fake news

It's not real: Australia burning image goes viral

I had my suspicions the first time I saw this:

As wildfires continue to burn millions of acres of land in Australia, some social media users are misusing a digital visualization to draw attention to the disaster. One image published on Facebook on Jan. 5 claims to show a satellite view of Australia provided by a NASA satellite.

"Pray for us please," the user wrote alongside the image, which shows bright orange spots where fires are purportedly burning across the continent.

No doubt the fires in Australia are devastating, and may even push some species into extinction. But the proliferation of inaccurate images and news stories may be even more dangerous, if it pushes us to the point we can't believe anything that is reported. Definitely related:

Flood of Fake Conservative News Sites Targets NC

The Columbia Journalism School has been investigating the proliferation of “local news” sites that are mostly machine generated, authored by free-lancers in Africa or the Philippines, and generously sprinkled with hard-fine far-right extremist talking points on nixing public education or supporting Trump policies.

The researchers, outline their findings and methodology in a new article.

On the surface, the sites seem to have no apparent connection to each other, but the researchers found links between them with IP address registrations and shared analytics IDs. Altogether, there are at least 450 of these sites targeted at local communities around the country or specialized interests, such as farmers or attorneys.

Who’s behind these sites? What are they?

Boomer blunders: Majority of fake news shared by older Facebook users

And big surprise, most of them were Trumpsters:

They found that Republicans and those who identified as “very conservative” tended to share the most news from questionable sources. But that tendency may have less to do with ideology and more to do with what those articles said: Users tend to share stories they agree with and the fake news sites were disproportionately pro-Trump, the authors said.

The study also found that prolific Facebook users were less likely to post such stories, lending credence to the theory that less active and experienced users may have more trouble discerning between fake and real news.

I have at least "irritated" many Facebook friends for correcting them when they post dubious stories, and more and more these days, it also involves posting dated (sometimes 7-8 years old) stories as if they're happening now. I don't relish that role, and I definitely don't relish having to address this issue:

Virginia Foxx, Matthew Shepard, and "fake news"

Saturday was the 20th anniversary of the brutal kidnapping and murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming. Shepard's father wrote a piece for CNN, reflecting on his son's death and the demonizing of LGBTs and the left and how it turns into violence.

We must not forget that, in 2009, Virginia Foxx called Shepard's kidnapping and murder a "hoax".

What will Tim Moore say next?

Gun fetishists like Moore can't wait to see every school turned into OK Corral. Arming teachers is just the first step. It won't be long before some genius in Raleigh says, "Let's arm kids, too." After all, if you're old enough to own a gun, why shouldn't you be able to carry it wherever you want?

Unless, of course, you want to carry your gun into the General Assembly. That's illegal. You see, the pro-gun cowards in Raleigh want everyone to have the freedom to be killed except for themselves. What a shame.

Subscribe to RSS - fake news