Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 09, 2016, 07:03:31 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Ministry of Truth - Washington Post changes wording in its archive about PRISM  (Read 3632 times)

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Ok...it's starting to look more Orwellian than we imagined.

This article over at Forbes shows how The Washington Post has been changing it's news archives.

Quote
...One of the most remarkable changes is the subtle retraction that companies were knowingly complicit. The Post changed the text to say that ‚Äúparticipation is essential‚ÄĚ to the program and bears on citing the source document.

The original:

    The technology companies, which participate knowingly in PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley.

The updated:

    The technology companies, whose cooperation is essential to PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley, according to the document.

While I think it's right and proper for a news organization to publicly clarify or correct erroneous information or conclusions in one of its reports, I find it somewhat worrisome when the official new archive is quietly 'corrected' after the fact - and with no mention made. That just smacks of 1984 and the ongoing historic revisionism that Winston Smith's department was charged with.

So it goes.  :-\ Full article can be found at the Forbes website here.

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member

Well yeah, once you open THAT can of worms, courtesy of the Pandora Box Company, then all kinds of fun can be had! Restated for "Today's Audience", if you weren't around for the two days when the "real" story hit the viral web, then if you go back to it say, when you have time over a weekend, what might be there in the archive could already be Spin-Doctored.

Since I am also a fan of reporting on Int. Prop. mischief, if you're fast enough to quote the original "Real" article, and happen to have an over-documented link (meaning time it was pulled and more), then when the story behind the link changes, what's the copyright status of your original quoted article? What's the copyright status on a version that "doesn't exist"!?

Are you now a _______ (Insert attack noun here) because you're now quoting a "no longer authorized version of a news story"!?


TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
On a new angle, this isn't a tabloid "professional gadfly" rag at stake. If you have *Forbes* calling 'Dis on *The Washington Post*, it's already hit the Meta Level. Even in "Orwell" the "people" knew history was changed but "couldn't prove it" etc.

Here now you have one first tier source calling out another one, and then of course now Forbes' copy is Out There.

Check out this bit from the Forbes meta-article:

"Flat denials from the technology companies seem to have staid criticism for now and may have been a factor in convincing the paper to make revisions to its reporting."

The thing about Flat Denials is they are aggressive but risky. If this were the old days, all of this would have been hushed up. But the internet is Made For Viral (viral everything - 1.0 was Pr0n, 2.0 was Social Cats, so maybe finally 3.0 is Freedom!?).

So then that leads to crumbling statements like: (Double Quoted from Forbes)
"It is possible that the conflict between the PRISM slides and the company spokesmen is the result of imprecision on the part of the NSA author."

Uh ... so they're not saying it's a photo-shopped fake slide, right!? So how does one reconcile "apparently real presentation slides" with "flat denials by the companies"!?

« Last Edit: June 16, 2013, 01:08:32 PM by TaoPhoenix »

CWuestefeld

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,002
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Honestly, I'm not particularly concerned about this. I see post-hoc editing of news stories all the time, as the need for corrections comes to light. I'm a little put out that there's no notation on the page saying that a change occurred -- I see such notes frequently. But I don't get the idea that there's anything unusual going on due to what the article reveals.

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Honestly, I'm not particularly concerned about this. I see post-hoc editing of news stories all the time, as the need for corrections comes to light. I'm a little put out that there's no notation on the page saying that a change occurred -- I see such notes frequently. But I don't get the idea that there's anything unusual going on due to what the article reveals.

I'm concerned in that some of the so-called "newspapers of record" (NYT, WSJ, and WP) do this routinely with no notification of post-facto editing. AFAIK, the only major paper that still refuses to indulge in this practice is the Christian Science Monitor.

I think we're entitled to something a little better than having to resort to the wayback machine to pin down something that was originally said. Otherwise we're walking down the same path as The Congressional Record where a rep can say one thing on the House floor - but then "amend," "revise," "correct" or completely rewrite the official transcript after the fact.

Sorry. I have to call BS on that practice. When major papers begin changing their wording for any reason other than an incorrectly reported fact or flat out error in attribution - and do it in such a way as to change the original intent or conclusion of the article without putting the reader on notice first - smacks a little too much of the "ignorance is strength" and "it's for your own good" ruling class mindset.



It's hard enough pinning some of these rascals down in real time without allowing them to go in and change what was said after the fact. That's more than a slippery slope we're heading down if we accept that. That's eliminating history and "the record" from consideration and attempting to put the equivalent of a videogame's "revert to last save" or "do over" into real life. That's what the practice of acknowledged corrections and retractions was created for to avoid.

Life doesn't have a reset or "new game" feature. Time is not a two way street in our world. We deal with nothing but actual events and their consequences plus the fallout from the decisions that were made in response to them. To get away from that is pure "magical thinking."

Let's not let the fourth estate encourage that by playing fast and loose with what was actually said when it actually was said.
 :)

« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 04:31:03 PM by 40hz, Reason: just fixed \"for\" to read \"to avoid\" :-)) »

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 8,408
  • "In my dreams, I always do it right."
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Well, it depends... was the article annotated that it was changed?  Or just changed?  It's the latter that is the problem.

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
You know, this is why I have bouts with distrust and skepticism.  Everything that I've personally learned in life is that most important *things* have a lot of meticulous work put into it.  But whenever a curious person inquires into such *things*, the picture they receive is normally pretty mellow, harmless, careless, "it is what it is" type of attitude, "right place, right time", mr. magoo.

However...every time I look into one of these things, you notice how NOT like that it is.  It's all crafted very meticulously, carefully, control-freaky, secretly.  So what kind of positive conclusion are you supposed to draw from that, especially when *that* is what the actual facts are?

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Well, it depends... was the article annotated that it was changed?  Or just changed?  It's the latter that is the problem.

Just changed, according to Forbes.

Hmm...on second thought...why am I now trusting what Forbes said happened?

(Kidding! But that's where actions like this can lead us if they aren't at least questioned. ;) )

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
It's all crafted very meticulously, carefully, control-freaky, secretly.  So what kind of positive conclusion are you supposed to draw from that, especially when *that* is what the actual facts are?

The conclusion I've drawn is:

   a) That we are being systematically lied to by those who are supposed to providing us with accurate information.

   b) I'm getting awfully tired of being lied to.

Don't know if that qualifies as "positive", however. ;D

 8) :)

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
It's all crafted very meticulously, carefully, control-freaky, secretly.  So what kind of positive conclusion are you supposed to draw from that, especially when *that* is what the actual facts are?

The conclusion I've drawn is:

   a) That we are being systematically lied to by those who are supposed to providing us with accurate information.

   b) I'm getting awfully tired of being lied to.

Don't know if that qualifies as "positive", however. ;D

 8) :)
Those are the conclusions I've drawn as well.  The harder question is what do I do about it?  And funny enough, the most reasonable answer I've been able to come up that actually works in practice is......ignore it.

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Those are the conclusions I've drawn as well.  The harder question is what do I do about it?  And funny enough, the most reasonable answer I've been able to come up that actually works in practice is......ignore it.

Well, you can't quite "ignore" it because the foundation of all modern life outside your immediate location is someone else's report/anecdote. (If you want to go to the Basement, it's one more reason you can't ask your Deity for immediate verification of the facts!)

So then what Wikipedia made famous is "Citation Needed" as the very rawest of the raw stopgaps from stuff like the Aliens in the next thread over from the Guardian.

So then the entire concept of news is, underneath all the kaleidoscope spin doctoring, "something" is supposed to have happened. So if you tell anyone else, you basically get handed "Citation Needed".

But when your *Citation Changes*, they don't sweetly do Version Control like all you programmers do for a living. They just change it at will.

So yes, the more rampant this gets, it is absolutely PAST the slippery slope, because then you can't believe anything at all anymore, ever. Once you get past cute little bits of "common sense" like gravity, then it goes all Alice in Wonderland and it's almost not possible to function if the minute you pointed at a source, it has changed and then you can't prove why you're the only one that you can get hold of that ever saw the original version (versions!).

Cue all the SciFi stories - this is "locally" close to "alternate timelines".

It gets very very fast to a Matter of Degree.
After all, Obama isn't President. What? You are deluded into thinking he is? Why, because he said he was in the oath on the lawn, you think that matters? Who told you that? Were you there? What, you think the "nice steady stream of Obama-y things" means something?


superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member

ewemoa

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 2,845
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Now where did we put our appropriate timestamps?

Rover

  • Master of Smilies
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 630
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
The proper procedure is to print a correction.  It's like 1984 all over again.  There is ZERO excuse for changing content vs. disclosing an update.   :two:
Insert Brilliant Sig line here

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,550
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
The proper procedure is to print a correction.  It's like 1984 all over again.  There is ZERO excuse for changing content vs. disclosing an update.   :two:

There seem to be lots of excuses!!  Just none that are supposed to be acceptable to polite informed company.