by Derrick Broze, Activist Post:
In his last days as President of the United States, Barack Obama has decided to join the chorus of mainstream voices taking a stand against “fake news.”
In recent weeks a growing number of pundits within the deadstream (formerly known as the mainstream) media have begun to discuss “fake news” and satire websites and what effect they have on the American public. Some of these pundits are worried that bad information on the Internet paved the way for President-Elect Trump. In fact, a study published Wednesday shows that fake stories related to the election generated more traffic on Facebook than leading stories from “more than a dozen major news sites.”
Now, President Obama has decided to throw his hat into the ring by sharing his thoughts on how illegitimate news could affect the political process. The Hill reports that during a press conference in Germany on Thursday, Obama said that if Americans can not “discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems.”
Obama went on to argue that because websites containing misinformation are often packaged “very well” it may inappropriately affect voter attitudes towards political candidates.
“If everything seems to be the same and no distinctions are made, then we won’t know what to protect,” Obama said. “We won’t know what to fight for.”
“Part of what’s changed in politics is social media and how people are receiving information,” he said. “It’s easier to make negative attacks and simplistic slogans than it is to communicate complex policies. But we’ll figure it out.”
That last line should have lovers of free speech and independent media very concerned. President Obama and incoming President Trump are prepared to “figure it out” so independent, non-corporate media can be dragged into the same category as actual fake news and satire websites. Eventually, the independent and alternative media sites that have worked tirelessly to expose the lies of the corporate media will be outright banned and blocked, or the average American will be so heavily propagandized that they will not bother checking sources that have been blacklisted.
President Obama and political pundits are not the only ones warning about fake news. Recently, Google has also announced that it will be prohibiting “fake” and “misrepresentative” sites from using its AdSense program. “Moving forward, we will restrict ad serving on pages that misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about the publisher, the publisher’s content, or the primary purpose of the web property,” the company told Reuters . This policy will include websites labeled as “fake news.”
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