Facebook is responsible for Donald Trump’s victory last week, according to the Associated Press:
Facebook has been accused of possibly swaying the election by promoting fake news stories on its social network, an increasingly important source of information for many Americans.The AP didn’t mention specific news stories to back up its claim.
Trump has said social media played an important role in his campaign.
Trump, who estimates that 28 million people follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, touted social media during a 60 Minutes interview with Leslie Stahl on Sunday night, saying social media was a key factor in defeating Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.Donald Trump often used Facebook and Twitter to combat falsehoods and attack his enemies.
“When you give me a bad story or when you give me an inaccurate story or when somebody other than you and another —a network, or whatever, because of course, CBS would never do a thing like that right? I have a method of fighting back,” he said during the interview.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg denies his network pushed out “fake” stories that helped get Trump elected.
“Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes. The hoaxes that do exist are not limited to one partisan view, or even to politics. Overall, this makes it extremely unlikely hoaxes changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.
Mike Caulfield cites a fake story posted at the Denver Guardian as an example. The story in question, “FBI Agent Suspected In Hillary Leaks Found Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide,” was shared on Facebook 568,000 times.
“This false story is one of thousands of fake news stories being circulated around Facebook by fly-by-night ‘hyperpartisan’ sites this election cycle, according an investigation by Buzzfeed News,” writes The Denver Post. The Post attributed the fake news sites to teenagers in Macedonia trying to profit off the popularity of Trump.
“To put this in perspective, if you combined the top stories from the Boston Globe, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and LA Times, they still had only 5% the viewership of an article from a fake news site that intimated strongly that the Democratic Presidential candidate had had a husband and wife murdered then burned to cover up her crimes,” writes Caulfield.
In the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Bush neocons routinely used the establishment press to spread lies about weapons of mass destruction and Iraqi involvement with al-Qaeda. Judith Miller of The New York Times specialized in writing stories propagating neocon propaganda.
Something else is overlooked here. Every week, fewer and fewer people get their news from establishment media websites. The establishment media is less popular than Congress.