[Educator-Gold] UNITED STATES: POLITICS: POLITICAL PARTIES: REPUBLICAN PARTY, TEA PARTY : INDUSTRIES: PETROLEUM : LIBERTARIANISM : RACISM : BIGOTRY : EXTREMISM : HATE GROUPS : INTOLERANCE : DONALD TRUMP : BLATANT FALSEHOODS : SERIAL LIARS : REPUBLICAN WAR ON WOMEN : RAPE CULTURE : CRIME AND CRIMINALS: SEXUAL PREDATORS : SEXISM : MISOGYMY : KOCH BROTHERS: Misinformer Of The Year: The Ecosystem Of Fake News And The “Alt-Right”

 

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FAKE NEWS :

FACT CHECKING AND FACT CHECKERS :

UNITED STATES: POLITICS: POLITICAL PARTIES: REPUBLICAN PARTY, TEA PARTY :

INDUSTRIES: PETROLEUM :

LIBERTARIANISM :

RACISM :

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KOCH BROTHERS:

Misinformer Of The Year: The Ecosystem Of Fake News And The “Alt-Right”

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Misinformer Of The Year: The Ecosystem Of Fake News And The “Alt-Right”

Blog

December 27, 2016 8:00 AM EST

JOHN WHITEHOUSE

Media Matters

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/12/27/ misinformer-year-ecosystem-fake-news-and-alt-right/214899

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/zsgxxm3

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I. Fake News

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While reporting real news requires a newsroom and some sort of process that can be critiqued and examined, fake news is built to obfuscate and hide sources. Its creators are varied, from a random American making $10,000 a month from his fabricated Facebook posts to a group of teenagers in Macedonia running more than a hundred pro-Trump websites. The business model is simple: identify the news that people want to read, and give it to them, regardless of the truth and with no effort whatsoever put into actual reporting.

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There is no question that fake news got lots of attention in 2016, in part because the president-elect himself — and several people close to him — pushed fabricated information. Thats deeply concerning, because data shows that not only do Americans believe lies they see on Facebook, but also that Americans across party lines say fake news is a real problem.

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No one is more responsible for the rise of fake news than Facebook. It was Facebooks platform that allowed fake news to spread far and wide. In fairness, the basic nature of the social media giant ensures that users will share lies to some extent. But the structures that Facebook built also made it easy to game. All content looks the same on Facebook, and the name of the source shows up in a small and almost unreadable font. The pages look nearly identical, regardless of their purpose or who is operating them. Of course, these factors have been in place since Facebooks inception, but in 2016, other factors changed as well.

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In its own way, fake news is more sophisticated than real news. Sure, real news actually examines complexities that exist in the real world while fake news just makes stuff up. But fake news can be targeted to appeal to exactly what people want to see. On Facebook in particular, content can be fine-tuned to target exactly what people are likely to click on. Many private companies do this: It is called advertising. Whereas real news outlets generally post a piece once and people either read it or not, fake news can be tweaked again and again until it finally breaks through and becomes viral. And fake news outlets sometimes do have the data to go viral: Breitbart.com and Trump political benefactor the Mercer family has a company, Cambridge Analytica, that conveniently owns a lot of data on private citizens. And sitting on the board of Cambridge Analytica is Trumps chief adviser, and the former CEO of Breitbart, Stephen Bannon.

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Facebooks algorithm has always been extremely prone to confirmation bias, but changes in recent years seem to have allowed fake news to rise much more easily (as the algorithm is proprietary, no one outside Facebook can know for certain). In the past, at the very least, there were human editors who could manually prevent outright lies from making it onto the sites list of trending topics. But when Facebook fired them after conservatives complained this summer, fake news really took off.

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Additional Topics Covered in This Blog Post

II. The Alt-Right

III. Historical Precedent

IV. Complicity Of Others

V. Whats To Come

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 – 4584
jwne@temple.edu
http://workface.com/e/daviddillard

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[Educator-Gold] UNITED STATES: POLITICS: POLITICAL PARTIES: REPUBLICAN PARTY, TEA PARTY : INDUSTRIES: PETROLEUM : LIBERTARIANISM : RACISM : BIGOTRY : EXTREMISM : HATE GROUPS : INTOLERANCE : DONALD TRUMP : BLATANT FALSEHOODS : SERIAL LIARS : REPUBLICAN WAR ON WOMEN : RAPE CULTURE : CRIME AND CRIMINALS: SEXUAL PREDATORS : SEXISM : MISOGYMY : KOCH BROTHERS: Misinformer Of The Year: The Ecosystem Of Fake News And The “Alt-Right”

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