Internet Lies and Fake News

 

10-commandments

One of the Ten Commandments states, “Thou Shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Most interpret this Commandment to forbid speaking falsely in any matter, lying, equivocating, and any way devising and designing to deceive our neighbor.

However, that Commandment seems to be thrown aside when it comes to politics.

Don’t get me wrong, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects everyone’s Freedom of Speech, and I believe that everyone has the right to express their opinions. And opinions can take various forms, from political cartoons, to photo captions and bold statements.

No doubt everyone has seen side-by-side photos depicting how a Republican/conservative thinks or acts, compared to how a Democrat/liberal thinks or acts. That is simply back and forth rhetoric, and each side uses them with their own slant. For the most part, there is some truth albeit mostly exaggerated for effect.

However, that type of political hyperbole a very different from the outright lies that are being told to sway public opinion. Unfortunately, this disturbing trend is more accessible and is exacerbated by the use of freeform Social Media.

I mentioned one of the Commandments because an acquaintance of mine is one of the biggest offenders that I have seen on Facebook. And, this acquaintance happens to be a very successful pastor of a church with a radio show that is broadcast in several cities and a television ministry.

It is one thing to be taken in by these false reports, but it is another thing to leave these posts on your webpage, even after finding out they are “FAKE,” and deleting any comments documenting they are fake.

The following are a few examples, some more egregious than others.

Trump Building

This first example is a video that is being circulated around the internet. In the video, a woman claims that she is a squatter in Trump Tower and has been living there for nine years. She states that on her second day, the housekeeping staff found her and reported her to the front desk. Both the in-house security and police came to remove her, but when Donald Trump found out about her, he told them she could stay. She goes on to say that not only does she live in the building rent-free, but Mr. Trump also makes sure that she receives three meals a day from room service and fresh flowers every day.

What would seem like a nice gesture on the part of Mr. Trump, this is actually a completely fabricated story. Based on the camera angles and the landmarks outside the window, it is agreed, by most experts, that the video was shot from Trump Tower. However, most speculate that the window is not in a suite but more likely from a common area window.

Trump Hotels spokeswoman, Jennifer Rodstrom, says the woman depicted in the video is not a guest and there is ‘no validity’ to her claims.

Although the real identity of this woman is not known, nor is the exact motive behind the video, everything stated in the video is a lie.

 

this-year-will-go-down-in-histor-for-the-first-31302234

This next gem looks like it is posted on a bulletin board, we don’t know where, and is supposed to be a quote from Adolph Hitler. If you search the internet, you will see this quote presented in many ways.

However, researchers and historians have never found where Hitler ever said that quote. In fact, that quote does not make sense.

First, there was no Nazi gun registration measure enacted in 1935: major reforms were passed in 1919, 1920, 1928, 1931, and 1938.

Second, Hitler wouldn’t have needed such a measure because of strict licensing laws that had already passed under the Weimar Republic — which ironically, was designed to disarm the Nazis and Communists who were shooting each other in the streets, and prevent an armed coup d’état such as Hitler’s 1923 “Beer Hall Putsch.”

Whether you are fighting the banking community, big corporations, evolution, abortion, gun control, gun rights, atheism, or promoting vegetarianism, you need cast the specter of your opponents’ terrible intentions. The easiest way to do this is to just make up a quote, make up a date, attach a famous name to it, and post it anywhere online. Your particular community’s echo chamber of self-confirmation, self-reinforcement, and self-congratulation, will take it from there and rebroadcast it around the world with lightning speed.

Judge

The text for this photo reads:

Justice Hansam al Alallawalahi-Smith from the 22nd Circuit Court of Appeals reached the media this week as he overturned a ruling out of Dearborn, Michigan. This ruling permitted two critical and violent tenets of Sharia Law to be practiced here in the U.S.

President Trump used an old precedent and an executive order to remove al Allalawaralahali-Smith from the bench, citing gross negligence of his duties and wanton disregard for the United States Constitution.

Democrats can’t stop complaining over this, claiming that since the appointment wasn’t Trump’s, he can’t use the precedent to fire him. Trump responded that people always want him to think about the Office in these situations. His only statement was,

“THE OFFICE HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO LET HIM GO FOR THE GOOD OF THE COUNTRY.”
Under title 18 US Code Subsection 1209.3, a judge who sits on a high court such as appeals or supreme is forbidden by oath from knowingly usurping the Constitution of the United States for religious or political purposes, as those actions in and of themselves serve only to attack our sacred rule of law.

Hamallamalla-Smith faces up to 20 years in prison and will certainly lose any chance he has of ever practicing law of any kind. Our researchers found that his law degree, obtained from Sali al-Answanara University at Caledonia in the UAE, may not have ever been valid for use here in the US.

Conservative Movement

This story first appeared on a website called As American As Apple Pie in July 2017. The website’s disclaimer reads, Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site’s pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental, and all images should be considered altered and satirical.

The photo is an actual Los Angeles Superior Court judge named Halim Dhanidina. Court spokeswoman Mary Hearn pointed out that Dhanidina is not a federal judge, but rather a sitting judge for the Los Angeles Superior Court, which is “a trial court for the state of California… California trial courts hear state matters, not federal.”

Even if you did not know the origin of this piece, high school civics should have taught you that no “22nd District Court of Appeals” exists. The appellate courts are organized into twelve regional circuits and one federal circuit. There is also no “systematic infusion clause” (whatever that means), to any amendment in the U.S. Constitution. The 14th Amendment mostly deals with issues relating to citizenship, not religious beliefs.

This next piece comes around every year just before it is time to file your taxes.

Space Pen

This is another case of making up a story to prove a point. Snopes.com does a really good job of detailing this false story. https://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp

The fact is, Paul Fisher, founder of the Fisher Pen Company, located in Boulder City, Nevada, spent his own money and time to engineer the first retractable, pressurized pen. He sent his invention to NASA who tested it in their zero-gravity simulator and found that it worked flawlessly. Fisher was awarded the contract to supply pens for all of the manned space flights. NASA never spent a dime on the development of the pen.

Walt Disney and his cartoons have been demonized by religious organizations for quite some time. Just like conspiracy theorists that question the moon landings, 911, the Kennedy assassination, and many other events, a lot has been read into Disney cartoons. The validity of these accusations I leave up to you, however, the following is a gross misreprentation.

Disney

The text for this picture reads:

DEMONIC DISNEY.
Seducing the world through fantasy and fun. Teaching children that witchcraft and sorcery is just a fun time everyone deserves! — with Precious Aeby.

This graphic was created by Mexican artist Rodolfo Loaiza for a series called “Disenchanted Disney.” It features two characters from older classic Disney animated feature films — Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid and Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty. However, the kiss Loaiza depicted did not actually appear in any Disney television program or film.

While the poster is deceiving, it is not totally false. There is a kiss in the cartoon “Star vs. the Forces of Evil.” However, the kiss is not between two main characters, nor is it between two males. Instead, the kiss is between two girls in the back of the frame among dozens of kissing couples at a concert. The camera pans the audience and the kissing couple, circled in the photo below, is only seen for a split second. Unless you were looking for a lesbian kiss, you would not really notice.

same-sex-kiss

This next item is a favorite of those who don’t like the current immigration policy.

Towed

Y o u G o t t a L o v e T e x a s !

The city of Dallas passed an ordinance stating that if a driver is pulled over by law enforcement and is not able to provide proof of insurance, the car is towed. To retrieve the car after being impounded, they must show proof of insurance to have the car released. This has made it easy for the City of Dallas to remove uninsured cars. Shortly after the “No Insurance” ordinance was passed, the Dallas impound lots began to fill up and were full after only nine days.

Over 80% of the impounded cars were driven by illegal’s. Now, not only must they provide proof of insurance to have their car released, they have to pay for the cost of the tow, a $350 fine, and $20 for every day their car is kept in the lot. Guess what? Accident rates have gone down 47% and Dallas’ solution gets uninsured drivers off the road WITHOUT making them show proof of nationality (VERY IMPORTANT TO DEMOCRATS!).

I wonder how the Democrats will get around this one?

Just brings tears to your eyes doesn’t it?

GO Dallas!!

According to Snoops.com, this is also “Mostly False,” but the facts and explanation are better explained here https://www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/dallas.asp

 

Looking at these seven examples by themselves, and in this format, they don’t seem that threatening or that big an issue. Yes, they are stories that could be true but instead are lies and falsifications that were developed to serve a purpose—public persuasion. And, when you blend these seven manipulated stories into a mix of dozens or more personal opinion and political statements, they become the “period” to your point. People will react to what they believe is a real-world event and become motivated to your way of thinking. It is called propaganda.

There is a saying that “all is fair in love and war.” With the political divide that exists today, I am assuming that most people consider politics as war. However, it still disappoints me that people, especially a leader of a “Christian” congregation, would continually post propaganda lies to try to sway readers.

However, I guess what disappoints me even more, is that people will not even bother to check the facts to make sure what they are reading is true.

I am posting the links to three articles about two men who have made an incredible living by writing these FAKE NEWS articles and the type of people that swallow them hook-line-and-sinker.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/09/27/554050916/paul-horner-fake-news-purveyor-who-claimed-credit-for-trump-s-win-found-dead-at-

https://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/11/23/503146770/npr-finds-the-head-of-a-covert-fake-news-operation-in-the-suburbs

https://www.newswhip.com/2017/05/fake-news-jestin-coler/

About craigruark

Craig A. Ruark is a freelance writer, journalist, and marketing and PR professional. In 2008, Craig became one of the first non-technical persons to become an Accredited Professional by the U.S. Green Building Council for ‘Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design” (LEED AP). Over the years he has immersed himself in the subject of “sustainability” and by combining this knowledge with his expertise in marketing and advertising, has published a book titled “Marketing Your Green Side,” which is available through Amazon. Craig is an avid fitness participant, sailor, SCUBA diver, enjoys singing Karaoke, listening to jazz, and is working on his next book.
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