The Washington Post’s Fake News Problem

The Washington Post has a fake news problem. Fake news is not only competition for the Washington Post, but its own affliction. The Washington Post seem to have difficulty refraining from publishing fake news while criticizing others for publishing it.

The Washington Post’s labeling of competing alternative media outlets as “fake news” since the 2016 Presidential election are becoming increasingly ironic.

Debunking Pizzagate

The Washington Post entered the “fake news” fray by attempting to debunk Pizzagate. While the Washington Post examined some of the unproven allegations, it did not conclusively determine with factual analysis that Pizzagate was “fake news”. Rather, the Washington Post simply declared it was fake news, rather than thoroughly debunking the story.

Prop or Not Hoax

Things got worse for the Washington Post’s reputation as a “real news” outlet, when it published accusations that a hundred or so alternative media sites were Russian propaganda outlets that disseminated fake news that helped tip the election to Donald Trump. The Washington Post cited a newly created anonymous group as its source, Prop or Not, which itself did not provide any concrete evidence of any Russian connection. The article was roundly criticized not only by some of the web sites wrongly accused as acting on behalf of the Russians, but also by Rolling Stone and the Intercept.

The Washington Post later added an editor’s note to their “Prop or Not” story indicating that they did not vouch for the accuracy of Prop or Not’s findings.

In other words, the Washington Post published fake news knowingly.

In December, the Washington Post was appointed by Facebook to help it identify fake news coming from fake news outlets, perhaps on the assumption of “takes one to know one”?

Russia’s Hacking of a Vermont Power Grid

The Washington Post’s next brush with fake news occurred in late December and involved their reporting on Russian hacking of a Vermont power grid. The Post published an unverified story that the Russians hacked the Vermont Power Grid. The story turned out to be totally false.

In other words, the Washington Post published fake news negligently.

Rather than add a note to their false power grid hacking story, the Washington Post devoted an entirely new story in early January that confessed “Russian government hackers do not appear to have targeted Vermont utility, say people close to investigation

Trump Forces out DC National Guard General

In January, the Washington Post left out key information on the resignation of head of the D.C. National Guard. The Post’s story indicated that “D.C. National Guard, Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, said Friday that he has been ordered removed from his command” effective immediately upon Donald’s Trump’s inauguration at 12:01pm Friday January 20, 2017. Such a move would make the President Elect appear reckless as the National Guard would be without a general for the period of time after Donald Trump was sworn in.

The Washington Post story left out key information regarding the procedural protocol for the General of the D.C. National Guard who traditionally submits his letter of resignation to the incoming President. The Trump administration had offered General Schwartz the opportunity to keep his post through inauguration, but he declined the offer.

In other words, through purposeful omission of key facts or simply shoddy journalism, the Washington Post published fake news, AGAIN.

The main stream media’s assault on alternative media outlets as “fake news” so far has not been a success. The term “fake news” seems to have been co-opted by alternative media who now in turn label main stream media publishers like the Washington Post as “fake news”. Donald Trump’s characterization of CNN as “fake news” at his press conference last week, may have main stream media outlets ruing the day they decided to fight the competition with the term “fake news”.

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AP Joins Left Wing Battle To Fight Fake news

AP has become the latest news organization to join the cadre of left-leaning news outlets in the fight against “fake news”. Yesterday we reported that Facebook would be joining forces with left-wing groups to fact check and censor fake news. AP announced that it would work with Facebook to “help identify and debunk trending “news” stories being shared online that are false.”

The fake news furor seems to only be shared by main stream media outlets that are losing market share and influence. These same news organizations seem also to be inordinately upset about “PizzaGate”.

AP posted a photo at the bottom of their announcement that they were joining the fight against fake news. The photo showed flowers and notes left at Comet Ping Pong Restaurant, the center of the PizzaGate conspiracy theory, one of which that read “Fake News is Not Ok”.

AP captioned the photo: “A fake news story prompted a man to fire a rifle inside the popular pizza place…”

READ AP’S FIGHT AGAINST FAKE NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT

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FaceBook to Fact Check Fake News

Facebook to Use Left-Wing Organization and Left Leaning Main Stream Media Fact Checkers

In an Orwellian move that many media experts suspect is nothing more than an attempt to silence opposing views and competitive media outlets, Facebook announced that it will enlist the aid of several main stream media outlets to help it fact check articles.

Facebook announced that it will use a fact checking code drafted by The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), an organization hosted by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. The Poynter Institute, according to Breitbart is funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundations, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, and the National Endowment for Democracy, entities all openly favorable to left-wing causes and the Democratic party.

Other Facebook fact checkers include Snopes, ABC News and The Washington Post- all left leaning organizations.

How it will work

Facebook announced that it will address hoaxes and fake news by:

  • Easier reporting
  • Fake news can be reported to Facebook by clicking on the upper right hand corner of each post.

  • Flagging Stories as Disputed
  • Fake stories will be flagged. Facebook users can still share these stories but they will be flagged with a warning that the story has been disputed.

  • Informed Sharing
  • Facebook will introduce signals into helping to identify fake news. If people read articles and don’t share it, that may be a sign that the article misled the reader. There are many reasons why people may not share a story (not interesting?) that have nothing to do with the veracity of the content.

  • Disrupting Financial Incentives for Spammer
  • Facebook will identify publishers where they detect ‘policy enforcement actions might be necessary.’

The Facebook action against fake news is not a voluntary opt in filter but a site-wide mandated Facebook”feature”. If users wish to have every piece of information vetted by a third party, then the Facebook fake news filter will satisfy them. If not, other platforms that don’t engage in overt and biased censorship of information will most likely come on line and thrive.

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The Real Danger of Fake News

Fake news is nothing new. Ever since the printing press was invented, publishers have taken liberties with the truth. The recent outrage over fake news has come from the main stream media. The MSM contends that fake news is responsible for an unjust outcome in the presidential election that denied the ‘over qualified’ Hillary Clinton her rightful and pre-ordained ascension to the Presidency.

As such, the MSM insists “something must be done” and has enlisted Facebook and Google to help eradicate “fake news” by identifying it, demonetizing web sites that publish fake news and removing it from view.

Indeed, it’s not that there is more “fake news” today, it’s that fewer people are reading MSM’s versions of it. This has the MSM firing up its shrinking audience and crying “fake news!” and “Russian Propagana!” much in the same way they have been crying “racist!” and “sexist!” in an attempt to silence political opposition for well over a decade.

The latest MSM ploy has fallen on deaf ears and blind eyes. Many remember the MSM as cheerleaders for Hillary Clinton during the Presidential campaign of 2016 and examples of MSM complicity in fake news stories (Rathergate comes to mind).

What the MSM is really complaining about is declining relevance. To try and regain relevance they have resorted to smearing alternative media sites with a broad brush as they see them as a threat to their very existence.

The Hill, while largely defending it MSM brethren, notes that the REAL issue with fake news is “mainstream news with an agenda.”

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Does the Government Publish Fake News?

Any Entity That Publishes Information Can Be Accused of Falsifying It

The main stream media has declared a war on “fake news” and has enlisted Google and Facebook to help them eradicate news that contradicts their narrative. Alternative media, has been blamed by the MSM as the purveyor of influential fake news that tipped the election to Donald Trump.

MSM even touted a list of fake news sites.

Alternative media struck back with their own fake news site lists, including such MSM stalwarts as CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post, the New York Times and others.

Now, the Rutherford Institute accuses the government of being the largest publisher of fake news.

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Google, Facebook & Corporate Media’s War on Fake News

Still stinging from Hillary Clinton’s crushing defeat, corporate media is fighting to regain relevance. During the course of the election, an increasing number of voters turned away CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post and the New York Times and towards alternative sites for their news.

The corporate main stream media believes that much of alternative media provides “fake news” and that news flipped the election to Donald Trump. Determined to regain control of the narrative, the corporate main stream media has enlisted the aid of Google and Facebook to help minimize or shut down the reach of alternative news sites.

Google and Facebook has a multi-pronged strategy to assist the corporate main stream media silence alternative “fake news” sites.

The Activist post explains:

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Sharyl Attkisson Responds to Obama’s War on Fake News

Yesterday, we reported President Obama’s remarks to a German audience that “fake news” was a threat to democracy. The President bemoaned the lack of a “filter” that allowed what he deems to be “fake news” to reach internet uses and potential mislead them.

Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson is suspicious of Mr. Obama’s intentions regarding his presumption that any such curator (Google or Facebook) would be objective and tweeted:

It does indeed appear that the war on ‘fake news’ is just beginning.

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An Internet Kill Switch To Stop Fake News?

It was inevitable. It’s not enough for Google to demonetize “fake news” sites or for Facebook to filter/censor content from such sites. Infowars reports that the left wants a cleaner, more permanent way of shutting down fake news – an internet kill switch.

WATCH THE ALEX JONES VIDEO

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What is Fake News?

Reason.com asks what is fake news? Who decides what is fake? Is fake news merely something one doesn’t agree with or like? Is satire fake news or it is not news at all?

Google and Facebook want to make themselves the arbiters of what is fake and what is real. Perhaps the market should decide.

READ REASON.COM’S TAKE ON FAKE NEWS

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Google and Facebook’s Crusade to Eradicate Fake News

Daisy Luther at Activist Post analyzes the war on fake news undertaken by Google and Facebook.  Ms. Luther details which type of sites Google and Facebook deem to be purveyors of “fake news” and what tactics they intend to employ in their quest to shut down fake news sites.

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