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Daily Archives: March 4, 2018
(Nieman Lab) Disinformation spread online is so disorienting that it’s messing with the researchers who study it
This week I got to hear Kate Starbird, assistant professor at the University of Washington and director of its Emerging Capacities of Mass Participation (emCOMP) Laboratory, speak about her research into how online disinformation spreads during crisis events (like shootings and terrorist attacks) and what she’s learned about the networks spreading this information and the tactics that they use.
A few of the intriguing bits from Starbird’s talk:
— She and her team have looked a lot at the language that conspiracy theorists use both in tweets and on sites like 21stCenturyWire.com. This is “question-mark language,” Starbird said. “‘I’m not gonna tell you what to think, I’m just gonna put the evidence out there and you can make up your mind yourself’ — this way of talking persists across different events” from Sandy Hook to the Boston Marathon bombing to the Orlando shooting.
— Starbird spent a lot of the time reading the sites that were spreading these conspiracy theory posts — the sites behind the links being tweeted out. (“I do not recommend this.) Stuff she looked at: Homepages, about pages, ownership, authors, common themes and stories. She developed coding schemes for theme, political view, and so on. Common themes: “aliens, anti-big pharma, chemtrails, anti-corporate media, geo-engineering, George Soros, anti-globalist, anti-GMO, Flat Earth, Illuminati, Koch Brothers, anti-media, 9-11 truth, New World Order Cabal, nutritional supplements, pedophile rings, Rothschilds, anti-vaccine, anti-Zionist.” (On the subject of GMOs, by the way, please read this tweet thread, which is not about conspiracy theories but is really interesting to keep in mind as you read about Starbird’s work.)
..[Franklin Graham] continued: ‘My father believed in heaven, he also believed in hell. Hell is reserved for the wicked for those who refuse to repent of their sins and acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.’
“The biblical doctrine of God’s wrath is rooted in the doctrine of God as the good, wise and loving creator, who hates–yes, hates, and hates implacably–anything that spoils, defaces, distorts or damages his beautiful creation, and in particular anything that does that to his image-bearing creatures. If God does not hate racial prejudice, he is neither good nor loving. If God is not wrathful at child abuse, he is neither good nor loving If God is not utterly determined to root out from his creation, in an act of proper wrath and judgment, the arrogance that allows people to exploit, bomb, bully and enslave one another, he is neither loving, nor good, nor wise.”
(quoted by yours truly in the morning sermon)
We believe that the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ – God’s very wisdom. Utter folly to the world, even though it is the power of God to those who are being saved, this good news centers on the cross and resurrection of Christ.
THE REDEMPTION OF CHRIST
We believe that, moved by love, the Word became flesh, fully God and fully human being, one Person in two natures. The man Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel, was conceived through the Holy Spirit and was born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified, rose on the third day and ascended into heaven as our representative and substitute. On the cross he canceled the debt of sin and reconciled to God all those who believe. By his resurrection Christ Jesus was vindicated by his Father, broke the power of death, defeated Satan, and brought everlasting life to all his people. By his ascension he has been forever exalted as Lord and has prepared a place for us to be with him. We believe that salvation is found in no one else.
THE JUSTIFICATION OF SINNERS
We believe that Christ, by his obedience and death, fully discharged the debt of all those who are justified. By his sacrifice, he bore in our stead the punishment due us for our sins. By his perfect obedience, he satisfied the just demands of God on our behalf, since by faith alone that perfect obedience is credited to all who trust in Christ alone for their acceptance with God.
THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that this salvation is applied to his people by the Holy Spirit. Sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ and, as “another Helper,” is present with and in believers. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and by his powerful and mysterious work regenerates spiritually dead sinners, awakening them to repentance and faith, baptizing them into union with the Lord Jesus.
O almighty Father, giver of every good and perfect gift, who hast made the light of thy truth to shine in our hearts: Make us to walk as children of light in all goodness and righteousness, that we may have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, indeed it cannot; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness.