Two more articles on Internet Censorship

Crikey logo

Two more articles from me about Internet censorship today. And it’s only Monday. I wonder what the rest of the week will produce?

  1. Google Takes a Slash and the world ends in Crikey, which riffs off the weekend’s glitch at Google and yesterday’s Internet outage in Melbourne and concludes that a glitch in ISP-level filters could cause massive problems.
  2. Christian Lobby: The New Lions Of Clean Feed in New Matilda, which looks at the dodgy arguments being deployed by the latest pro-censorship warrior, Jim Wallace from the Australian Christian Lobby.

Hey New Matilda, I know I haven’t included your logo, just Crikey‘s. But I couldn’t be arsed doing pixel-pushing just now. You’ll cope.

The Straw Man and the Hallucinating Goldfish

Scientific American explains two media manipulation techniques, the “straw man” and the “weak man”. Know how to spot them and help fight the Hallucinating Goldfish.

In Getting Duped: How the Media Messes with Your Mind, Yvonne Raley and Robert Talisse write:

One common method of spinning information is the so-called straw man argument. In this tactic, a person summarizes the opposition’s position inaccurately so as to weaken it and then refutes that inaccurate rendition. In a November 2005 speech, for example, President George W Bush responded to questions about pulling troops out of Iraq by saying, “We’ve heard some people say, pull them out right now. That’s a huge mistake. It’d be a terrible mistake. It sends a bad message to our troops, and it sends a bad message to our enemy, and it sends a bad message to the Iraqis.” The statement that unnamed “people” are advocating a troop withdrawal from Iraq “right now” is a straw man, because it exaggerates the opposing viewpoint. Not even the most stalwart Bush adversaries backed an immediate troop withdrawal. Most proposed that the soldiers be sent home over several months, a more reasonable and persuasive plan that Bush undercut with his straw man.

The Weak Man tactic is a twist on this…

Continue reading “The Straw Man and the Hallucinating Goldfish”