November 14, 2020

The Misinformation Campaign

Hundreds of pink slime’ local news outlets are distributing algorithmic stories and conservative talking points

An increasingly popular tactic challenges conventional wisdom on the spread of electoral disinformation: the creation of partisan outlets masquerading as local news organizations. An investigation by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School has discovered at least 450 websites in a network of local and business news organizations, each distributing thousands of algorithmically generated articles and a smaller number of reported stories. Of the 450 sites we discovered, at least 189 were set up as local news networks across ten states within the last twelve months by an organization called Metric Media.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how people vote a certain way or just come up with the ideas they do. It’s time we all spend more time understanding that many people are just living in a faux reality, and that reality is much bigger than many can fathom.

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