Spin Sins

“Seven deadly sins… seven ways to win.
Seven holy paths to hell… and your trip begins.”

– Iron Maiden (Seventh Son of a Seventh Son)

The mainstream media, gorging itself on (albeit dwindling) power and market share, violates common decency and ethics with increasing frequency.

ContraSpin is the international edition of SpinBin.co.nz – a Kiwi website making waves for its attempts to curb some of the media’s greatest excesses, as described below.

1.  Copyright Violation
It is baffling why established media figures, with resources and a reputation to maintain, risk assuming the work of others as their own, utilising content without attribution. Yet it is surprisingly commonplace, even amongst organizations who heap scorn upon other alleged copyright violators.

2. Victim Blaming
This comes in many forms, from “reporting” on circumstantial factors to excuse the actions of perpetrators, to outright transference of responsibility onto their hapless victims. Most commonly, it is “Shoot The Messenger” but in its most extreme form extends to the practice known as “Slut Shaming” – a shocking and reprehensible tactic that too often occurs in the mainstream.

3. Misquoting
Deliberately editing quotes out of context can completely skew the original message. A well established practice in newsrooms, misquoting is used to embarrass or punish the targets, while undermining the original message.

4. Astroturf Media
Astroturf media is based on events that either didn’t happen, didn’t unfold as presented, or at which the author implies their presence but in fact never attended. It also includes statements and articles written in the wake of an event, that omit mention of material information available to the writer, yet which they actively suppress in favour of their own fictitious and/or belated account.

5. Omission
Overt omission of a major world news event is commonly referred to as a “media blackout”. Witnessing such a media blackout occur on the global stage often leads to the “awakening” of mainstream viewers who soon discover much happens that the “news” does NOT tell us.

6. Misrepresentation
Misrepresentation occurs when mainstream journalists, cameramen, and editors deliberately doctor footage to imply that a person, group, organisation, cause or activity is other than it actually is. This is sometimes highly personalised and focused on a particular target and is a result of personal bias and/or political affiliations impacting on the work practices of those who create, present and produce, “news” media.

7. Censorship
Aside from You Tube/Google et al “take-down requests” and governments’ apparent obsession with relentlessly altering Wikipedia pages, the most common forms of modern censorship are denial of service and targeted interception. Sites that a government or corporate entity do not approve of are targeted for disruption, destruction, revocation or are covertly sterilised. Archives and backups are tampered with, domains are transferred behind the backs of the owners by complicit hosting companies. In short, content disappears. When censorship is undertaken on an industrial scale, recorded human history can be irrevocably altered.

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International Spin Bin