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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 12/2/16

How to expose Fake News and still keep Alternative Media free

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There has been a lot written lately about how fake news - real or imagined - has distorted the national knowledge base, even swung the election. Most of it has come from mainstream media sources eager to reclaim the gatekeeper status they have lost due to the rise of the internet and alternative media (like Opednews).
There is now even a bill addendum to the intelligence bill before Congress to create "a new high-level body aimed at thwarting covert Russian political interference around the world" ...as if Russian propaganda was the most prevalent purveyor of so-called Fake News.
As Don Marten reports:

That this is taking place with absolutely zero domestic media coverage nor a public debate is an outrage. In the place of honest reporting we instead have one of the nation's two most prominent newspapers engaging in what can only be referred to as a neo-McCarthyist witch hunt by promoting a murky and mysterious group's blacklist of over two-hundred alternative websites that are labeled as Putin's domestic propaganda outlets.


Others have written and reported on this dubious quest more thoroughly and deeply than I can.

Let us stipulate that there is Fake News.
Fake news stories -- spotting the fakes - ThatsFake.com
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No, Denzel Washington did not endorse Donald Trump for President:

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...and neither did the Pope:

A Fake news story from WTOE 5 News
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Claim: Pope Francis endorsed Donald Trump for president.

Snopes' version of a red flag (sort of...)
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FALSE

Origin:In July 2016, a the web site WTOE 5 News reported that Pope Francis had broken with tradition and unequivocally endorsed Donald Trump for President of the United State



But...it made thousands of people click on the link, maybe millions through their many repetitions on other sites. This translates to a lucrative living for anyone from Macedonian hackers to CIA or, yes, maybe even FSB, operatives.

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The key to stopping this while preserving Alternative Media is to prevent the purveying of fake news from making money.

At the same time, we have to preserve the right and ability of alternative media, or any legitimate media, really, to publish stories that are well-researched and true, even if the MSM hasn't caught up to them, or even denies the reality of such stories. How to thread the journalistic needle is the question.

So far, all proposed solutions have been from the top-down, involving some sort of gatekeeper, whether groups of supposedly legitimate media, or even worse, some quasi-governmental organization. We're not talking the BBC here, although even they can be said to be pro-capitalist and pro-England even while sometimes critical of who pays their bills. We're talking about basically a Ministry of Propaganda, which is what it would become if such bills are allowed to pass.

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Scott Baker Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:
http://www.americaisnotbroke.net/

Scott is a former President of Common Ground-NYC (http://commongroundnyc.org/), a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of articles for (more...)
 

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