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What do you think about the growing controversy over "fake news" circulating online via Google or Facebook, and efforts by the internet giants to weed out hoaxes and misinformation?


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I think fake news has been around since the very first newspapers were printed centuries ago. Then came radio and TV. When I was a kid, I used to believe everything I read in newspapers. Nowadays, I am cynical about everything, especially online where bloggers often try to pass of their opinions as news.

The only thing I really trust are live television broadcasts because you can't really fake those. If a tsunami is coming, you see it live; if the Oscar presenters flub the award, you see it as it happens; if a big or small crowd turns up at a presidential inauguration, you can see for yourself and so on.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yes, there is fake news that needs cleaning up. And there is the carefully selected news story with the most important parts omitted to create a slanted picture. But, as Brainiac says above, it's pretty much always been this way since early history when the first fisherman told the rest of the village how big the fish that got away was.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There's always been fake news, but the populace could be trusted to sift through the BS. Astonishingly it appears this ability has been lost recently, so it's not the news that's the problem, it's the people

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Subjectivity is a zero sum game. Nobody actually wins.

Challenging the fact that one media mogul plays kingmaker across the Anglosphere is crucial to once more valuing veracity and rescuing democracy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

news in general is subjective. It is actually extremely difficult if not impossible to be 100% objective. Having said that, there is too much lenience in allowing talk show hosts whether on TV or radio to say any old thing without consequences for putting out outright fallacies. There are no checks and balances. I personally think it should be a crime to purposefully put out false information deliberately, resulting in the prosecution of the individual and establishment as they are abusing their position of influence. My 2 cents.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I feel it is not the responsibility of the internet giants to determine what is fake news and what is not. They have their own agenda and would be more than happy to weed out hoaxes and misinformation that dont support the narrative of the day. Legitimate news could easily be blocked and we would never know, because we would be blocked from even seeing it.

Their job is to bring the story to me, it is my job to critically analyze it and see if I think its fake or not.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

They have their own agenda and would be more than happy to weed out hoaxes and misinformation that don't support the narrative of the day.

Why shouldn't they weed out hoaxes and misinformation?

Such garbage gives people nothing but permission to lie.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Because I want to see the hoaxes and misinformation that groups and sites put out with my own eyes. I know the National Enquirer is not a source of actual news....because I saw their issue with Hillary holding her alien baby, the issue with Bigfoot, etc.

So seeing it all helps me to form opinions about news sources based on what they are willing to try to pass off as the truth. Also lets me know which side is losing the actual real issue, because whichever side is losing resorts to fake news to distract and move on.

Who is Google or Facebook to determine for me that something is a hoax or misinformation before I even see it? Who stops them from putting out their own fake news?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The problem I have with this is that the internet giants are among the major pushers of fake news.

Their job is to bring the story to me, it is my job to critically analyze it and see if I think its fake or not.

Very true.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

BlacklabelMAR. 08, 2017 - 03:49PM JST Who is Google or Facebook to determine for me that something is a hoax or misinformation before I even see it? Who stops them from putting out their own fake news?

They are no difference from when CNN or ABC or CBS choose not to run footage of Hillary's alien baby or bigfoot on the evening news. You still have the ability to access garbage in the supermarket checkout line. All Google or Facebook would be doing is curating what goes to you under the banner of "news".

The only people who have anything to lose under a program curating of legitimate news are people who profit from spreading lies.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Unfortunately there are too many people who are too stupid to weed out fake news for themselves. I'd rather the internet giants do it.

Don't like it? Build your own search engine, or find one that doesn't weed out fake news.

Of course, anyone smart enough to do that would probably already have the intelligence to be able to sort the fake news from real on their own.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Alex Jones and Infowars would probably be blocked by Google and Facebook. Yet today after the Wikileaks information being released, lots of the crazy nonsense (liberals say) he has been talking about the last 5 years was actually....confirmed.

Its not so fake news after all when CNN and ABC and Yahoo News all now have articles about your TV spying on you and what you can do to prevent it. Wouldnt that have been fake news YESTERDAY?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Who decides what is fake and what is not? The Trump ,May. Abe and other administrations? The Kim Jong Un government decides what should be considered true for his people. Russians in the communist days used to think Pravda was fake news.

I have more trust in much of the stuff online than I do in Breitbart New, Fox, The Sun and anything Murdoch is behind.

It has become really hard to tell what is real and what is fake. You just have to think hard about everything you read and certainly don't believe anything because a government says it is true.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Do we count events such as 9/11 and the taking out of "Bin Laden" as fake news?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BlacklabelMAR. 08, 2017 - 05:38PM JST Alex Jones and Infowars would probably be blocked by Google and Facebook.

Not blocked, just not news. If you Google "Infowars" you'll still get the page. The only change would be when you Google "Obama + News" then you wouldn't get Jones's tin foil hate-wearing lunacy. Which is exactly as it should be.

gaijintravellerMAR. 08, 2017 - 06:22PM JST Who decides what is fake and what is not?

In the context of this conversation, Google and Facebook. It's not hard. There is a clear, objective difference between what is fake news and what isn't.

In fact, the lie that the fakeness of news is in the eye of the beholder is part of the reason we're deluged with fake news BS to begin with. News is a bit like science, when you stop trying to say it's fake because you don't like the conclusion and instead start judging if it's fake by how the results are obtained, a lot of the FUD drains away.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think the growing controversy is fake news.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@katsu I get your point for sure. Im just saying that the only reason I know Infowars, Breitbart, Drudge report etc exist is because I googled something like 'Clinton emails'. Those sites (and many that are more legitimate) popped up as suggestions from the Google search. I would never have known to google 'infowars' for example because I dont know what that was.

Same for Facebook, I got a lot of news that friends 'liked' or 'shared' from sites I never heard of. Yeah, some of it was ridiculous but some of them are sites that I read to this day. I really miss the days when you could almost trust the media. Even crazy Alex Jones has been proven right on several of his more paranoid sounding points recently.

My TV has the ability to spy on me? Whats next, my washing machine and fridge? (Dont laugh. Internet of Things.....)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's a fake controversy. There has always been "fake news." The "controversy" has been created to help put in place censorship and stifle free speech. Nothing more, nothing less.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Remember how much drama Alexander Hamilton had with his detractors. The New York Post was founded by him to give him a "blogging platform."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BlacklabelMAR. 08, 2017 - 08:21PM JST Even crazy Alex Jones has been proven right on several of his more paranoid sounding points recently.

Alex Jones is a lunatic with an anger management problem.

News isn't just some crazy guy ranting at the top of his lungs at about some fever dream he had, with one incidental detail being correct as long as you ignore the thousands of batsh't insane things he was wrong about. News is a process. It involves research, corroborating sources with verifiable facts, and seeking confirmation. Fake news doesn't do any of that. If you accept fake news just because you think the guy who spouts it was right once, what you're saying is you are willing to accept made-up nonsense that you can never verify if it's true just because it says things that you want to be true.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

With the loss of 60 Minutes of long ago and other news organizations around the world that held politicians to account, versus the USA going after Snowden today, there is a chill on holding power in check. The moment media sold out the truth and responsibility for dollars and clicks it then made itself entertainment and thus competes on the same level today.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's not the job of Google or anyone else to weed out so-called "fake news", it is the job of the reader of the news to be able to discern from what is real and what isn't. That there are people who are too stupid to discern between what is real and what is fake is their problem.

The problem is that fake news isn't always fake, it is real news told in a way to sensationalize, placate, or offend, depending on how the writer intends to tell it. Journalism lost it's objectivity when ad revenue began to grow. To compete for this revenue, stories were written to be more interesting, but on a slow news day when nothing interesting happens, an innocuous story can be painted a little to make it seem more than what it is, and in extreme cases, stories are simply made up.

Most people who have been around for awhile, and read the news regularly are able able to sift through the BS to find the real story, though lately it is taking a great deal more sifting to do so. Those who take the news literally, whatever it's source, are fools.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think this debate will die a natural death with no logical conclusion.

Information flowing through the internet just cannot be controlled at global scale. To me, internet has always been a place where you get to read what you want to believe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Does everyone think Google or Facebook would be truly impartial in "filtering / weeding out the fake news" ? They are business giants with links to political camps / lobbies too. Certainly not neutral entities with nothing to gain by engaging in a bit of "favorable filltering.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They need to ban stories from agenda-driven news sites as these are the source of most of the fake news. You look on Facebook at a shocking news story and then check the source at the bottom. Most of the time it'll say something like or something equally obvious. I actually trust the so-called Mainstream News a tonne more than the daft right or left leaning garbage news sites.

I mean some of the rubbish you see... "Clinton and husband to divorce" was one that appeared on a right wing site just after the election in America. This is clearly fake news... or as it should be called, lies. In fact the term 'fake news' is starting to get on my nerves. Just call it lying for Cliff's sake... call a spade a spade.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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