Neal Gabler, writing on Bill Moyer’s Website, Says We Americans are Responsible for Fake News

Nice article, warns us about the danger that dishonesty make damage our democracy. Says the following, among other things:

The larger portion of the blame lies with the citizens of the nation that Donald Trump insists only he can make great again. Fake news thrives because there is a lazy, incurious, self-satisfied public that wants it to thrive; because large swaths of that public don’t want news in any traditional sense, so much as they want vindication of their preconceptions and prejudices; because in this post-modernist age, every alleged fact is supposed to be a politico-economic construct, and nothing can possibly be true; and because even rationality now is passé. Above all else, fake news is a lazy person’s news. It provides passive entertainment, demanding nothing of us. And that is a major reason we now have a fake news president.

Democracy can wither under all sorts of forces. But those forces seldom come from without. They almost always come from within. Perhaps the most powerful force is also the most subtle and seemingly innocuous, one that you would think unlikely to take down a great nation: laziness. We are a lazy people now — too lazy to hear anything we don’t want to hear, too lazy to defend the truth against those who hope to subvert it, and, finally, too lazy to protect our democracy.

I disagree that we the people are to blame. Yes, we may play a part! But our human cognitive machinery often drives our responses to external stimuli, from which we have little if any influence. Clearly, there are multiple forces at play — which is why we need to come together to fund an organization that can marshal resources to fund innovations in truth-telling, sponsor practical research, help the truth reach all Americans, and hold liars to account.

Facebook Exec, Elliot Schrage, admits that Facebook is a News-Distribution Organization

Andrew Prokoff, writing on Vox, examined Facebook’s latest thinking on their fake news problem. Here are some quotes from the article:

“For so long, we had resisted having standards about whether something’s newsworthy because we did not consider ourselves a service that was predominantly for the distribution of news,” explained Facebook’s Elliot Schrage. “And that was wrong.”

“I think we need a ‘think before you share’ program so that people don’t share stuff that’s stupid,” he added. “On the left or on the right.”

It’s a great article. Well worth reading!

New York Times has run 21 News Stories on Fake News since the Election.

Writing for the New York Daily News, Harry Siegel writes:

As I write this, the New York Times has run 21 headlines in the 23 days since the election about “fake news,” most of them suggesting that it helped swing the election.

That’s a lot of news stories, and they are not the only ones. See our abbreviated collection here.