Trump's presidential hires and advisors own a hell of a lot of fake news sites

Floyd Brown invented the Reagan-era Willie Horton lie, helped create the Citizens United group, and now owns Liftable Media, including sites like Conservative Tribune (50th most-trafficked site in the USA) and Western Journalism (81st), whence came fake news stories like the lie that Obama had altered the White House logo to include a white flag of surrender (the logo change came from GWB's White House); the lie that Muslims had been "ordered" to vote for Hillary; the lie that Obama had encouraged millennial non-citizen Latin@s to vote without fear of reprisals; the lie that Clinton had a Vegas "drug holiday" before the debate; the lie that Obama's birth certificate was not accepted by experts as genuine -- Brown's sites are all included in Facebook's verified news sources. Read the rest

Beyond fake news: the "constructed realities" of the polarized world

Gilad Lotan -- our favorite fake-news sleuthing data-scientist -- writes about the problem of not-quite-fake news, which is much more pernicious than mere lies: it's news that uses attention-shaping, one-sided "news" accounts that divide their readers into their own "constructed realities." Read the rest

Daily Mail finds new depths to plumb, blames hypothetical immigrants for neo-Nazi's murder of Labour MP

Last June, Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered by a neo-Nazi who was outraged by her anti-Brexit stance; that man is now on trial. Read the rest

Turkish dictator fires 15,000 more public workers, shuts down 375 more NGOs and 9 more news outlets

Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues his massive, authoritarian purge of his country's public institutions, news media and civil society groups with a fresh wave of public-sector firings, bringing the total number of jettisoned public servants to 100,000. Read the rest

Hugely successful Facebook fake news author considers himself a "satirist"

Paul Horner says he made more than $10,000 month writing fake news on Facebook that was widely shared by Trump supporters and picked up by the real press -- for example, hoax stories about protesters being paid to turn out against Trump -- and that he targeted Trump supporters as an act of "satire" to show that they would credulously share anything, providing that it confirmed their conspiracy theories about the left and the Democratic party. Read the rest

Google and Facebook's "fake news" ban is a welcome nail in the coffin of "software objectivity"

In the wake of the Trump election -- a triumph of fake news -- both Google and Facebook have announced that they will take countermeasures to exclude "fake news" from their services, downranking them in the case of Facebook and cutting them off from ad payments in Google's case. Read the rest

The free-speech activist duty of journalists during the coming Trump years

Donald Trump promised to shut down the free press if elected (the fact that the laws he wants to "open up" don't exist makes him an ignoramus, but not a harmless one) and his first official post-election act was to block the press and then to call for politically motivated reprisals against his press critics. Read the rest

In 100 years, we'll remember technology's transformation and Trump will be long forgotten

Steven "Hackers" Levy has a long view of Trump: as radical as he is, he's only a drop in the bucket compared to the political and social changes wrought by technology: "Who was king during the industrial revolution in England? The quirks and flaws of government leaders are not relevant information when studying the enlightenment. In the long run, the Galileos and James Watts of the world have even more influence than the Napoleons." Read the rest

A Canadian newspaper compiles a comprehensive list of Trump's election-season lies

Daniel Dale is the Washington Bureau Chief for the Toronto Star; for the duration of the campaign, he's been compiling daily lists of Trump's lies: now, with the election days away, the Star has put these together in one gigantic list, with citations refuting each of Trump's whoppers. Read the rest

Police in Quebec are spying on journalists and Snowden calls that "a threat to democracy"

Last week, Patrick Lagacé -- a columnist for the Quebec paper La Presse -- revealed that the Montreal police had gotten a secret warrant to spy on his phone calls and text messages and collect the location data from his phone, seemingly in an attempt to discover which police officers were the source for stories in La Presse about police corruption (confusingly, Lagacé wasn't involved in these stories). Read the rest

A journalist finally uncovers the root of Trump supporters' anger

Benjamin Hart journeys to the forgotten post-industrial town of Bleaksville, Kentucky and digs deep to find the answer to the question no other journalist (apart from the roughly 7,200 who wrote articles on this subject during this election cycle) will ask: why are Trump supporters so angry? Read the rest

New York Times devotes a 2-page spread to "The 281 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter"

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The 281 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List [Jasmine C. Lee and Kevin Quealy/New York Times] Read the rest

Downticket Republican candidates threaten libel suits over TV spots tying them to Trump

Five Republican Congressional candidates -- Reps. Bob Dold (R-Ill.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), David Jolly (R-Fla.), John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) -- have threatened broadcasters with libel suits over Democratic campaign ads that tie the men to their own party's presidential candidate, millionaire Donald J Trump. Read the rest

Howard Stern won't release Trump tapes

Despite his support for Trump opponent Hillary Clinton, radio shock jock will not release the recordings of old radio broadcasts he made with Trump in which Trump made offensive sexual remarks, because "it would be a betrayal" to encourage their use in political campaigning. Read the rest

Arizona Republic editor responds to death threats following Clinton endorsement

For the first time in more than 125 years, the Arizona Republic endorsed a Democrat: Hillary Clinton. Some of the paper's readers responded with death threats -- and worse. Editor Mi-Ai Parrish's response is as classy a civics lesson as you could ask for. Read the rest

The Rocky Horror Picture Show and four decades of queer sci fi punk

2015 was the fortieth consecutive year that The Rocky Horror Picture Show has played in theaters, luring out the misfits and punks and queers and oddballs. We’re now seeing the third generation of misfits coming up in the world and dancing in the aisles to “The Time Warp,” while Fox network readies to premier the made-for-TV remake on October 20th. Rocky Horror is more than a fan phenomenon; it’s a bizarre yet empowering film that shows us the intersection of queer, working class, and geek cultures, although you don’t have to be any of the previous to enjoy the hell out of it.

Who decided Corbyn was "unelectable"?

Robbo sez, "Jonathan Pie, preeminent UK political satirist, takes on British media and their role in declaring newly re-elected Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn 'unelectable'. Pie destroys the outrageous un-democratic media bias that has hounded Corbyn throughout his time as Labour leader and does so with his usual outstanding, hilarious, enraged and profane style." Read the rest

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