Amid speculation over the role misleading and sometimes outrightly false news widely circulated through Facebook may have played in tilting voters in favor of Donald Trump in the recently concluded elections, the war on fake news has gained a new ally — the prominent conspiracy theorist and Trump supporter Alex Jones.
On Tuesday, Jones — who, among other things, believes that 9/11 was an inside job and that NASA faked the Apollo 11 moon landing — announced that his website Infowars was launching a “fake news analysis center” to combat “lies and fake stories being pushed by the Mainstream Media.”
“What’s happening is very, very simple. Mainstream dinosaur discredited media that have fake pollsters and fake media analysts and all the disinformation that’s been totally repudiated and proven to be a lie — they weren’t wrong, they were congenital liars on purpose — their now desperate attempt is to flood the web through third-party sites they control with so much fake news and disinformation that it discredits the entire web itself, and then they will preside over the false flag they’ve staged and claim that they can only be trusted,” Jones said in a video.
In a bid to counter “these people,” Infowars will now run a daily piece on its radio show and news program where “fake corporate news and fake ads” would be analyzed, said Jones — who once said the U.S. government was adding chemicals to juice boxes to turn children gay and that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton “smell of sulphur.”
In the wake of the U.S. presidential elections, the prevalence of fake news online became a hot-button issue, with Google and Facebook taking aim at the revenue sources of fake news websites by restricting the use of their online advertising services. However, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in a recent post on the website, said that it was “extremely unlikely” that fake news had “changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other.”
“Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes. The hoaxes that do exist are not limited to one partisan view, or even to politics,” Zuckerberg said. “That said, we don't want any hoaxes on Facebook. Our goal is to show people the content they will find most meaningful, and people want accurate news.”