Fake News

From Momo to Hate Crimes, Skittles Parties, and Sex Trafficking, Fake News Is Clearly a Problem

Fake news is real. Momo is not.

|

Momo
Screenshot via Youtube

Palm Beach County finally unblocked Youtube on its school computers Monday after falling for the viral "Momo challenge" conspiracy peddled by countless news outlets. Having learned from breathless, sensational local reporting that a creepy character named Momo was convincing kids to harm or even kill themselves, the Florida school district had thought it prudent to restrict its 193,000 students' access to the internet.

Perhaps it would have been wiser to restrict the adults' access to local television. The Momo challenge is a full-on hoax: There are no videos of Momo—in reality, a statue called "Mother Bird" made by a Japanese artist named Keisuke Aiso—telling kids to hurt themselves. There has been no rash of Momo-inspired murders or suicides. There are no victims of Momo. Put another way, Momo is pure fake news—and a shocking number of journalists are guilty of spreading it.

But this should surprise no one. Though President Trump mainstreamed the term "fake news" after the 2016 election in order to delegitimize perfectly deserved press criticism, people of all ideological persuasions should beware the frequent spread of nonsensical, sensational, conspiratorial, and utterly false news stories—everything from obvious fakes like Momo to the slightly more robust yet equally absurd contentions that sex trafficking and hate crimes are ever-worsening epidemics.

A terrific piece for Nieman Lab names and shames many of the gullible fools in local media who were guilty of spreading the Momo hoax. KBJR 6 in Wisconsin noted that "there's no proof the Momo challenge is real," but uncritically interviewed a bunch of people who were scared about it, anyway. An ABC station in Tampa explained that "the challenge is to meet Momo and to do that one must follow a series of instructions, which can include harming others or yourself," even though no part of this statement is accurate. KUTV News in Utah claimed a terrifying video was encouraging kids to kill each other, and had infiltrated "popular children sites like Youtube Kids." It hadn't. It's made up.

Unfortunately, the media, particularly local media, falls for these kinds of hoaxes all the time. Every year around Halloween, news outlets prey on parents' unreasonable fears of sex offenders abducting their kids, or malicious strangers feeding them poisoned candy, even though neither of these things ever happen. (Spoiler: The parents did it.) Sometimes a concerned citizen drives the news cycle, like when a woman claimed she got into the wrong Uber and very narrowly avoided being sold into sex slavery. (Fact check: Nope.) Sometimes the hoax gets an assist from the police or schools, as was the case with Momo.

Trump has called fake news "the enemy of the people." Unfortunately, the president is a serial purveyor of falsehoods, especially relating to immigration. To take just one example: in January, Trump promoted a Washington Examiner article about ranchers finding prayer rugs at the souther border, an indication that not just Mexicans but Muslims—or terrorists, who really knows?—were entering the country illegally. The story is far-fetched, and relies on a single anonymous source. Trump and his conservative supporters often criticize negative White House reporting that cites anonymous sourcing, but when the anonymous sources are pushing an agenda they approve of, then it's okay.

Conservatives spread fake news as eagerly as anyone else, of course. At the Conservative Political Action Conference last week, Sara Carter, a visiting fellow with the Independent Women's Forum, told the audience, "Our kids are having parties, they call them Skittles parties, where they bring pills and put them into bowls, and everybody just kind of picks whatever pill they want and they take them. It's kind of a shocking thing when I heard about this, just randomly taking pills. Some of these children, unbeknownst to them, are taking a Xanax that's actually a contraband Xanax, and they are dying immediately."

Woah, if true. But it's not. The Skittles party rumor appears to be a reboot of something called a pharming party; Politico's Jack Shafer has debunked its existence over and over again. Yes, teenagers experiment with alcohol and drugs, but they are actually drinking less heavily they used to, and their drug of choice is the comparatively harmless marijuana. In any case, there is little direct, firsthand evidence of teens ritualistically contributing pills to a general supply and then consuming them at random.

Fake news can be used to scare people into supporting terrible public policies. Such is the case with the so-called sex-trafficking epidemic, the existence of which has been carefully refuted by Reason's Elizabeth Nolan Brown over and over again. Now the narrative—which holds that hundreds of thousands of kids are at risk of being sex trafficked every year, even though those numbers are based on nothing, and almost certainly false—has ensnared Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who was arrested in February as part a human-trafficking sting. Kraft is accused of frequenting the Orchids of Asia Day Spa, where women were forced into "modern day slavery," according to Sports Illustrated. Salacious? Yep. Fake? Of course.

"There's no allegation that anyone engaged in human trafficking," Palm Beach District Attorney Dave Aronberg admitted. By all accounts, this was garden variety prostitution, not sex slavery.

Then there's the hate crime spike. Organizations like the Southern Povery Law Center and Anti-Defamation League have claimed that the U.S. hate crime rate is surging under Trump—the implication being that racists, anti-Muslim bigots, anti-Semites, and homophobes are emboldened by the president's spiteful rhetoric toward minorities and immigrants. Many celebrities, activists, and politicians opined that they were not surprised when two Trump supporters allegedly attacked Jussie Smollett—the gay, black star of the TV show Empire—in the streets of Chicago and shouted "this is MAGA country." It now seems overwhelmingly likely that the attack was a hoax perpetrated by Smollett himself.

In fact, it's not even clear that the prevalence of hate crimes is actually increasing. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has tracked hate crimes for more than 20 years, and the 2017 total is actually lower than the 1996 total. The number has gone up some years and down others, but it's hard to know what's really happening since the number of agencies submitting data to the federal database had increased over time—nearly 1,000 additional municipalities submitted information in 2017 versus 2016.

Data is often deployed for misleading ends. As I explained during a recent Fox News appearance, the ADL's claim that anti-Semitic hate, for instance, has spiked 57 percent in the last year is not nearly as compelling as it seems: A rash of bomb threats made by a single Israeli teenager was largely responsible for the jump, and anti-Semitic assaults had actually fallen.

We don't have to call all these things "fake news" if the term has simply become too politically loaded. But we do need some way of describing this phenomenon, since the basic idea that the American people should not automatically believe everything they hear on TV or read on social media—even if it's being pushed by a seemingly reputable news outlet—is sound. Be wary of politicians trying to escape scrutiny by claiming their naysayers are peddling fake news, but also be wary of people in the media trying to sell you on the idea that sex traffickers, hate criminals, migrant caravans, and Momo are coming to get you.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

141 responses to “From Momo to Hate Crimes, Skittles Parties, and Sex Trafficking, Fake News Is Clearly a Problem

  1. Fake news is not a problem. News outlets maintaining the pretense that they’re unbiased and have special access to information is the problem.

    1. Neither of those is a problem. Stupid people believing everything they hear which confirms their stupid biases is a problem.

      1. Well, pretty much all problems boil down to stupidity, amirite?

        1. Precisely because people will believe anything, strong measures need to be taken to suppress every inappropriate form of deceit. There is ample president for doing so. Who, for example, would dare to defend the outrageous “First Amendment dissent” of a single, isolated judge in our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case? See the documentation at:

          https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

          1. I get paid over $180 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I just got paid $ 8550 in my previous month It Sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it.
            ?????AND GOOD LUCK????? http://WWw.Aprocoin.com

      2. Wizard’s First Rule, eh?

      3. Q: How do you know something on the internet is a lie?

        A: It’s on the internet.

        It’s not 100% accurate, but it’s close enough that it might as well be.

        1. So this is a lie?

          1. I just did 300 push-ups in 5 minutes and didn’t even break a sweat.

            1. Also the Phillies just signed me in a huge deal.

              1. Mr. Harper how do you do?

      4. Smart people believing everything they hear which confirms their stupid biases is also a problem.

        1. Does not that preclude them being smart people?

  2. The media and the democrat/progressive/socialist/communist party have lost their fucking minds and I am watching with glee as they fucking destroy themselves !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LOL X Infinity !!!

    aahahahahaaaaaaaaa

  3. There at least should have been some good alt-text for making us look at that photo for the 5000th time in the last two weeks, Soave!

    1. Alt-text – Robby before he combs his hair in the morning.

  4. Spreading these should be criminal because they’re diverting first responder resources away from kids who have gotten permanently paralyzed by combining the Mannequin Challenge, the Bird Box Challenge and, of course, planking.

  5. We don’t have to call all these things “fake news” if the term has simply become too politically loaded.

    Ironic that Trump is largely responsible for the rise of the politically correct term for lying and is the token by which it is deemed too politically loaded. Like the media and politicians would tell the truth, but they don’t want to offend or be mistakenly associated with people like Trump. They really really want to tell the truth, but that potato is way too hot and they don’t get paid to be martyrs.

    1. Yeah, I’m a little baffled. Does this article basically say fake news is a real thing, but not when it comes to Trump? That was one of my takeaways.

    2. Ironic that Trump is largely responsible for the rise of the politically correct term for lying and is the token by which it is deemed too politically loaded.

      Ironic? Seems like the natural course of events. When the country’s most high profile political figure throws a term around that much, and all of his political opponents throw it right back, that’s going to make it pretty politically loaded, no?

      1. Maybe it’s like a double-negative where an irony of an irony is expected reality?

  6. I think it’s sad the way Momo is being victimized in all this–just because of the way she looks.

    1. The hideousness-shaming of this historical first woman is just another sign of the patriarchy.

      1. It’s body shaming at its core.

    2. Nancy Pelosi is one face lift away from being Momo.

  7. If Momo is fake, why did Michael Cohen pay her $100 grand to quit making self-destructive tweet demands on Trump’s teleprompter and i-phone screens ?

  8. What about the Momo retrospective at the Museum Of Modern Art?

    1. This was good material last week, and it’s still relatable now.

    2. But is the modern art the statue Mother Bird that Momo is based on, or the internet meme and hoax?

  9. Momo is pure fake news?and a shocking number of journalists are guilty of spreading it.

    It’s not that shocking, Blondie.

  10. I’m not sure Momo is fake news so much as it’s coming from the same place as folklore–like the bogeyman, Krampus, the pied Piper, . . .

    Our neocortex evolved to imagine and leverage these things. They express our anxieties about not being able to control what children see and do.

    1. Check out the brain surgeon over here.

    2. I’m not sure Momo is fake news so much as it’s coming from the same place as folklore-

      It’s fake news because news outlets are reporting it.

      1. Ever since, stories of supposed “fan deaths” have appeared regularly in South Korean news sources, particularly in the summer months.

        Late breaking fake news.

    3. Urban folklore, as they say. We loves it.

    4. When a man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything. – G.K. Chesterton

      1. Noted Olde English neuroscientist G K Chesterton to you, buddy.

        1. Noted Olde English neuroscientist G K Chesterton to you, buddy.

          How many hands dealt, spins of the wheel, or pulls of the lever do you have to perform to know that the house always wins?

          Too bad Plato didn’t crack open a few more skulls, his philosophical prowess and natural insight could’ve risen to the level of Combe’s.

          1. The house does not always win; the suckers would stop betting.
            The house consistently wins enough to make a profit, while players win often enough to keep coming back.

            Please avoid fake news – – – –

          2. I have this apparently uncommon ability to agree with certain people on some things but not all things. It’s pretty cool because I can, at the same time, think Chesterton is a decent writer with some good insights and completely full of shit about some things.

            1. It’s pretty cool because I can, at the same time, think Chesterton is a decent writer with some good insights and completely full of shit about some things.

              Not to undercut you entirely, I’d say Chesterton himself is responsible for a not-insignificant portion of this.

              1. I see you telling somebody to prove the nonexitence of something below so I won’t bother asking what you think you’re saying here.

      2. What an asshole.

        1. Cut to the quick, huh?

          1. I’d rather debate a cousinfucking redneck moron than a supposed intellectual conservative who wastes his life trying to justify his childhood religious beliefs.

            Atheists of course believe in neither nothing nor anything. We simply don’t believe in something for which there is no evidence. And we treat other people better than theists, so fuck off.

            1. So what would you call a person that believes in nothing?

              1. A nihilist?

                1. A nihilist?

                  That’s certainly an interesting dichotomy between belief in God and belief in absolute nothingness.

              2. “Nihilists, Dude… Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude. At least it’s an Ethos.”

            2. I had no idea you were a climate change skeptic…also you’d need to do a whole lot of catching up to reach Catholic levels of charity as an atheist.

              1. Is that what they’re calling finger-fucking little boys now?

                1. Nice to see that you agree that atheist charity isn’t at the same level. If you’re an atheist what exactly is the moral compunction against finger banging children when they’re just lumps of flesh? Shouldn’t you be doing whatever you want since your time is limited and there is no eternal reward or damnation?

                  I’m not religious, I just think it’s funny. Atheism is amusing to me since it’s not that far removed from religious certainty.

                  1. If you’re an atheist what exactly is the moral compunction against finger banging children when they’re just lumps of flesh?

                    Why do people insist on believing this?

                    1. Any moral code is legitimate in the absence of divinity. Belief is belief.

                    2. Re: moral relativism if you’re unfamiliar with it. Without divinity, I should note libertarianism especially disintegrates upon contact with reality. It’s based at least in part on Christianity and it’s tenants explicitly.

                    3. Any moral code is subjective legitimate in the absence of divinity

                      There.

                      Now, what’s your point? Morals are preferences. Sometimes groups of people share preferences and create a moral code to follow. None of those require an all-powerful being. Unless, of course, you want to claim that your moral code is the one objectively true code.

                    4. Your correction changed nothing. If morals are preferences there probably aren’t wrong ones on any important level philosophically. Care to appeal to utilitarianism now, or are you saving it for later?

                    5. If morals are preferences there probably aren’t wrong ones on any important level philosophically.

                      Right.

                      Care to appeal to utilitarianism now

                      What for?

                    6. Ah, sorry Sparky I thought you trying to make a point. I see now that you don’t believe in right or wrong.

                    7. I see now that you don’t believe in right or wrong.

                      Not quite. I believe that every person has their own ideas of what right and wrong are. And even then people are flexible about how strictly they’ll follow their own code. People do bad things every day while accepting that what they’re doing is bad.

                    8. No, that’s exactly it. You don’t believe in right or wrong, just shades of identical gray. Murder is the same as rape which is the same as generosity, just reordered according to the moment. That way lies the death of reason, so I choose not to accept it.

                  2. Astounding as it may be to you, some of us are capable of behaving decently toward other people all on our own. We’re called non-psychopaths. As a nonreligious person surely you can grasp the concept that having an imaginary friend watching you at all times is not required to have good morals and manners.

                    1. Good morals is itself relative, so no that is not a given and you steal a huge number of bases with your assumptions. Guess you should have stayed awake in comparative philosophy.

                    2. People who get their instructions from a sky grandpa don’t have a stellar track record on behaving decently toward other people, especially people with a different sky grandpa, so I hardly think that’s sufficient.

                    3. So atheists like Stalin did great things? Blaming the actions of man on a non-existant god is a curious position.

                    4. What about your atheist friends? What kind of track record do they have? (100 million dead in the last century) Did they build most of the worlds hospitals, universities, soup kitchens, womens shelters, and charities?

            3. I’d rather debate a cousinfucking redneck moron than a supposed intellectual conservative who wastes his life trying to justify his childhood religious beliefs.

              Which one of Chesterton’s childhood religious belief (systems) is he defending?

              We simply don’t believe in something for which there is no evidence.

              Provide the evidence that there is no God.

              Provide the evidence that the product of evolution, a natural phenomenon, is capable of conceptualizing, containing, or dispelling a supernatural phenomenon.

              Having done the above, provide evidence in support of a natural phenomenon producing a reliable/believable (or any) supernatural phenomenon.

              You don’t lack belief any more than the next person lacks the ability count on their fingers. You learned to believe in things before you learned to read. What you do have is a laziness in supposing your own intelligence.

              1. Provide the evidence that there is no God.

                WTF? I don’t expect much from you people, but the concept that you can’t prove a negative, I thought, was understood in these parts. Prove there’s no 10,000-mile-wide photograph of Ron Jeremy’s cock in the Andromeda Galaxy. I’ll wait.

                Provide the evidence that the product of evolution, a natural phenomenon, is capable of conceptualizing, containing, or dispelling a supernatural phenomenon.

                Neither I nor you has any idea what the fuck you’re talking about here.

                1. You often ask us to prove negatives, but in terms of the creation of the universe ‘God’ is one possibility. An extremely unlikely possibility, granted, but not a discounted one since ‘God’ could simply be a product of evolution far beyond our level of understanding.

                  Atheism has the conceit that a god or god-like figure is a known quantity: yet it is not.

                  1. Check out Captain Colon over here.

                  2. God is not a likely explanation.

                    1. So not an atheist, then.

                2. There’s a fine line between atheism and antitheism.

                  The conviction that there is not God relies on just as much faith as the conviction that there is God.

                  1. But precisely the amount of faith required for the conviction that there are no unicorns on Pluto.

                    We can’t spend all our time being agnostic about every incredibly remote possibility.

                    1. Certainty is the dangerous thing, idiot.

                    2. Then explain the universe, Tony.
                      What happened before the big bang?
                      Why are the laws of physics what they are?
                      What created creation?

                      Ex nihilo is just another way of saying “don’t know”.
                      You, I, everybody doesn’t know because we can’t know. It is beyond comprehension.
                      In another thread, you rightly pointed out that one cannot “do nothing” – it’s unfathomable. The only way to define “nothing” is as the absence of “something” – which is really just a reflection of something.
                      Humanity cannot comprehend “nothing” because we cannot relate to “nothing”.

                      Thus, the conviction that there is not god, is the same as the conviction that there is god – a leap of faith.

                    3. “Nothing” is, quite literally, senseless.

                    4. aka “nonsense”

                    5. The correct answer is “we don’t know yet.”

                      Your explanation is completely faulty, because if the premise is that nothing can be born of nothing, what made God? Ooh ooh let me guess… some semantic mumbo jumbo. “He is that is!” Presto, all is explained.

                      Physics, as far as I understand, which isn’t far, has a certain idea that the very concept of nothingness is unstable, meaning the universe, due to quantum physical properties inherent to reality, is more stable existing than not existing. Interesting stuff. Not boring like your stupid deities.

                    6. “Your explanation is completely faulty, because if the premise is that nothing can be born of nothing, what made God? Ooh ooh let me guess… some semantic mumbo jumbo. “He is that is!” ”

                      You’re starting to get it, Tony!

                      “Presto, all is explained.” ”

                      Damn it, you were so close… then you veered in the opposite direction.

                      “Physics, as far as I understand, which isn’t far, has a certain idea that the very concept of nothingness is unstable, meaning the universe, due to quantum physical properties inherent to reality, is more stable existing than not existing.”

                      This is pretty nonsensical.
                      Stability or instability cannot be applied to something that doesn’t exist. If it doesn’t exist, it is neither stable nor unstable. It is not.
                      Anything that exists, by virtue of existing, is more stable than something that is not.
                      And can you distinguish reality from existing? Honest question.
                      Than, of course, we get to the question of why quantum physical properties inherent to reality are what they are, and why they’re inherent.

                      “Not boring like your stupid deities.”

                      My deities? What are my deities?
                      .
                      .
                      .
                      At the end of the universe, we all get the same answer, because it is the only possible answer: Nothing – which, as stated above, is simply another way of saying “nonsense”

                    7. “God is” = “God is not”
                      “God is not” = “God is”

                    8. No I’m talking real science shit. Look it up. What we perceive in very small-scale physics indicates the possibility that the spontaneous creation of the universe is an outcome of the inherent nature of everything. Nothingness, it turns out, is unstable. It is not anything at all, ironically enough–simply a human concept, no more substantial than a word.

                      But if you want to say God did it, you must of course acknowledge that God is “something” too.

                    9. I’m aware of the concept you’re talking about.
                      You’re missing the point.
                      Try this: define “nothing” without reference to something.
                      Describe “nothing”.
                      You’re close, Tony, but you can’t seem to find the last piece of the puzzle – because no one can.
                      That you don’t see the picture is a matter of you being too beholden to your faith – that everything is explainable/knowable

                    10. I’m not certain that everything is knowable. That’s why I don’t insert stone-age nonsense to fill in the gaps. I hope that everything is knowable, but regardless I’m fairly certain that nobody was born of a virgin.

                  2. It’s amusing to me that atheists are the reverse side of theist yet they both claim to be morally superior to their reverse. There’s probably a general human truth in that somewhere.

                  3. There’s a fine line between atheism and antitheism.

                    Provide evidence that a fine line exists.

                    1. Technically, the definition of atheism is “without god”. I used to try to make the distinction that I think you’re hinting at between atheism and agnosticism, but that distinction is not technically correct.
                      I prefer to avoid referring to myself as an atheist (I favor agnostic), because I fear the term atheism gives the wrong connotation. Too many antitheists consider themselves atheists. While technically correct, this is misleading – but antitheists have a lot of emotional investment in considering themselves correct in their opposition, and prefer conviction to clarity.
                      Both theism (God is) and antitheism (God is not) make positive assertions, while atheism (technically) and agnosticism do not (without, rather than, is or is not).
                      I have encountered antitheists who will insist upon their atheism because they are aware of the trap that being honest about their antitheist faith will lead them into. And while they will insist that they do not rely on faith, like theists, they also know they can’t prove their antitheist beliefs any more than theist can prove theirs.

                    2. “they will insist that they do not rely on faith, like theists [do]”

                3. the concept that you can’t prove a negative, I thought, was understood in these parts.

                  I didn’t ask for proof. I asked for evidence. And mathematics is replete with the proofs of negative assertions (arguably/reasonably every positive assertion generates hosts of negative ones). What I think you’re trying to claim is an evidence of absence defense or that I’m making an argument from ignorance and/or that the burden of proof is on me. I’m not the one claiming there is no God.

                  Prove there’s no 10,000-mile-wide photograph of Ron Jeremy’s cock in the Andromeda Galaxy. I’ll wait.Prove there’s no 10,000-mile-wide photograph of Ron Jeremy’s cock in the Andromeda Galaxy. I’ll wait.

                  Yeah, you’ve confused your argument of atheism with the idea that I’m arguing that there is a God. I’m not the one claiming belief or disbelief in a 10,000-mile-wide photograph of Ron Jeremy’s cock in the Andromeda Galaxy. You’re the one claiming belief in something without evidence for which you claim no evidence can exist.

                  Neither I nor you has any idea what the fuck you’re talking about here.

                  It’s not that difficult a concept that, to a degree, you indicate you subscribe to above. If you can’t disprove even relatively simple things because they happen to be negative (which isn’t true), how can you possibly disprove impossibly complex things?

                  1. FTR I don’t believe the giant dick pic exists in the Andromeda galaxy. Nor will I be in any emotional turmoil of someone happens to find one. This is a debate over semantics. The point, to me, is that Yahweh or Whomever doesn’t get any special treatment in logic over any other fantastical claim. Are you truly agnostic on unicorns? How do you get through the day?

            4. And we treat other people better than theists, so fuck off.

              Well done, Tony, keep that lack of self awareness burning bright.

            5. Tony you keep bringing up the fucking of cousins. Is that something pretty common among you “non-breeders” way out there in the “cultural desert” of Oklahoma where you just can’t find the right guy to suck off in a restroom?

              Please enjoy this low-rent zinger.

      3. Pass the Stilton, I feel a nap coming on.

    5. Momo is just creepypasta that escaped the into adult land and got picked up by gullible parents. Next up they’ll be breathlessly reporting on Slenderman and Herobrine.

  11. Intelligent people knew they couldn’t trust journalists years ago. The mainstream is now figuring it out. Journalists refuse to self-police. Rather than hold each other accountable for quality and accuracy, they hold each other accountable to their political beliefs.

    Then they cry because no one respects them.

    Personally I find it hilarious.

    1. Anybody who paid attention during the Ron Paul run of 2008 knows exactly what you mean.

  12. I have deigned to read about what this is, and apparently a Kardashian is responsible. Of course.

  13. About the purported hate crimes spike…is this a measure of hate crime reports, hate crime arrests, hate crime charges, or hate crime convictions? Because if it is a count of hate crime reports, then what we are measuring are persons’ subjective claim that a purported crime was motivated by race, sex or some other protected characteristic, without any means of validating the claims.

    1. Because if it is a count of hate crime reports, then what we are measuring are persons’ subjective claim that a purported crime was motivated by race, sex or some other protected characteristic, without any means of validating the claims.

      Since the reports aren’t and can’t be self-generated, there’s an administrative reporting bias as well. The person may not be reporting or intending to report a hate crime but it gets filed as a hate crime

  14. Fake news is real. Momo is not.

    Wow, talk about fake news…

  15. Please stop posting that picture of AOC, she is not that attractive

    1. Put AOC’s glasses and red lipstick on Momo, and they probably wouldn’t look much different.

      1. I’m less frightened of Momo

    2. AOC might have bigger problems than Momo these days…

      1. We can only hope.

  16. would.

    1. I’ve heard that the fiddle wasn’t invented until the 11th Century so it’s highly dubious that Nero actually fiddled while Rome burned.

  17. Unfortunately, the biggest fake news this time of year is that all Americans owe an income tax on “all that comes in”. This rumor has been spread since WWII in order to trick Americans into paying for the Cold War, and then the welfare state,. There is one outright lie that the IRS has posted on its website- that the income tax is a direct, unapportioned tax created by the 16th Amendment. A careful look however shows that the judicial cite is not from the Supreme Court, but an erroneous lower court ruling. That is because the Supreme Court has consistently ruled the income tax is an indirect excise tax.
    From this single lie the government spreads fake news, usually accompanied by a show trial or two before April 15, whereby slick attorneys and compliant judges engineer envy among honest but simple jurors unaware of the right to nullify, that the law says what it plainly does not say.
    Fortunately, a libertarian from Michigan, Pete Hendrickson, has penetrated the haze of fake news and shown the way for tens of thousands of Americans how to legally stand for the Constitution and rule of law, by filing correct tax returns, and receiving full refunds of all tax returns , state and federal, including payroll taxes! If only Reason would write about the biggest fake news of all! See http://www.losthorizons.com

    1. They’re saving a place in prison for you.

  18. “Perhaps it would have been wiser to restrict the adults’ access to local television. The Momo challenge is a full-on hoax:”

    Right up there with the Russki “collusion”, which has been pitched by most of the legacy media for more than two years now.

  19. “By all accounts, this was garden variety prostitution, not sex slavery.”

    I prefer the spacious bedroom variety myself.

  20. Momo might as well be real in this world of bullshit and abstraction.

  21. Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever seen Pelosi and Momo at the same time?

    1. *10,000 yard stare*

  22. This sentence–

    Though President Trump mainstreamed the term “fake news” during the 2016 election in order to delegitimize perfectly deserved press criticism,

    tells you all you need to know about reason’s ability to write honestly about the concept that is known as ‘fake news’

    Trump didn’t “delegitimize perfectly deserved press criticism”, he responded and refuted it.

    He delegitimized leftist press tactics like false stories that get huge buildups and tiny retractions. He shone a light on the practice of reporters reporting what other reporters say as if there’s a source in there somewhere.

    Fake news is not weird stories on the internet. It’s not momo or ‘skittle parties’. It’s not people on the right sharing memes. It’s not conspiracy theorizing.

    Fake news is what it’s always been–Pravda. It’s news stories created and reported to further a political angle and to harm any and all who oppose that angle.

    It’s why Robby MUST equivocate. It’s why Nick sits here endlessly drooling into his keyboard. Thinking speech is actual violence is valid. Thinking we should treat socialists better is valid.

    Because Reason is fake news.

    Real news only comes to light in the tearing apart of fake news. In the shredding of Smollett, the breaking of buzzfeed, and the perpetual trainwreck that is CNN we can glean bits of real news as each lie is brought to light.

    And Reason has abandoned reason In pursuit of…..?

    1. Well said, Azahoth

    2. That line bothered the hell out of me as well. Remember all of the fake stories, Suave? Go back and read articles from the campaign and see how many of them were actually true. Some Democrat just today said that Hillary lost because she didn’t have enough media on her side. Can you imagine the kind of delusion it takes to make that statement?

      1. The Left is going through a nervous breakdown – necessarily, as when perception/worldview doesn’t align with reality unexpected results are inevitable, which is a threat to the organism – but are proving unable to let the paradigm go and repair it.
        So they’re stuck in psychosis

  23. Momo = Mohammed’s mom

  24. to restrict its 193,000 students’ access to the internet.

    This is terrible! Imagine all the poor children who could not their selfies to Facebook!

  25. What I find interesting about the Momo challenge is that this was a real life version of a nearly-100 year old fake news story. A piece of fiction, this time, an internet horror story, earlier the War of the Worlds radio broadcast, being mistaken for real.

    The only difference is that the farmers 100 years ago weren’t fooled by the science fiction of the day. At least, not for longer than a few moments.

    This time, however, millions of people internationally, including people whose literal job is to check facts on these things, were fooled into believing that this horror story, drafted by some unknown person, was real.

  26. “At the Conservative Political Action Conference last week, Sara Carter, a visiting fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum, told the audience, “Our kids are having parties, they call them Skittles parties, where they bring pills and put them into bowls, and everybody just kind of picks whatever pill they want and they take them. It’s kind of a shocking thing when I heard about this, just randomly taking pills. Some of these children, unbeknownst to them, are taking a Xanax that’s actually a contraband Xanax, and they are dying immediately.”” Kids are still doing this, those were the most fun parties I had when I was a child. =D

  27. Media crybabies want credibility. They need it to be perceived as anything more than satire. That won’t fill the niche and pay the bills.

    Nobody wants to be lied to though they may want to lie.

    We can’t have both.

    We have the technology to eradicate lying but lack the will to do it. As more people recognize this, with security in numbers, people may find the will.

  28. Rainbow parties are real!!!! I heard that from a mate who’s wife’s cousin knew a guy who almost went to one

  29. No victims of Momo? Tell it to Chili Palmer…

  30. “President Trump mainstreamed the term “fake news” after the 2016 election in order to delegitimize perfectly deserved press criticism..”

    Press criticism is commentary, not news.

    1. Andy Ngo is doing really, really good work.
      He’s one of the few real reporters out there.

      1. He is, and he puts himself directly in the firing line of some Jihad-level fanaticism from the screaming banshees. Cool under fire.

  31. F K Off Momo, destroy it now!!!

  32. ‘When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.’

  33. The “prayer rugs” allegedly found near the Mexican border weren’t prayer rugs, but there WERE pieces of carpet there, used by people climbing fences to get into the U.S. to protect themselves from barbed wire or razor wire at the top of said fences. So that was more misinterpretation of actual facts, rather than totally made-up pseudo-facts like most of the other things mentioned.

  34. “Though President Trump mainstreamed the term “fake news” after the 2016 election in order to delegitimize perfectly deserved press criticism”

    The press created the term fake news in 2016 to absolve the worst presidential candidate in history of culpability for her loss to trump. Trump turned it against them as their incredible bias makes it a reasonable and pithy criticism of ideological corruption in the news media. Everytime I want to compliment a Robby article I find he manages to vomit some trump garbage into it to taint the thing.

  35. Ah, yes, to be sure, both sides are to blame, and it is Trump’s fault.

    Rico has to get the Tucker off of him periodically

  36. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    >>>>>>>>>> http://www.GeoSalary.com

  37. I tune out 99% of the news. Most of it you forget in a few hours or days anyway and it’s totally irrelevant to living a decent life. I’m like the government where you are now always guilty and you have to prove your innocence…the news is always fake until it is proven it’s not.

  38. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    >>>>>>>>>> http://www.Aprocoin.com

  39. Well, unless you can get them all together and can use a bomb. Hmmm, sayyyy, are there are any places you can think of where central planners are collected together?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.