What’s real in fake news this week? Take a gander:
- In a blow for those fighting the spread fake news and hoping for more truth-based pubic discourse, Facebook announced this week that it will not regulate information from politicians on its website. (MediaPost reports on it here.) This means that your favorite politicians are free to disseminate just about anything they want to – fake news, lies, misinformation, conspiracy theories, propaganda, deepfake videos, you name it. Sayeth Nick Clegg, Facebook’s VP for global affairs and communications:
We don’t believe … that it’s an appropriate role for us to referee political debates and prevent a politician’s speech from reaching its audience and being subject to public debate and scrutiny…
That’s why Facebook exempts politicians from our third-party fact-checking program.
- I found the following meme in my Facebook feed this week, comparing the cost of President Trump’s so-called “wall” to that of the Obamacare website. I don’t know whether actor Tim Allen actually said this, but it simply isn’t true. Snopes debunks it here.
- Another meme circulating this week claims that Israel armed its teachers following a school shooting in 1974 and has had only two school shootings since, both times with teachers killing the shooters. Not surprisingly, the facts are all false. That 1974 “school shooting” was actually a terrorist attack that didn’t start in a school, although it ended in one (and killed 21 children). Israel doesn’t require its teachers to carry guns, in fact the country has fairly strict gun control laws. There have indeed been just two shootings in schools since then, but both were terrorist attacks and in neither case was the shooter killed by a teacher. Get the real facts at FactCheck.org.
- Lawmakers are justifiably worried about the effect that deepfake videos could have on the upcoming 2020 campaign. Representatives Michael Waltz and Don Beyer are so concerned created their own deepfake video to show to members of the House Science subcommittee. Read about it in this story from the Washington Post – and watch the video below.