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This Professor’s List of ‘Fake News’ Sites Goes Predictably Wrong

How did sites like Breitbart and Red State get included?

CensorshipFotum | Dreamstime.comWhen a rash of news stories and analysis suggested that Facebook has a "problem" with "fake news" from pretend media outlets and wondered if something needed to be done about it, I warned about the potential consequences. In short: If Facebook were to decide to start censoring the sharing of "fake news," there would be a scramble to define what "fake" was in a way that could lead to censorship of other content.

It turns out the attempt to broaden the definition of "fake news" is already happening.

In a way, describing Assistant Professor Melissa Zimdars' list of online outlets to be wary of as a list of "fake news" sites is itself a little misleading. But that is how the non-fake news outlets are describing her work. Zimdars, a communications professor at Merrimaack College in Massachusetts, put together a list of what she calls "False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical 'News' Sources.'"

Only two of those modifiers suggest actual faked news—"false" and "satirical." The other two words are judgment calls that we make ourselves as readers. Nevertheless, reporting is describing Zimdars' work as a list of "fake news" sites. And there are now web browser extensions that create pop-ups to warn visitors when they're looking at stories from one of these sites. This one by Brian and Feldman at New York Magazine uses Zimdars' list as a foundation.

But Zimdars' list is awful. It includes not just fake or parody sites; it includes sites with heavily ideological slants like Breitbart, LewRockwell.com, Liberty Unyielding, and Red State. These are not "fake news" sites. They are blogs that—much like Reason—have a mix of opinion and news content designed to advance a particular point of view. Red State has linked to pieces from Reason on multiple occasions, and years ago I wrote a guest commentary for Breitbart attempting to make a conservative case to support gay marriage recognition.

So what happens if Facebook staff were to look at Zimdars' list and accept it and decide to censor the sharing of headlines from these sites? It's within Facebook's power and right to do so, but it would be a terrible decision on their end. They wouldn't just be preventing the spreading of factually incorrect, fabricated stories. They would be blocking a lot of opinionated analysis from sites on the basis of their ideologies. The company would face a backlash for such a decision that could impact their bottom line.

Reporting on the alleged impact of fake news on the election is itself full of problems. BuzzFeed investigated how well the top "fake" election news stories performed on Facebook compared to the top "real" election news stories. The fake stories had more "engagement" on Facebook than stories from mainstream media outlets. There's basic problems with this comparison—engagement doesn't mean that people read the stories or even believed them (I know anecdotally that when a fake news story shows up in my feed, the "engagement" is often people pointing out that the story is fake).

There's also a problem when you look at the top stories from mainstream media outlets—they tend toward ideologically supported opinion pieces as well. Tim Carney over at The Washington Examiner noted that two of the top three stories are essentially opinion pieces:

Here's the top "Real News" stories: "Trump's history of corruption is mind-boggling. So why is Clinton supposedly the corrupt one?" As the headline suggests, this is a liberal opinion piece, complaining that the media doesn't report enough on Trump's scandals.

No. 2 is "Stop Pretending You Don't Know Why People Hate Hillary Clinton." This is a rambling screed claiming that people only dislike Clinton because she is a woman.

So in an environment where "fake news" is policed by third parties that rely on expert analysis, we could see ideologically driven posts from outlets censored entirely because they're lesser known or smaller, while larger news sites get a pass on spreading heavily ideological opinion pieces. So a decision by Facebook to censor "fake news" would heavily weigh in favor of the more mainstream and "powerful" traditional media outlets.

The lack of having a voice in the media is what caused smaller online ideology-based sites to crop up in the first place. Feldman noted that he's already removed some sites that he believes have been included "unfairly" in Zimdars' list. His extension also doesn't block access to any sites in any event. It just produces a pop-up warning.

But Zimdars' list is a very important reminder that once we start talking of trying to stop the spread of "fake" news, what's actually going to happen is going to bad very quickly. These decisions of what is and is not fake will not stay defined to factual accuracy. And it will be based on somebody else's idea of what is and isn't fake, and the biases that come from such analysis.

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  • GILMORE™||

    WaPo's "PostEverything" is as equally as partisan-batshit as anything you might find on Breitbart.

  • Alice Adderton||

    WaPo used to be known as "Pravda on the Potomac" back in the day.

  • Quixote||

    Far more important than the shocking inclusion of Breitbart which is one of our nation's finest news sites, is the failure to include criminal "parody" websites and criminally fake Gmail "parody" dissemination. Surely no one here would dare to defend the "First Amendment dissent" of a single, isolated judge in America's leading criminal "satire" case? See the documentation at:

    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com

  • Dilligaf||

    Quixote, I am curious about where this one weird TIC that you have comes from? Is this an OCD related thing? Because I assume (hope?) you are able to carry on normal conversation off of H&R without bringing this thing up. Is this merely an unusually sublime style of meta-trolling that only windmill-tilting cunts get? The unfortunate conditions of a lost bet of some sort?

  • IWasADemocrat||

    John Oliver needed to be banned too then

  • Tommy_Grand||

    The Daily Show explicitly claimed the mantle of "fake news show." Over and over. Is it banned?

  • ||

    Fake news until it isn't. They like to swing both ways when it suits them.

  • Citizen X||

    Around the turn of the century (i can't remember if it was shortly before or shortly after Kilborn left), they were still using the tagline "Where More Americans Get Their News Than Probably Should."

    That was a little too self-aware for the Stewart era, though.

  • SpecksBacon||

    My favorite from the Kilborn era was, "When news breaks, we fix it!"

  • ||

    The show was over when Kilborn left.

  • BYODB||

    I'm curious if Slate and NPR are on that list, but I refuse to go to the LA Times to find out.

  • Bgoptmst||

    I have no problem with HuffPo being a liberal blog. It's when you call it news that I roll my eyes.

  • 0x90||

    This article is so fake.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So news consumers started getting their news from Facebook to fill the void left by Jon Stewart?

  • LynchPin1477||

    So entertainment doesn't have to be entertaining?

  • UnCivilServant||

    That's what TV has taught me.

  • Mainer2||

    Let's see what's on tonight:

    Cliched Sitcom
    Cliched Police Procedural
    Relentless Dick Jokes

  • Stickler in the Comments(PanZ)||

    TV or H&R?

    I guess it depends on what happens to the dog in "police procedural."

  • Swiss Servator||

    BLAMBLAMBLAM!

    Huh, must be HyR.

  • Ted S.||

    Hockey game.

  • T.F.G.||

    News has always been entertainment.

  • bacon-magic||

    chambers abound.

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    ambers abound

  • UnCivilServant||

    abound

  • bacon-magic||

    ab

  • To: Trshmnstr From: Hrod [C]||

  • LynchPin1477||

    You all deserve sexualized favors for that

  • Crusty Juggler||

    That's all it takes, huh? Noted.

  • BYODB||

    I'm disappointed that just 'bound' was left off.

  • Citizen X||

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • You ARE a Prog (MJG)||

    it includes sites with heavily ideological slants like Breitbart, LewRockwell.com, Liberty Unyielding, and Red State.

    "Wait... those guys aren't being satirical?"

  • grrizzly||

    ZeroHedge is on the list even though it's often been cited by totally mainstream publications like Barron's.

  • Calidissident||

    Why is it Facebook's responsibility to police this? If people are stupid enough to instantly believe anything they read, that's on them, and I don't think facebook censorship will impact the underlying issue.

  • To: Trshmnstr From: Hrod [C]||

    Something something reality-based community something something structural injustice something something stewards of the public trust something.

  • BigW||

    Something something TrumpHitler....

  • MarkLastname||

    I guess the argument would be that those idiots can vote.

  • Citizen X||

    Which is really an argument against democracy, which is in turn an argument against power.

  • Liberty98||

    We aren't a Democracy remember.

  • Princess Trigger||

    Trogs own computers.
    Trogs vote.
    -
    -
    -
    TRUMP!

  • phenryinohio||

    Because people call it Fakebook and it hurt their feeling.

  • Bgoptmst||

    This is the real issue. Facebook staff, mad Hillary lost and that they were being blamed, are looking into whether Facebook led to "false news" influencing the election.

    Obviously they would be doing the same thing if Trump lost because they are solely concerned with being impartial. They will now also consider banning all other content that is "fake" such as every funny meme ever.

  • The Other Kevin||

    So one theory is that Trump won because uneducated rubes formed their opinions from posts they saw on Facebook. Project much?

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    It's all projection

  • SchillMcGuffin||

    Which, of course, is pretty much just the theory that Dubya won because uneducated rubes formed their opinions from stuff they heard on talk radio, +12 years.

  • BYODB||

    Look, since Middle America refuses to fall in line we just need to suppress outlets with opinions different from ours. What could go wrong?


    /Progressive Liberal America

  • JoblessBoss||

    Why do these people still not understand that the other team is a bunch of nazis?

  • BigW||

    What could go wrong? Well they could end up bringing protest signs to a gunfight....

  • rferris||

    Another theory is that it is not education levels but indoctrination levels that determine voting patterns. The more time you spend in the indoctrination mills we call our schools and universities, the more likely you will vote Democrat.

  • bacon-magic||

    Keep trying to limit speech and ideas media(I'm including all sources people get their information from), it will not turn out well.

  • You ARE a Prog (MJG)||

    Since there is no human being with the name Block Insane Yomomma, I think it is fake.

  • Citizen X||

    False. That is exactly what i'm naming the Romanian child i'm adopting next year.

  • Stickler in the Comments(PanZ)||

    Hmmm...that might actually be a good name for Fallout: New Vegas or Wasteland character...

  • CE||

    He's also handing out Presidential Medals of Freedom like they are participation trophies. 21 more this week.

  • MarkLastname||

    Did Lena Dunham get hers yet?

  • Mainer2||

    Tom Hanks got one.. Bruce Springsteen. Ellen DeGeneres

    These Medals of Freedom are getting about as worthless as a Nobel Peace Prize.

  • Princess Trigger||

    Don't you remember when Hanks save Matt Damon from the Nazis?

  • ||

    They got medals of freedom? FOR DOING WHAT EXACTLY?

  • BYODB||

    Pandering and boot licking.

  • Mainer2||

    In a press statement, the White House paid tribute to DeGeneres' varied body of professional work -- from her popular daytime talk show to her voice-over work on the films "Finding Nemo" and "Finding Dory" -- as well as her advocacy work.

    "In 1997, after coming out herself, DeGeneres made TV history when her character on Ellen revealed she was a lesbian. In her work and in her life, she has been a passionate advocate for equality and fairness," The White House statement said.

    So she's being honored for being a lesbian. Which I have on good authority is not a choice.

  • JWatts||

    "They got medals of freedom? FOR DOING WHAT EXACTLY?"

    Donating and fund raising for the Democratic Party, maybe.

  • Holger da Dane||

    Seems to be the American version of Knighting?

  • ||

    It turns out the attempt to broaden the definition of "fake news" is already happening.

    Now where did I put my, "Shocked Face," I know it's around here somewhere *rfiles through desk*; this was certainly foreseeable, and no doubt not unintended. It's almost like a law. An Iron Law, in fact.

  • Stickler in the Comments(PanZ)||

    See, this is the kind of problem you run into when you let private individuals take initiative.

    A properly set governmental regulatory body would create a real, working, simple and reasonable definition of 'fake news' and set up a fast, easy licencing process for journalists. Then we'd have nothing to worry about!

    I think this is a good starting point for Liberaltarian alliance. Let's get to work, comrades citizens brothers Human Beings!

  • Stickler in the Comments(PanZ)||

    Isn't the phrase a bit...suspect? I mean, "common" - who is "common" in our diverse, multicultural society? Is that just a codeword for "white male"? I'm not saying it is, I'm saying it could be.
    And "sense" - is it not discriminatory against people who lost the use of one or more senses? It's better to use terms like "reasonable" and "scientific".

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    The only surprising part here is how quickly they did it

  • ||

    Not really, Derp-o. Think about it: The speed at which information is disseminated and consumed is inversely proportional to how quickly it is managed and suppressed. Suffice it to say, the larger and more ubiquitous the news source is, the faster it will by curtailed and micromanaged. This was exactly what happened the minute papyrus and ink was invented, and really kicked into high gear when Guttenberg started hitting the type. The only reason media suppression and blackballing seemed slow 10-20 years ago, is how long it took to get news our there.

    It really isn't surprising at all, in all honesty.

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: This Professor's List of 'Fake News' Sites Goes Predictably Wrong

    Fake news is whatever this professor says it is.
    After all, she's so much smarter than all of us little people put together.
    She's got a college degree.

  • Tommy_Grand||

    Did she attend the Columbia school of journalism? did you? no? then shut up!

  • Paloma||

    People should be embarrassed to quote an Assistant Professor of Communication on anything at all.

  • ziggy||

    ^^^^

  • Microaggressor||

    What ever happened to Fake But Accurate?

  • ||

    And doled out in small, but generous portions.

  • ||

    That is still OK. That is why Rolling Stone is still a "real" news source according to this prof.

  • sesuncedu||

    This Professor's List of 'Fake News' Sites Goes Predictably Wrong


    What happened next?
    Liar.

  • Mainer2||

    This Professor's List of 'Fake News' Sites Goes Predictably Wrong

    Number 8 Will Shock You

  • tarran||

    They're designed to fix the problem that cost Hillary the last election:

    Low information progs seeing information that contradicted the official prog narrative. They want blinders on the progs so that when the next historical election rolls around they enthusiastically show up and vote for whomever their masters have selected for them no matter how odious or incompetent that 'whomever' is.

  • Stickler in the Comments(PanZ)||

    But did they? My understanding of "Facebook problem" is the opposite: people only saw information they agreed with. While fine with progs, that meant Trumpeters were not exposed to Many Ways John Oliver/Stephen Colbert/SNL/Samantha Bee Demolished Trump Last Night. They want to break the poor, ignorant idiots out of their bubble and into The Echo Chamber of Truth.

  • UnCivilServant||

    That's what they got when they permitted the algorithm to give people information based upon their own revealed viewing preferences. Poor, loyal algorithm, gets thrown under the bus whenever they meddle with its output too.

  • tarran||

    Hillary didn't lose the election because republicans were enthusiastic about voting for Trump. She lost the election largely because reliable Democratic voters chose to stay home rather than vote for her.

    There are a number of proggies in my facederp circle who are plugged into the proggie academic-governmental-ngo complex. The last week and a half before the election they inundated everyone with increasingly hysterical demands that they not stay home or vote third party.

    Then once the election was over they instantly started decrying fake news and climate change denial.

    Trust me, we're not the intended audience. It's their footsoldiers who basically wavered, broke and fled this battle. They want to make sure that next time around they are incapable of seeing things that will make them flee again.

  • Stickler in the Comments(PanZ)||

    I went with what BBC was reporting. Though I can't find the video with grim music, shots of server racks and Concerned British Voice, because in last week they had something like 25 articles with "facebook" in them. And I don't think their search engine is powered by Google.

  • tarran||

    Yeah, that's an interesting take. Certainly people did put on voluntary blinders and insulate themselves from annoying stuff they disagreed with.

    But...

    The people really pushing this are the proggies, and I don't think their concern is that proggies only got their news from proggie sources and racistKKK types only got their news from teathuglican sources. They are really exercised about articles that rebutted or disagreed with the proggie narrative.

    Note, it's not the Guardian that's the target of the defund fake news campaign...

  • Stickler in the Comments(PanZ)||

    No, what I'm saying, proggies are angry that Trumpeters weren't forced into proggy echo chamber. They, of course, would rage if someone put That Trump Shit on their feed. They want everyone everywhere to get news from proggy sources only, and are furious there are "loopholes" preventing this.

  • tarran||

    Oh, I see!

    I agree with that 100%.

  • BigW||

    If their not careful they're gonna find the biggest loophole against this soon, starts with 2nd....

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Hillary didn't lose the election because republicans were enthusiastic about voting for Trump. She lost the election largely because reliable Democratic voters chose to stay home rather than vote for her.

    Yep.

    For the first time in more than 30 years, more people voted for the candidates for governor in Washington than for the listed candidates for president. The unusual turnout numbers are likely a result of unpopular presidential candidates in an uncompetitive race in Washington.
  • SugarFree||

    I don't see Rolling Stone on the list.

  • Citizen X||

    Yeah, well you don't have a journalism degree from Columbia either, do you.

  • bacon-magic||

    Stop picking on the Media that lied to push a narrative! They are busy doubling down on their derpness.

  • Paloma||

    I think they meant a journalism degree from Colombia, like Shakira.

  • 0x90||

    At least they nabbed ClickHole.com.

  • Stickler in the Comments(PanZ)||

    But they put The Onion in there! Not only does it speak the truth, it's speaks it months and years before it happens!

  • Microaggressor||

    Indeed. I've witnessed the Onion predict the future way too many times to rule it out as "fake".

  • ||

    The Onion was dinged because of how they whitewashed Uncle Joe Biden's legacy. Too much airbrushing and photoshopping him to make him less creepy.

  • Stickler in the Comments(PanZ)||

    Joe Biden is a Great American, and I won't have you besmirch his legacy!

    Biden 2020 - Make Debates Great Again!

  • BYODB||

    That...is actually baffling since only a complete retard would think The Onion is actual news.

    I agree that it can be creepily accurate in retrospect, but that is the nature of satire.

  • SimonD||

    Another thing to file under 'shocked face' is a list of the sites that aren't on the list. You know what I mean, all of those completely unbiased honest news sources like HuffPo, Democratic Underground, and Daily Kos (I'm not sure about Everyday Feminism).

    Hmm. If I didn't know better, I think Madame Professor is engaging in a bit of bias of her own. I know this can't be the case though. College Professors are a higher species than us dumb-dums.

  • thom||

    In her head, I'm sure the rightist sites are "misleading", in that they lead dumb ignorant people away from the correct views. Sites like HuffPo and Daily Kos are not misleading, because they lead people towards more enlightened views. My guess is that the bias in her list is intentional.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Of course a fake news site would say that. Why, I bet the "journalists" here didn't even graduate from Columbia!

  • Stickler in the Comments(PanZ)||

    I'll have you know reason is not part of that document.

    Literally. Searching for "reason" gave me zero hits.

  • ||

    That, Panny Z, is why they are so invested in chasing that Mythical Liberaltarian: If nothing else, it signals to apparatchiks like Zimder here, that Reason can be spared any type of blackballing or speech & content purge.

    As Beni said, "It is better to serve at the right hand of the Devil, than be in his path."

  • Stickler in the Comments(PanZ)||

    A solid plan with no drawbacks!

  • ||

    censorship

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Is it the term of service for a particular office of the Roman Republic?

  • ||

    I don't think you do.

    censoredcensoring play \ˈsen(t)-sə-riŋ, ˈsen(t)s-riŋ\

    transitive verb

    : to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable ; also : to suppress or delete as objectionable

    Private parties cannot violate the First Amendment or infringe freedom of speech. Private parties can and do engage in censorship.

  • ||

    Self-correction:

    Private parties cannot... infringe freedom of speech.

    They can -- e.g., through use or threat of force -- but most complaints of private infringement of freedom of speech are unfounded.

  • ||

    Should be true, but if you can make bakers bake cakes, why can't you also make social media sites display whatever you want?

    Seriously, once the first prog talking point gets axed because it is "fake news", they will be back to their idea of declaring FB a public utility.

  • To: Trshmnstr From: Hrod [C]||

    Should be true, but if you can make bakers bake cakes, why can't you also make social media sites display whatever you want?

    I could certainly see a SCOTUS case with something like "Although the actual content of the article is protected speech, the contextual environment of the article on the webpage may be regulated, including the required 'SATIRE' warning label at the top of the article."

  • Stickler in the Comments(PanZ)||

    Or that content is fine but not in context of a web page. You can handwrite it on paper all you like though. Just don't post it in public, that's littering. Or mail it as a newsletter, that's obscenity.

    If we're generous we might allow you to use a mimeograph.

  • Uncle Jay||

    Is it some sort of submarine?

  • CE||

    Sounds like we need a new federal bureau to make sure this gets done fairly.... We can call it the Ministry of Truth.

  • Microaggressor||

    If Al Gore became president, it would be here by now.

  • To: Trshmnstr From: Hrod [C]||

    A pair of maps that make the case for city-states.

    The urban/rural divide is the defining factor in politics these days, and these maps show it.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I'm sorry, that site tops my list of "Fake News" pages.

  • Microaggressor||

    Are Krugman pieces considered "news" anyway?

  • Paloma||

    Kinda drives me nuts the statistic that the popular vote was Clinton 50.5% . As though no third party voters, or that all of them belong to her.

  • LynchPin1477||

    That's a pretty cool map. The names could be more creative.

  • Stickler in the Comments(PanZ)||

    In one of his podcasts, Dan Carlin was musing about, what would happen if you got a Los Angeles phalanx to go up against Sacramento phalanx today. I'm glad that the idea is finding more traction in the media.

  • ||

    sigh. I'm sure Memphis would get slickered by Jackson out of being the capitol of Mississippi Island.

  • Bgoptmst||

    This map does a pretty good job of showing that Clinton's America would quickly starve and have trouble with commerce and the free movement of people's.

  • Citizen X||

    Crap, i live in Clinton's America! Dammit!

  • ||

    Build an Ark! That is what Tundra and I will be doing so we don't drown in the Twin Cities reservoir.

  • Citizen X||

    Clinton's America looks a lot like Earthsea. There is probably a slightly higher likelihood of having your soul eaten by a shadow-being in Clinton's America, though.

  • Swiss Servator||

    *frantically searches for wizard's staff*

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    BuzzFeed investigated how well the top "fake" election news stories performed on Facebook compared to the top "real" election news stories.

    Buzzfeed got categorized as click-baity, right?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Are you kidding? You won't believe what site this Professor has as her browser's homepage!

  • Mainer2||

    The United States really only needs one publication to disseminate all the news that true. In fact, that would make a good name. One newspaper called Truth.

  • BakedPenguin||

    The old Russian joke was "we have 2 newspapers - "Truth" and "News". "Truth" has no news, and "News" has no truth."

  • Mainer2||

    Phew. I thought my pravda joke was too obscure.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Pravad?! I am an Izvestia man, m'self!

  • Lord Rollingpin||

    I'm a Dapper Dan man.

  • ||

    FEAR NOT CITIZENS!! KEITH "SKYWALKER" OLBERMANN HAS DECIDED TO BECOME THE FACE OF THE REBEL RESISTANCE!!!

    Let's stop pretending and start taking action. Here's how.

  • 0x90||

    I can't understand why he's not more successful.

  • Citizen X||

    Christ, what an asshole.

  • Mainer2||

    DAMMIT ! That's what I logged on to say.

  • Quincy.||

    He was funny on Bojack Horseman.

  • Je suis Woodchipper||

    Olbermann is a ratings anchor.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    He went to Cornell.

  • Je suis Woodchipper||

    is that a "boom goes the dynamite" reference?

  • Princess Trigger||

    Wow, I didn't even know he was still alive.

  • ||

    And they have the balls to wrap themselves in the flag.

    What little twirps.

  • Juice||

    Why not? They're complete statists.

  • Juice||

    So you've been pretending all this time?

  • SimonD||

    It's good to see that some of the Clinton-oids are already finding new gigs. They're even in the same field. Good for them.

  • ||

    OT: The UK slumps further toward police state status.

    The law will force internet providers to record every internet customer's top-level web history in real-time for up to a year, which can be accessed by numerous government departments; force companies to decrypt data on demand -- though the government has never been that clear on exactly how it forces foreign firms to do that that; and even disclose any new security features in products before they launch.

    The "having to clear product changes with the government, lest they lose out on some data" is particularly insidious.

    I hope the US companies complaining take a stand and shutter their UK operations. They probably won't, though.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The fuck? How is Reason not blaring this from the rooftops? This is as bad or worse than the email collecting law, whose only opposition was predicated on "it costs too much".

  • ||

    They've covered the drafts before IIRC. The news just dropped today -- I'd give them (likely Shackford) some time.

  • Stickler in the Comments(PanZ)||

    Reason has a fairly parochial attitude to foreign news. Unless it involves the US government in some way, it's not important. They might do something on pot legalization or gay oppression but overall they stick to domestic stuff.

    Given their Ukraine coverage from a few years back, I approve.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Hey, keeping RT sweet wasn't going to happen by itself....

    *ducks*

  • Stickler in the Comments(PanZ)||

    You present a compelling argument.

    Keeping RT ladies sweet is hard work but so worth it...

  • Lee Genes||

    Blimey! Those gaffers and nobs are bent as a nine-bob's note!

  • Mainer2||

    Crikey. They just need one old flay rod to go off treadle and bobs your uncle

  • 0x90||

    It won't matter if they do, in the long run. In the end, this was always going to come down to the individual vs. the state. The endgame is end-to-end encrypted communications, cryptocurrency, and distributed DNS, and it's a fight that the state can no more win, than it can prevent itself from initiating.

  • ||

    Whoa! You think the entire world's programming community would somehow be able to come up with an end around some plan put together by a group of GOVERNMENT PROGRAMMERS?

    You sir, have never had the pleasure of dealing with the brightest minds who are drawn to public service IT departments.

    Seriously, I have a friend from high school who has risen very far in the political machinery and when we have beers, I always end up trying to explain why the latest IT laws being debated are doomed to failure. He simply has no background in IT and doesn't have the foggiest idea of how the shit works.

  • Swiss Servator||

    +1 series of tubes

  • You ARE a Prog (MJG)||

    The UK is really awful on this stuff. This is a ridiculous policy.

  • ||

    Sounds like someone has a stake in a vpn/proxy service....

  • Hail Rataxes||

    These are not "fake news" sites. They are blogs that—much like Reason—have a mix of opinion and news content designed to advance a particular point of view.

    And they also have misleading, clickbaity headlines.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

  • UnCivilServant||

    Another fake news site? What have we come to?

  • Lee Genes||

    To her credit, she did include Occupy Democrats

  • ||

    *EVERYONE* included OccupyDemocrats in their list of BadWrongNiks (even the IRS did) as a mere token and fig leaf masquerading as proof of objectivity, just so's Progtards can point to them and say, "See!? I can call out my side too!"

  • Lee Genes||

    Your use of CAPS leads me to believe you are not reliable.

  • Lee Genes||

    Bad web design and use of ALL CAPS can also be a sign that the source you're looking at should be verified and/or read in conjunction with other sources.

    WELL SHIT. MY BEST SOURCES USE CAPS, MOSTLY FOR LEGIBILITY.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I get a lot of Legal documents with large amounts of all caps. Does that mean they're fake too?

  • Stickler in the Comments(PanZ)||

    Poor Steve Smith...

  • To: Trshmnstr From: Hrod [C]||

    STEVE SMITH "VERIFY" HIKERS IN ALL-CAPS AND MANY EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!

  • geo1113||

    Darn. I walked by her building about an hour ago. I could have trolled her in person!

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Or catcall her, 'cause she cute.

  • geo1113||

    Potentially cute...would have to see in-person.

    Oh, it's you, Crusty!

  • Mainer2||

    I'm guesstimating she's about 30 years younger than me. So barring serious hygiene problems or a genetic malady....would.

  • geo1113||

    Mainer, pegging her at age 30, we are in the same boat. But one never knows what is below the neck.

  • Mainer2||

    From her fellowship grant at the University of Iowa:

    From The Biggest Loser to Mike and Molly, televised representations of fatness are multiplying in reflection of heightened governmental and medical concern that the size of our bodies constitutes a problem of epidemic proportions. This project demonstrates how television acts as a forum for not only the politics of fat visibility and world health policies, but also for debating issues of fatness in connection to weight-loss and self-discipline, self-love and size acceptance, and even disability and discrimination.

    Uh oh.

    This is the only pic I can find that's not a head shot. (6th one down)

    http://www.ncamass.org/awards.shtml

    I suspect that outfit is hiding a big booty.

    Still......

  • geo1113||

    Nice work. And I get where you are coming from.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Affective Arousal and Online Risk Information Seeking Behavior: The Role of Emotional Exemplars in Online Comment Reading

    Is this...

    1) Crusty's Doctoral Thesis

    2) The Life and Times of Carlos Danger

    3) A fairly representative sample of the rot in modern academia

  • geo1113||

    "Is this..."

    yes

  • ||

    Only with a shovel. And a leaf rake.

  • yet another dave||

    Wouldn't... not anymore anyway... too much work labouring through the overwrought derp. Earlier in my career it used to be an excellent sport, bedded some lovely looking ladies. Now I ask a couple questions. I look for general knowledge and emotional insight. Too many fail...so now, occasionally instead of fuck off asshole I get interested horned up ladies... Only to have mansplain to them that, now it is up to them to conv

  • yet another dave||

    Ince Mrs. yetanother that that would be a good idea.... so far... dave 0 mrs yetanother 4 .... also I've been advised to stop asking

  • Just Say'n||

    Looks like that alliance between the Left and libertarians isn't off to a great start. It's OK- just ignore the unlimited authoritarian impulses of the Left and just nitpick everything nominally bad that the Right does. That seemed to work well for Johnson.

  • ||

    Remember Hillary's comment about Breitbart having no right to exist and that she was going to crush them?

    Uh huh.

  • ||

    Why does everything shitty (that is, grotesquely anti-liberty) seems to come from California and Massachusetts?

  • Mainer2||

    I don't know, but I wish they'd stop coming here to southern New Hampshire. Massholes infecting our state is a thing.

  • geo1113||

    We want to get away from Mass and now we want to make NH just like Mass. Fucking morons.

  • Stickler in the Comments(PanZ)||

    They are Ontario and Quebec of America?

  • ||

    God, The Big Four prog jurisdictions ruling over us all.

  • esteve7||

    Falling for their bullshit on "we need to police fake news" does far more damage than the actual fake news.

    And Progs are so fucking arrogant, they think fake news only must have helped Trump, or something. Nevermind The Daily Show, SNL, and other Liberal bastions are cause for more uninformed voters than anything else. How many people believe Sarah Pailin said she can see Russia from her house?

  • BYODB||

    Even today, a lot of people think this.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    *adds reason.com to list* /Zindar

  • Juice||

    This is great advertising for all those sites, btw.

  • PlaystoomuchHALO||

    Fake News would have to start with CNN and MSNBC... but they aren't actually news any longer, having given way to becoming DNC propaganda outlets

  • Roger Knights||

    Blocking would be bad. But if all Facebook did was to put a "?" in front of stories it thought were questionable, it wouldn't do much harm, right?

  • BambiB||

    More effective would be to fact check statements and link to pages identifying that contain actual data. For example, if an article asserts that over 70,000 people fail background checks to buy firearms each year, but only .03% are prosecuted (thus undermining the argument for "universal" background checks), links to the actual numbers of background checks and the actual numbers of prosecutions would be helpful.

  • Trigger Warning||

    This is an excellent post, Shackleford.

  • Christian Winterbottom||

    I agree that on WaPo you do have to pay attention to whether or not you've strayed into an opinion piece or an actual Op/Ed even. When I'm reading an article I'll click on some "related" thing and I'll assume is another article and get a little jolted to find it's actually an opinion piece. But it IS always labeled as an opinion piece when I look back at the top.

    The thing about Breitbart that I've noticed is it's not at all afraid to get really fuzzy in the grey areas. It'll put out a piece that makes statements, links to whatever thing supposedly backs up those statements, ie in the manner of a news article. But if you actually dig in to the link, read it and think critically about the conclusion(s) you're looking for (it's often boring and long but hey), what you'll find fairly often is that the "conclusions" they're backing up with the link, are not even actually supported by the link. (I'm not even saying fact-check these things with other sites but yes these days we have to do that too)

    But anyway, they dress it up *like* a news article, structure it like they're presenting supported facts but the "smoking gun" is smoke and mirrors. it's brilliant really. So I guess I think it's fair to include them on the list. Maybe they'll stop doing it !

  • Tumulus||

    Yeah, I would consider them sometimes misleading. I wouldn't include them on a list of squeaky clean hard news sources (a nice, short list!) but they don't share fabricated stuff as far as I know. So, fake? No. Questionable? Yes. I suspect the tone and the commenters are what convince outsiders that Breitbart is grossly irresponsible and "this can't be happening make it go away".

    The fact that ZeroHedge is on the list really undermines its legitimacy. Finance people reference it all the time.

  • Tumulus||

    Aghh. The fact that ZH is listed makes the list look dumb, I mean.

  • BambiB||

    At some point one of the "fake news" sites with enough resources will file a defamation suit. Seems to be a case of libel per se though I'm unsure of whether such a definition can be applied to a non-human entity.

  • VicRattlehead||

    yeah seriously there's pretty clear laws on libel

  • VicRattlehead||

    So, where is the gofundme page for the class action lawsuit suing this professor into the streets for libel?
    seriously, why is anyone stupid enough to allow someone to publicly slander them to the tune of potential monetary losses without making the dipshit that slandered you pay for it.
    if its not fake news, which i know the Freethought Project is not as well as many of the other publications she listed, why have they not all banded their resources together to legally destroy her?
    just a thought

  • Joe Btfsplk||

    The NYT seems tops on the list of other "news" sites that are too often fake.

  • Ninja Pirates||

    The author of the list pretty much agreed in his updates at the bottom of the document from the link when someone asked him what news he reads lol. Quoting "The problem: Even typically reliable sources, whether mainstream or alternative, corporate or
    nonprofit, rely on particular media frames to report stories and select stories based on different notions of
    newsworthiness. The best thing to do in our contemporary media environment is to read/watch/listen
    widely and often, and to be critical of the sources we share and engage with on social media."

  • Meems||

    The screening of 'fake news' is quite simple. There are various stories that have been bandied about as being proven false...such as Obama's birth questions. If these websites have been guilty of reporting those stories, then they are also guilty of reporting fake news. That calls their ethics into question as true journalists. Because journalists always try to verify their information, such as a publication like the New York TImes that always retracts stories when new information comes up to debunk the story. I would fathom a website like Breitbart never does that.

  • The Lone Loner||

    There's a limit to the amount of work I'll put into reading a piece. Where's the list?

  • Verner Hornung||

    Zimdar, list deleted ca. Nov. 18, remains on the Daily Dot;
    http://www.dailydot.com/layer8.....-facebook/

  • Verner Hornung||

    As of Nov. 19, Zimdar's list is not on the document at the link Shackford supplies above.
    *
    The Democrats say they favor education leading to development of critical thinking skills. "Fake news" is a good place to test those skills. A source generally becomes more reliable the longer it is in business and the more other, independent sources acknowledge its reporting. Fringe sites are less accurate and less honest than established ones near the political center, yet they carry material the mainline outlets omit. Glenn Greenwald, according to Slate, also informs us of media actively coordinating stories to prevent Trump's election, a thing we never saw despite hostile coverage in previous elections.
    *
    This disturbs me. I take Breitbart and InfoWars with large grains of salt. Both use reader tips often pointing to insignificant or nonexistent problems. Yet they provide an invaluable check on our Trump-hating newsrooms, which seem to have set the hounds loose in search of bigots hidden in the forest. Now we're adding Google's and Mark Zuckerberg's censorship. Perchance Buzzfeed, every bit as marginal as Breitbart, will pass through the new filters.

  • Akira||

    What is the likelihood that the Obama administration sent some strongly worded letter "suggesting" that Facebook "voluntarily" adopt some "common-sense rules" to "protect the people from the misinformation foisted upon them by fake news sites"?

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