Is this a real post, or is this fake post?
As of the writing of this post, the term “fake news” is a popular topic. The term “fake news” is used very often with the Trump administration. Why does the Trump administration use this term? Well, the Trump administration claims news sources such as CNN, MSNBC, to list a couple, are politically motivated to report news that is not in Trump’s favor, thus making them biased. CNN, CBS, NBC, … are said to be “in the tank” for the Democrats, while Fox News is “in the tank” for the Republicans. There are dollar amounts collected on who donates to who. The opensecrets.org site has information on this as well. According to information at opensecrets.org, the data of who donates more to what political party shifts back and forth over the past few decades. With that, I don’t think we can say that one political party is favored over another when it comes to donations. Why do we even look at who donates what, and to whom? Normally it would not matter if the executives at one News outlet donated more to the Democrats or the Republicans, however people are not professional enough to keep their own thoughts and views from tainting their work. If they were, this would not matter. Even the least perceptive person should be able to watch Fox News, and he or she should feel that the pendulum swings more to the Right than let’s say CNN or MSNBC, in which the penguin swings more to the Left.
When I was in college, I spent some time in the Honors Program which was very heavy on the social sciences. I learned that every author has a point that he or she wants you to agree with at the end of their work. Yes, even me. I have an agenda in writing this. If you read something, or you watch a documentary on something, and you agree with their premise, you should ask yourself why does this author want me on their side. A red light should go off knowing that you were rhetorically walked to a particular view or opinion. Most people are not aware of this, and this is where the danger comes in. If a person does not know this fundamental fact, he or she can be fed any amount of information, and he or she is very likely to take this information as fact. So we know now that it is possible to feed the public any information you should choose, and they won’t question it. If you want further proof of this, login into a Facebook account. You will see people posting articles that are not vetted, or pictures that promote someone in a poor light.
One of the things we know about the role the Russians are playing in the news feed is this. There are folks being paid to fabricate stories that look very real, and by real, I mean the article appears to be coming from a well trusted news organization. Sad to say, that is far from it. Here is how some of this fake news gets out there for us to read. A paid person writes an article that says a prominent U.S. diplomat does “insert crime or poor behavior here”. The organization that this author belongs to has a multitude of bots that instantly go out and like the post, love the tweet, plus the google plus post, etc. The fact that this bot activity seems to be coming from what looks like legitimate social media accounts, the posts become trending. The trending of the post puts the post front and center for everyone to see. This encourages the reader to believe the article is real and legit which may cause them to like, repost, retweet, etc. This is how the articles get into circulation. Now couple that with what I said about people taking articles as gospel, we can see how the general public can be misinformed which can cause big problems when the topics are divisive, such as race, Religion, or any other social wedge. To make matters worse, big data whether it is Facebook, Twitter, or Google tracks what you like, tweet, retweet, plus, or repost. When you are identified, by machine learning, as a person that is interested in a particular social topic, the machine learning algorithm with direct more of those posts in your direction which just flames the fire even more.
In closing, don’t believe what you read unless you are sure it comes from a reputable source. The next time you repost something that really gets your crawl, I want you to think, is this real? Am I part of the problem? I encourage you to not believe a word of this article, and go out to investigate for yourself.