by Dee McLachlan
This page on Facebook gives a very long list of “satire, parody, fake news & conspiracy theory sites.” These include:
21stCenturyWire.com, ActivistPost.com, BeforeItsNews.com, TheCommonSenseShow.com, TheDailySheeple.com, GovtSlaves.com, HangTheBankers.com, IntelliHub.com, InfoWars.com and at least a hundred others.
What Really Happened is not mentioned — and, damn, Gumshoe has not yet been singled out as fake.
Interestingly, in a bid to lump satire, fake and conspiracy in one basket — “they” (whoever they are) hope it will discredit the lot.
I thought Facebook was configured through algorithms to “control” the trending feeds. But the Guardian reports that:
“Facebook has an entire team of writers working on these statements… (Gizmodo), and those writers are apparently encouraged to focus on mainstream news sites such as the BBC and CNN over fringe right-wing outlets like Breitbart or Newsmax.”
But it seems Facebook is not only trying to slant the news feed — the organisation is trying to clamp down on so-called “fake” news. And fake includes any wild or not so wild conspiracy theory. This article appeared in The Hill — “Facebook steps up fight against fake news,” reporting that:
“Facebook says it is working to fight the spread of fake news on its platform after false stories claiming the 9/11 attacks were a conspiracy and that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly was backing Hillary Clinton appeared among its “trending topics…
““We’ve actually spent a lot of time on News Feed trying to reduce [fake news and hoaxes] prevalence in the ecosystem,” Adam Mosseri, who leads work on Facebook’s News Feed, said Wednesday at a tech conference.
“I think we’re doing now some more similar work on trending to improve the experience in a similar way.”
“Executives are scrambling to address the problem as Facebook increasingly faces questions about how it evaluates and displays content to its more than 1.7 billion monthly users. Facebook’s power over the news industry means its influence over public speech and the political process is heavily scrutinized.
US news is essentially controlled by 6 organisations and 200 executives — and in Australia, Murdoch is said to own 70% of newspapers. I would assume that Facebook has a slightly different demographic to those consuming the mainstream news — so now mainstream propaganda can be spread to the next generation.
Another thought: Maybe there’s a new trend happening. The word “conspiracy” is getting jaded. many conspiracies are now admitted or proven true. It is not so easy for the mainstream media to side-line a conspiracy. It was once a conspiracy that Hillary Clinton had health issues. But once video and Bill’s comments surface, it is no longer a conspiracy. Prepare to start hearing the word “hoax” more often.
No Longer Conspiracies — Just Hoax Stories
The word conspiracy means that there could be some validity, that the subject requires more research. The word “hoax” means it is a theory presented by some jokers. Much easier to discard. To continue the report by The Hill:
“The company has joined a broader effort to fight the proliferation of hoax stories online.
“The project, developed by an organization called First Draft, is called a “partner network” and brings together major internet companies with name-brand news organizations, like the New York Times and Washington Post. They will work to develop a platform to work on verification questions and come up with a “code of practice,” among other activities.” [Full article here]
Some of the comments under The Hill article:
John J Dougherty Jr Absolutely correct without a doubt!!! As if there isn’t enough of managed media already!
PeterMcPumpkinPhD The truth is that most of the big events that have shaped the world, from WW2 are based in whole or part on lies and propaganda.
VinBoombatz Fakebook fights fake news. PRICELESS!!!!
investmentwatchblog.com reports “Surprise surprise! 1 in 10 Republicans actually trust mass media. 5 in 10 Democrats.”
But I’m sure Facebook has not been added to that equation. But it is clear that manypeople now do not trust the established media — and if Facebook continues long the path of “censorship”, it will too be discredited.
It seems we are in a “war of the worlds” between the controlled MSM and alternative sources of information.
I don’t trust Facebook for one moment. About five years ago we created a page for a comedy reality show mockumentary — a spoof about terrorism. Well the Facebook page was taken down in a few days, with no explanation.
For one organisation to have such centralized social power is not good.