Obama Joins The War Against “Fake News”

ObamaShhBy Derrick Broze

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.”

On November 14, U.S. News & World Report released a piece titled, “Avoid These Fake News Sites at All Costs”, which listed several websites divided into categories of hoax or fake sites, satire, or simply propaganda. The website ranking was put together by a website called Fake News Watch. In what I would consider a badge of honor, Activist Post was labeled “propaganda” by this deadstream outlet. The irony is that U.S. News & World Report is guilty of pushing false narratives and propaganda. As Brandon Turbeville notes:

Remember, it was U.S. News and World Report that published “The Liberal Case For Intervention In Syria,” which was a pathetic attempt to justify yet another American war of aggression against a country that did nothing to the U.S. nor posed any threat to it.

There was also no mention of CNN for its infamous “Syria Danny” fiasco where the corporation was caught red-handed staging a propaganda video against the Syrian government, ultimately to draw Americans in to having pro-war sentiment despite the weariness of foreign adventures enabled by “real” news organizations like the New York Times and CNN.

Only days later a Google Doc began circulating claiming to be another list of “False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical “News” Sources.” This list was reportedly put together by Melissa Zimdars, associate professor of communications at Merrimack College. In an interview with USA Today, Zimdars says that the public should take responsibility for checking sources, but that perhaps social media sites like Facebook could provide verification tools. But should we really trust Mark Zuckerberg and Google to tell us what is truth and what is lies?

Regarding the fact that several websites listed on Zimdars document actually report factual news, she says, “I read several of the publications listed, so I’m not trying to pass a value judgment on them. They’re on the list possibly because they rely on clickbait headlines sometimes, and so it’s important to understand if they’re coming from a particular perspective or trying to emphasize a particular point, that people need to read widely in order to create a fuller picture of whatever events they’re reading about.”

She goes on to explain that “on this document I created, there’s four different kinds of sources,” and “because that list identifies some fake news sites, some that may be misleading or unreliable that do report sometimes on actual events to various degrees to truthiness.” On this point I cannot disagree. Unfortunately, I have seen some of my favorite sites and friends opt for clickbait-y headlines that don’t necessarily tell the full story and could possibly mislead someone who does not read past the headline.

This means that both writers, journalists, and readers have a responsibility. If we do not work to report accurately and if readers do not take the time to dissect complex issues, then we are doing a disservice to ourselves. Also, this provides the perfect excuse for the State to step in and once again attempt to play parent figure. All of this ultimately leads to more control and more censorship.

If you want to help save the independent media stop sharing fake stories and check your sources. Journalists, it’s time to care about more than just clicks and shares. Focus on writing the honest, credible stories that helped propel us to the position we are today. The deadstream is rendering itself irrelevant and with their last dying breath they are attempting to subvert the power of the free media.

Don’t allow them to win.

Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of three books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 1 and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 2

Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact Derrick@activistpost.com

This article may be freely reposted in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

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  • BOUDICA

    CNN is still using the discredited Terrorist linked ” White Helmets ” as news source and using their videos to sell war on Syrian , to craft a one sided , simplistic view of Syria that totally misleads Americans , who this ridiculous idea Russia is bombing ISIS only hospitals …. and tactically is as silly as you can get

    • JennyG

      Yes I watch RTnews for a balanced view of world news and think how utterly ludicrous the rest of the West media are, they must really think the American people are morons, Russia being the only country invited to help Assad defend Syria against all the paid,trained,armed bands of different names but all mercenaries put together by Israel/USA Elite puppets, Do people not question why on earth, Russia would bomb hospitals, schools, infrastructure? it makes no sense what so ever. (That would mean they are on the side of the West) I have seen the Elected President of Syria, Assad say that Russia is its Allie. I have seen documentaries showing that the People of Syria support there chosen Government. The white helmets are another terrorist group who have been promoted as the good guys and who always happen to have the cameras rolling at the right time for the propaganda. Videos exists of them also holding guns on the same side as the terrorists.

  • L Garou

    Thus spake PresidenT oBarnum!

  • TellTheTruth-2

    Obama and Hillary’s CNN and MSNBC are # 1 and # 2 in FALSE NEWS and LIES.

    • William Burke

      YEP!

  • taxpayer22

    It’s truly astonishing that some guy hiding in the Ecuadorean Embassy is doing more for TRUTH in this election than all the American press. ~ James Woods.

  • Lawn Dart

    Ah, reason, logic, sanity. I never saw it coming. I agree with Obama (now I’ll get it) up to ” But we’ll figure it out.” Chilling indeed.

    Social media has changed politics. I could have told him that 30 years ago when I first noticed it. It was “online” then…. no Internet or Twitter or Facebook but the fact is the same. People behave differently online as opposed to the real world.

    It is an indication of our times that satire is dead. It is sad when you can’t tell the satire from the news. A recent satire that went viral was “DONALD TRUMP PROMISES TO REOPEN 9/11 INVESTIGATION IF ELECTED”. It was satire from a website where all the stories are made up, World News Daily Report. Now it has been all over.

    Nor is the chill just from Obama. The alt-right wants to outlaw speech they don’t want heard. Savage wants the HUAC (I guess he has a time machine) to arrest the left wing media. In the discussion section my post consisting solely of quoting the 1st Amendment was put on hold and didn’t get approval… go figure.

    The limits on the 1st Amendment are damn few. Let’s keep it that way.

    • Mr Twank L Bang

      Satire’s not dead. It’s how the Don got to the WH, by satirizing first the Rs then the Ds. No one could pass the hypocrisy test, thus we elected the mega-hypocrite that is trump.

      • Lawn Dart

        Then we disagree but that’s a good thing. I would put it that Trump won with the biggest hustle in American political history.

        • Mr Twank L Bang

          Defs agree about disagreement. From my view though, the fact even HRC’s and MSM’s fail-safe switch of Hot Mic With Billy Bush was diffused by the counter blow of Bill’s accusers (not to mention the Epstein subtext) finalized Trump’s campaign of proving our system is an hypocrisy.

    • Al Mather

      I LOVE satire… my fave form of socio/political commentary .

      When does the completely fabricated “news” that is crafted and shared on social media amount to yelling “fire” in the crowded theater? (A theater full of knuckle dragging morons seeking lies they desperately want to believe…granted).

      Some kind of “system” of attribution needs to be created to rate credibility.

  • David Turco

    Again more lies. Objectively CNN, ABC…need I go on are the fake news sites. Look back at the Iraq war it was none other than the fake NY Times with their embedded reporter Judith the traitor Miller who lied to the American people about weapons of mass destruction to get us into war. Who was proved right? the alternative media. This is just an opening salvo to shut down the alternative media to put the sheeple back in their pens.

    • Lawn Dart

      Back in their pens? Like you think they got out or sometging?

    • JennyG

      You are so right, what short memories we have, same propaganda on Iraq, weapons of mass destruction,that never existed, total destruction of the countries infrastructure, thousands upon thousands of innocent deaths, and for what? to allow Fat corporations to go in and steal all assets,share the spoils out among themselves, and take down a possible enemy of Israel for the benefit of Israel? Strange how all the meddle East countries are going down, but Israel is not in the least affected. Never worried even when these “terrorists” were on there border at one time.

  • garwain

    ‘Lies! Damn Lies! and ‘Mainstream media!’

  • Guest Speaker

    We know who the fake news reporters are and that’s why things are starting to change . their ‘s a list of sixty-five reporters in the pocket of Clinton’s & the DNC. they and the MSM have zero credibility.

  • h5mind

    Ever since 2013, when Congress legalized the use of propaganda against the American public, our alphabet agencies have been the key contributors to the alphabet news media. This election cycle was truly their coming of age party. Too bad “their” candidate didn’t win, even with their clumsy psyops. I’d say, ‘Better luck next time’, but after this humiliating defeat, I doubt there will be.

  • Mr Twank L Bang

    This campaign to blame fake news is a astounding. After a year of fingerprintless articles, paid off “experts”, mass omission of any sort of news that would damage HRC or Corps (the omission of the DAPL story for months was on whole other level, even after non corporate press were being charged with rioting while the corp press was covering a Trump hotel opening). Makes you wonder if even a Don Lemon knows how utterly horrible MSM was.

  • Valerie Woodard

    Fake news is the President telling illegal immigrants that it’s OK for them to vote. The electorate responded. What is mind boggling is that when delegates to the Democratic convention walked out en mass, and staged protests, the DNC didn’t figure out there was a problem. If the DNC angers Democratic voters, how did it hope to sway the Republican ones? Since when is Sarah Silverman a statesman who should be moralistically chastising delages? Why is she, and the rest of Hollyweird even part of the Convention? The DNC has repositioned itself as the party representing the interests of illegal immigrants, GMOs, vaccine mandates, Obamacare, TPP, NAFTA, and a host of other things repugnant to voters, and they think the problem is news sources?!?

    • joe_bob_gonzales

      sarah silverman is a foul mouthed creature created by the media to amuse and distract. as for any credibility, she has none here.

  • kajohns55

    Trump used you, now is is going to loose you. Follow the approved talking points or get served the papers.

  • joe_bob_gonzales

    the funny part is that obamas entire career is fake. built on fake background.

  • drbhelthi

    Considering Obama´s well-established norm, his actions counter his statements. Google and affiliates filter out aliases and pseudonyms, publishing genuine I.D. This enables the tracking of persons who provide accurate information that counters contrived, media propaganda. Info at the following link provides insightful information_ http://tapnewswire.com/2015/10/six-jewish-companies-control-96-of-the-worlds-media/

    • drbhelthi

      The legalization of the CIA with passage of the National Security Act, 1947, created a destructive, propaganda monster. Former CIA agent John Stockwell provides insight into the world-wide deceit and destruction done by the CIA: https://www.youtube(dot)com/watch?v=l1_3ayrwkc4
      Also, searching the internet with the phrase, cia-media-disinformation-and-us-proxy-wars-fallouts-of-iran-contras-lost-chapter/5326764
      reveals how the Bush CIA propagandized Americans about the Bush-CIA, Iran-Contra, drug smuggling of 1984.

  • GIVVO6_B

    Close the MSM and stop all the fake news.

  • jwmiller

    Obama mentioning “packaged very well” while prevaricating about Faux News is hysterical. Obama has been packaged well for a very long while & has provoked/instigated the unrest in US. FCC should mute him.

  • Edward

    Obomba is so disgrace that every action he takes, every word he utters is a word against him and in favor of his opponents – if he is still in the game that is. Shouldn’t the booger be out golfing?

  • Faconrun

    Wasn’t that the OB topic of his meeting with Chinese last week? So he’s following his lead? This article is good just a bit confusing.

  • DmaxD

    They know, shut it down!

  • Alabama Mothman

    Obama, we have a problem with you as president.

  • Dmv

    This is the equivalent of book burning during Hitlers reign. “We the world political elite and educated have decided that these websites are dangerous because they may spark ideas other than the ones we want you to think. And those shoes that Ivanka is selling need to go too!” This is rediculous!

  • Bobby Lokey

    Well, of course, people should always believe the billionaires. Has anybody ever heard poor people tell the truth? People that are seeking to become billionaires lie constantly, but once the billion is clinched, they tell only the truth. This is known as, “The Billionaire Rule.” So, yes, trust Google and Facebook CEOs ALL THE TIME. And always trust POTUS’s to tell the truth, as POTUSes and handlers are inherently so innocent that they simply do not know how to lie. Yes, when one has been honest for just so many decades, one loses the ability to lie. Thus, ALWAYS trust ALL CEO’s and ALL POTUSes, but never trust a poor person.

  • z

    All coming from the fake POTUS in the white house……

  • Edgardo L. Perez-De Leon

    This is the most ridiculous argument in favor of suppression of information. Propaganda is not news but similarly news and propaganda is spread by the same people. Who is that newscaster that spread propaganda to judge? Obama State Department was battling for not giving information on Hillary’s e-mails leading to the discovery of her illegal server and to the violation of the law. All sides got involved in new and propaganda. Including Obama himself.

  • chiripero

    What do you mean Syria is not a threat to the U. S. ? They don’t have a Rothschild Bank do they ? So how can the Rothschilds steal from the Syrians without a NWO fiat currency bank ? That is also a threat to Greater Israel being put together, so Syria is a threat to that operation to occupy the time of all the Israelis working in that $6 billion dollar Embassy the U. S. taxpayers shelled out to construct in Baghdad. Just a thought….

  • Christopher Pearson

    Fake News as journalistic false flag
    What is not being discussed in this alternative media controversy is that a majority of real fake news on alternative media is a programmed disinformation op – one might say imbedded journalistic “agent provocateurs” who are deep state agents of media chaos. These charges of “fake news” actually refer to premeditated planted “fake news” that is being deliberately placed to discredit alternative news and information media – and in the case in point placed and insinuated so that the government can be moved to “crack down” on this “fake news” as a generality. It is a premeditated op to enforce globalist NWO censorship over the Internet. This is Obama’s official position and he is currently taking the issue worldwide. It would seem he has an appointment to this effect within the United Nations and for which he has just recently signed over control of the Internet to its authority. One should be aware of how this works!

  • chario

    The only REAL problem here is that the sheeple elected a FAKE PRESIDENT WHO’S ONLY UTTERANCES ARE FAKE and irrelevant. Anyone who considers mainstream media to be unbiased and only reports the truth needs to have serious counseling.

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