Why? Look no further than Donald Trump's Twitter account. Trump claimed Sunday morning that "Twitter, Google and Facebook are burying the FBI criminal investigation of Clinton."
Not only was there no proof of this, but it was pretty easy to disprove. The FBI email inquiry was at the top of Google News; FBI director James Comey's name was at the top of Facebook's "trending" box; and Twitter's "moments" section had a prominent story about the controversy.
Nevertheless, Trump's wrong-headed "burying" claim was his most popular tweet of the day. About 25,000 accounts retweeted it and almost 50,000 "liked" it, helping the falsehood spread far and wide.
The rise of social media has had many upsides, but one downside has been the spread of misinformation. Fake news has become a plague on the Web, especially on social networks like Facebook. As I said on Sunday's "Reliable Sources" on CNN, unreliable sources about this election have become too numerous to count. So that's what I recommended a "triple check before you share" rule.
New web sites designed to trick and mislead people seem to pop up every single day. For their creators, the incentives are clear: more social shares mean more page views mean more ad dollars.
So either Fox is another "fake news" site, or - in this case - Stelter is wrong?
But then CNN tried to catch Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in a heavily compromising position over comments he made at a rally in Colorado. However, as Mediaite.com reports, there was only one catch - Trump didn’t say what they thought he said. And, when the network realized the mistake, they tried to stealthily cover it up.
In the original article, they highlighted Trump saying the following:
“If you go to university center, they’ll give you a new ballot, they’ll void your old ballot, in some places they do that four or five times, so by tomorrow, almost everyone will have their new ballots in.”
Yeah, that’s pretty damning, right? It sure as hell seems like the GOP candidate is pressing his followers to try to cast multiple ballots. Yet, it takes away the context, in which Trump says that they won’t do that.
Here is what he actually said.
“If you go to university center, they’ll give you a new ballot, they’ll void your old ballot. They’ll give you a new ballot, and you can go out and make sure it get’s in. Now in some places, they do that four or five times, but we don’t do that. So by tomorrow, almost everyone will have their new ballots in.”
More, it appears that Trump is questioning the system itself, much as he has done throughout the past few weeks where he’s complained about voter fraud and a “rigged” election.
Somewhere along the way, someone must have noticed this at CNN and stealth edited the piece, changing the entire quote. It now reads as follows:
“They’ll give you a ballot, a new ballot. They’ll void your old ballot, they will give you a new ballot. And you can go out and make sure it gets in,” Trump said.
Registered voters in Colorado automatically receive a ballot in the mail, but can request a new ballot or vote in person if they have not yet mailed in a completed ballot.
“In some places they probably do that four or five times. We don’t do that. But that’s great,” Trump said Sunday, appearing to hint at the possibility of voter fraud in Colorado, a rare prospect Trump has continued to hammer on the stump.
At 10:10 PM last night: CNN deleted the tweet (which had been retweeted 926 times) around 10:07 PM ET. The tweet was up for over two and a half hours. Below is a screenshot of it...
So we agree with Stelter - be very careful on the web of "fake news" - it's everywhere in the mainstream.