Here’s Who Will Be Interfering in the 2020 Election (Spoiler: It’s Still NOT the Russians) by Daisy Luther for The Organic Prepper
After the 2016 presidential election, accusations of foreign interference ran rampant. This, paired with President Trump’s surprise victory, caused social media outlets to crack down on “fake news.” And now, one major social media outlet has caused outrage among employees with a policy that allows paid advertisements by politicians to be completely exempt from “fact-checking.”
But before we get into that, let’s take a moment to look back at previous discussions of election interference.
Did the Russians change the outcome of the 2016 election?
A hearing in the Senate lasting for 2 years found that the “Russian government directed extensive activity…against the US election infrastructure.” However, the redacted report also says that the Senate Committee found “no evidence that any votes were changed or any voting machines were manipulated.” You can read the full (redacted) report here.
Despite the fact that this doesn’t seem to have had any effect on the outcome of the last election, the mainstream media still to this day claims that Russia is the cause of all our problems. Here’s one example from May of 2019:
AS LAWMAKERS, STATE elections officials and social media executives work to limit intervention in the 2020 elections by Russia and other foreign operatives, an unsettling truth is emerging.
Vladimir Putin may already be succeeding.
The troubling disclosures of Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign – “sweeping and systematic,” special counsel Robert Mueller concluded in his report on the matter – have policymakers on guard for what intelligence officials say is a continuing campaign by Russia to influence American elections. But even if voting machines in all jurisdictions are secured against hacking and social media sites are scrubbed of fake stories posted by Russian bots, the damage may already have been done, experts warn, as Americans’ faith in the credibility of the nation’s elections falters.
“This is Vladimir Putin’s game plan – sow distrust, discord, disillusionment and division,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, says about the Russian leader. “It’s his playbook for all Western democracies – not just us, but Europe and around the world. We’re open societies, we’re vulnerable to disinformation, and he regards himself as superior because he controls the press,” adds Blumenthal, one of the authors of bipartisan legislation meant to improve election security. (source)
Alternative news sites began to be targeted.
Right after the election, alternative news sites began to be targeted by the mainstream media.
Who can forget the outrageous and unfounded accusations reported by Washington Post which were leveled against bloggers and alternative news websites, accusing them of either being Russian operatives or in cahoots with the Russians?
That’s when the term “fake news” began to be used as a weapon. Now, any time someone on the internet sees a report that doesn’t align with their cognitive bias, they exclaim “Fake news!!!” regardless of the accuracy of the report. Let’s face it, “fake news” could just be used interchangeably with “stuff someone doesn’t like.”
And the targeting didn’t stop with the mainstream media.
Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter began last year to purge their networks of some of the most popular alternative news sites around, wiping out tens of millions of followers overnight. The life’s work of people who wanted others to have an alternative view of politics and the way our country interacts with the world vanished at the snap of a finger.
Facebook has vowed to fight “fake news”
Facebook has allotted a great deal of money to fighting “fake news” during the next election.
With just over a year left until the 2020 U.S. presidential elections, Facebook updated its policies on the spread of misinformation and released a bunch of new tools to better “protect the democratic process” in a post published yesterday. Now, Facebook will clearly label false posts and state-controlled media, and will invest $2 million in media literacy projects to help people understand the information they’re seeing online…
…Over the next month, content published on Facebook and Instagram that has been rated false or partly false by a third-party fact-checker will be more prominently labeled so people can better decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share. A pop-up will also appear when users attempt to share posts on Instagram that include content that’s been debunked by its fact-checkers…
…Facebook revealed it has removed four networks found to be fake, state-backed misinformation-spreading accounts based in Iran and Russia — countries that have recently been found to cross borders to spread misinformation on not just their in-apps but on a global scale too.
Alongside these updates to protect voters in the states, the tech giant introduced a security tool for elected officials and candidates that monitors their accounts to detect hacking such as login attempts in unusual locations or on unverified devices. (source)
So this means if you share something that Facebook’s “independent” fact-checkers, don’t like, it will be labeled as “false” when you post it. For more information on who Facebook’s fact-checkers are, check out this article: people who aren’t even from the United States are vetting American news. As well, the Columbia Journalism Review has a number of criticisms about the program.