Fake news became a major problem during the tail end of the election, leading Google and Facebook to ban fake news sites from using their ad platforms. However, because we all know someone who’s fallen for a fake news story, Melissa Zimdars, an assistant professor of communication at Merrimack College in Massachusetts, put together a list of “False, misleading, clickbait-y and satirical ‘news’ sources” to help the plebeian public sort out real from fake.
There’s just one problem: Zimdars includes legitimate conservative news outlets on her list. Kira Davis writes at RedState (one of the outlets dubbed “fake” by Zimdars):
Zimdars includes conservative media giants IJReview, The Blaze, and Redstate – all organizations that provide aggregate reporting and opinion pieces. Having worked for all three organizations at one point or another, I can say with full certainty that not one is a ‘fake news’ site – or even misleading.
In fact, RedState writers go to great lengths to debunk false stories they find in the media. RedState has produced some of the top conservative talents, including former Editor-in-Chief Erick Erickson, and regularly features articles submitted by members of the House and Senate and from presidential candidates. The RedState Gathering is covered by major media, and has top caliber speakers and was even the site of the announcement of a Presidential campaign (Rick Perry.) RedState content is regularly featured in the mainstream press and has been quoted frequently by even such old-school journalism outlets as The New York Times many times this year alone.
IJReview is based in Washington D.C. and has a very strong and lucrative relationship with Facebook, even teaming up with the social media behemoth to produce one of the primary debates. Their reputation on Capitol Hill is well-known, and politicians and high-profile media personalities regularly contribute guest posts.
The Blaze provides a lot of opinion pieces some people like Zimdars might disagree with, but they most certainly do not post ‘fake news’ or even misleading headlines. MSNBC regularly produces sensational headlines that aren’t backed up by the research but funny enough; they are nowhere on this list. No mainstream liberal reporting agency is on this list.
If these are the types of sites Google and Facebook intend to block as “fake news,” then I’d rather just deal with the obviously fake and click-bait headlines on my newsfeed. But as this election has reinforced, liberals cannot deal when they don’t get their way.