Politics

Clinton Criticizes Fake News In Washington Speech

| by Jordan Smith

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton delivered a speech Dec. 8 in Washington, D.C., in which she attacked the spread of fake news online (video below).

Clinton was speaking at a retirement celebration for Democratic Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, according to NPR.

Clinton began her remarks by mentioning her low profile since the election and noting that she had hoped to give a different kind of speech in Washington.

“The epidemic of malicious fake news and fake propaganda that flooded social media over the past year, it’s now clear that so-called ‘fake news’ can have real world consequences,” Clinton said, NPR reported.

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She pointed to the “Pizzagate” incident, where a man entered a pizzeria on Dec. 4 and opened fire because he had seen a fake story about the Clinton campaign running a child sex ring from the location.

“This isn’t about politics or partisanship -- lives are at risk. Lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days, to do their jobs, contribute to their communities,” added Clinton.

She indicated that more regulation was on the way.

“It’s a danger that must be addressed, and addressed quickly,” Clinton told her audience. “Bipartisan legislation is making its way through Congress to boost the government’s response to foreign propaganda and Silicon Valley is starting to grapple with the challenge and threat of fake news.”

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Clinton’s view on the matter is not shared by everyone. A day before her speech, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller defended his practice of posting fake stories on his Facebook page, which has close to 340,000 followers.

“It’s like Fox News. I report, you decide if it’s true or not,” said Miller, according to KUT. “Y’all are holding me to the same standards as you are a news organization, and it’s just Facebook.”

Miller was accused by a journalist at the Texas Tribune of making up stories about Muslims carrying out beheadings, among other things. Ten fake reports on his Facebook page were analyzed.

“I’m not a news source,” Miller said. “I think everyone needs to realize that Facebook is not always a reliable source if you’re wanting the factual news.”

Miller was an adviser to President-elect Donald Trump during his campaign and told KUT he is in contact with Trump’s transition team. He may be in line for a Cabinet position.

Sources: NPR, KUT / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

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