Fort Lauderdale airport shooting unleashes torrent of fake news on social media

As of January 7th, almost every post associated with the Twitter tag “#estebansantiago” are fake news items, with photos showing the wrong person, tweets making untrue assertions, and doctored photographs. Click on the tag and see for yourself.

Many of these contain links to poor sources and known fake news web sites, meaning online, for profit, social media-based news that pass on biased items targeting specific emotions and groups.

Many of these posts are making false assertions and accusations about the ethnicity of the alleged shooter and making false assertions about main stream media reporting about the incident. Many posts seem to be affiliated with known, “right wing” fake news sites that are attempting to persuade the target to draw specific (and untrue) conclusions about the shooter and others.

Social media is a frictionless platform for the easy and fast distribution of propaganda items. Thanks to social media, today everyone can be and is a propagandist! No printing press or broadcast license required!

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