Fake News for the Week Ending July 26, 2019

Lots of real news about fake news this week, so let’s get to it:

  • Have you seen the meme being tossed around Facebook that claims “illegal refugees” get three times more money from the “Federal Assistance Program” than do people on Social Security? It’s all false, just your typical anti-immigrant fake news spread over social media. PolitiFact does the debunking here.

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  • In addition to all the news and social media disinformation spread by the Russians during the 2016 election, it turns out they also infiltrated actual voting systems in all 50 states. Yeah, all 50 states. That’s what the Senate Intelligence Committee found, and you can read about it here from Vox.
  • Are you worried about the Russians spreading even more disinformation ahead of the 2020 presidential election? That’s not the half of it. It looks like Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, the United Arab Emirates, and even Venezuela are getting into the fake news business, too. It’s kind of scary, as detailed by the Washington Post.
  • Of course, why worry about the Russians and Iranians and other foreigners spreading disinformation when our very own American president continues to lie his posterior off on a daily, nay hourly basis? Brian Stelter of CNN (and, no, CNN is not fake news media) has a great piece on how President Trump’s lies are getting bolder and more frequent, how it just doesn’t seem to matter to his overly fervent supporters, and how the media is doing a fairly poor job of reporting on it. Read it here.
  • YouTube has been trying to deal with false and misleading videos by tweaking its algorithm to recommend fewer videos “that could misinform users in harmful ways.” Except that it’s not working; Slate analyzed dozens of conspiracy theory-based accounts and found that they’re still doing just fine, thank you. There’s lots of analytics behind the reporting, and you can read it all here.
  • Finally, BuzzFeed has a good article on how to talk to the “older people” in your life who tend to share the most false or extreme content online. It’s tough, as you no doubt know. Read their advice here.

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