Trumpism in Gambia: "marbles" election sparks internet shutdown

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Deji writes, "Gambia is a small country but this story is pretty crazy. The president, who is seeking his 6th term, is using Trump rhetoric surrounding the 'rigging of elections.' People are voting by using marbles. Meanwhile, opposition activists and journalists have been arrested -- and the government STILL shut off the internet. It seems the president has lost his marbles." Read the rest

Trump's presidential hires and advisors own a hell of a lot of fake news sites

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Floyd Brown invented the Reagan-era Willie Horton lie, helped create the Citizens United group, and now owns Liftable Media, including sites like Conservative Tribune (50th most-trafficked site in the USA) and Western Journalism (81st), whence came fake news stories like the lie that Obama had altered the White House logo to include a white flag of surrender (the logo change came from GWB's White House); the lie that Muslims had been "ordered" to vote for Hillary; the lie that Obama had encouraged millennial non-citizen Latin@s to vote without fear of reprisals; the lie that Clinton had a Vegas "drug holiday" before the debate; the lie that Obama's birth certificate was not accepted by experts as genuine -- Brown's sites are all included in Facebook's verified news sources. Read the rest

Beyond fake news: the "constructed realities" of the polarized world

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Gilad Lotan -- our favorite fake-news sleuthing data-scientist -- writes about the problem of not-quite-fake news, which is much more pernicious than mere lies: it's news that uses attention-shaping, one-sided "news" accounts that divide their readers into their own "constructed realities." Read the rest

If blue-collar workers want better jobs, they need unions, not Trump

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Even though the majority of American workers would like to join a union, America's anemic labor laws scare them away from it -- after all, if you're fired for attempting to unionize, all your boss owes you is back pay, a sum so trifling that business groups call it a "hunting license." Read the rest

Alex Halderman: we will never know if the Wisconsin vote was hacked unless we check now

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Alex Halderman has clarified his earlier remarks about the integrity of the Wisconsin election: in a nutshell: voting machine security sucks, hackers played an unprecedented role in this election; there are statistical irregularities in the votes recorded on software-based touchscreen machines and the votes registered with paper ballots counted by optical scanners, so why the hell wouldn't we check into this? Read the rest

Vi Hart's statistical perspective on the American electoral divide

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Fast-talking national-treasure math vlogger Vi Hart (previously) takes a statistical look at the polling data from the 2016 presidential election and concludes that the most significant divide in the country is "old vs young," which drives things like rural/urban (because young people leave failing rural areas for cities) and even racial divides. Read the rest

Wisconsin: America's top voting-machine security expert says count was irregular; Fed judge says gerrymandering was unconstitutional

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University of Michigan prof J Alex Halderman (previously) is one of America's top experts on voting machine security (see this, for example), and he's issued a joint statement with voting-rights attorney John Bonifaz to the Clinton campaign, advising them to ask for a recount of the Wisconsin votes. Read the rest

19 questions to frame a reconciling conversation with your opposite-voting loved ones

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Michael Barbaro proposes that you sit down over a meal with a loved one who voted in a way you find incomprehensible and indefensible and have each of you discuss 19 questions, while not letting "imperfect word choices tank the conversation," forgetting "the policy debate for now," and assuming "the other person has generally good intentions." Read the rest

Hugely successful Facebook fake news author considers himself a "satirist"

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Paul Horner says he made more than $10,000 month writing fake news on Facebook that was widely shared by Trump supporters and picked up by the real press -- for example, hoax stories about protesters being paid to turn out against Trump -- and that he targeted Trump supporters as an act of "satire" to show that they would credulously share anything, providing that it confirmed their conspiracy theories about the left and the Democratic party. Read the rest

US foreclosure map predicts US battleground states map

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Tom Adams, a lawyer and 20-year veteran of the securitization business, compares a map of America's largest foreclosure inventories with a map of key battleground states. Read the rest

Remember when they told us Hillary, not Bernie, would beat Trump?

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If the Democrats continue to front establishment candidates while the establishment's cherished beliefs continue to crumble, they will continue to lose. Read the rest

Bruce Sterling on the US election: the net is great at tearing down, terrible at building

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Bruce Sterling's characteristically acerbic remarks on the US election gets to a really important point: internet-based movements have been amazing at tearing down corrupt establishment system, but have failed (so far) to create the kinds of stable governance structures that build up something better from the ruins. Read the rest

Rules for surviving an autocracy

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Masha Gessen, who grew up in Putin's Russia, has six rules for us: 1. Believe the autocrat; 2. Do not be taken in by small signs of normality; 3. Institutions will not save you; 4. Be outraged; 5. Don’t make compromises; 6. Remember the future. Read the rest

Before Trump condemned post-election protests, he called on Americans to "fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice"

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Donald Trump's inaugural presidential tweet moaned that "Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!" was posted even as he was deleting his 2012 post-Obama election tweets repeatedly calling for a "revolution." Read the rest

America's actually had worse presidential races than this one

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If you're a Hamilton fan, you know that the Burr-Jefferson race of 1800 was such a shitshow that it ended up with the Vice President-elect murdering his most vocal critic after assuming office. Read the rest

San Francisco high-school students stage a mass walkout in protest of Trump

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Go, kids, go! Read the rest

How science fiction can help us survive Trump's America

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Tor Books associate publisher Patrick Nielsen Hayden found himself presiding over a "long-planned major meeting" the morning after the election of Donald Trump, and used the chance to explain why, on that day, he was "very grateful that I work in science fiction." Read the rest

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