Google and Facebook Can’t Just Make Fake News Disappear

Increasingly, I’m frustrated by (and often antagonistic toward) the emergent narrative about how to address so-called “fake news.” My anger is growing, not only because as I write this I’m almost 10 months pregnant and grouchy, but also because I see the possibility of well-intended interventions backfiring. I understand why folks want to do something now —there’s a lot of energy in this space, and the underlying issues at play have significant consequences for democracy and society.

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One thought on “Google and Facebook Can’t Just Make Fake News Disappear

  • March 28, 2017 at 9:40 am

    People need to understand the realities of the internet and the fact is, they don’t. For decades the internet has run on “fake-ness.” It reminds me of the homes at Universal Studios. All nice and shiny from the front, but propped up by any means from the backside. Fake News is just another example of the internet being used to fool people for monetary gain. Just stories attempting to bring people to the internet. Here’s a couple of items in a long list of “sleight of hand” trickery the internet has given us.

    I remember it well. All the newspapers were abuzz about the “millions” of people going to the websites. Astronomical numbers that almost every single news organization “just had to have” or their business would surely suffer. So, to the internet newspapers went. Oh wait … what’s that? Well what do you know? Those numbers were bogus lies to trick people into thinking the internet was more than it was and the masses fell for it hook, line and sinker. You see the numbers they were providing were “hits”, remember those? For every one person that went to the site, a “well-rigged” website could garner thousands of “hits.” Those were the numbers people fell for. But in the end, it would be like saying the population of the USA is 584 trillion, because now we’re counting the trees, cars, homes and plants as well. Fakery at it’s finest … or complete ignorance? You decide.

    Native Advertising = Fake news … meant to trick the reader into thinking the story is from the actual publication. While the news in that link may in fact be real, the deception by the news organizations is even more real. Hard to gain respect when you’re tricking the reader.

    I hope to have a book out soon describing these and many more ways the internet has, and will continue to be, a lot of smoke and mirrors.


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