwKpD3#.bvldLqPbJ7

As someone who tries to attend protests as often as I can in my local community, and as someone who has studied the Black Lives Matter movement, I think there is a lot more to be learned about what’s going on in our communities when we take the time to show up and listen. When we rely on 3rd party mediators like DaisyLuther.com to tell us what’s going on and how we should feel, we sacrifice profoundly valuable relationships with the people who live where we live, and who share our desires for an inclusive, sustainable, and supportive community for all. 

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Also, for what it’s worth, here’s a thoughtful thread on Twitter about the history of student protests:

81 min later

Auntie Responds:

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Thank you Iris , I know you are sincere in your beliefs . I know not all protestors are paid but the proof of paid Ferguson disruptors were documented. I can look for sources if you like.
As you probably saw today in the news less than 30% of our arrested Portland crowd out of 103 voted and /or weren’t even registered to vote .
I was there as a child in the 60’s and yes , the establishment thought the demonstrators were destroying the world as they knew it and they were ! Fighting for peace and fighting for free love and the right to have long hair as a male . fighting against the values of their time and against war . LSD was a big thing then, dropping acid. Fighting against God. They did win but also lost as divorce was the new thing and more kids than ever had to find out what a broken home meant. Equality , rights, women today do have these things
There is plenty going on behind the scenes not talked about on CNN. I feel the left has completely bullying my voice and gotten into name calling.
There is removal of sites and videos due to their content . The utube video of Dannie Williams is one example that is no longer available , but I watched it. 40 minutes of history . Utube videos regarding The Lolita Express also removed. The names of terrorists are removed from documents because the name mohammad is possible Islamist When they are damning , they get removed and often quickly. I didn’t check the source out on this article and the above un buzz killigton Horner, I agree sounds suspicious.
Your generation isn’t into the free love because now we know about stds like clamydia, aids, HPV but man, what a revolution that was , you sure didn’t want to be a stiff or a square!
You are being taught politics that would make your grandmother roll over in her grave.that big old file in her bedroom was suppose to go to you. Grandma thought you could use her newspaper clipping as you search for truth .
We all have to hope Trump has learned valuable lessons from his past. He picked an amazing wife , one who he will not speak poorly of and had a succession of fails personally and in business after he left her for Marla. Marla did not like the limelight and all the glam, while Trump can’t undo what happened, he had a chance to start over , at least to the American people he didn’t lie for months on end like another candidate . still not perfect Melania and the grabber get their chance now and I hope that things are great. They won’t be if people don’t chill the hell out and try to be helpful instead of disruptive.

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