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Saturday, November 4, 2017

This CNN Article About Fake News on Facebook Is The Definition of Fake News (and Clickbait)

Oh we might have reached peak 2017 baby. This is a fake news story about Russian fake news. (Of course it's from CNN.)

Let's dive right in shall we?

Dylan Byers starts off this true gem of journalism with the headline:

"Facebook estimates 126 million people were served content from Russia-linked pages"

Googley moogley! That is a big number.

126 million?


With a M? Oh shet.

I better click this...

Hmmmm... let's see....

"Facebook will inform lawmakers this week that roughly 126 million Americans may have been exposed to content generated on its platform by the Russian government-linked troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency between June 2015 and August 2017, CNN has learned."

I love how they say "exposed" like it's swine flu or some shet. Like Russian clickbait mills are giving people HIV.

"That estimate, which is equivalent to more than half of the total U.S. voting population, offers a new understanding of the scope of Russia's use of social media to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and in American society generally."

Let's get real for a second. Nothing anyone's ever seen on Facebook has ever swayed their opinion on politics.

I bet you 10,000 rubles these Ruskies don't give two icy cold Russian (what's Russian for shets) about the U.S. election.

This is probably just a hustle for some page views and ad revenue (kind of exactly like CNN).

"In written testimony to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, a copy of which was obtained by CNN, Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch says that 29 million people were served content directly from the Internet Research Agency, and that after sharing among users is accounted for, a total of "approximately 126 million people" may have seen it."

Oh. My. God.

There's that big number again. That's- that's a lot.

Did you know? 126 MMMMMiiillion tacos are eaten- just crushed between people's teeth and swallowed- every day?

"Facebook does not know, however, how many of those 126 million people actually saw one of those posts, or how many may have scrolled past it or simply not logged in on the day that one of the posts was being served in their News Feed."

Oh. Wait- what??

So that number is bogus? Wtf dawg? I clicked on this shit because of that number!

'"This equals about four-thousandths of one percent (0.004%) of content in News Feed, or approximately 1 out of 23,000 pieces of content," Stretch writes. "Put another way, if each of these posts were a commercial on television, you'd have to watch more than 600 hours of television to see something from the IRA."'

Okay. This is very rapidly becoming far less interesting.

So do you think anybody would have clicked this article if the headline read:

"Amount of Russian FB clickbait equivalent to 1 commercial in 600 hours of television"

Actually, maybe. Yeah.

As it's written, the headline is totally misleading, and the real import of the story is buried right after the point on the page where 90% of visitors stop scrolling and leave the site.

(Hello there my dearly beloved 10%, you should subscribe to email updates from the Humble Libertarian.)

So it's total click bait. It's just there to get those views. Maybe Congress should investigate CNN for meddling in U.S. politics, or more importantly, for wasting your time for a penny.

Don't forget to click our garbage ads.

And it's the definition of fake news.

And ironically enough if they had headlined with the sober, context-setting part, it would have probably killed. Maybe even done better than the current click bait headline.

And it would have been honest instead of deceptive. Which, ya know, shouldn't be too much to ask from a got dam journalist.

People sick of Russia hysteria would have found it refreshing to learn just how little the Russian clickbait mills mattered in 2016. The part they buried would be actual news.

But Dylan's got an axe to grind. Or at least his employers at CNN do, and he who pays the Dylan calls the tune.

So instead of enlightening us with a better understanding of the world, CNN writes a deceptive and misleading headline to give us a certain impression that is actually false.

That's fake news.

'In Facebook's testimony, Stretch calls the content of the Russian-bought ads "deeply disturbing," and says it was "seemingly intended to amplify societal divisions and pit groups of people against each other."'

Kind of like... U.S. politics.

I don't know that this can be called "meddling" in U.S. politics. Sounds just like... participating. the same divisive bullshet the Democrats and Republicans have been doing for over a century now.

"Most of the ads appear to focus on divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum, touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights," he writes. "A number of the ads encourage people to follow Pages on these issues, which in turn produced posts on similarly charged subjects."

Well dam if focusing "on divisive social and political messages" deserves a Congressional investigation and Jimmy Kimmel hasn't been investigated yet. Lighting up amygdalas is good for ratings.

"Google later revealed that accounts connected to the Russian government had bought $4,700 worth of search and display ads..."

You have got to be kidding me.

All this hullabaloo over a measly $5000 worth of ads??

Got damnet, CNN! I should have known better! There's an old saying in Tennessee. Well they have it in Texas, probably in Tennessee too. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on-- shame on-- You can't get fooled again!

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