Fake News, Bots and The Takeover Of Media

Movies like the Terminator predicted the end of mankind through weaponized robots, it might end up being fake news bots.

It isn’t just the news that the bots are biasing it is everything we read and learn. Just today I was trying to figure out if my mom was telling the truth when I was a kid. She used to say that Spider plants could clean the air in our house. When I started my dive into the rabbit hole, I quickly noticed that the first hundred or so articles were all about the same and similarly written. Bots are great at following rules so the writing looks too perfect.

I quickly realized that there were about five studies, and the different bot software used by all of these websites made the same mistakes with the data. Some even changed the actual plant from the original study.

It’s not just plants.

After digging for over an hour to learn that none of the first several pages of websites about houseplants were correct, I found the answer and moved on. Yes spider plants are good in the house, no they are not the best, and no one plant is going to increase the oxygen in your house 6.5%

The next rabbit hole I entered was about Oysters. I like to eat raw oysters, and every restaurant has warnings on the menu. I decided it was time to learn on my own. Instead of reading repetitive fake articles created by bots, I went direct to the source, or so I thought. I found this “Education kit” on the FDA website. It had blanks for anyone to fill in and act like an expert.

This is exactly the kind of content that fake news bots use to build articles. If there aren’t that many sources, they end up rewriting the same article over and over. Do you really think hundreds of people studied houseplant air filtration and came up with the same magic numbers for different plants?

The bots don’t yet “understand”. They don’t have common sense in the programming. That might be because the programmers don’t either.

Who Do You Trust

In the bible there is a passage that says something to the effect of “With all thy getting, get understanding.” Malcom Forbes put that in many of his magazines and is attributed to that quote. Another sort of example of fake news. More correctly news that wasn’t source verified.

Instagram has the “Blue” check mark to make sure you are the person you say you are. I am not even sure if I have one. Maybe there needs to be a disclaimer on all fake news bot articles so the search engines can ignore them. Unfortunately the search engines want that click bait income so as long as people click there will be bot articles, and fake news. So there you have it. Blame fake news on the clickers.

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