In Fake News A Problem For An Informed Citizenry, Swift County Monitor editor Reed Anfinson considers the contagion of fake news:
Stories about how fake news pervades the internet and how it even helped Donald Trump win the presidency have been wide spread in the news media over the past couple weeks.
First, we don’t think the Republican candidate won because of fake news. He won because a majority of those who voted in states that count in the electoral college did so because of his conservative social stands, because he was a Republican, because many undecided voters detested Democrat Hillary Clinton, because many Democrats wished they had another choice, and because people wanted change in Washington.
But news that is made up, twisted far from the truth, and intended to deceive is a significant problem on the internet and to an informed citizenry. Too often people reading it take what they see and read on the internet as truth, repeat it to friends, and to like-minded people through Facebook sharing, through Tweets, and through other social media. . . .
Another Times story tracks a post by a Texas man who had fewer than 50 Twitter followers, but whose simple Tweet of a photo of a line of large busses lined up along a street in Austin brought him instant celebrity. Because the busses were lined up relatively close to where a Trump celebration rally was taking place, and because he thought the timing of the busses appearing was relatively close to the time of the rally, he surmised that they must have brought protestors. He never saw anyone get on or off the busses.
But it wasn’t long before his Tweet was shared 16,000 times on Twitter and 350,000 times on Facebook. Even Trump saw it and Tweeted saying, “Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!”
The busses had, in fact, brought a group of people attending a business convention to the venue where they would be meeting. . . .
Bluestem found a very similar example of a Facebook account sharing fake news in the congressional district that's home to both the Monitor and our poor country blog. Our old friends at the Minnesota 7th Congressional District shared the post capture in the screenshot above:
We suppose these are the same protesters we are seeing Busing from City to City. Paid Agitators Fox News says George Soros is flipping the bill for.
The Milo Yiannopoulos post purported to depict buses that brought protestors to Chicago.
Not so fast, Western Minnesota Republican activist Allen Anderson chimed in a few hours later:
Allen E Anderson wrong these buses were used to bus Cubs fan in for the world series parade according to a post I saw elsewhere. somebody actually took the time to call badger lines to find out why they were there instead of just assuming what they were there for.
The page administrator thought that was nice to know, but didn't remove the post--or edit the headnote.
As a recent profile of Yiannopoulos in the Standard noted:
Yiannopoulos is a senior editor at Breitbart, a Right-wing online magazine and the most-read conservative news website in the States — and whose chair, Steve Bannon, has just been appointed President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist.
The CD7 GOP page is no stranger to manufacturing a bit of news itself, as we reported in our 2015 post, #MN07 GOP Party Facebook page deletes post calling George Soros a "Nazi National Socialist" and Minnesota 7th Congressional District Republican Party Facebook page warns fans about cilantro.
And who can forgot the national attention the CD7 GOP social media received when Minnesota GOPers G[o]t Heat For Posting About Democrats' 'Negro Problem,' as TPM Livewire reported in November 2015?
Photo: Screenshot of the post.
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