Fake news is such an innocent term. The fact that the term masks what it really is—propaganda meant to weaken real news—gets lost in the equation.
Nevertheless, what does “fake news” actually look like? It looks like this:
Sadly, fake news, a.k.a. propaganda is not innocent, nor does it exist in a bubble.
According to Bloomberg, Russian meddling is far from the only social media hack that swayed voters last November.
This American-led campaign was aided by direct collaboration with employees of Facebook and Google. They helped target the ads to more efficiently reach the intended audiences.
To clarify, Facebook and Google are actively spreading misinformation, as long as the fake content originates from a well-paying client.
In this case, the well-paying client is Secure America Now (the largest national security digital platform in the nation). The “media company” spent millions of dollars last year spewing their pollution into the media streams of unknowing Americans.
Unfortunately, there’s also an agency in the middle of this debacle, one Harris Media of Austin, TX. Thankfully, the content of some ads left some employees of Harris Media feeling uneasy.
“It was designed to strike fear in people’s hearts,” said one former Harris employee who requested anonymity.
Which people it was meant to frighten is critical to the story.
In some cases, the ads were highly targeted on social media and aimed at groups of people, such as Hispanic voters in Nevada, a swing state, that they felt could be swayed by the anti-refugee message.