Tag Archives: fake news

Media reporting error causes Dow to drop 350 points

Lucky for me, I was busy all day and did not learn about this until it was over with.

ABC News reporter Brian Ross put out a report this morning with most of the crucial details wrong – causing the Dow 30 Industrials to drop 350 points. The false report was broadcast as an interruption to regular scheduled programming, as well.

Seven hours later, Ross issued a weak clarification; in fact, his report should have been retracted as much of it was wrong.

The take away from today’s media blooper is as we know, the first message people hear is the one that will stick with them, even if later corrected or changed. From a propaganda perspective, Ross’s erroneous report was quickly shared on social media and led to investor panic.

As of tonight, many people are still promoting the original false story on social media.

From my understanding (late now), the errors were quite significant and this clarification does not adequately respond to the financial harm caused by the errors. Update: ABC News eventually apologized for “serious error” and suspended the reporter, without pay, for 4 weeks and the reporter has been banned from ever again reporting on topics related to President Trump.

It is frightening that a reporter can cripple financial markets by issuing poorly done news reports (editors?). Combine a bad reporter’s mistakes (he has a history of doing this) with social media, and you end up with mass panic. Propaganda messaging can, as in this example, act surprisingly quickly and with extraordinary effects.

Fake news fools about 75% of the time

In a survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for BuzzFeed News, 71 percent of self-identifying Democrats surveyed mistook fake news headlines for real stories. Those who identify as Republicans fell for the false headlines at a higher rate, with 84 percent of those surveyed believing they were true.

Source: The fake news stories that fooled liberals in 2016.

Read the original report here (UPDATE: This link goes to Buzzfeed, which confirmed in Jan 2017 that they lack traditional media editorial standards and publish items they are unable to verify as authentic.)

Critically, those who view “Facebook as a major source of news are more likely to view fake news headlines as accurate”.

Fake news is often written as satire, but sometimes it is produced as propaganda. The general goal of most fake news, however, is to drive eyeballs to advertisers. Indeed, that is the goal of much “mainstream” news reporting too, particularly today where every click on every web story is closely monitored, data mined, and used to shape future reporting.

Fake news successfully fools both right and left:

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The role of fake news sites in social media stupidity amplification

Many of the fake stories conservatives are tricked into sharing have been deliberately planted by the left to make fools of us.

Source: The Left is Busily Planting Fake Red-Meat Conservative News Sites | The Stream

Similarly, many of the fake stories published by Occupy Democrats are used to trick liberals into sharing and making fools of themselves (see prior posts on this topic).

We’ve written about this before and this also illustrates how the MSM does the same thing, as click bait, noted in the prior post.