Friday, November 25, 2016

America's fake news problem predates Facebook; Vox, 11/21/16

Jason Mittell and Chuck Tryon, Vox; America's fake news problem predates Facebook:
"What these examples suggest is that there is a large infrastructure in place that allows conservative media to circulate and disseminate false information framed as fact. While Facebook can serve as an easy target because of its hypervisibility and its faltering response to the controversies over its newsfeed, it is too simplistic to blame our partisan media culture on a faulty algorithm alone.
As Daniel Kreiss argues at Culture Digitally, decades of fake news emerging from right-wing sources have actively and strategically built toward this moment, each helping to make such circulation of misinformation more and more acceptable. And as Jeet Heer contends at the New Republic, the rise of fake news is meeting a demand from right-wing voters looking for reasons to support their team, rather than information to guide their actions — a demand that has been cultivated by decades of conservative news striving to confirm the beliefs of its consumers.
Which brings us to today, where, as opponents of Trump’s candidacy and eventual presidency rally to avoid “normalizing” his ideas and approach, the mainstreaming of conservative fake news is a clear case of the dangers of such normalization. As we increasingly accept inaccurate peddlers of politicized misinformation as “news,” we allow our citizenry to be horrifically misinformed as part of this new normal."

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