Progressive: Fake news stories significantly outperformed real news stories, US 2016

From Heather Dockray at Mashable:

It’s impossible to overstate the role fake news — or propaganda, as seems increasingly likely — had in this election. A Buzzfeed post-election analysis found that fake news stories significantly outperformed real news stories in the final three months leading to the election. The top 20 best-performing sites generated 8,711,000 shares, likes and reactions, compared to just 7.3 million from reputable news sources.

Facebook’s bogus news detector tools, she insists, won’t work; they don’t go far enough

In order for Facebook’s new tools to properly work, for example, users must first identify suspicious-looking content. But all readers, conservative and progressive alike, are inherently biased towards content that reflects their pre-existing political beliefs and values.

And so?

None of this is to say that these tools won’t be effective, or aren’t deeply important. Not every Facebook user or Trump supporter is an Infowars reader, and there were surely be many users who will trust Facebook’s judgement and subsequently learn how to become better, more critical consumers. (Facebook could also ban some of the more egregious fake news accounts in the first place, or take for more aggressive measures to stop them).

Propaganda works, and as we’ve seen this election, can do lasting, potentially lethal damage. More.

Reality check: One has rarely seen progressives underline so clearly that the voters could not have just looked at Clinton and Trump and decided on Trump.

Curiously, I was talking today to a small town resident where jobs are scarce, who made it clear, jobs were the real issue for the working class this time round. The voters preferred to risk “You’re fired!” than “You’ll never be hired.”

And fake news has nothing to do with that. The depressing news was all too real for all too many Americans this time around.

See also: Progressive site Media Matters demands action on fake news Is the world really as touchingly naive as MM supposes? I used to have all kinds of trouble with Facebook before the human editors were replaced by algorithms. Any time a troll complained falsely that something or other that I had linked was “offensive,” my news posts to Facebook groups were blocked. That was a big har har for the troll at the expense of everyone who wanted news in a specialty area (horizontal gene transfer in amoebas? Or something.)

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  • Buzzfeed is hardly a reliable source on any topic – even cat videos.