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In the dying days of the parliament dominated by Malaysia's now disgraced prime minister Najib Razak and those close to him the government passed its Anti-Fake News Act 2018. Its stated aims were sensible but in a country where the government had regularly arrested and held without trial those who expressed opinions contrary to those of or critical of the government and the ruling United Malay National Organisation (UMNO), its true purpose was widely regarded as a tool to further suppress legitimate dissent. Its repeal was an election promise that has been kept.

Editorial Staff
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Not long ago, it's hours not even a day, a man drove, at high-speed a rented van along pavements and up streets in the face of incoming traffic in Toronto, Canada.The man has been arrested and is in custody. He has been named as Alek Minassian, aged 26. Whatever Minassian's motive, one thing is clear: publicity was inevitable because the choice of weapon, the fact that it's in Canada and the fact that it took place only a few kilometres from a G7 ministers meeting convened to discuss developments in terrorism and counter-terrorism. Media has provided blanket coverage around the world. It's time to think about that.

Nigel Morris-Co...
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Mark Twain has popular credit for coming up with“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes” but he didn't think it up: that was Virgil in The Ænid translated by H Rushton Fairclough, he wrote "Forthwith Rumour runs through Libya's great cities, rumour of all evils the most swift, Speed lends her strength and she wins vigour as she goes, small at first, soon she mounts up to heaven and walks the ground with head hidden in the clouds." That, research shows, is exactly what happens on Twitter...

Editorial Staff
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The entire premise of Web 2.0 was that access to content (and content services) would be free for users and that the value of web-based businesses depended on the nebulous concept of "eyeballs" and how "sticky" they could be made to be. The theory was that advertisers would flock to the busiest websites and that money could be made for click-through adverts (or adverts paid-for according to the number of times it was displayed). It was always a bad model, relying as it did on fickle "traffic" And the situation has become ever worse as those eyeballs have become harder to attract and even harder to both retain and make return.

Peter Lee
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Today, FoxNews carries an article about badly behaved tourists being arrested during a pub crawl in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and a raucous pool party, some being accused of having pornographic images on their phones taken while participants, clothed, were "demonstrating" a variety of sex acts and positions in a villa rented for the night. But that's not the story that matters: what's important are the comments that appear, including comments that carry political messages that have no direct relation to the story, demonstrating that low-level trolling is at least as important as the bots attacking major social media websites.

Editorial Staff
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For the goldfish amongst us and those who are too young to know and, especially, those who simply don't think history has anything to tell us, here is something to note: crises hit us every few years. The superficial causes are viewed as significant but in truth, most crises result from one thing: overstated balance sheets and the fact that those who have naively accepted them suddenly discover that not one, not two but many companies are not worth the paper they are written on. Literally.

Pay attention

We are back in the times of asset value restatement with several examples in the past month alone.

Editorial Staff
BIScom Subsection: 

Has the media lost its collective senses and its sense of responsibility or is it now driven by a desire to be "across the story" as the BBC has, infuriatingly, been saying recently in both in its news broadcasts and on its website? Are headlines more important than facts? Has the tabloid objective of telling the story in 200 words or less finally become the norm? Has scanning twitter for hashtags and republishing comments found there taken the place of research? And is it possible to find real news without there being a Trump slant on it somewhere? Indeed, does the world have any other politicians except the nominal politician and arguably the most successful chancer in recent times, US President Trump?

Editorial Staff

Today, The Guardian carries the following headline: "Historian finds German decree banishing Trump's grandfather " Doing a websearch for it produces hundreds of copies of cutting and pasting of the headline and the article, or significant chunks of it. It's time that search engines were made responsible for the consequences of their promotion of breaches of copyright, says Nigel Morris-Cotterill

Nigel Morris-Co...
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Prince Harry, the younger son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, has largely stayed out of the public eye. As he becomes increasingly remote from the prospects of succession to the Crown, there has been less interest in him. Until someone decided that the fact that he's got a girlfriend justified going postal on the two who, it has to be said, are not yet close enough to be termed "a couple." Here is a statement issued yesterday by Kensington Palace, the name given to the Royal Family's press office. It is notable that the wording is modern, trendy (quite unsuitable in many respects) English with words such as "co-workers" and the use of the term "Ms" and "in the hopes that." Or perhaps it was targetted at the American market. That's no doubt deliberate but it is, in our view, regrettable pandering as it does to the lowest common denominator media and bloggers which is where most of the trouble is coming from.

Editorial Staff

Writing about the scandal of claims companies charging thousands of millions to fill in forms people can do for free, the Independent carried two ads for one such company - on the same page as the article!

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