Nearly everyone I know has shared images or videos from Facebook pages like Occupy Democrats, Addicting Info, US Uncut or The Other 98%. These are pages that claim to be political organizations and/or news sites, and liberals absolutely go nuts for their content on social media.
These are the most prevalent pages on Facebook, but there are others like Palmer Report that are spreading fake news in liberal circles. A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by Business Insider about Palmer Report, and they dug deep into the phenomenon that is the fake news plague that has jumped the divide from the far-right to the left.
When I wrote for Forward Progressives, I was the Bernie Sanders guy. I truly believed in what I was doing, but my colleague “Allen Clifton” was happy to shit on Bernie at every chance he got, along with disparaging Black Lives Matter and laughing about police brutality in private conversations. The Facebook page claimed to be in San Francisco, but the owners lived in Minnesota and Ohio, where the LLC is registered.
What these fake political organizations and self-proclaimed “news sites” have in common is that they provide propaganda that the left wants to believe in. Some of these organizations even go so far as to pit Bernie Sanders supporters against Hillary Clinton supporters for extra clicks, which is a needless and harmful sideshow.
They will also fight each other over readers and traffic. When I was writing at Forward Progressives, the owner of another site (American News X) wrote a number of stories claiming that I was a GOP operative, and so was our site.
This isn’t an isolated spat, or simply another liberal blog with writers turning on each other. This is an ongoing issue with fake political organizations and fake news sites fighting internally and externally over what will bring them the most traffic and resulting ad revenue from sources like Google AdSense or RevContent.
A writer from Addicting Info admitted to this in an article some years back. Perhaps that’s why she no longer works there.
There are hundreds (thousands?) of liberal websites. Some are good, some are not so good. But if they’re up on the web, each one is competing for readers, ad clickers, ad dollars, subscribers, and in general, quantifiable ratings. A site’s very survival can depend on where they fall on ALEXAÂ (a website ranking site) so the goal, for some, is not only to do well themselves, but to do what they can to drag down other, competitive sites. Don’t think a liberal would do that to another liberal? Think again. I’ve seen sites poaching other sites’ writers, starting ugly email chains with less than accurate criticisms and refusals to publish the work of writers freelancing at competitive sites. Enough blood on the floor between liberal bloggers to turn a stomach and that’s a whole lotta blood. (Addicting Info)
This is simply about money, not political activism. If you go to OpenSecrets, a site that tracks money in politics, you will not find a single donation from The Other 98% to any political candidate or fund. The same goes for Occupy Democrats that calls itself a political organization (hint: it’s not) or even ShareBlue.
As long as people keep falling for hyperbole and clickbait headlines, these organizations will continue to flourish and spread misinformation. Real news organizations employ fact checkers and reporters, not speculators and content regurgitators who hide behind foreign registrations to avoid copyright violation claims. They issue retractions when they are wrong and they don’t rely on false fronts and spammers to spread their content.
If you want honest reporting, spend a few dollars supporting NPR or the New York Times. It also comes with the added bonus of pissing off Donald Trump who has ironically made NYT more popular than it has been in a long time.
Here is my podcast interview on the matter.