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Saturday, September 03, 2016

Fake Red-Meat Conservative News Sites

Many of the fake stories conservatives are tricked into sharing have been planted by the left.

Almost all of us have been a victim of accidentally spreading fake news at one time. A trusted friend emails you a link to an article that is red meat for the conservative base; it sounds legitimate, and the name of the site even sounds official. You forward the article and post it on Facebook and Twitter — and then the backlash is embarrassing. Multiple people point out you’re wrong, and you feel like an idiot. But how were you to know, especially in this information overload, social media era? It has become normal to quickly skim articles and headlines. And why would you suspect your most trusted, intelligent friends would be sending you false news?

It used to be The Onion was the only satire news site. And the site makes it very clear its news is satire. But within the last year, multiple sites (there is a list compiled here) have sprung up that do not make it clear they are satire, if at all. They brazenly post fake news that isn’t even funny, like The Onion, but sounds like legitimate news.

By posting these outlandish tales, the sites attract many page views, which allows them to make money from advertisers. Even more nefarious, some are run by Democrats in order to make conservatives look like radical extremists. The strategy, an insider told me, is to fool so many conservatives into spreading a ridiculous, fake article that finally a prominent elected official falls for it. Then the left pounces on the official and makes them look foolish and/or an extremist.

As I’ve written previously, putting out heroic stories about Donald Trump that turn out to be false doesn’t help Trump when people discover they are false.

Some of the worst offenders are sites that rip off names from legitimate conservative news sites. World News Daily Report is a typical example. It sounds very similar to the conservative site WorldNetDaily, which recently renamed itself to WND. The disclaimer on the site says nothing about the news being fake; instead, it disingenuously states that the site is not responsible for inaccurate information. The fake site’s “About us FAQ” page pretends to cater to conservative Jews and Christians with a strong defense of Israel. Yet how are fake news articles helping Israel? The site has become so successful that the myth-debunking site Snopes now lists it second on its “Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors.”

The people who run these sites are nothing more than cruel bullies who should get a taste of their own medicine.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The left is pulling all kinds of tricks during this election cycle, not mentioning Hillary's incompetence though.