Discussing the ‘fake news’ list with its creator – Melissa Zimdars: The Truth About Fake News

Discussing the ‘fake news’ list with its creator – Melissa Zimdars: The Truth About Fake News by Adam Taggart – Peak Prosperity

In the aftermath of the 2016 US Presidential election, “fake news” was blamed as a major reason for Donald Trump’s upset victory over Hillary Clinton. A wide range of players, from Russian propagandists to paid partisan puppeteers, were accused of fabricating stories which were then widely circulated via social media to influence the hearts and minds of voters.

A national debate then raged — and still does — about whether “fake news” truly exists and, if so, should it be tolerated. And, immediately after the election, a number of major media outlets, including Google and Facebook, announced planned steps to block ‘suspect’ content sources on their platforms.

Amidst this tumult, a college professor compiled an aggregated list of “False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical “News” Sources”, which quickly became known as the “fake news list”. The mainstream media immediately latched on to this list of culprits, and circulated it heavily across the headlines of major outlets like CNN, The Washington Post, Fox News, The Boston Globe, New York Magazine, USA Today, Business Insider and The Dallas Morning News

(Full disclosure: this website, PeakProsperity.com, was initially included on the list. We’ve learned it has since been removed.)

So many questions have been raised by this list. Is naming these sources a public service? Or it is censorship? What criteria are used to declare content “fake”? Who comes up with those criteria, and who is making the decisions? What are their qualifications? Is it the media’s job to “protect” the public from information? Or is it the reader’s responsibility to judge for themselves what is and isn’t a trustworthy source?

To explore answers to these — and many more — questions, on this week’s podcast we discuss the “fake news list” with its creator, Dr. Melissa Zimdars, assistant professor of communications at Merrimack College.

Chris’ line of inquiry is brutally direct. And many of Dr. Zimdars’ answers are more nuanced then many of her critics will expect. Wherever you fall on this topic, you’ll find this an exceptionally open, frank debate of the key issues at stake on the public’s right to information in the modern age.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris’ interview with Dr. Melissa Zimdars (33m:57s).

TRANSCRIPT

Chris Martenson: Hello, everyone. And welcome to this Peak Prosperity podcast. I am your host Chris Martenson and it is April 13, 2017. Fake news. Now, it hit the airwaves in the weeks especially after the election of 2016. And we’re gonna be talking about fake news today.

A website, opensources.co, assembled a list of fake news sites and was flooded with new entries in the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump. In November and December of 2016 news organizations extensively featured that list, with The Los Angeles Times headlining a story, “Want to Keep Fake News Out of Your News Feed? read more

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Chris Martenson

Build understanding, encourage small actions, then align with solutions. Many people have asked us, "Where are the large-scale solutions to all the problems you have described?" and "What should we do as a nation to avoid the seemingly inevitable consequences of this fiat money system?" We believe that we must reach a critical mass of individuals and ensure that they have an understanding of the ideas presented in the Crash Course, before any national or global solutions will even be possible. Because we are still quite far from this tipping point of understanding, we must first focus on educating. Many people have already reached a place of understanding and assumed responsibility for their futures, but most have not. Once we have achieved a critical mass of people who understand the issues and have taken responsible actions as a result, solutions will find more fertile ground in which to take root. The theory of action: building understanding Solutions should come from a position of understanding. Understanding arises from awareness, and awareness arises from the ashes of denial. In other words, the stages of action are: denial >> awareness >> understanding >> solutions. It is not enough for people to be aware that inflation exists, or that our monetary system has flaws, or that resources are depleting. If effective actions are to be formulated, then understanding is essential.