Written By: Adam Peach
The term “fake news” has been tossed around by many since the US election last month. There has been a lot of debate on what is considered “fake news” and the impact it may or may not have had on the election itself. Facebook has even suggested they will combat this “fake news” from spreading on their social media platform, hiring 3rd-party fact-checkers to desypher and filter out anything considered “fake”.
Let’s face it, there are a lot of very far-fetched conspiracies out there, all over youtube and the rest of the Internet. There are many paranoids out there jumping on every single opportunity to uncover some great scheme, even a recent youtuber we came across who claims he has proof that Michelle Obama is actually a man. Yeah, that’s a thing too, apparently.
Fake news is real. It’s been real for a long time. Most people, however, seem to be able to draw the line when it comes to separating a ridiculous conspiracy theory from something actually important or worth their time. Conspiracies have been around forever and they will always be. The trick is trying to look at everything with a neutral stance. Like a radio frequency, when tuned to FM you will not get AM stations. This idea seems the same for those looking for evil plots. once your mind is focused on evil plots, one can find something evil in almost everything! This is called paranoia. When we seek only negativity, we find it. Alternately, when we seek only positivity, we also find that. Our minds work in interesting ways.
On the other hand, Propaganda is also real and has been for a very long time. it is used to rally people against something and gather support for a specific agenda. we are seeing a lot of it currently from nations such as the United States, Britain and the EU. This time it seems the strategy being used is anti-propaganda. We’ve been hearing a lot especially since the election, where WikiLeaks has been accused numerous times for leveraging the election with it’s release of the Clinton and Podesta emails on http://www.wikileaks.org. Other accusations suggest the Russians were wikileaks source for the emails in an attempt to ruin Clinton’s campaign. Clinton herself suggested Russia was the source of the so-called “fake news”. To add to the suspense, on Nov 30th,the mainstream media decided not to report on Bill HR 6393 being passed. One section of the bill summary reads:
“The bill establishes an executive branch interagency committee to counter active measures by the Russian Federation to exert covert influence over peoples and governments. It places travel restrictions on personnel and consulars of the Russian Federation in the United States.”
This is very interesting especially after all the recent anti-russia/anti-propaganda/anti-anything-not-mainstream-media propaganda that has been circulating rampantly. On Nov 24, an article was released by the Washington Post in which it describes an anti-propaganda group calling themselves PropOrNot providing a list of media publications currently sharing Russian propaganda. It gave a list of about 200 websites that should be blacklisted as Russian Propaganda.
Interestingly, another article written for The New Yorker mentioned the group only in a different context. The author describes being contacted by the group to publish their story originally. A link to the article is below and describes the messy methods in which PropOrNot classifies a website as “Russian Propaganda” and seems like a big steaming pile of propaganda itself – especially considering some of the well-known websites on their so-called “blacklist”.
Another article, posted below for alternet.org written by Mark Ames describes some interesting insight into the group claiming the possibility it holds fascist ideologies related to Nazi-Era Ukraine. The Nazis were also propaganda experts and used it very frequently. Propaganda is essential for fascism.
The original Washington Post article containing the “blacklist” just stinks of smear-campaign propaganda. Regardless of its’ Editor’s Notes claiming the list does not represent WaPo’s opinion is balonge. If the source was questionable, why publicize it?
It seems very fair to say that the War On Information is waging. More and more rights and privacy being taken from people over false claims from their government. Anything anti-government is considered “fake news”. This is the new propaganda.
Please read the below articles yourselves for your own insight.
The New Yorker
Author: Adrian Chen
Author: Mark Ames
Author: Craig Timberg
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