Fake News: Whose Fault Is It Anyway?

A newspaper with a magnifying glass in front of it.

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When Donald Trump won the 2016 U.S. presidential election, it sent shock waves throughout the world. Nobody, not even the media, believed that he could win. But he did, and so naturally, people are still trying to figure out why. According to analysts, fake news is to blame.

It sounds ridiculous at first. How do people not know the difference between real news vs. fake news? But believe it or not, it’s more common than you think.

Paul Horner, a self-admitted fake news publisher, is so good of an imposter that he has tricked major political figures into sharing his faux stories on social media. Both Eric Trump and former Trump-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski fell victim to his sham when they tweeted a link to one of his counterfeit stories.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Horner revealed the tricks of his trade. One strategy he uses involves creating a domain name with a familiar URL. In the past, Horner has used the domain “abcnews.com.co” to deceive people into believing that the article is from trusted news source ABC. But in actuality, it isn’t. That small “.co” at the end of it means that it is not in fact from ABC News.

At one point, Horner even convinced the Internet that people were being “bused in” and paid to protest Donald Trump’s election. These claims turned out to be complete and utterly false. At one point, he even convinced social media users that he was the famed graffiti artist “Banksy.” It begs the question: are imposters just that good? Or is America just that gullible?

The answer is: it’s both. The people who publish these hoaxes are lifelong con artists. They are highly skilled in the art of deception. However, readers also have a responsibility to carefully evaluate their sources. Conducting research and assessing credibility is something that every adult ought to know how to do. Unfortunately, not every adult does know how to do this. That’s why this should be treated as a wake up call so it doesn’t happen again.

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About DevonJ140
I am currently an Accounting Director living in New York City. I love reading and learning more about business, finance, tech, and current events.

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