Saturday, December 03, 2016

NPR Reporter Tracked Down a Fake-News Creator; Here’s What She Learned

NPR Reporter Tracked Down a Fake-News Creator; Here’s What She Learned | The California Report | KQED News:
"A lot of fake and misleading news stories were shared across social media during the election. One that got a lot of traffic had the headline:
“FBI Agent Suspected In Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide.”
The story is completely false, but it was shared on Facebook over half a million times.
We wondered who was behind that story and why it was written. 
It appeared on a site that had the look and feel of a local newspaper. even had the local weather.
But it only had one news story — the fake one.
We tried to look up who owned it and hit a wall.
The site was registered anonymously.
So, we brought in some professional help.
...Jansen found an email address on one of those sites and he was able to link that address to a name: Jestin Coler.
Online, Coler was listed as the founder and CEO of a company called Disinfomedia.
...We rang the front doorbell and a man answered, his face obscured by a heavy mesh steel screen. I asked for Jestin Coler.
The man indicated that’s who he was. But when I asked about Disinfomedia, he said, “I don’t know what to tell you guys.
Have a good day.”
...Coler says he has tried to shine a light on the problem of fake news. He has spoken to the media about it.
But those organizations didn’t know who he actually was.
He gave them a fake name: Allen Montgomery.
Coler, a registered Democrat, says he has no regrets about his fake news empire..."

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