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FAKE NEWS - Beware!
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vu



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 2371
Location: L.A., California

PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:06 am    Post subject: Russian propaganda effort helped spread fake news Reply with quote

Russian propaganda effort helped spread fake news during election, experts say

PropOrNot's monitoring report, which was provided to The Washington Post
in advance of its public release, identifies more than 200 websites as
routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with
combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans. On Facebook,
PropOrNot estimates that stories planted or promoted by the disinformation
campaign were viewed more than 213 million times.

Read more:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/russian-propaganda-effort-helped-spread-fake-news-during-election-experts-say/2016/11/24/793903b6-8a40-4ca9-b712-716af66098fe_story.html
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vu



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:02 am    Post subject: Inability To Tell Fake News From Real Reply with quote

Students Have 'Dismaying' Inability To Tell Fake News From Real, Study Finds

(Stanford University) from NPR

http://tinyurl.com/hvgu5x4
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:04 am    Post subject: “Fake news” presenting a fake Hillary Clinton Reply with quote

http://www.salon.com/2016/11/26/it-wasnt-just-fake-news-presenting-a-fake-hillary-clinton-she-was-held-to-impossible-standards_partner/
or
http://tinyurl.com/guy3bkm

SALON
Hillary Clinton: She was held to impossible standards
by Leigh Gilmore
SATURDAY, NOV 26, 2016

It wasn’t just “fake news” presenting a fake Hillary Clinton: She
was held to impossible standards


A sinister Hillary Clinton dominated conservative media, but also appeared
in mainstream journalism

Despite Hillary Clinton’s long and demonstrable commitment to public
service and liberal reform, many voters in the 2016 presidential election
were persuaded that she was corrupt, mercenary and even murderous. A
sinister Hillary Clinton dominated conservative media, but also appeared
in mainstream journalism.

The bias against Hillary Clinton was not simply a story the media reported
— it was the unexamined narrative the press repeated over and over.
Researchers at Harvard University have documented the disproportionately
negative media coverage during the earliest phases of the presidential
campaign and how it contributed to a false view of Clinton. Former New
York Times editor Jill Abramson extensively reviewed charges that Clinton
was a liar and dismissed them, concluding that she is “fundamentally
honest and trustworthy.” These reports and others like them struggled to
find traction as stories claimed the race was between two unlikable
candidates — a distorted notion that became known as the myth of false
equivalence.

So why was the lie more persistent than the truth? Why was “Crooked
Hillary” a more compelling figure than “Fundamentally Honest
Hillary”?

The stories women tell

My forthcoming book, which examines the Anita Hill testimony and other
very public cases of women giving testimony, provides a context for
understanding Clinton’s vulnerability to the charge of dishonesty.

I’d argue that the media’s portrayal of Clinton has less to do with
her actions than with the persistent tainting of female witnesses based on
gender bias. In short, my research shows that women are doubted. Women are
seen as threatening stability when they show ambition and seek power.
Their success threatens the association of masculine power with order.

From Eve to Clytemnestra to Lady Macbeth, powerful female figures stir up
deep-seated and irrational fears of women’s proximity to power. They
prompt anxieties about masculinity. These fears can be exploited and
directed against particular women, as far-right Steven Bannon’s campaign
against Clinton demonstrates.

These narratives and others like them align the act of doubting women with
rationality and objectivity, making them feel legitimate. In other words,
it is not only traditionalists who feel that women can’t be trusted with
power; cultural narratives of blame make it feel right in general to doubt
women.

This old story prevents other narratives from emerging. When the media
recycled anecdotes that discredited Clinton instead of reframing their
coverage to address the emergent themes of her historic run, they ensured
that Clinton’s untrustworthiness would remain the story.

That Clinton was being held to an impossibly high standard was flushed
into view when Donald Trump was caught on a hot mic bragging about sexual
assault and 15 women came forward alleging his abuse of them. Even after
Trump became the looming and groping embodiment of predatory masculinity,
the old story that “Hillary lied” could be revived and re-centered as
“the” story.

On the night after the election, NPR’s valedictory story reported
everything that had been done to Clinton during her long career,
suggesting she had brought it all on herself. The verb in the headline
about her narrow defeat was “failed.” What was done to Hillary Clinton
became what she deserved. Where have we heard this before? It is the
tactic of rape culture to blame women for failing to prevent the harm that
is perpetrated against them.

While Trump was the target of lawsuits and admitted evading federal income
taxesfor years, the focus on her email endlessly recycled the claim of her
fundamental untrustworthiness. FBI Director James Comey had only to utter
the word nine days before the election and then again three days before to
halt and then halt again her momentum. The words “email,” “lying”
and “woman” fell like a series of dominoes. Adding “nothing to
investigate” to the string of words never mattered. The deep emotion was
tapped: You cannot trust women with power.

Hillary Clinton’s candidacy presented voters with an opportunity to do
something they had never done before: to elect a woman president and break
the “highest, hardest glass ceiling.” Clinton has always pushed a
feminist agenda in her roles in public life. As a civil rights lawyer and
advocate for women and children, as a first lady who traveled to China to
declare that “women’s rights are human rights,” as a U.S. senator
and as secretary of state. Although some commentators have declared that
this was an election in which voters chose change over continuity, we
should be clear that while change was on the ballot with Clinton, many
voters preferred something they knew all too well: a man in charge.

There is no single explanation for why Donald Trump, a political neophyte
who promoted white nationalist furor and gleefully called for his opponent
to be thrown into jail, defeated Hillary Clinton, a seasoned progressive
with substantial experience in elected and appointed office. However, the
ways in which arguments against Hillary Clinton’s trustworthiness and
fitness for leadership replaced a full treatment of her qualifications
should compel us to acknowledge that men can generate ambivalence and
retain status, but not women. Instead, women who seek power can come in
for humiliation.

Clinton was dismissed as unlikable. Her voice and looks were harshly
scrutinized. Derogatory names were directed at her by her political
opponent and a range of commentators in a way that was indistinguishable
from sexual harassment.

For her, the standard was perfection, a standard against which only she
was measured.
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Lyta



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:14 am    Post subject: Re: Inability To Tell Fake News From Real Reply with quote

vu wrote:
Students Have 'Dismaying' Inability To Tell Fake News From Real, Study Finds

(Stanford University) from NPR

http://tinyurl.com/hvgu5x4

From what I see in this forum, it's not only students who are incapable of telling fake news from real, LOL. There was a certain story about Hillary wearing an earpiece so as to cheat in debates, for example... Spread by a member of this site. Among other fake news. super grin wink bleh
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:53 am    Post subject: Gunman threatening DC restaurant hit by fake news Reply with quote

(Remember the fake news "Pizza Gate" promulgated by Breitbart, etc.?)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-washingtondc-gunman-idUSKBN13T0YE

Reuters
Gunman charged after threatening DC restaurant hit by fake news
Dec. 4, 2016

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A man who took a rifle into a Washington pizza
restaurant on Sunday "to self-investigate" a fake news report that it was
operating a child abuse ring has been charged with assault with a
dangerous weapon, police in the U.S. capital said.

Washington's Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement that Edgar
Maddison Welch, 28, of Salisbury, North Carolina, was charged after the
incident at Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Washington near the Maryland
border on Sunday afternoon.

The suspect entered the restaurant and pointed a gun at a restaurant
employee, who fled and notified authorities, police said. The man then
discharged the weapon inside the restaurant. There were no injuries.

Two weapons were found inside the restaurant and a third one was recovered
from the man's vehicle, police added.

They said the suspect during an interview with investigators "revealed
that he came to the establishment to self-investigate 'Pizza Gate' (a
fictitious online conspiracy theory)," the police statement said.

Last month, media outlets including the Washington Post and New York
Times, reported about death threats against the owner of the restaurant
after internet postings said the restaurant was operating a child abuse
ring led by Democratic presidential candidate _Hillary Clinton_
(http://www.aol.com/2016-election/hillary-clinton/) and her top campaign
aide.

Police said there was no active investigation of child abuse allegations
there. The attack on Comet was considered an example of how fake news
reports that proliferated during the election year affected people's
lives.

A Reuters witness at the restaurant with his 1-year-old child said it was
crowded when the gunman entered, with many families dining. The Reuters
witness who was inside Comet at around 3 p.m. ET said he was paying his
bill when he saw a man entering the restaurant's front door. "It appeared
to us he had a long rifle with him. We scattered," he said.

See also http://www.newsweek.com/pizza-gate-sex-trafficking-children-john-podesta-fake-news-comet-ping-pong-528207

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-police-detain-man-with-assault-rifle-at-pizza-shop/2016/12/04/f0f0aafa-ba76-11e6-ae79-bec72d34f8c9_story.html?utm_term=.6d98f4a31483

https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/police-man-with-assault-rifle-dc-comet-pizza-victim-of-fake-sex-trafficking-story/
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:48 am    Post subject: Gunman Enters Pizza Place Victimized by Fake News Reply with quote

Forwarded by a friend, who comments: "Please
note that the fake news story which inspired this fool to go shoot up the
pizza joint was shared on social media a week before the election by
PEOTUS's [Trump's] National Security Advisor."

URL: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/2016/12/05/gunman-enters-pizza-place-victimized-fake-news/

Gunman Enters Pizza Place Victimized by Fake News
Ed Brayton
December 5, 2016

Comet Ping Pong, a popular pizza place in Washington, DC was the victim of
a fake news attack claiming that it’s a front for a Clinton-led child
sex trafficking operation. The conspiracy sites have gone off the deep end
about this and one man apparently took them seriously and went in to shoot
up the place
[https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2016/12/04/d-c-police-respond-to-report-of-a-man-with-a-gun-at-comet-ping-pong-restaurant/].

==========

A North Carolina man was arrested Sunday after he walked into a popular
pizza restaurant in Northwest D.C. carrying an assault rifle and fired one
or more shots, D.C. Police said, prompting patrons and employees to
flee…

Police Chief Peter Newsham said the lone suspect in his late-20s walked in
the front door of Comet Ping Pong and appears to have fired one or
multiple shots into the ground after employees and patrons had fled. The
suspect, who police say is from Salisbury, N.C., has not been identified
and his motives were not clear. Police said charges were pending.

“We do have employees and guests of the restaurant who, of course, were
extremely frightened by this incident,” Newsham said. “At this point
we do not believe that it was terrorist related. And it’s unclear right
now what the motive is.”

==========

I’d be willing to bet a lot of money that this guy is a conspiracy nut
that believed all that crap and was there to avenge the terrible things
(not) going on there.

=========

But the popular family restaurant, near Connecticut and Nebraska avenues
NW in the Chevy Chase neighborhood, was swept up in the onslaught of fake
news and conspiracy theories that was prevalent during the presidential
campaign. The restaurant, its owner, staff and nearby businesses have been
attacked on social media and received death threats.

“We’re aware of that and right now we have nothing to tie it into
those concerns that have been raised on social media,” Newsham said…

The restaurant’s owner and employees were threatened on social media in
the days before the election after fake news stories circulated claiming
that then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her campaign
chief were running a child sex ring from the restaurant’s back rooms.
Even Michael Flynn, a retired general who President-elect Trump has tapped
to advise him on national security, shared the stories. None of them were
true. But the fake stories and threats persisted, some even aimed at the
employees’ children. The restaurant’s owner was forced to contact the
FBI, local police, Facebook and other social media platforms in an effort
to remove the articles.

========

You will have plenty of evidence of that soon. I’m sure they’re
already digging into it and the moment the gunman’s name is made public,
others will start digging as well. And they will find that this guy is a
big Alex Jones fan and rants about dark conspiracies.

Update: And it happened before I even posted this. The guy told police he
went there to “investigate” that bizarre fake news story.

========

A suspect arrested Sunday with an assault rifle at a Washington, DC
pizzeria admitted he had come to investigate an online conspiracy theory,
Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department said Sunday evening in a
statement.

Police have identified him as 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch of
Salisbury, North Carolina.

“During a post arrest interview this evening, the suspect revealed that
he came to the establishment to self-investigate ‘Pizza Gate’ (a
fictitious online conspiracy theory),” the police department said in a
statement.

=======

Well obviously. Who doesn’t start an investigation by walking into a
public place and opening fire? I’ve seen it on CSI, it happens!

And a quick look at his Facebook page reveals exactly what I predicted.
One of his likes is Alex Jones and InfoWars (shocker!). And he shared a
video by Christian fascist and fake “ex-terrorist” Walid Shoebat about
the coming Muslim antichrist. And you have to love the irony of him
quoting this verse:

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou
anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of
the Lord for ever.” Psalm 23:5-6

Bzzt. Wrong again. You’re onw going to be dwelling in a state prison for
a while instead. Praise the lord!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:45 am    Post subject: Incoming National Security Advisor pushed fake news Reply with quote

Michael Flynn, soon to be the White House National Security Advisor, has pushed fake news via social media

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/incoming-national-security-advisor-loves-his-conspiracy-theories?cid=eml_mra_20161206

Rachel Maddow Show
Incoming National Security Advisor loves his conspiracy theories
By Steve Benen
12/06/16 01:03 PMUpdated 12/06/16 02:02 PM

The problem of ridiculous fake news stories making the rounds, confusing
voters who dont know better, has proven to be one of the years most
notable political developments, but the issue took on new salience over
the weekend. As we discussed yesterday, a gunman opened fire in a DC pizza
shop because, according to police reports, he believed online, right-wing
conspiracy theories about the restaurant.

As best as I can tell, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, wholl soon become the
White House National Security Advisor, didnt disseminate the specific
pizzagate nonsense but his chief of staff and son did, prompting new
questions about the sons role on the Trump transition team. Though theres
some evidence he was part of the organization, a Trump spokesperson said
this morning that is no longer the case.

But Michael Flynn Sr. is still prepared to take on extremely important
responsibilities next month, and while he didnt push pizzagate, he did
promote similar conspiracy theories ahead of the presidential election.
Politico reports today on just how big a problem this has been for Flynn.

As Donald Trumps national security adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen.
Michael Flynn will have to advise the president of the veracity of foreign
and domestic threats, separating those that require immediate policy
action from propaganda or misinformation.

But Flynn himself has used social media to promote a series of
outrageous conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton, President Barack
Obama and their inner circles in recent months pushing dubious factoids
at least 16 times since Aug. 9, according to a POLITICO review of his
Twitter posts. Flynn, who has 106,000 Twitter followers, has used the
platform to retweet accusations that Clinton is involved with child sex
trafficking and has secretly waged war on the Catholic Church, as well as
charges that Obama is a jihadi who laundered money for Muslim terrorists.

Typically, when we hear about random folks who believe such garbage, we
think of it in inconsequential terms because these people are not in
positions of authority.

But when the president of the United States has a chief national security
advisor who struggles to separate fact from politically satisfying
fiction, but who nevertheless is responsible for identifying key
information that should matter to the man in the Oval Office, theres a
real problem.

Politicos piece added, [So]me say Flynns fondness for spreading fake news
casts doubt on his fitness to serve as the White Houses national security
adviser, suggesting that he either cant spot a blatant falsehood or is
just ideologically bent to believe the worst of his perceived enemies.

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

Some may be tempted to think Flynn just got carried away in the heat of a
presidential election, which sometimes brings out the worst in die-hard
partisans. But as the New York Times reported the other day, when Flynn
briefly led the Defense Intelligence Agency, he alienated both superiors
and subordinates with what his critics considered a conspiratorial
worldview.

The piece added that some of Flynns colleagues described him as a Captain
Queeg-like character, paranoid that his staff members were undercutting
him and credulous of conspiracy theories.

Making the problem vastly worse, Donald Trump is himself a bit of a
wild-eyed conspiracy theorist. The combination of the two, potentially
feeding off of one anothers worst instincts, is more than a little
alarming.


For the record, National Security Advisor is not a position that requires
Senate confirmation. So long as Trump believes Flynn is the right person
for the job, Flynn will have these responsibilities.

*****
Scarier and scarier, isn't it?
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:14 pm    Post subject: Tom Wolfe on Fake News Reply with quote

Tom Wolfe: Fake News Is a ‘Laugh and a Half’
The father of New Journalism says he’s ‘not surprised’ by what happens when the press can’t control the facts in the Donald Trump era.

[....]

“I’ve been reading about [fake news] and I do think it’s because there’s almost no fact-checking, whereas with newspapers, even if they’re lame, they’ll have someone on the court beat every single day, for example. I don’t know who’s covering beats these days,” he later told The Daily Beast.

Earlier, when an audience member quizzed Wolfe on the state of modern journalism, he lamented—and expressed amusement with—the lack of professionalism that has overwhelmed his former profession: “Marshall McLuhan made a prediction in 1968 and it was the wackiest thing I’d ever heard at the time, but it turned out to be true. He said that the new generation, people in their twenties, had been raised on television and it has changed the neural order of their perceptions. It’s turned them tribal… [and] it’s outstripping what journalism used to be. Nothing is checked anymore in those mediums. I’m not surprised that this great moment of fake news has arrived, which I think is a laugh and a half.”

Asked about so-called Pizzagate—the debunked conspiracy theory that prominent Democrats were involved in a satanic, pedophile ring—Wolfe was unfamiliar with the specifics of the story, but acknowledged the perniciousness of such conspiracies, telling The Daily Beast that he “never connected [fake news] with Trump. It may be… but I can’t make the link.”

[...]

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/12/09/tom-wolfe-is-horrified-and-amused-by-fake-news.html?via=newsletter&source=DDAfternoon
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:37 am    Post subject: The Fix for Fake News: Outrage Reply with quote

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/12/18/the-fix-for-fake-news-outrage.html?via=newsletter&source=DDAfternoon

The Fix for Fake News: Outrage
The government doesn't want to be involved. The big tech companies are reluctant at best. So what to do?
Ben Collins

A couple of days before the Future Today Summit at the 92nd Street Y in uptown Manhattan, a gunman walked into a pizza shop 230 miles south of it, fired into the air, and demanded to see the child sex ring in its basement. The basement didn’t exist, and neither did the child sex ring, but the weird flattening of information that comes with leaving every fact in the world to an algorithm and occasionally checking in on it is very real, and it is here.

It’s what led Edgar M. Welch to easily find a video on InfoWars called “PIZZAGATE: The Bigger Picture,” and text his friend to “watch [the video] on Youtube” a few hours before he failed to find the child sex tunnel behind the fridge where they kept the pepperoni.

This whole thing really messed up the mood for the Future Today Summit, which would typically be one of those events where a guy in a hoodie proclaims that we can cure syphilis if only someone would completely dismantle the taxi industry.

This time, a lot of the attendees were trying to answer one big question: How do we clean up firehoses of non-stop, fetid, feel-good lies like Facebook and Google and Twitter when the companies themselves have no obligation or desire to help?

Sure, there was still the robot that 3D-printed chocolate and a corner full of people goofily stumbling around with a VR headset on, evading reality at all costs. The lineup was diverse and flecked with genius. A researcher from the New York Genome Center. The woman who helped make Watson and the guy who plugs it in.

But then there were the conversations with people not making and breaking tech, but living with it, like academics, ACLU lawyers, government workers, and journalists. The tone of those conversations did not resemble robot chocolate and VR roses.

One panel, dubbed “The Future of the First Amendment,” argued about the perils of asking for help from a private company with an even more private algorithm. Another argued that doing nothing is immensely worse. The ACLU’s Jay Stanley argued at one point that another panelist was basically making a case for government intervention, even though nobody wanted government intervention. They all wanted more transparency from private companies, but no one really knew how to get it.

Here’s the takeaway from some of the leading experts in the fields where there is no longer such thing as a fact: You’re on your own.

And that might be the best way to fix it.

[...]

After all, a man who primarily complained about Robert Pattinson and another man’s birth certificate on Twitter for the past decade is now the President of the United States. He was onto something.

“The question is not, ‘What do we do now that we’re in a post-truth society?’” said David Litt, who’s Funny Or Die’s head writer and a former Obama administration speechwriter.

“It’s, ‘What do we do now that we have an incoming administration and their political allies who are very comfortable outright lying, and don’t care if they get caught?’ And how do we deal with that?’”

Outrage culture has fired some practice rounds and missed wildly, but the ammo worked great. It ruined lives of seemingly random private citizens. It had the country fixated on a poacher dentist for an entire month. Combined with disinformation, it put a man with a gun in a pizza shop.

It is also capable of a lot of good, and it might be the only way to ensure transparency from the most powerful media platforms in the world.

“There are challenges that come with this and advantages that come with this. You see citizen journalism has been such a big issue when it comes to criminal justice. They’ve shined a spotlight on where police have acted terribly,” said Litt. “That might not have happened without (those platforms), and at the same time, fake news might not have happened.”

Outrage is the bastard creation of the tech companies who ignored their users’ best interests in an effort to get them hopelessly addicted to their websites.

Well, it worked. Now there’s a lot of them, and they need some answers.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:38 pm    Post subject: The Year in Hoaxes Reply with quote

The Year in Hoaxes: Pizzagate, Plus-Sized Undies and a Lying Santa
The craziest hoaxes of 2016—from fake news and fake deaths to fake hate crimes. (Seriously, nation. WTF.)
Brandy Zadrozny
12.25.16 8:00 PM ET

If we learned anything in 2016, it was that the stuff in which we once rested our faith—polls, childhood heroes, the news, even our own eyes—could no longer be trusted.

Fake news itself was dubbed the lie of the year by fact-checking website Politifact. The swarm of conspiracy theories dressed up as credible journalism had an outsized effect on the U.S. presidential elections, convincing a gullible and in some cases dangerous, section of the public that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring out of a popular pizza shop, that the Democratic party was imposing Sharia in cities across the country, and that celebrities like Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt, Michael Moore, Harrison Ford, Tom Brady, Britney Spears, and Taylor Swift, had endorsed Republican nominee Donald Trump, a reality television star with no government experience and twitchy Twitter fingers. It was fake news itself, in fact that dethroned 2015’s “Lie of the Year” winner, Donald Trump.

It’s fitting that the man who speaks the truth only 4 percent of the time, who coined the phrase “truthful hyperbole,” (“An innocent form of exaggeration,” Trump explained in The Art of the Deal) will soon preside over us all—a nation that, if this year is any indicator, is very, very easily fooled.

It wasn’t just Trump who tricked many of us with fabricated stories like Barack Obama screaming at protesters, Democrats both suppressing the vote then profiting from “millions of people who voted illegally,” and a revisionist Electoral College landslide victory. Trump seemed to inspire both his fans and opponents to create hoaxes of their own.

A video showing five black men vandalizing a car adorned with Trump stickers quickly went viral after a push from conservative blog The Drudge Report. Its creator, Joseph Saladino, a YouTube personality who goes by the name Joey Salads, said the hidden camera “experiment” showed definitively that “the black community is very violent toward Donald Trump and his supporters.” Saladino’s ruse was undone by a 17-year-old who saw the car’s destruction being filmed and posted a video of his own.

Anti-Trump hoaxes were spread far and wide, as well. Following Trump’s victory, a rash of reports documented hate-crimes against Muslims, Latinos, and members of the LGBT community, groups that the Republican candidate had rhetorically targeted in his bid for the White House. A few of the more than 1,000 hate-motivated incidents compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center since the election were found to have been created as an act of protest by anti-Trumpers, actions decried by victims’ advocates as delegitimizing the very real accounts of harassment and intimidation of minorities post-Trump. Some of the politically motivated attacks claimed by both sides turned out to be more nuanced upon further inspection. And a few were outright apolitical lies, including an 18-year-old New York student who claimed white Trump supporters harassed her on the subway and tried to ripped off her hijab. The woman later admitted fabricating the incident to evade punishment from her parents for breaking curfew.

Indeed most hoaxes—lies that capture the public’s attention—originate as even the most commonplace lies do, with a self-serving creator. Whether for fame, money, or internet LOLz, 2016 saw no shortage of old-fashioned fabulists.

Perhaps the most depressing single hoax this year came from the lips of a very naughty Tennessee Santa, who, according to reports, likely made up the story of a young boy dying in his arms. Professional Santa Eric Schmitt-Matzen told a local reporter that before the 5-year-old supposedly took his last breath, he said, “When you get [to heaven], you tell ’em you’re Santa’s Number One Elf, and I know they’ll let you in.”

After the story went viral (because, My God) national reporters contacted the Santa for their own stories. But the boy’s parents and the hospital nurse who allegedly called in Santa were nowhere to be found, and before he could say “Ho, ho, ho,” The News Sentinel was distancing itself from the too-heartbreaking-to-check tale.

[...]

In a year where everyone—from kids in Macedonia to YouTube “stars” to the future president of the United States —lied to us for profit, Zardulu created art for art’s sake, an effort Finn Brunton, an assistant professor of media at New York University told The New York Times, “seems to be closer to doing magic.”

In a conversation via Twitter direct message, Zardulu told me, “I am so excited for the election to be over. There’s going to be a huge vacancy in news. Be assured, I’ll be working…”

And so hope remains for 2017.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/12/25/the-year-in-hoaxes-pizzagate-plus-sized-undies-and-a-lying-santa.html?via=newsletter&source=DDAfternoon
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