How the Fake News Folks Do It

Great Washington Post story by Terrence McCoy on how the fake-news folks do it and why they do it (money!). McCoy follows the work of two twenty-somethings who write fake news stories, mostly for the money, but it seems partly because after voting for Obama twice and being raised in liberal families, the economy has not been kind to them and they’ve concluded that the liberal way is not working.

Great piece to read if you want to get a glimpse into the making of fake news!

Fixation on Fake News Overshadows Waning Trust in Real Reporting

John Herrman writing in The New York Times talks about fake news in relationship to real news. Specifically he says:

[The attention devoted to fake news] misunderstands a new media world in which every story, and source, is at risk of being discredited, not by argument but by sheer force.

Media companies have spent years looking to Facebook, waiting for the company to present a solution to their mounting business concerns despite, or perhaps because of, its being credited with causing those concerns. Some have come to the realization that this was mistaken, even absurd. Those who expect the operator of the dominant media ecosystem of our time, in response to getting caught promoting lies, to suddenly return authority to the companies it has superseded are in for a similar surprise.

The two quotes above do not fully capture the arguments and tenor of Herrman’s article, which is well worth a read or two.

Video: Zuckerberg’s Original Response to Fake-News Controversy

Here is a short clip from Bloomberg News of Mark Zuckerberg’s original response to claims that fake news on Facebook may have tilted the election.

He is not too convincing. Also, and I’m not a regular viewer of Zuckerberg’s public appearances, but he looks rather uncomfortable, bordering on defensive — even though the interviewer David Kirkpatrick is being very deferential.

Here is a full clip of the interview.

Here is a Huffington Post review of the interview.

Here is a Fox News review of Zuckerberg’s comments.



Facebook’s Zuckerberg Outlines Options to Combat Fake News

After a week of blistering criticism of Facebook’s fake-news problem, Mark Zuckerberg last night posted options Facebook was considering to diminish the threat.

See article about this from Washington Post…

Trump’s New National Security Advisor Lives in Swarm of Fake News

Jeff Jarvis and John Borthwick on How to Fix Fake News

Jarvis and Borthwick, media experts, offer 15 suggestions for how to fix fake news.


Video: How to Tell Fake News from Real News

The Washington Post has created a video to help us tell fake news from real news. Hint: It’s not as easy as you think!

How Fake-News Websites Make Money

Washington Post article on how fake-news websites make money.

And here’s how this might benefit Facebook:

“Google has more of an incentive to make information reliable,” Carroll noted, because Google’s business is based on providing accurate information to people who are looking for it. Facebook, though, “is about attention, not so much intention.” It’s generally good for Facebook’s business when something goes viral on the site, even if it’s not true. [Note: David Carroll is an associate professor of media design at the New School and an expert in advertising tech.]

Author of List of Fake-News Sites Speaks Up

This past Monday, Melissa Zimdars, assistant professor of communication and media at Merrimack College, created a list of fake news sites for her students. She also posted it to the web, where it proceeded to go viral.

Today, in the Washington Post, she wrote that fake news stories are only part of the problem.



Fake News Can Sometimes be Caused by a Telephone-Game Effect

Do you remember when you played the telephone game as a kid. You had 12 kids sitting around the table at a birthday party. The first kid whispered a sentence into the next kid’s ear, “The white rhinoceros ate the tulips at Mrs. Dilley’s general store.” The second kid than whispered the sentence into the next kid’s ear, “The right rhinoceros ate tulips at Mister Dooley’s general store.” By the time the twelfth kid spoke the sentence out loud to the the group it came out as, “The right isosceles triangle mastered the general’s stairs.” It turns out that human communication is not a copy-and-paste operation.

In this wonderful article on Vox,

As Yglesias writes:

But it isn’t “fake news” exactly. It’s based on a real news event that has simply been aggregated and reaggregated, framed in different ways for different audiences. At some point in the telephone chain, the story goes from accurate to inaccurate. And the method is the same as the fake news method — maximum outrage, maximum engagement, minimum concern for context and accuracy.