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Fri Mar 31, 2017, 04:18 PM

Yes, Fake News Exists On The Left -- But It's Being Overblown - MM


The weaponized fake news stories that have emerged of late are certainly not confined to just one end of the political spectrum and are dangerous to political discourse regardless of partisan tilt. But a recent spate of articles trumpeting the so-called “rise of progressive ‘fake news’” omits the context necessary to understanding why the right-wing fake news ecosystem is so uniquely destructive, and in doing so collapses the collective understanding of fake news into a trite and distracting argument about “both sides.”

During the presidential campaign, fake news purveyors -- by and large right-wing, hyperpartisan fringe websites -- unleashed a blizzard of politically motivated lies packaged as legitimate news largely designed to undermine Hillary Clinton and boost Donald Trump. The onslaught of fabrications was effective: Fake news stories outperformed real ones on Facebook in the final campaign stretch, and most Americans who saw fake news during the election believed it.

But as it becomes clearer how and why right-wing fake news stories proliferated and succeeded, media outlets are now beginning to document an ostensible “uptick in fake news … with a distinctly liberal bent,” as The Guardian’s Sam Levin describes it, and to compare it to the flood of conservative fake news stories shared during the election.

The Atlantic’s Robinson Meyer similarly writes that progressives have recently embraced fake news just like “conservative Facebook users [shared] stories that had nothing to do with reality” during the election, in what Meyer calls a “funny reversal of the situation from November.” And a BuzzFeed article claims that progressive “alarm, paranoia, and genuine outrage” are ushering in an increase in “ the left’s own distinct brand of the online phenomenon known as fake news.”

Some examples these outlets point to indeed fit the mold of weaponized fake news and are cause for concern. There are also other recent cases of unsubstantiated claims rocketing through the liberal blogosphere. Yes, fake news-purveying websites that cater to progressive audiences do exist and do, as BuzzFeed contends, “undermin(e) legitimate causes for outrage on the left.”


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Reply Yes, Fake News Exists On The Left -- But It's Being Overblown - MM (Original post)
Bill USA Mar 2017 OP
nycbos Mar 2017 #1
Bill USA Mar 2017 #2
frazzled Mar 2017 #3
Bill USA Mar 2017 #4
IndianaDave Apr 2017 #5

Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Fri Mar 31, 2017, 04:20 PM

1. I'm sorry

During the primary you couldn't go one day here without someone calling Hillary Clinton warmongering corporatist.

Some of the most popular posts here was how Hillary Clinton stole the Massachusetts primary or how different primaries were rigged. Fake news was alive and well here. I'm wondering what the DU user names were of all those Russian trolls.

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Response to nycbos (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 31, 2017, 04:33 PM

2. Uh, what you described was Fake News intended to harm a Liberal candidate. So I think one would

... call that Right Wing fake news.

DU being an open forum will have posts which have assertions that are not corroborated with any evidence. IT's up to DUers to criticize these posts, which EXPOSES these posts as making fraudulent arguments andor unsubstantiated claims.

I don't think it is legitimate to include open forum cites in any list of fake news sites.

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Response to Bill USA (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 31, 2017, 05:04 PM

3. Open forum sites (as well as social media sites such as FB and Twitter)

are precisely the means by which the original fake news stories are spread to wider and wider audiences. Sorry, but there was a lot of planting of false stories (beginning with Ukraine, where it is extremely likely that foreign agents were planting all those pro-Russian links; and continuing with Clinton). I don't know whether the major disseminators of these false stories (and they were often the same false stories that the right was peddling to discredit Clinton) were real Sanders supporters or infiltrators. But I do know they convinced a lot of people to move to the Sanders side in the primary. If you repeat someone is crooked enough, people start to believe it, no matter how many credible proofs are put forth to show it is not true.

Without open forums like this and others, fake news has little way of getting seen.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 31, 2017, 05:37 PM

4. Did I mention FB and twitter? It is understood on DU that posters are individuals. Fake News

disseminators make their sites look like legitimate news sites. Now people on DU can post news items from fake news sites. IF that is done it is up to other DUers to criticize the post. So, yes, DU posters can pass along a fake news item. BUt my experience is that DUers are pretty good at taking issue with phony arguments and unsubstantiated claims.

I was one of those people who criticized Posts which I at the time said I couldn't tell any difference between some DUer's posts and Right Wing Bullshit (Fake News) (for which observation I was temporarily prohibitted from posting). In other words I am saying whoever was posting (Repugnants pretending to be Democrats ?) they were parroting RW BS. Thus, just because it appears here on DU doesn't make it "Liberal" fake news.

I don't consider FB and twitter forums for debate. Perhaps I cannot provide a formal argument to back that up, but it just seems the posters on those sites don't seem to be too interested in intellectual pursuits like debating public policy issues. But you are right, and I have read that FB and Twitter passed along a lot of Fake News. Actually, given my impression of these sites I am not surprised to hear that.

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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Sat Apr 1, 2017, 08:53 AM

5. I'm not on Facebook or Twitter, and DU is the closest thing to social media

in which I participate. So, I can't really comment on "left wing fake news" from those sources. What I can say is that I pay very close attention to the news -- too much, according to a couple of my friends -- and every story about Trump that I saw during the campaign was corroborated by his own words and actions, which I saw for myself. Since his election, about the only thing I've seen from the left that seemed "fake" was a statement that he was considering resigning. That appeared here on DU, and I questioned it at the time. It seemed to fade away. What are some other examples of left wing fake news items that others know about?

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