Facebook’s “popularity contest”-style was responsible for upvoting Alex Jones to the top of the heap

Call Alex Jones what you want. Fake news, sensationalist, Alt-Right. Read this article below carefully:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/04/alex-jones-infowars-social-media-ban

The article doesn’t focus so much on the ban on Jones, but why he got so popular to begin with. Note: He was a money-maker for YouTube also, wasn’t he? They kept him popular, pumped him with more and more views. They didn’t care if it was real or fake news.

We have to realize that like anyone else, occasionally, Alex Jones has a few worthwhile things to say. These are the things that suck you in. Then he feeds you unfounded bullshit. I don’t think he does it deliberately. I think he isn’t using sound logic in his broadcasts.

Come to think of it, Mike Adams is about the same. Notice he strays into unfounded nonsense too much of the time.

Which brings me to the issue of Fake News. What is Fake News?

“Hilary Clinton had twins yesterday!” If you’re talking about the same Hilary everyone else is talking about I suspect this is fake news. You’d have to supply more facts than just making this announcement. How do you know? What kind of evidence is believable? A press announcement? Photograph? Maybe you saw it on TV, but which show, which station, and does it happen to be April Fool’s Day? We are likely to categorize the twins announcement as “fake news” unless the major news stations and major papers are all in consensus. Proof. Why? We didn’t see the babies first-hand.

What if your neighbor has been away all month and comes home and tells you, “You’re not going to believe where I was. A psych ward! They’re not like you see in the media. There was no therapy. The staff slept all night and we were locked into our rooms. One guy was screaming down the hall because they kept him tied to a bed with straps for days!” What will you do with this news? Fake? Or real?

Just because you don’t read this stuff in the usual media, is it fake? Just because you are uncomfortable hearing your neighbor tell this story, is it fake?

Does such “news” need to be backed by “credible sources”? NOOOOO! Why?

Do you see the distinction between the Hillary news and the first-hand experience news? First-hand experience does not need “research” to back it up. You must consider the source, consider the circumstances, and try to be an objective listener.

Does a rape victim need “sources” to “prove” that she was raped? Does she need to back her claim with statistics and studies? Does she need a doctor’s signature? Endorsement of a university? NOOOOOO! She only needs her own story.

A victim of psychiatric abuse only needs her own story. She doesn’t need a doctor to prove she is right. She doesn’t need “studies” to prove such things are possible, and she doesn’t need to show “credible evidence” that such a thing ever happened to anyone else. She doesn’t need Facebook to back her up. She doesn’t need a consensus, either.

She needs to be allowed to tell her story like anyone else. A person doesn’t need to be a doctor to tell a credible, first-hand story about a psych ward. How much time do doctors actually spend on the wards, anyway? They spend five minutes with each patient. Some spend 20 minutes a week total on the ward and still make money off the patients’ insurance. How can they possibly have a clue? Having a medical degree does not make a person an authority on the subject, either. Hardly.

I don’t give a shit about Alex Jones. I don’t think fake news helps anyone, especially if he is going to pepper his fake news with real news. When he does that he discredits the people he is helping in the real news bits in his broadcasts.

5 thoughts on “Facebook’s “popularity contest”-style was responsible for upvoting Alex Jones to the top of the heap”

  1. Sadly Julie, the very fact that the neighbor was locked in a psych ward to begin with will make a lot of folks laugh and ask if he’s still taking his “meds.”

    Alex Jones was WEIRD. Way weirder than Mike Adams–though he had some wild (unsubstantiated) theories. Jones believed–or claimed to believe–we were surrounded by alien lizard people in disguise.

    1. In my opinion if you want to be believed you have to watch what you say and generally tell the truth so that people will trust you. You have to at least be consistent even if you’re consistently unreliable…people get to trust that, too.

      1. Omg that is sadly too true! If you are consistently a liar but stick to your story/IEP Americans will indeed come to trust your lies! Or your « base » will and what more do you need? Truth? Facts? Pesky botheration that’s all…

        1. I was thinking in terms of how much readers love the unreliable narrator, but to write using that type of character the reader has to trust the narrator nonetheless. Consistency will lead to that trust. We humans don’t like the rug pulled out from under us even as readers or observers.

Feedback and comments welcome!