My two cents
by William Miller
Everyone knows that we Americans have a very important election coming up in November. All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested. 39 state and territorial governorships and numerous other state and local elections will also be contested.
All 17 US intelligence agencies agree that the Russians disseminated fake news in order to influence the 2016 election. Fake news websites are Internet websites that deliberately publish fake news — hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation purporting to be real news — often using social media to drive web traffic and amplify their effect. Unlike news satire, fake news websites deliberately seek to be perceived as legitimate and taken at face value, often for financial or political gain. Such sites have promoted political falsehoods in Germany, Indonesia, Philippines, Sweden, Myanmar and the United States. Many sites originate in, or are promoted by Russia, Macedonia, Romania and also in the United States. And there are other techniques that produce disinformation such as “astroturfing,” organizations that appear to be promoting one thing but are really promoting another. It’s everywhere these days.
Each person should vote according to their values, but how can they if what they believe to be true, is not?
So what is the solution? We all have busy lives and cannot afford to spend too much time filtering through the half truths and lies.
The answer is to use reliable fact checking sites such as FactCheck.org, Politifact and Snopes to find out what the truth really is. In minutes you can get the results of a professional inquiry into the truth. You can even skip the middleman and use these fact checking websites as your news source.
I have never found any of the three sites I have listed to be biased one way or the other. I might note, for those of you who lean right, FactCheck.org is supported by the Annenberg Foundation which was funded by the Annenbergs who never voted for a democrat in their life.
So please, this November, everyone vote your own values, whatever they may be, but before you vote, fact check what you believe to be true.
The social media are relatively new. Disinformation was an old game when this hoax was run.
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