John Podesta, the former campaign chairman of Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, said Wednesday that fake and misleading news stories are “undermining our democracy.”
“It’s sinister, and it’s a vile stream that runs under the ground and it begins to have an effect and takes its toll,” Podesta said at the NewCo Shift Forum, a conference dealing with present-day capitalism, according to Business Insider.
Podesta is likely referring to the potential danger of fraudulent news stories with a direct effect on real life.
“It’s undermining our democracy. I don’t know what technical fix I’m asking for, but I think the companies need to take it seriously,” Podesta continued, reports Business Insider.
Comet Pizza, a restaurant in Washington D.C., for example, was erroneously linked to Podesta and Clinton’s campaign late last year. The story was swiftly and collectively debunked by several new outlets across the political spectrum. Nevertheless, a gunman decided to find out for himself, and was ultimately arrested.
As for false stories and its relation to the 2016 presidential election, a study conducted by researchers at New York University and Stanford shows that it had virtually no effect on the outcome. (RELATED: The Cascading Blunders Of The DNC, FBI, And White House Invited Hacking)
“In summary, our data suggest that social media were not the most important source of election news, and even the most widely circulated fake news stories were seen by only a small fraction of Americans,” the official report concludes.
Podesta and Clinton are still both calling for more action against fake news, with little idea of how to subjectively crack down on it.
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