Monday, 1 October 2018

FLO Attempts to Justify Fake News Claim



A member of the PAS staff, Durham FLO Ben Westwood, comments on an article by Heritage Action 'PAS now more pro-detecting than detectorists?':
'the whole article is a sham, full of half-truths and outright lies. I note Heritage Action keep tinkering and editing, but it remains false. i tweeted a thread about it yesterday'.
This is pure Donald Trump. Just two days ago PAS's FLO Westwood was claiming the PACHI blog is 'nuggets of real and worthy news/facts wrapped in layers of polemicism, misinformation,and often outright falsehood'. Now, he's attempting to say the same thing about another heritage blog. Interestingly the metal detectorists are also keen on saying that anything that does not present them as only slightly less holy than the Pope is 'lying' too. The twitter thread is very revealing, though not that the Heritage Action text is a 'sham' text, or indeed 'full of half-truths and outright lies: ‏
@FLODurhamFLO W odpowiedzi do @PortantIssues @findsorguk
More lies/fakenews click bait from @HeritageAction and @PortantIssues Let's examines (sic) in detail 👇
So the first point he makes is:
Durham FLO Ben Westwood ‏ @FLODurhamFLO  22 godz.
1) "PAS now more pro-detecting than detectorists?" = 'shock' Click bait title that is not evidenced in the following article
But it is. The article quotes what the FLO said about what we all saw in a video of a hoard excavation which has already been criticised by other metal detectorists and putting a positive slant on it. The article then asks: " Is it [PAS] now becoming more of an apologist for bad metal detecting practice than metal detectorists?", in other words, precisely what the title says the article will ask. Perhaps the PAS failed to note the heading has a question-mark at the end, meaning we can discuss it. Instead of discussing it the PAS 'public outreach arm' simply tries to dismiss it (as so-called fake news - but the news is that the FLO said such a thing, this is not a made up quote, it can be found still online here).
The FLO attempts to demonstrate a second point is 'lies/fake news':
Durham FLO Ben Westwood ‏ @FLODurhamFLO 22 godz.22 godziny temu
2 "...FLO (who hadn’t been there)" = Lie/fake news. FB post made after site visit.
The quote we are discussing is about what happened (in the past, what we saw on the video - the one that metal detectorists were criticising). Mr Westwood was on site two days after the rally in question (during which the filmed event took place) had stopped. So the statement by HA in the present perfect tense is neither a lie, nor fake news. It is the FLO that appears to be bending the truth.
Durham FLO Ben Westwood‏ @FLODurhamFLO 22 godz     
3 "PAS has already claimed non-reporting isn’t damage..." = Great example of fake news: lifting an out of context supposed quote to support a warped argument. Full context attached 👇
Here, if one does not see this as deliberate manipulation, one might doubt the literacy abilities of the FLO... He quotes the wrong bit !! The bit to which I and Heritage Action have been referring all along is the second quoted fragment here. The fragment of text to which Westwood points his slackjaw readers makes zero sense in the context of the argument; 'PAS has already claimed non-reporting isn’t damage'. The element regarded by the FLO as ba "great example of [what he calls] fake news', but his misreporting of it is. What on earth does this guy think he's doing? Is the problem that people who focus on just the objects all day cannot actually see context any more?
Durham FLO Ben Westwood‏ @FLODurhamFLO 22 godz.22 godziny temu
4 "[PAS is] an apologist for bad metal detecting practice..."
= Really? I said the use of a mechanical excavator was poor practice. The organisers also realise/are aware of this. No one is excusing it. Mistakes were made lessons learned.  
 Nothing is being lost. All other material from the event will also be recorded. [...]  Appropriate advice, and guidance has been given [...] there's a good relationship between the PAS and the organisersThe excuse is that - despite what we all saw, FLO says nothing was damaged, nothing was laost in the shambles (though obviously a lot of knowledge WAS lost here), all the objects are going be recorded (really? Name another rally where they all were, what makes this one different, and did he speak to all participants on this before making that statement?) . The excuse is that the organzers did not have the  appropriate advice and guidance - so its the fault of those that failed to give them that advice earlier rather than the poor victimised tekkies. The PAS is acting here as an apologist for bad metal detecting practice...
Durham FLO Ben Westwood ‏ @FLODurhamFLO 22 godz.22 godziny temu
fact remains that this hoard, this archaeology must still be dealt with and mitigated. It remains a hugely important find, and our duty is to do our best to ensure the site is protected and the data recorded. That is not apologism. It's hard fact
I do not see anything about what HA stand for being fake news here. It seems like Mr Westwood is changing the subject. The hoard is considerably less important as archaeological information than it would be if it had not been trashed by aretefact hunters. It is now just a loose association of scattered items that the finders assert came from the same find (but cannot prove it because proper observation in the field was not possible, so any documentation remains unreliable - no 'grounding'). The 'this archaeology' (sic) cannot 'be dealt with and mitigated', since where the original archaeological evidence that we'd need to do that, there is a big deliberately dug ragged hole. Rather than 'our duty' being merely to 'best to ensure the site is protected' (which in the case of the bits that were looted with metal detectors is rather difficult, since the evidence is gone forever) bt to discuss how sites in general can be protected against destructive forms of Collection-Driven Exploitation of the archaeological record. And we cannot be doing that while those heritage professionals who earn their living by 'partnering' the looters and pretending to 'ensure the [...] data [are] recorded' when the record can only be a partial one are actively pushing against efforts to get policies investigated and discussed. This is apologism, and that is a hard fact. But he goes on:
Durham FLO Ben Westwood‏ @FLODurhamFLO 22 godz.22 godziny temu
5. So in short, don't believe the hype (as the original Public Enemy put it), and have faith that this FLO is committed to pragmatically preserving archaeological data in the real world, and not keyboard zealotry.
Pompous git.  First of all, Westwood has attempted to make just three substantive points in support of the allegation that Heritage Actions concerns are a 'sham' and are 'f'ull of half-truths and outright lies. In all three of them he fails. He seems to see himself on some kind of mission to be faithfully committed to 'pragmatically preserving archaeological data in the real world'. He could do much more of that by helping to get unregulated Collection-Driven Exploitation of the archaeological record and fighting the trade in illcit and undocumented antiquities, than just traipsing around the country picking up the leavings of the artefact hunters. I would also argue that the PAS FLOs could do a lot more outreach to the wider public (not hjust collectors) if they were not so disdainful of the social media. This is the 21st century, not the 1980s.
Durham FLO Ben Westwood‏ @FLODurhamFLO 22 godz.22 godziny temu
https://twitter.com/FLODurhamFLO/status/1046477788881063937  Oh, and as for the 'P.S.' @HeritageAction, the quotes may be 'verbatim', but your interpretation is way off. 
So, it is a falsehood, a lie, or a matter of different interpretation? One is objective, the other subjective. Maybe the FLO would like to comment below where he is 'right' and we are so wrong, and liars and purveyors in the public domain of a false picture of the hobby of metal detecting. Please, be my guest.

In the meanwhile, collectors, dealers, lobbyists and artefact hunters will use social media to put forward their point of view, and others, like myself, who disagree with the way the public debate is being dominated by their point of view (from which what the PAS reprsents barely differs) and raucous name-calling by the likes of FLO Westwood are not going to prove that they have a monopoly of the truth.

Vignette: Furry penis, or is the FLO mistaken? 

2 comments:

Hougenai said...

Plainly this FLO isn't a very good archaeologist, when in a hole he plainly doesn't know when to stop digging.




Paul Barford said...

It's a bit pathetic really, he's out of his depth, unable to focus.

 
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