Tag Archives: planetmoney

On the quest for Fake-News

A few days before the election, an extraordinary story popped up in hundreds of thousands of people’s Facebook feeds. This story was salacious. It was vivid, filled with intriguing details. There was a photo of a burning house, firemen rushing in. The headline read, “FBI Agent Suspected In Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide.”

It was all fake. There was no FBI agent. There was no shooting. The site it was published on, The Denver Guardian, isn’t a real news source. It was one of many fake stories that play into conspiracy theories about the Clintons and it worked. There is one part of the article that was real: the ads. Someone was making money off this phony news article and dozens of others like it. Someone was making profit off a fake story that suggested a presidential candidate was a killer. Today on the show, we take this single fake news story and follow the clues all the way back. We follow the digital breadcrumbs until we find ourselves on a suburban doorstep, face to face with the man behind a bogus news empire run. Then he tells us his secrets.

Source: Episode 739: Finding The Fake-News King : Planet Money : NPR

It’s 25 minutes and worth your time.

The core challenge is there is a giant demand for “fake news”. People so wanted to believe these terrible things about Clinton that they sought them out. Any debunking just fed the conspiracy arc further.

Planet Money T-Shirt Project

If you haven’t been following along: Planet Money has been making a t-shirt, and working to follow it’s creation throughout the global supply chain. This has led to a ton of podcast episodes that trace that path, cradle to grave.

They also have this really great mixed media summary of the whole story, which includes a look at everything from the raw cotton, to the process of getting the shirt to you. Including great video of the machines used along the way.

spinning yarn

 

On this Christmas Eve take a minute to follow something as simple as a t-shirt through the global economy, and realize how connected we are, even through seemingly everyday things.