Question Everything

My latest column is up at AND Magazine!

Here is an excerpt:

In the aftermath of the U.S. presidential election, suddenly America has a new crisis:

FAKE NEWS

1453300608Fake news has been around for a while, but it seems that the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States has suddenly brought this crisis into the limelight. We’re not talking, of course, about satire sites like The Onion. Most times when you see fake news, it actually looks fairly real, unless you know what to look for. People’s increased reliance on social media for news has made it a lot easier for fake news to make the rounds. As the famous saying goes, “a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its pants on.”

This crisis is reached such proportions, the president Obama has found it necessary to speak out on the issue. However, like most on the left, his agenda with the fake news crisis has more to do with shutting down right wing media than with actually ensuring that people are getting honest news.

I myself have noticed a lot of fake news permeating Facebook and Twitter, especially during the Republican primary. The first sign of fake news is usually (though not always) a sensationalistic headline, commonly known as “clickbait.” Clicking on the link would take you to some obscure blog which, if it had any source material at all, would usually refer to another blog site that posted the exact same thing, word for word. By the time you make it to the source article, there may have been a few sentences added, but there was no real source at the source. The more nefarious sites are actually dressed up to look like legitimate news outlets, but if you look at the URL, it doesn’t quite add up.

Continue reading here.

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