methink2LibLefts in the US have started a campaign to weed out “fake news”, and both the Guardian and Independent are leading the charge to instigate it in the UK. There are two initial things – one an irony, one a predictable Room 101 paint job – emerging from the fake news thing that make it a hilarious, sphincter-loosening extreme close-up of the Progressively More Tonto persuasion – PMT for short.


The ironical dimension is that the leading practitioners of fake news in the UK since the Brexit and Donald votes have not just been the Mail/Sun/Bloomberg/Telegraph axis of whoring hype: they’ve been joined by the Guardian/Independent typewriter monkeys responsible for the ‘million % hate crime and decisions to emigrate increases’ drivel vomited up for the delectation of those who failed kindergarten maths.

The Room 101 rebranding (from “censorship” to “fake news”) centres around exactly what the Leftilibbers judge to be fake news. Guess what? It’s all those stories out there that make them look daft….as listed persuasively here.

But there’s also a third – more disturbing element that has emerged from the Orwellian prediction made flesh.

Stanford researchers have evaluated 7,804 students from a very wide variety of backgrounds in 12 U.S. states.  The conclusion? “When it comes to evaluating information that flows through social media channels,” the researchers behind the study wrote, these kids today are “easily duped.”

Less than a third of the participating students could explain “how the political agendas of MoveOn.org and the Center for American Progress might influence the content” of a MoveOn.org tweet alleging that nearly 70% of gun owners support political candidates who support gun control.

Even worse, 82% of all participating middle school students could not figure out if something they saw on the Internet was an actual news story or a “sponsored content” advertisement. Said the Stanford researchers, “In every case and at every level, we were taken aback by students’ lack of preparation”.

Plato said, “Without a properly and accurately informed electorate, democracy will always degrade into dictatorship”.The difference is that, in Plato’s day, there were no media – either mass or 24/7.Perhaps that might give those of you wearing long trousers pause for thought.

If you are of the Left, of course, it won’t.


Earlier at The Slog: Real news that isn’t counterfeit