I’ve got a lot of genuine ethics issues to write about, and I resent having to waste my time on this despicable hoax news site. But a lawyer and gentleman I very much respect just got fooled by a post there, and these vile hoax sites are apparently proliferating. They are designed to pollute the web with rumors and false information, relying on confirmation bias to make others look stupid, or best of all (in their warped view), get a legitimate news site to misinform its readers.
NewsLo’s gimmick is that it publishes fake news stories that include real stories within them, and readers can push buttons that say “Show Facts” (that will highlight the true portions of the fake posts) or “Hide Facts.” All posts initially come up with the facts hidden, however, so the site is easy to misunderstand. The comments on the posts indicate that a lot of readers don’t push any buttons, which is just what the creeps who maintain this site hope for.
IF you go to the Home page, and IF you go down to the very bottom of that, then you will find an “ABOUT” link, where you will read:
JUST ENOUGH NEWS… Newslo is the first hybrid News/Satire platform on the web. Readers come to us for a unique brand of entertainment and information that is enhanced by features like our fact-button, which allows readers to find what is fact and what is satire.
Newslo’s “No Need to Satirize” brings you completely factual stories that are so ridiculous, they don’t need our trademark touch. Whenever you see #NNTS, you’re reading COMPLETELY real news that only seems too absurd to be true.
These smug, irresponsible jerks will of course argue that their fake stories are obviously fake, and no disclaimer is necessary. That is disingenuous and false, and they know it. A disproportionate number of their fake posts involve walking, talking absurdities like Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Ben Carson, Pat Robertson, Ted Nugent, and others whose limits regarding nonsense are still unknown.
Yes, the site also thinks only conservatives say idiotic things. Ironically, this means that almost all of their victims are progressives of the sort who can easily believe, for example, that Sarah Palin would say, in a speech,
‘I’m going to say it once again loudly and clearly: Negroes loved being slaves and they were doing just fine under our rules. So, you see, you can’t really blame us for any of it, not legitimately. If they liked it and enjoyed it, how can you pin that on white people?‘
As I recently wrote a Harvard grad who naively posted an infamous fake pie chart falsely showing that the majority of federal expenditures were on the military, no wonder we have a dangerously polarized nation, when partisan hate and intensity is fed by lies and the willingness of otherwise intelligent people to believe them.
First, we need to stop being irresponsibly gullible and deceived by our biases.
Then we have to identify, shame and shun the liars…like NewsLo.