Man behind “alt right” fake news sites is registered Democrat

As this blog pointed out long ago, its all about money. There are right wing sites published by left wing authors and left wing sites published by right wing authors. The goal is to hook the target’s emotions, encouraging Likes, Shares and more click throughs to generate ad revenue.

In this case, some of the best known “alt right” fake news was produced by a registered Democrat, political scientist and self admitted liberal:

Coler is a soft-spoken 40-year-old with a wife and two kids. He says he got into fake news around 2013 to highlight the extremism of the white nationalist alt-right.“The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could kind of infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt-right, publish blatantly fictional stories and then be able to publicly denounce those stories and point out the fact that they were fiction,” Coler says.

Source: NPR Reporter Tracked Down a Fake-News Creator; Here’s What She Learned | The California Report | KQED News (NPR did real reporting on this – good job!)

His publishing group works with about two dozen writers who are paid a share of the ad revenue.

Most of the mainstream news reports about fake news have covered the story mostly wrong, suggesting alt right fake news was coming from a combination of right wingers being manipulated by Russia.

However, another fake news web service was run by a registered  Republican who speciallized in fake articles bashing Hillary Clinton. He claimed “I didn’t really have a political motivation whatsoever,” he told Shane in a subsequent Facebook Live interview. “It was a way to make money.” (In fact, he worked for a Republican politician and was fired after his publishing business was discovered.)

As this blog pointed out long ago – fake news is primarily about the money and did not have a lot do with ideology for these writers and publishers.

I started this blog (off line, not public for the first 2 years) as a way of learning about and exploring the propaganda flooding my social media feeds. I read most of the great works of the 20th century about propaganda techniques. I observed social media propaganda posters to learn how they work and hook people. I saw propaganda campaigns unfold in real time – both in my news feed and in deliberate use of propaganda techniques in main stream media stories and by government officials.

I began to realize social media is a pile an awful stench of rotten information. Between distortions, outright lies, manipulative posts and emotional screaming, social media is damaging to our understanding of the world around us and to our mental health.

This blog’s exploration led to me conclude that enormous numbers of people, often very smart people, have become suckers for propaganda, voluntarily signing up to “subscribe” to daily propaganda broadcasts from these fake news web sites and Facebook pages.

post from fake news site Occupy Democrats[1] in July of 2015 was one of the best designed, greatly shared pieces of propaganda I had seen. The entire post was based on elegant logical fallacies, leading the target to a conclusion that was an outright lie. That single post set in motion my own plans to publish this blog.

The wide spread acknowledgement of fake news and the mental health problems caused by social screaming matches from the perpetually outraged has sort of made this blog no longer necessary. Most people seem to “get it” now – social media is a swamp of shouting and propaganda.

Maybe I should continue this as a fake news site and make some money from it!

[1] Occupy  Democrats is perhaps largest social media based, for profit, propaganda publishing organization, with about 4 1/2 million subscribers on Facebook, alone, at the time of this post.