Right-Wing Facebook MEGA-Troll Wall-Of-Shame And How You Can Spot Fake News
Facebook please ban these idiots ASAP!!! Right-Wing Facebook MEGA-Troll Wall-Of-Shame And How You Can Spot Fake News
They Claim That The Liberal Lame-Stream Media Put’s Out Fake News. However, I Checked The Sources Of Posters Like “James Donald” And Low-And-Behold. His Sources Are Actually Rated As CONSPIRACY-PSEUDOSCIENCE!!!
Example: Overall, we rate Neon Nettle (One of His Sources) a Tin Foil Hat level Conspiracy website!
Neon Nettle: Conspiracy-heavy fake news site that publishes false, misleading, and exaggerated stories.
For example, they have claimed that Queen Elizabeth is a shape-shifting lizard, that Americans will be forced to implant a microchip in 2017, and implied that Soundgarden member Chris Cornell was murdered for attempting to expose an Illuminati/Clinton pedophile ring.
Neon Nettle often publishes headlines which are not at all supported by the content of the article.
Grammar and spelling mistakes are common:
Why are they allowed to spread this BS?
In another post he claimed that Black votes had climbed by 60% when the Trump convention concluded. However, after I checked the site I found that the actual article said the Black vote was indeed up but, there was an Trump approval of 25% vs an dis-approval of 75% for Blacks!!! This is the full context: “The new Hill-HarrisX survey of registered Black voters between Aug. 22-25 — which included the first two days of the Republican National Convention (RNC) convention — found nearly one on four said they approve of the job Trump is doing as president. The other 76% percent disapprove.”
I think readers should have been given the full context of the paragraph.
Factual Reporting: LOW
Country: United Kingdom
World Press Freedom Rank: UK 35/180
Neon Nettle is an alternative and independent news source. According to their about page “Neon Nettle was launched as an educational and thought provoking publication. At Neon Nettle, we believe the mainstream has become less valid as it continues its ongoing practices of censorship and engineered narratives.” Neon Nettle is located in London, England and the senior editor is Jack Murphy.
Read our profile on UK government and media.
Funded by / Ownership
The website does not list who owns it. Neon Nettle is funded through online advertising and donations.
Analysis / Bias
Neon Nettle is a right-wing conspiracy and pseudoscience website. There are many articles about Aliens, New World Order, etc. They have a Pants on Fire claim with Politifact and are listed on their fake news list. They also have a Mostly False claim via Snopes and another here. Really the best way to discover this site is to actually visit it and see for yourself. I suggest a tinfoil hat.
Overall, we rate Neon Nettle a Tin Foil Hat level Conspiracy website based on the promotion of numerous conspiracy theories as well as the publishing of fake news. (5/1/2017) Updated (D. Van Zandt 7/21/2018)
How To Spot Fake News
Fake news is nothing new. But bogus stories can reach more people more quickly via social media than what good old-fashioned viral emails could accomplish in years past.
Concern about the phenomenon led Facebook and Google to announce that they’ll crack down on fake news sites, restricting their ability to garner ad revenue. Perhaps that could dissipate the amount of malarkey online, though news consumers themselves are the best defense against the spread of misinformation.
Not all of the misinformation being passed along online is complete fiction, though some of it is. Snopes.com has been exposing false viral claims since the mid 1990s, whether that’s fabricated messages, distortions containing bits of truth and everything in between. Founder David Mikkelson warned in a Nov. 17 article not to lump everything into the “fake news” category. “The fictions and fabrications that comprise fake news are but a subset of the larger bad news phenomenon, which also encompasses many forms of shoddy, unresearched, error-filled, and deliberately misleading reporting that do a disservice to everyone,” he wrote.
A lot of these viral claims aren’t “news” at all, but fiction, satire and efforts to fool readers into thinking they’re for real.
We’ve long encouraged readers to be skeptical of viral claims, and make good use of the delete key when a chain email hits their inboxes. In December 2007, we launched our Ask FactCheck feature, where we answer readers’ questions, the vast majority of which concern viral emails, social media memes and the like. Our first story was about a made-up email that claimed then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wanted to put a “windfall” tax on all stock profits of 100 percent and give the money to, the email claimed, “the 12 Million Illegal Immigrants and other unemployed minorities.” We called it “a malicious fabrication” — that’s “fake news” in today’s parlance.
In 2008, we tried to get readers to rid their inboxes of this kind of garbage. We described a list of red flags — we called them Key Characteristics of Bogusness — that were clear tip-offs that a chain email wasn’t legitimate. Among them: an anonymous author; excessive exclamation points, capital letters and misspellings; entreaties that “This is NOT a hoax!”; and links to sourcing that does not support or completely contradicts the claims being made.
Those all still hold true, but fake stories — as in, completely made-up “news” — have grown more sophisticated, often presented on a site designed to look (sort of) like a legitimate news organization. Still, we find it’s easy to figure out what’s real and what’s imaginary if you’re armed with some critical thinking and fact-checking tools of the trade.
Here’s Our Advice On How To Spot A Fake:
Consider The Source. In recent months, we’ve fact-checked fake news from abcnews.com.co (not the actual URL for ABC News), WTOE 5 News (whose “about” page says it’s “a fantasy news website”), and the Boston Tribune (whose “contact us” page lists only a gmail address). Earlier this year, we debunked the claim that the Obamas were buying a vacation home in Dubai, a made-up missive that came from WhatDoesItMean.com, which describes itself as “One Of The Top Ranked Websites In The World for New World Order, Conspiracy Theories and Alternative News” and further says on its site that most of what it publishes is fiction.
Clearly, some of these sites do provide a “fantasy news” or satire warning, like WTOE 5, which published the bogus headline, “Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President, Releases Statement.” Others aren’t so upfront, like the Boston Tribune, which doesn’t provide any information on its mission, staff members or physical location — further signs that maybe this site isn’t a legitimate news organization. The site, in fact, changed its name from Associated Media Coverage, after its work had been debunked by fact-checking organizations.
Snopes.com, which has been writing about viral claims and online rumors since the mid-1990s, maintains a list of known fake news websites, several of which have emerged in the past two years.
Read Beyond The Headline. If a provocative headline drew your attention, read a little further before you decide to pass along the shocking information. Even in legitimate news stories, the headline doesn’t always tell the whole story. But fake news, particularly efforts to be satirical, can include several revealing signs in the text. That abcnews.com.co story that we checked, headlined “Obama Signs Executive Order Banning The Pledge Of Allegiance In Schools Nationwide,” went on to quote “Fappy the Anti-Masturbation Dolphin.” We have to assume that the many readers who asked us whether this viral rumor was true hadn’t read the full story.
Check The Author. Another tell-tale sign of a fake story is often the byline. The pledge of allegiance story on abcnews.com.co was supposedly written by “Jimmy Rustling.” Who is he? Well, his author page claims he is a “doctor” who won “fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes.” Pretty impressive, if true. But it’s not. No one by the name of “Rustling” has won a Pulitzer or Peabody award. The photo accompanying Rustling’s bio is also displayed on another bogus story on a different site, but this time under the byline “Darius Rubics.” The Dubai story was written by “Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers.” The Pope Francis story has no byline at all.
What’s The Support? Many times these bogus stories will cite official — or official-sounding — sources, but once you look into it, the source doesn’t back up the claim. For instance, the Boston Tribune site wrongly claimed that President Obama’s mother-in-law was going to get a lifetime government pension for having babysat her granddaughters in the White House, citing “the Civil Service Retirement Act” and providing a link. But the link to a government benefits website doesn’t support the claim at all.
The banning-the-pledge story cites the number of an actual executive order — you can look it up. It doesn’t have anything to do with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Another viral claim we checked a year ago was a graphic purporting to show crime statistics on the percentage of whites killed by blacks and other murder statistics by race. Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump retweeted it, telling Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly that it came “from sources that are very credible.” But almost every figure in the image was wrong — FBI crime data is publicly available — and the supposed source given for the data, “Crime Statistics Bureau – San Francisco,” doesn’t exist.
Recently, we’ve received several questions about a fake news story on the admittedly satirical site Nevada County Scooper, which wrote that Vice President-elect Mike Pence, in a “surprise announcement,” credited gay conversion therapy for saving his marriage. Clearly such a “surprise announcement” would garner media coverage beyond a website you’ve never heard of. In fact, if you Google this, the first link that comes up is a Snopes.com article revealing that this is fake news.
Check The Date. Some false stories aren’t completely fake, but rather distortions of real events. These mendacious claims can take a legitimate news story and twist what it says — or even claim that something that happened long ago is related to current events.
Since Trump was elected president, we’ve received many inquiries from readers wanting to know whether Ford had moved car production from Mexico to Ohio, because of Trump’s election. Readers cited various blog items that quoted from and linked to a CNN Money article titled “Ford shifts truck production from Mexico to Ohio.” But that story is from August 2015, clearly not evidence of Ford making any move due to the outcome of the election. (A reminder again to check the support for these claims.)
One deceptive website didn’t credit CNN, but instead took CNN’s 2015 story and slapped a new headline and publication date on it, claiming, “Since Donald Trump Won The Presidency… Ford Shifts Truck Production From Mexico To Ohio.” Not only is that a bogus headline, but the deception involves copyright infringement.
If this Ford story sounds familiar, that’s because the CNN article has been distorted before.
In October 2015, Trump wrongly boasted that Ford had changed its plans to build new plants in Mexico, and instead would build a plant in Ohio. Trump took credit for Ford’s alleged change of heart and tweeted a link to a story on a blog called Prntly.com, which cited the CNN Money story. But Ford hadn’t changed its plans at all, and Trump deserved no credit.
In fact, the CNN article was about the transfer of some pickup assembly work from Mexico to Ohio, a move that was announced by Ford in March 2014. The plans for new plants in Mexico were still on, Ford said. “Ford has not spoken with Mr. Trump, nor have we made any changes to our plans,” Ford said in a statement.
Is This Some Kind Of Joke? Remember, there is such thing as satire. Normally, it’s clearly labeled as such, and sometimes it’s even funny. Andy Borowitz has been writing a satirical news column, the Borowitz Report, since 2001, and it has appeared in the New Yorker since 2012. But not everyone gets the jokes. We’ve fielded several questions on whether Borowitz’s work is true.
Among the headlines our readers have flagged: “Putin Appears with Trump in Flurry of Swing-State Rallies” and “Trump Threatens to Skip Remaining Debates If Hillary Is There.” When we told readers these were satirical columns, some indicated that they suspected the details were far-fetched but wanted to be sure.
And then there’s the more debatable forms of satire, designed to pull one over on the reader. That “Fappy the Anti-Masturbation Dolphin” story? That’s the work of online hoaxer Paul Horner, whose “greatest coup,” as described by the Washington Post in 2014, was when Fox News mentioned, as fact, a fake piece titled, “Obama uses own money to open Muslim museum amid government shutdown.” Horner told the Post after the election that he was concerned his hoaxes aimed at Trump supporters may have helped the campaign.
The posts by Horner and others — whether termed satire or simply “fake news” — are designed to encourage clicks, and generate money for the creator through ad revenue. Horner told the Washington Post he makes a living off his posts. Asked why his material gets so many views, Horner responded, “They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything anymore.”
Check Your Biases. We know this is difficult. Confirmation bias leads people to put more stock in information that confirms their beliefs and discount information that doesn’t. But the next time you’re automatically appalled at some Facebook post concerning, say, a politician you oppose, take a moment to check it out.
Try this simple test: What other stories have been posted to the “news” website that is the source of the story that just popped up in your Facebook feed? You may be predisposed to believe that Obama bought a house in Dubai, but how about a story on the same site that carries this headline: “Antarctica ‘Guardians’ Retaliate Against America With Massive New Zealand Earthquake.” That, too, was written by the prolific “Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers.”
We’re encouraged by some of the responses we get from readers, who — like the ones uncertain of Borowitz’s columns — express doubt in the outrageous, and just want to be sure their skepticism is justified. But we are equally discouraged when we see debunked claims gain new life.
We’ve seen the resurgence of a fake quote from Donald Trump since the election — a viral image that circulated last year claims Trump told People magazine in 1998: “If I were to run, I’d run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.” We found no such quote in People’s archives from 1998, or any other year. And a public relations representative for the magazine confirmed that. People’s Julie Farin told us in an email last year: “We combed through every Trump story in our archive. We couldn’t find anything remotely like this quote –and no interview at all in 1998.”
Comedian Amy Schumer may have contributed to the revival of this fake meme. She put it on Instagram, adding at the end of a lengthy message, “Yes this quote is fake but it doesn’t matter.”
Consult The Experts. We know you’re busy, and some of this debunking takes time. But we get paid to do this kind of work. Between FactCheck.org, Snopes.com, the Washington Post Fact Checker and PolitiFact.com, it’s likely at least one has already fact-checked the latest viral claim to pop up in your news feed.
FactCheck.org was among a network of independent fact-checkers who signed an open letter to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg suggesting that Facebook “start an open conversation on the principles that could underpin a more accurate news ecosystem on its News Feed.” We hope that conversation happens, but news readers themselves remain the first line of defense against fake news.
Other Ways To Spot Inaccurate News
Proven ways to detect whether web or social media news is deceptive or a hoax.
Not too long ago, most American households subscribed to a newspaper, watched the news on one of three networks and maybe read a newsmagazine. Which meant most of us got a consensus view of the world each day.
As of 2018, however, only 16 percent of Americans read a printed newspaper. While TV remains a major news source, it is spread over far more stations with vastly different coverage and perspectives. The biggest change is how our news consumption has shifted online; today about half of Americans get the news via Facebook, the world’s largest social media site.
But staying informed online has its risks. Unlike a print publisher, a digital news provider can observe and store your every news choice, how long you interacted with it, whether you shared it and what you did after viewing it. With such data, it can filter what you see, showing you more content that aligns with your worldview — essentially putting you in a news bubble.
Sometimes filtering leads consumers to made-up news — 5G cellphone towers found to cause COVID-19! Drinking bleach kills the virus! Facebook has taken steps to identify such hoaxes, but more are posted every day. And they get millions of likes.
Fact-checkers, journalists and digital media experts share simple ways you can inspect what you are reading for accuracy and validity:
Do a web search for the writer’s name, says Cristina Tardáguila, associate director of the International Fact-Checking Network. If a common name, add “journalist” or “writer” to the search. (No author cited? That’s an immediate red flag, she notes.) The writer’s articles should appear in the search results, along with a LinkedIn profile or a verified Twitter account. You’ll tell quickly if this author has credibility.
“Seventy percent of people don’t read beyond the headline on articles they share,” says Emily Bell, founding director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. Manipulators use that to their advantage by creating clickbait headlines that distort a story’s truth. Read the whole story before liking it or sharing it (or believing it).
Research an article’s sources, says Jon Greenberg, senior correspondent at the fact-checking site PolitiFact. A quick search can reveal whether people, studies, surveys or reports that provide evidence for the news story have political or business affiliations. Having these affiliations can be fine, but you’ll benefit from knowing who and what they are.
The Call To Action
If there is language urging you to take some action — send money, join an organization, share the report or simply “click this link” — be highly cautious, Bell notes. Reporting should provide facts and insight, and be clear in its intent and transparent in its sourcing. Articles that sell or promote something often are not truly unbiased; a fervent push to have you click on a link could even signal fraud.
The Blue Badge
Social media platforms — such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter — indicate legitimate accounts with a checkmark. If the verified badge appears next to the name on the profile and next to the account name in the search results, it means the platform has confirmed that the account is authentic and run by the public figure or organization cited.
Altered or completely fake photos and videos are common in the disinformation realm. Use “reverse-image searches” if you suspect a faked photo, Tardáguila says. Drag and drop a photo into Google Image search, for example, and it will spit out information for that image, such as its original source, when it first appeared and more.
Legitimate news stories rarely show up on just one site, says Alex Mahadevan, senior multimedia reporter at the Poynter Institute’s MediaWise project. He encourages lateral reading — consulting other news sources to see if they have similar stories or information.
Facebook notes that “many false news sites have misspellings or awkward layouts.” If you see these, be dubious. Most legitimate news providers edit and groom content before publishing.
This spring, a poem went viral that was supposedly written in the late 1800s, but it had the perfect sentiment and messages for today. Turns out it was written in March 2020, as anyone who consulted Snopes.com or other fact-checking web services would have discovered.
Is it really news you are reading, or is it opinion or advocacy? Reporting covers the who, what, when, where and why. If a news story is missing any of these, be suspicious, Tardáguila says. Ask yourself: “Who wrote and shared this? What is its goal? When was it created? Where is it getting its information from? Why am I getting this now?”
On our Viral Spiral page, we list some of the claims we get asked about the most; all of our Ask FactChecks can be found here. And if you encounter a new claim you’d like us to investigate, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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