During this 2016 U.S. presidential election cycle, “Fake News” stories have reached millions of viewers to the chagrin of the establishment media. This fake news phenomenon has not only competed for reader viewership but it has taken its share of the pie of advertising dollars. Finally, Facebook and Google are taking steps to end this fake news industry which has had an undue influence in this year’s presidential elections.
On 11/5/16, David Mikkelson of Snopes.com exposed a fake news story which had gained traction with a lot of press coverage. This is what a successful fake news story looks like:
FBI Agent Suspected in Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead
Reports that an FBI agent investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server killed himself after murdering his wife are just fake news.
In the recent past, the president-elect has verbalized facts which have on too many occasions, turned out to be total fabrications, based on fake news. As a fellow blogger keeps saying, it is difficult enough for a leader to govern based on an abundance of accurate, and competently vetted data.
BuzzFeed News has analyzed all the links Donald Trump tweeted since he launched his presidential campaign to determine where the president-elect gets his news. The following results have been posted on 12/3/16 by Charlie Warzel and Lam Thuy Vo:
“Since winning the presidential election, Donald Trump has reportedly skipped out on the majority of his intelligence briefings; this past Sunday, Trump made headlines after sharing false information blaming his loss of the popular vote on mass voter fraud — a claim previously reported by the conspiracy news site Infowars. It’s been widely reported that Trump is an obsessive consumer of cable news — he has himself admitted to receiving at least a portion of his military advice from “the shows.”
“To better understand Trump’s media consumption, BuzzFeed News turned to the president-elect’s largest source of public proclamations and shared news: Twitter. While Trump’s media consumption and methods appear opaque and unconventional, the stories he chooses to share with his now 16 million–plus followers offer a unique window into the news and commentary that catch his eye.”
“Our analysis revealed a media ecosystem that appears to largely reinforce and affirm the views publicly expressed by Trump and his closest advisers. The news stories Trump tweets share several characteristics: 1) They often favor sensationalism over facts and reporting; 2) They frequently echo direct quotes from Trump himself or his closest advisers; and 3) They routinely malign his enemies and vindicate his most controversial opinions.”
“When it comes to news sources, the stories tweeted by Mr. Trump (and the staffers who sometimes manage his Twitter account) suggest that he is unfazed by news of questionable accuracy, likely to rely on hyper-partisan news, and apt to promote mainstream news only when it validates his opinions. While politicians from both sides of the aisle use their Twitter accounts to share content that furthers their agendas, Trump’s reliance on sources and stories of questionable accuracy stands out both in frequency and in engagement. The stories shared by Trump’s account throughout his campaign suggest the president-elect has constructed a powerful online filter bubble that largely flatters and confirms that which he claims to be true.”Using his tweeted links as a guide, Trump’s favorite information source appears to be Twitter itself. Nearly half of the hyperlinks shared by Trump’s account during his presidential campaign come from Twitter URLs. Many show Trump retweeting his fans, including — according to Fortune — at least 75 retweets of white supremacists and a false claim about gun violence demographics. Trump’s other most frequently tweeted links are to his Facebook page (266 links) and his website (201 links — most referring to statements, event schedules, and voter information).”
Here is a link to the entire BuzzFeed story: Here’s Where Donald Trump Gets His News – BuzzFeed News https://www.buzzfeed.com/charliewarzel