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Archive for October 5, 2017

Oct. 5, 2017 — An example of fake news, with women’s lacrosse as the milieu

A few days ago, a website called Campus Reform published a story detailing a social media firestorm involving the women’s lacrosse team at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

What is alleged is that a Twitter account named for the entire UMBC women’s team gave a “like” to a tweet attributed to President Trump. The school’s African-American student group is alleged to have engaged the account in a tweetstorm over the “like.”

The only thing is, there has been no independent verification of the owners of the two Twitter accounts, one of which is alleged to have been deleted. So have a number of the alleged tweets.

Campus Reform is a website owned by The Leadership Institute, a group which started in 1979 through the backing of right-wing activist Morton Blackwell. And the only other two media outlets which ran the story were MRCtv, a group started by right-wing activist L. Brent Bozell III; and PJ Media, a group started by right-wing billionaire Aubrey Chernick.

None of the three media outlets focused on the veracity of the Twitter accounts, the ethics of having an entire college sports team collectively owning a social media account, or the nature of racism on the UMBC campus.

Instead, all three of these media outlets attacked the Black Students Union for allegedly calling out the lacrosse team.

Convenient, isn’t it? That’s why I think the entire story is a lie, a fabrication, a farrago of untruths.

In this era when fake news is alleged to have gotten sophisticated enough to affect a Presidential election, it’s maybe time for not only we as citizens to be sophisticated enough to recognize a fake news campaign, but for websites like this to call out the fake news sites for re-running this trash.

Because that’s what it is.