InfluenceChronicles.com -- An impressive rookie performance … In his first 63 days in office, President Trump made 317 “false or misleading claims,” calculates The Washington Post. That’s on average about five per day.
Not exactly Profiles in Courage ... President tweetacks his own party’s conservative caucus, threatening to get them unelected for spurning his tremendous tremendous plans like the yanked healthcare bill. Caucus members launch tweetalitory tweetacks dissing D-Man with eyeball-burners like "It didn't take long for the swamp to drain @realDonaldTrump."
And it's way more fun than filling potholes … In California, Berkeley's city council is struggling to address underfunded pensions, homeless people going number one and two on the sidewalks, crumbling streets and a severe lack of affordable housing. So of course it took the time to pass a resolution calling for President Trump to be impeached.
Tune in your way ... If you haven’t yet, try out National Public Radio’s “NPR One” app. Though user-clunky – we haven't figured out how to go backwards to a story we skipped – it’s still a great way to hear the newscasts and radio stories you want, whenever you want.
At long last, room to spell out dudu-hed … Twitter announces that “@usernames” won’t count toward the 140 character limit when replying to one or more people. Good news: It makes Twitter conversations less cluttered. Bad news: It's now much easier for users to spam many, many users all at once.
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InfluenceChronicles.com -- When attempting to present the facts in a heated public controversy, spokespeople will often find themselves in conversations like this:
Spokesperson: As you know, the sun rises in the east.
Person: That's one opinion.
Spokesperson: No, it’s not an opinion. It’s a physical fact that the sun rises in the east.
Person: And who decided it’s a “fact”? The fake news media? The occupying one-world-order government that lies about chemical contrails? I don’t believe anything they say.
Spokesperson: (Befuddled) Contrails? No, look, we’re talking about the sun. Look out the window. See, the sun is rising from the east.
Person: Well, of course you have to say that. You’re getting paid by them.
We can expect many more such enlightening exchanges in the years ahead.
For millions of years, PR people have responded to concocted allegations and distortion by putting the facts “out there.” Sure, there will be disagreement about the completeness, context and meaning of the information. But the facts are everyone’s truths, undeniable and irrefutable.
New research, however, says this approach is counterproductive.
Scientists at University College London gathered a group of climate change believers and skeptics, then told them that new hard data either contradicted or supported their beliefs. They found that when people got information confirming what they already believed to be true, their opinions were strengthened. But when people received information that contradicted their opinions, they simply shrugged it off.
The unhappy irony is that despite having information technology to verify most claims and assertions, getting the facts out there is likely to amplify the holding power of misinformation and fake news. We’re becoming a nation increasingly polarized not on meaning, but on the facts themselves.
Or not. It depends where your head is at.
InfluenceChronicles.com -- In the good old days, phishing emails were easy to spot because the Nigerian prince who wanted to split his 12 million dollars with you also split his infinitives and wrote things like “All your base are belong to us.” Supposedly some of this was on purpose, so the poorly written emails auto-qualified only the most gullible recipients. (We're not mentioning names, Bob.)
It's not so funny any more. If you have elderly parents or other less e-savvy loved-ones who bank and shop online, it’s downright terrifying -- especially since banks are increasingly refusing to reimburse consumers whose accounts are raided because they gave their information to email scammers.
Here’s why: In our nation right now, an amazing 30 percent of all phishing emails get opened. We did the math -- that's three out of ten.
With this kind of return, cybercriminals will continue getting more sophisticated at making people think that the counterfeit email from their email service, bank, credit card company, doctor or favorite retail store is exactly what it appears to be. So be careful out there, and help others who aren't.
Check out and share this article from security and risk experts CSO: 5 ways to spot a phishing email.
InfluenceChronicles.com -- We’re finding out. A new USA Today -Suffolk University poll finds that one in three voters agrees with President Trump that the nation’s news media is “the enemy of the American people.”
Not biased, inaccurate or irrelevant. Not hard to read or too preoccupied with weather. But the enemy.
Of course you have to put this result in context to the fact that many Trump supporters and rattle-the-cagers endorse his hyperbole on purpose. It’s part of the middle finger they’re giving the establishment, including news media. So when a pollster calls one of these folks on behalf of – you get where this is going – USA Today, then, why yes, this American agrees that the news media is "the enemy of the people."
But the study also is another warning to companies that make the mistake of thinking they can fix a reputation crisis just by "getting our story out there." Considering these same polls show that people distrust corporations and CEOs even more than the news media, this notion might make the crisis situation even worse.
InfluenceChronicles.com -- Walt Disney Co.’s annual shareholders meeting was marked with protests outside and pointed questions inside about how the company represents social themes in its content and CEO Iger’s service on one of President Trump’s advisory groups.
Sure, when you’re as big and visible as Disney the annual meeting will always attract activists. Some will wear funny hats. But what happened this year highlights how companies are increasingly being judged by customers -- especially but not exclusively millennials – based on their perceived political and social behavior as much if not more than on their products, services and financial performance.
Whether those perceptions and reactions are justified is a whole other issue.