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The Scoop 12-9
This column read by over 5 million
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Think you can spot a fake news headline? I gave you an easy test with the headline of this column, but most fake news doesn't operate on a remedial level.
In a just-released survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for BuzzFeed, it was learned fake headlines fool American adults about 75 percent of the time. If you think spotting fake news is easy, let's cut straight to the chase. See if you can tell which stories are real and which are false from the presidential election:
1) Donald Trump refuses to accept presidential salary
2) Melania Trump's racy girl-on-girl photos revealed
3) FBI agent suspected in Hillary email leaks found dead in apparent murder-suicide
4) Trump protester speaks out: "I was paid $3,500 to protest Trump's rally"
5) Trump vows to protect gay and lesbian citizens
6) Barbara Bush: "I don't know how women can vote for Trump"
7) FBI director James Comey just put a Trump sign in his front yard
8) Trump sends his own plane to transport 200 stranded Marines.
It's rather complicated trying to determine which stories floating around the Internet are real and which are false. If you're eager for the answers to today's quiz, here they are: No. 1 true, No. 2 true, No. 3 false, No. 4 false, No. 5 true, No. 6 true, No. 7 false, No. 8 false.
I passed these questions around the office Wednesday and no one got more than six correct. One person missed five of the eight.
What compounds the problem further is when friends read false information and then pass it along as true. I heard from several pals of mine how disgraceful the Hillary campaign was for paying protesters to appear at Trump rallies. If you hear it enough, it's hard not to start believing it.
All this brings me to President-elect Donald Trump, the king of false information. Trump is fresh off a tweet that claims he would have won the popular vote if millions of illegal voters weren't allowed to vote for Hillary.
This is pure nonsense, but Trump tossed it out there like a guy who had been drinking all night. And some people believe it.
Trump followed that by attacking the union president in Indianapolis who represents the Carrier workers whose jobs Trump pledged to save. The union leader, Chuck Jones, pointed out Trump's figures are wrong.
Trump responded in his typical fashion, not by correcting the false job figures, but with an angry tweet. "Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!"
Now Jones is receiving threats.
No one is pulling for Trump more than me. I hope his four-year reign echoes with prosperity.
But for this to happen, Trump is going to have to take the leading role in slowing the sudden epidemic of false information gripping the nation. It all starts with his own Twitter account. If the highest ranking official in our country can't stop spreading social media lies, we're in for a jolt.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.