Got a featured letter in today's Toronto Star. Wrote it in reaction to an article about fake news Re: Two guys with laptops make gigabucks creating fake news, Nov. 22

Rampaging memes and overactive amygdalae

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I felt like the USA 2016 election boiled down to psychological warfare between two sides whose only goal was to win.  Politics has always been a dirty business with shit slinging in all directions.  Even so, this election felt the most extreme, with the most lies, an endless onslaught of shit slinging, with old media getting into the act as a pretend-fair co-conspirator, simply passing on lies as "one side", as if you could have someone say the earth is round, and in the name of fairness have someone say, no it's pyramidal, as equal voice.  New media is more culpable, with Facebook / Zuckerburg claiming that fake news was not significant, when it was probably the major factor in the election going to the biggest, most relentless, most forceful liar.  The middle of the USA, the much-vaunted "heartland", supposedly filled with good solid simple folks, worried about their well being and suffering from economic and social isolation from the more vibrant coasts, turned out to be less filled with good, solid, salt of the earth just plain folks, and instead more of a partisan player in the lies and shit slinging, overt and covert bigotry, and with barely hidden blood lust.

I don't know how to fight fake news when so many people have such an addiction to it.  On the occasions that I look into facebook, there is almost always a display of fake news, fake deaths of so-called celebrities, and yesterday Melania Trump seeking a divorce.  Yeah, right.  But if it didn't make money for both Facebook and the writers, it wouldn't be there.

Here is what i responded to Daniel. Two Unemployed Guys got Rich off Facebook Fake News.

The scary thing is when someone can post on the internet that millions of people voted illegally with no discernible research backing up that assertion - and a President of the United States repeats it to all his followers.

It is worse than ever now.

I just read this, nice read.

On another note.... Dude you make a LOT of money. Wanna donate to my education fund? 

Basically news has always been fake. What's changed is that now no one has to pretend it isn't. Or care.

I'm not sure that its always been "fake" so much as generally slanted, and lacking meaningful accuracy in many cases. I'm instantly suspect of anyone claiming to have "truth" or anyone claiming to be "fair and balanced" Or anyone pretending they don't have a dog in the fight as the saying goes. I far prefer people on the radio and on TV be more open about their slant, personally I'll do my own independent research on anything that matters, and spend a lot of time thinking about it regardless. I have more respect for people who admit their bias though.

The biggest problem as I see it isn't that the media says stupid shit all the time and makes very little attempt to fact check their stories. It's that people mindlessly consume their content without any effort at critical thinking. They hear it and if it agrees with their position they adopt it, if it doesn't they claim the person speaking is the enemy. This is done on both sides of the political spectrum. Now I'm not attempting to engage in a false equivalence here, but wrong is wrong regardless of who engages in it. I consider throwing away intellectual integrity and honesty away to promote an ideology (even if that ideology promotes many good things), is fucking wrong. I get most pissed off when people who claim to value the things I value lie and make shit up to win. Especially since I know for a fact (because I research my positions), that the facts are far more than enough to win any reasonable person over.

You're exactly right, most people only hear what they wanna hear, what coincides with their view, & they don't make any effort to validate the info.

Pretty cool man.  Speaking of fake news & memes, my meme making has turned into shirt making.  Here's one w/ front graphics & text on back.

Friends Don't Let Friends Share Fake News

Pretty cool man.  Speaking of fake news & memes, my meme making has turned into shirt making.  Here's one w/ front graphics & text on back.

Friends Don't Let Friends Share Fake News

Russell, I've read recently that some people want to discredit Snopes because it's sources "just seem too liberal." I pause to think and then to smile. How appropriate.

In other words we can know all about god and religion because we get our information from the "We Believe This Way Church." If it doesn't fit our belief system we just ignore it. The hell with facts and evidence. We believe what we want to regardless.

Snopes is a good source to prove memes and stories. It backs what it says with evidence. Too bad that the Liar in Chief and his group want to create their own way with private facts and evidence. The name of that game is to confuse everybody for personal gain.

Exactly so, Michael. *45's motto could well be "What's confusing you is just the nature of my game."

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