A direct attack on dissenting voices, news media takes aim at social media in an attempt stop alternative media sources.
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With 62% of Americans receiving news from social media sites this year, the media has taken to attacking social media sites in attempt to curb peoples usage. This week a document has surfaced “False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical ‘News’ Sources” uploaded by a user named Melissa Zimdars, in which Zimdars lists right-wing outlets, and includes perfectly legitimate sites for no apparent reason. In what can only be described as irony the the Los Angeles Times published the false, misleading, clickbait-y document, lending it an air of legitimacy.

It would appear the campaign to rid social media of alternative sources is well underway, with google news launching its “fact checker” links where they control the narrative of posted news story’s.socialmedia01 In addition Facebook is following in Googles footsteps announcing in an updated Audience Network policy, that it will not display advertisements from “fake news sites”.
 – “We have updated the policy to explicitly clarify that this applies to fake news,” a Facebook spokesman said in a statement. “Our team will continue to closely vet all prospective publishers and monitor existing ones to ensure compliance.”
This comes after Google announced that anything considered political in nature on youtube or using Googles Adsense, will no longer be receiving revenue from advertisements.
Facebook has been at the center of a debate about how the political election may have been swayed as a result of false or misleading news story’s about the now President elect Donald Trump. With even Mark Zukerberg stating he doesn’t believe fake news story’s are capable of swaying the election.
While certainly many pages and feeds on Facebook do host false or misleading stories this seems to be more then an attempt to target viral stories hosting misleading content. Certain elements of Zimdars list are nothing more then conservative right-wing news outlets, so naturally one considers the ramifications of such rhetoric.

These new policy’s could be used to target completely legitimate sites and news sources which are attempting to break into a market that has been in a stranglehold by major corporations and companies. In fact 6 Corporations control 90% of the media in America which has led many to search out alternative media as the narratives are tightly controled by a small minority.


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Even Edward Snowden has weighed in saying via Beambot at Fusion’s Real Future Fair on Tuesday.

“I don’t think many people need to have this explained to them, that when you type something into the Google search box, it’s Google that decides what you get back. When you go to your Facebook page, it’s Facebook that decides what news it is that you see on your page. When you go to a platform like Twitter, or any of these, really, the voices that are heard are the ones that are selected and permitted by the corporation.”

Snowden goes on to identify the source of what he consider to the problem as a lack of competition. “There seems to be no alternative to the larger services. Because of this network effect, because [of] the first mover advantage. When you get a Google or a Facebook or Twitter in place, they never seem to leave.”

social-media-blockSnowdens solution, Don’t rely on Facebook for your news. By banning websites from their platform, they are essentially telling users they aren’t intelligent enough to decide for themselves what is and is not news. As Snowden put it, “they’re creating more silence than they are creating more speech.”


chriswallaceWith people like debate moderator Chris Wallace declaring “Not my job to be truth squad” in albeit obvious attempt to divert attention from the fact they often run bias story’s, and sensationalize news topics with little or no factual information to back up their story, or question any answer given by their quest speakers, throws into question their ability to report the news.
Certainly the only organization to be protected by the constitution responsible for informing the public needs to get it right. With many people awakening to a media which has become a promotional wind sock, that blows with the prevailing breeze, more focused on ad revenue then on news worthy stories, and a dramatic flare to sensationalize any topic to gain viewership. It seems very hypocritical to attack small social media pages and blogs for doing the same.
Are social media sites such a danger to news and media outlets at this time that they must bring such weight to bare? and if so what does that say about the job the mainstream media has been doing?

 

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