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Fri May 31, 2019, 01:24 AM

"I was a Macedonian Fake News Writer"

It's worth reading the whole article at the link


<In North Macedonia, there’s a small industry of websites publishing misleading and inflammatory political articles targeted at US readers. Simon Oxenham meets a woman who worked there.

If you ignored the content, the typical day of a “fake news” writer would seem like any office job. Every morning, Tamara would open her laptop to a fresh email with a link to a spreadsheet. This document contained eight stories based on the other side of the world from her, in the US. The spreadsheet would also contain eight deadlines, each set just a few hours later. Her job was to rewrite each story before her deadline.

The difference? Tamara was rewriting fabricated or misleading articles for two major copycat websites based in North Macedonia targeting US readers. Her job was to churn out semi-plagiarised copies of articles originally published on US extreme right-wing publications, so that her boss could serve them back to unsuspecting Americans thousands of miles away.

Tamara, who describes herself as a liberal, was horrified by the content of the articles she had to rewrite. “I believe they still have the worst articles,” she says, opening a new tab on her laptop, and navigating to a website from which she would regularly copy content. I watched her typing in the search box. “As you can see I just typed ‘Muslim attacks’ and there are so many articles about Muslims attacking people. Many of these I believe are not even true, they are just making it up.” This one website alone listed almost 100 pages of search results for that query. On closer inspection, the articles would contain glaring inaccuracies and images taken from different events entirely. Tamara was told to simply find images using Google to attach to the articles she published.

Was she influenced by the content? After all, some studies have suggested that simply repeating false statements leads people to believe in them. “I was aware that I was writing a lot of stories about Muslims, and how they want to spread their own propaganda and want everyone to live by their rules and things like this, and one time I found myself when I was out thinking something of this kind of nature. So I was like, ‘Wow’. Subconsciously it influenced me somehow, this propaganda, because no one is immune to this stuff if you are constantly exposed to it. It was a good thing that I caught it because it’s not my opinion.”

She didn’t change her opinions, she says. But something else happened. “I didn’t change my views, I didn’t change my beliefs but I found myself feeling the fear that they were trying to insert into the people in America. While writing the stories, the fear that was in these stories was in me as well. When I became aware of this, it all stopped.”>


http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190528-i-was-a-macedonian-fake-news-writer

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JI7 May 31 OP
AJT May 31 #1
Maru Kitteh May 31 #2

Response to JI7 (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2019, 01:26 AM

1. Wow....now listen to rightwing media for 30 years.

This stuff seeps into the brain.

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Response to AJT (Reply #1)

Fri May 31, 2019, 11:40 AM

2. Murdoch's Fake News Empire

No wonder the feeble-minded Hannity & Co. are so very convincing in their recitations of the Fuhrer's defense.

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