So, shortly after the 2016 Presidential election – in fact, in direct response to it, the mainstream media decided that they needed to blame something for their epic fuck up. They decided to blame sites like Breitbart and the Daily Wire and such as peddling fake news. Trump decided to turn it around on them, labeling them fake news and basically appropriated the term for his own use.
However, fake news was a very real phenomenon. In fact, I got quite fed up with the shitty sites people kept linking to on Facebook. I was a member of a few conservative groups and I’d keep seeing posts from questionable sites loaded with crappy ads and shitty site designs. Then, of course, leftists kept getting duped by satirical sites and promoted those stories as actual news. Most satirical sites had a disclaimer at the bottom, so this was entirely on the leftists and their wishful thinking.
Yes, I am sure that these crappy blogs and satirical sites had a role in the outcome of the 2016 election, but a minor one. That being said, I haven’t encountered many fake news sites ever since I cleaned up my Facebook feed.
First of all, take a good look at the domain name. It’s “abcnews.live” – ABC would never bother with that domain extension, and if they did, it wouldn’t be for a basic news site. It’d probably be used for a live feed that could be streamed. Secondly, go ahead and look at the site in question. Hover your mouse cursor over the Breitbart link. Here’s a screenshot of what it says when you do that:
You’ll have to click on it to enlarge it, but if you look at the status bar at the bottom of the screen, it has a nice, charming message for all us evil right-wingers: “if you believe this, you are an idiot.” Here’s an archive link in case they change it.
So, being that I’m always skeptical, especially about celebrities proclaiming their love for anyone on the right, I went straight to Breitbart and did a search. Their most recent post on Dick Van Dyke is about how much he looooooved Bernie Sanders. Yes, he’s a Bernie Bro. Or was, back in 2016. Oh, and he’s not dead, obviously.
So, with this in mind, it’s important to learn how to tell the fake news from the real news.
Check the website for “this is satire” disclaimers. They’ll usually be found at the bottom of the page or on an ‘About Us’ page.
Check the sources cited. If there’s any anomalies with the links, it’s BS. If they don’t bother with a link to a source at all, it’s BS. If their source is another sketchy site, it’s BS.
I hate to advise this, but cross check with mainstream media sites and Wikipedia. If something is true, they usually get around to writing about it eventually.
If there’s no ‘About Me’ or ‘About Us’ page, then it’s probably BS.
And, of course, there’s obvious stuff, like misspellings, punctuation errors, getting basic facts wrong, etc. Whoever runs the abcnews.live site, they’re idiot leftists who have nothing but contempt for right wingers. Just move your cursor over any link on any post. There’s almost always a nasty message for us. Furthermore, they still have a Meta section! What that is, is a section, or widget for WordPress users that allows you, the owner, or a contributor, to log into the blog’s admin section and make a post or do other maintenance, like update plug-ins and such. A lot of mainstream media organizations use WordPress, but they don’t leave the Meta section on their pages.
I just uploaded this very basic video recording of me browsing this fake news site: An Example of Fake News. I suppose the site is supposed to be satirical, but they don’t state as much anywhere on their site. That’s highly irresponsible. After all, the left keeps falling for satirical articles on Sarah Palin (this one is old, but relevant):
The Daily Currant is a satire site, but that didn’t stop CNN primetime anchor Piers Morgan from gleefully tweeting out a Currant story attacking Sarah |
This has happened a lot over the years. Liberals read satirical posts on Sarah Palin and, thanks to their wishful thinking, tweet it as if it were absolute truth. Then it spreads all over social media and liberals everywhere end up believing it, and by then it’s too late to really bother with a retraction. That’s why fake news is such a problem.
Oh, and one more example for the road (I really love Embedly, lol):
The Sarah Palin Story is a cautionary tale about what can happen when politics and celebrity meet. Fox News and their once-upon-a-time darling Palin recently parted ways after three years. But never fear. Palin has a new media outlet by which to share her commentary.
So, apparently, this has been a problem for years.