Fake News for the Week Ending February 15, 2019

Here’s what’s happening in the real world of fake news this week:

  • President Donald Trump and other Republicans are claiming that the Green New Deal proposed by Democrats would mean the end of commercial air travel as we know it. While it’s true that some preliminary FAQs about the document (since withdrawn) did include text claiming the goal to “Totally overhaul transportation by massively expanding electric vehicle manufacturing, build charging stations everywhere, build out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary,” there is nothing in the formal document itself about outlawing air travel. In fact, the FAQ doesn’t even claim this, only stating the goal to make air travel less necessary. So, once again, a claim from the president is untrue. Read more at the Washington Post.
  • Neon Nettle is spreading an old “story” that claims the brother-in-law of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was connected to a solar power plant that received a Federal loan guarantee. The story, with the headline “Pelosi’s Brother-in-Law Received $737m Taxpayer Money for Failed ‘Green’ Project,” is totally false, of course. Read the debunking from FactCheck.org. 
  • No, newly-convicted drug kingpin El Chapo did not testify that he gave millions of dollars to Democrats Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Adam Schiff. In truth, El Chapo did not testify at all during his trial, let alone to bribing American politicians. This one’s totally made up, as debunked by our friends at Snopes.
  • A British government report says that Facebook and Google need to do more to help their users identify fake news on their sites. The Caimcross Review says major social media players may need to be placed “under regulatory scrutiny” as the whole issue of spreading fake news is “too important to leave entirely to the judgment of commercial entities.” In other words, we can’t trust Facebook, et al to do what needs to be done, so they need to be regulated to protect their users. Read more from The Week.

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