Here′s a laugher! Facebook and Google are looking into alleged ′fake news′ articles which they think may have helped Donald Trump win the 2016 election. They claim that social media was bombarded by fake news stories which may have influenced voters. Stories of websites from Macedonia spreading rumors that Donald Trump won the popular vote is one item they point to. Seeing as how that would have been a post-election story, not sure how it helped Trump get elected? Another claim is that this is part of a broader issue concerning website content. The use of trending items as ′click bait′, thereby manipulating advertising programs like Google′s AdSense. That is a problem Google and Facebook created all by themselves!
They have to blame something because many people are blaming them for Trump′s victory. If you want to crack down on ′fake news′, how about focusing on the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN? Look at all of the fake news stories they generated! Of course, those are acceptable since they were pro-Hillary Clinton stories designed to bash Trump. One example is the old Trump tax story about how he may not have paid much due to claiming a loss one year. From the headlines in the NY Times, you would think that Trump is a tax cheat. But, only after you read three-quarters of the way through it, if you bothered to do that, you learn that Trump used the laws and did nothing wrong.
Another example of ′fake news′ are all of those damn polls! Especially the ones which showed Hillary Clinton way ahead by 10% or more. Polls which over-sampled Democratic Party voters. Now those are prime examples of REAL, ′fake news′! There are many other examples of pro-Hillary, anti-Trump fake news which was promoted by the so-called ′legitimate′ news media. Even a lot of the ′fact checking′ was fake! Of course, let us not forget the parade of ′expert′ political pundits on the cable news channels 24/7. Their opinions about how Donald Trump wouldn′t win a single primary vote, or get tossed out after the first ballot at the RNC convention were all ′fake news′.
Now, I have to admit that there was some pro-Trump ′fake news′, courtesy of the Alt-Right. Those who visit the ′chan′ sites, like /pol/ at 4chan.org, might have noticed a wave of memes designed to look like they came from the Hillary Clinton campaign. Some of these were rather clever and even fooled the expert ′journalists′ at ′news′ websites like BuzzFeed and The Daily Beast. One addressed how Hillary Clinton was going to increase diversity in the military by drafting college-aged women to fight the Russians in Syria. Many people were actually fooled into thinking that this was a good idea until they figured out that maybe it wasn′t such a good thing after all.
After the Tea Party rebellion in 2010, Google reconfigured their algorithms in 2011 and began blocking any news stories unless they were from an approved list of websites, mostly those of the larger news media. Other major search engines with news pages followed suit, shutting out smaller news websites, mostly those of The Right. Very recently, we saw how Facebook and Google were manipulating trending keywords and phrases. Google was even blocking Donald Trump from appearing when people did searches on ″Presidential Candidates″.
So, needless to say, I am very suspicious over what this hub-bub over ′fake news′ is really all about. Donald Trump proved that he could outfox The Media by using social media extremely effectively. His Twitter account had more followers than most of the broadcast TV news networks, and blew away all of the cable news networks combined! My guess is that Facebook and Google, and probably Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat will all get new algorithms designed to hamper future use by Trump in shaping public opinion. However, the genie, as THEY say, is out of the bottle! Forget about Trump TV, with Steve Bannon working in the Trump administration, we′ll soon have TrumpNet. Even Google and Facebook can′t stump the Trump!
For more news and views, follow Andrew Zarowny on Facebook, if I′m not being censored again, or on Twitter @mrcapitalist.