Many owners of liberal “fake news” sites have been angry with me for years for criticizing their business model. This goes back about six years when I first started calling out the original owner of Addicting Info for spamming his sensationalized or fake stories in the comments section of nearly Facebook page I was subscribed to.
2011 was in the early days of Facebook clickbait and fake news. The clickbait model for revenue involves taking a real news story or a viral hoax, repackaging it as your own work, often with misleading headlines, and then spamming it across social media to collect the ad revenue from a variety of companies like Google AdSense.
Fake news infests social media now far worse than it did back when I first started blogging. Highly distorted stories from a number of websites on the left and right are regularly spammed to my Facebook pages walls, as well into political groups I belong to. Often, the profiles who share them are very new, have generic American names, and sometimes have a poor use of English – all signs of foreign users who are attempting to pose as legitimate Facebook users.
One of the major sites doing this is Occupy Democrats, a site with a terrible accuracy rating by Politifact and Snopes. Occupy Democrats claims to be a political advocacy organization, but is little more than a group pretending to champion various liberal causes, while pushing inaccurate revisions of legimate news stories for profit.
Here is just one example of an inaccurate publication by Occupy Democrats, which was also pushed by sites like Palmer Report and others.
On 25 November 2016, various stories (including a since-removed post in the liberal click bait blog Occupy Democrats quoted below) appeared seemingly reporting that three counties in Wisconsin had admitted to committing voter fraud by padding the vote tallies for President-elect Donald Trump:
The point to take away from this entire voting debacle in these little Wisconsin towns is the voter fraud was uncovered because they lazily attempted to give Trump an edge and did not anticipate their villainy being discovered. In other areas of the nation it is entirely possible that similar scenarios transpired, and the individuals involved were smoother in covering their tracks.
In fact, no counties in Wisconsin have “admitted” to committing voter fraud. While there was a discrepancy between the number of ballots cast and votes counted in one county, Outagamie, it was corrected when the official results were announced. (Snopes)
This isn’t an isolated incident of a shady liberal fake news site posting false information. I am going to list below a couple of original or real stories, followed by the repackaged or nearly-plagiarized version pushed by opportunistic bloggers hungry for a fat ad revenue payout.
On Palmer Report, an article was published that claimed Donald Trump visited an auction house to stage his inauguration speech. That story was proven to be inaccurate by Snopes, and this wasn’t the first time a Palmer Report blog was proven to be false.
I have personally been the victim of fake news “reporting” by Palmer Report, his website Daily News Bin, and the blog American News X. The owner of American News X or an affiliate anonymously published a blog calling me “Confidence Manny” – and attempted to claim I was a Republican operative, along with my former website, Forward Progressives.
Here is the false story from Daily News Bin:
But if you really want to know more about this Schewitz clown and how con artists like him operate, my counterparts the respected independent news site Crooks and Liars have published an excellent takedown exposing his sham. And my counterparts at another respected independent news site, Americans News X, dug into this guy awhile back and discovered that “Manny Schewitz” may not even be his real name. Naturally, these two respected news sites are on his list of supposed “fake news” sites, because that’s just how con artists like Schewitz operate.
It appears Schweitz used to write for another real and respected news outlet called Forward Progressives, before parting ways with them nearly a year ago. So naturally, the real news site that fired him is also now on his list of supposed “fake news” sites. The pattern becomes clear of how these “lists” come into existence: they’re always just dishonest publicity stunts by nobodies trying to make a name for themselves, or dishonest stabs at revenge by resentful losers who tried their hand at political journalism and failed. (Source)
It is true that I used to work for Forward Progressives. After a couple of years of being their hired mercenary and waging war on these other sites because my distaste for fake news sites fit their agenda, they cut me loose over a year ago – when the real owners of that site found themselves the targets of the same people who still try to shut me down today.
It is also true that I write under a pen name, one that used to be a nickname I had back when I worked for Sprint and uncovered the rampant fraud in their organization, and was forced out of the company for blowing the whistle.
These are just a couple examples of fake or distorted news on the left, which seems to have copied the outrage clickbait media strategy of sites like Town Hall or Gateway Pundit. Using sites like Occupy Democrats or Palmer Report isn’t just doing a disservice to real journalists, it’s descending to the level of the far-right in publishing misinformation that helped elect Donald Trump.
With Trump in the White House, the real stories that are coming out in the media are outrageous enough. There is no need for individuals to distort the truth, even if they’re trying to make a few bucks blogging and adding their own opinion to what is going on in America.
How do you tell if a story is fake news? There are a few ways to do it. First, use Google’s image search to see where else their photos appear. You can also check to see if reputable sources like Reuters, AP or NPR have reported on the story. If they have reported on it, read past the headline and compare their version of the story versus the version given to you by clickbait sites on the left or the right.
We have to be more factual and skeptical than the followers of Breitbart, Palmer Report, Occupy Democrats, or Fox News. If we can’t, we have no right to complain about fake news when we confront Trump supporters we know with what we believe to be the facts.
The owner of Palmer Report who apparently operates under the fictitious name of Bill Palmer has published a libelous article calling me a “con artist” and is claiming he will file suit against our website. For those of you who can’t be bothered to use Google, here you go.
The number of times I’ve been the subject of a Snopes article.
The number of times “Bill Palmer” and his sites have been on Snopes.
I look forward to him carrying through on his threat.