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Off-topic: Can we prevent fake news without harming real news?


From O’Leary for News at MercatorNet:

Social media are no more dangerous than life generally. But they require different interpretation skills from what we need for face-to-face contact. So do books, telephone, radio, and TV. And the current angst isn’t a new phenomenon. It normally follows the introduction of new communications technologies.

One example is the anxiety that resulted from printing, especially of Bibles. The anxiety was not baseless; widespread literacy was one driver of the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation. But would suppressing the printing press have been any help? Was controlling it much of a help? The seething anger already existed and would lead to wars in any event. Literacy helped many people understand their problems in terms of ideas as well as emotions. The centuries of bloodshed eventually resulted in principles of religious toleration that are unknown to much of the world even today (despite the fact that those other regions also have gone through centuries of bloodshed). Yet during all that time, much popular literature was actually scandal and drivel.

Government can only drive out fake news by trying to control all news, Chinese-style. As a result, real news becomes transgressive. So, ironically, the survival of real news is bound up with the survival of fake news. Put another way, when I whoosh past the checkout counter tabloids, I remind myself that they are a small price to pay for the free press that was built around real news.More.

See also: What isfake news? Do we believe it?


Does fake news make a difference in politics?

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@2 error correction: This Canaanite nation is mentioned 74 times in the Bible, 72 times in the Old Testament. 1.Old Testament (72) 2.Genesis (15) Dionisio
Many Canaanites joined the Israelites before they were "wiped out". Same applies to the Egyptians and others nations that they conquered... Canaanites and other nations had heard about the miraculous exodus of Israel from Egypt and that was the evidence that God was behind it. So, they were contemplating either surrender of joining Israel...Many did. J-Mac
@1 addendum #1: This Canaanite nation is mentioned 72 times in the Bible, 70 times in the Old Testament. 1.Old Testament (70) 2.Genesis (13) 3.Exodus (9) 4.Numbers (7) 5.Deuteronomy (4) 6.Joshua (14) 7.Judges (15) 8.2 Samuel (1) 9.1 Kings (1) 10.1 Chronicles (1) 11.Ezra (1) 12.Nehemiah (2) 13.Ezekiel (1) 14.Zechariah (1) 15.New Testament (2) 16.Matthew (2) Were they really wiped out? Or were they just expelled? What do the above references say about the Canaanites' fate? Is it what the drive-by media presents? Were the media headlines valid? Or fake news? Dionisio
The Telegraph headline:
Study disproves the Bible's suggestion that the ancient Canaanites were wiped out The ancient Canaanites were not wiped out, as the Bible suggests, but went on to become modern-day Lebanese, a study has found. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/07/28/study-disproves-bibles-claim-ancient-canaanites-wiped/
This news report in the NYT reveals that unlike what the Bible OT says, the Canaanites did survive:
There is a story in the Hebrew Bible that tells of God’s call for the annihilation of the Canaanites, a people who lived in what are now Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and the Palestinian territories thousands of years ago. “You shall not leave alive anything that breathes,” God said in the passage. “But you shall utterly destroy them.” But a genetic analysis published on Thursday has found that the ancient population survived that divine call for their extinction, and their descendants live in modern Lebanon. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/science/ancient-canaanites-bible-lebanon.html
Similar clickbait headlines appeared all over the media:
Ancient Canaanites survived biblical wrath, DNA evidence shows http://www.wpbf.com/article/new-dna-evidence-suggests-god-didn-t-wipe-out-the-canaanites/10380447 Canaanites Survived: DNA Shows Israelites Didn't Wipe Them Out http://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/canaanites-survived-israelites-wipeout/2017/07/28/id/804493/ Canaanites survived Biblical 'slaughter', ancient DNA shows http://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/canaanites-survived-biblical-slaughter-ancient-dna-shows/ar-AAoVSfe
The Science Magazine was not as scandalously hype as the drive-by media. Actually, they were more careful with the words they used in their reporting:
Ancient DNA reveals fate of the mysterious Canaanites http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/07/ancient-dna-counters-biblical-account-mysterious-canaanites
However, could it be that all that hype is completely baseless? Very long ago, in the NT Gospel by Matthew, a Canaanite woman is mentioned:
The Faith of a Canaanite Woman
21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
Matthew 15:21-28 (ESV)
What happened? How did she survive the alleged slaughter of her ethnic group? Was that a mistake in the NT? What does the OT really say about the fate of the Canaanites? Is this just another case of fake news in the drive-by media? Dionisio

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