Opinion: Fake news writers abuse the 1st Amendment and endanger democracy for personal profit
To the editor: I am sickened by the actions of these men who deceive the public with fake “news,” not themselves believing what they write. They do this solely for personal profit. (“Inside a Long Beach Web operation that makes up stories about Trump and Clinton: What they do for clicks and cash,” Nov. 22)
I think most intelligent people understand that the Internet contains an abundance of false and misleading information. However, there are millions of naive people who believe anything they read, regardless of the source. If it’s on Facebook, they think it must be true.
Real journalists don’t make stuff up just to get “eyeballs” on their words and profits for themselves; real journalists actually research and report on facts.
Knowing that there are people who earn big bucks by disseminating hateful, dangerous and incorrect information is frightening. The cynical actions of the two men profiled bode ill for our nation.
Just as it is illegal to shout “fire” in a crowded theater, shouldn’t there be a way to stop the proliferation of “fake news” through legal means?
Elaine Bramen, Sherman Oaks
To the editor: LibertyWritersNews founders Paris Wade and Ben Goldman are an affront to good journalism and a threat to our democracy. They represent everything that is wrong with the Internet. They profit handsomely from deception and lies and foment distrust not only of government, but also of the media. That should trouble everyone who read the story.
Wade and Goldman insist their readers know what they’re producing is fake, but I’m not convinced. Facebook is littered with this kind of tripe posing as news, and it gets shared over and over again to the point that people actually believe it. That’s insidious to our democracy.
The 1st Amendment guarantees freedom of the press and, by extension, the Internet. These two abuse that freedom at everyone’s expense.
Brett Becker, Ventura
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