NPR provides a fascinating first hand account of the US fake news industry.

We Tracked Down A Fake-News Creator In The Suburbs. Here's What We ...

The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt-right, publish blatantly false or fictional stories and then be able to publicly denounce those stories and point out the fact that they were fiction.

But the money was so good. He built an empire instead.

Well, this isn't just a Trump-supporter problem. This is a right-wing issue.

The post-fact era...

When we were coming up with headlines it's always kind of about the red meat. Trump really got into the red meat. He knew who his base was. He knew how to feed them a constant diet of this red meat.

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We've tried to do similar things to liberals. It just has never worked, it never takes off. You'll get debunked within the first two comments and then the whole thing just kind of fizzles out.

We have some people working on next steps in the fake-news industry, and that came from that whole discussion. We had purchased several domain names that sounded legitimate. ... More local news sort of stories. The idea was to make the sites look as legit as possible so the home page is going to be local news and local forecast, local sports, some obituaries and things of that nature, and then the actual fake news stories were going to be buried off the home page.

You're talking about the future of this (fake-news business) which looks more insidious because it's more real?

I can promise you that it's not going to go away. It's even going to grow bigger and it's going to be harder to identify as it kind of evolves through these steps. ...

Some of these people that we ... bait is probably the right word — are often — ...They're not the safest crowd.

You're making money through the ads?

Yes.

We have a whole nation of media-illiterate people.

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Replies to This Discussion

What's so disturbing is the structural issue, wherein it has become a profitable pursuit to manufacture outright politically motivated lies attacking liberal values, disguised as news. Three separate functions, trade (commercial ads), politics, and journalism, have merged into a most toxic new structure. It's like an artery, intestine, and lung being sewn together in the body of the US.

It's after 3AM, and I'm wide awake from a nightmare triggered by this fake news stuff.

That's a vivid, disturbing image! "...an artery, intestine, and lung being sewn together in the body of the US..." by some mad "doctor" who's thrown the Hippocratic Oath out the window! Would Ben Carson have been above such tactics?...

I know I have heard this story on another news program. I can never remember which one.
The one I watched was people from outside the USA planting fake stories that sucker people in. They were paid for them.

We plant news stories which aren't true but we wish they were, mostly to reinforce our own biases and prejudices ... And We Get Away With It! [mostly]

The sad fact is that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom and most people aren't interested in whipping out their fair share of the tab.

Someone has monetized lying. Oh wait, we have had that for a while now. Sadly, we can't send these people back to school. Check your sources people!

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