False News Coverage About Trump In 2016

Submitted into Contest #156 in response to: Write about false news coverage of an important event.... view prompt


Contemporary Fiction

Fake news is not a new phenomenon, and it has been around since news became a concept 500 years ago with the invention of print—much longer than verified, "objective" news, which emerged in force more than a century ago. This type of misinformation has existed for many years, and it is also sensationalist and designed to inflame passions and provoke violence.

 On Easter Sunday, 1475, a two ½-year-old child went missing in Trent, Italy. In a series of sermons, Franciscan preacher Bernardina da Feltre claimed that the Jewish community had murdered the child, draining his blood and drinking it to celebrate Passover. De Feltre then claimed that the boy's body was in the basement of a Jewish house. Then, the city's entire Jewish community was arrested and tortured. Fifteen of them were found guilty and burned at the stake. Other cities committed similar atrocities.

      Today, historians have cataloged the fake stories of child-murdering, blood-drinking Jews, which have existed since the 12th century as part of the foundation of anti-Semitism. And yet, one anti-Semitic website still claims the story is accurate, and Simon is still a martyred saint. The Nazi propaganda machine relied on the same sorts of fake stories about ritual Jewish drinking of children's blood that inspired Prince-Bishop Hinderbach in the 15th century.

     Even our glorified Founders were perpetrators of fake news for political means. Ben Franklin concocted propaganda stories about murderous "scalping" Indians working in league with the British King George III to whip up revolutionary fervor. Other revolutionary leaders published fake propaganda stories that King George was sending thousands of foreign soldiers to slaughter the American patriots and turn the tide of the War of Independence to get people to enlist and support the revolutionary cause.

One of the top false news stories of the 2016 election was that Pope Francis had endorsed Donald Trump for president. WTOE 5 News is a fantasy news website. Most articles on wtoe5news.com are satire or pure fantasy. This statement was posted on the satirical website WTOE 5 News. WTOE news stated in the made-up article that the pope then goes on 

to say that the FBI's inability to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her emails led him to endorse Trump.

     Pope Francis has condemned disinformation as "probably the greatest damage that the media can do." Social media platforms The communications media have a very great responsibility. He also stated that nowadays, they have in their hands the possibility and the capacity to form an opinion: they can create a good or a wrong belief. The means of communication are the builders of a society. Forms and search engines were widely criticized as well. 

     A study found that fake news probably greatly influenced Hillary Clinton's support on Election Day. The study, which may be the first look at how fake information affected voter choices, suggests that about 4 percent of President Barack Obama's 2012 supporters did not vote for Clinton in 2016 due to belief in fake news stories.

     The false claim that former President Trump won the election fueled the January 6 riot at the Capitol. There were also false claims about COVID-19 and vaccines. The vaccine disinformation leads millions of Americans to resist public health guidance about their effectiveness. Many anti-vaccine activists are capitalizing on the confusing messaging from official sources. The anti-vaccine movement hasn't changed. They want your to believe that covid is milder than the government wants you to think and that covid vaccines are dangerous. Both of these statements are false. 

     The Biden administration made a big deal of calling out Facebook in July of this year for allowing misinformation about vaccines to spread online. Congress also held hearings about the issues with social media. Data from the CDC show that 78% of the total population has received at least one dose of a vaccine.

     Some politicians have built a brand around actively and unapologetically misleading citizens. The false claim that former President Trump won the election caused the riot at the Capitol on January 6. When the Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington, D.C., all of America and the world were stunned. Even more shocking than the riot was that our president directed an attack on our Congress. 

     Congress was in session in the process of certifying the electoral college and 2020 election results. A movement called "Stop the Steal, " built on unfounded accusations made by President Trump, believes the 2020 election results were false, along with other conspiracy theories. Since states worked hard to prevent fraud, there is no evidence of fraud. 

Also, the force and number of troops used on the Trump mob were less than that used against Black Lives Matter protesters. This event has the lament of those who support Black Lives Matter heightened.

     The cost of repairing damages from the attack has already topped $30 million and will keep rising. They wrecked the inauguration platform and broke the glass and other trash. Sound systems and photography equipment were either damaged or stolen. They pulled two historic Olmsted lanterns from the ground, and rioters also tracked wet blue paint all over the landmark stone balustrades and capitol building hallways. Rioters also damaged historical statues, murals, and furniture.

     Six members of a right-wing militia group from Florida plotted to attack the U.S. Capitol. Meggs, the group's leader, wrote in a Facebook post," He called us all to the Capitol and wants us to make it wild!

     Bruno Cua, an 18-year-old, whose case is a stark example of just how powerful misinformation can be. Both prosecution and defense agree that he was radicalized by what he read online, and the decision to embrace the falsehoods he discovered in chatrooms and social media changed the course of his life.

      Cua, the youngest person in connection with storming the Capitol, allegedly assaulted a federal officer. His lawyers say that as part of his conditions for release, he would be willing to stay off social media and be monitored in his parent's house. 

     The current administration needed additional funds for a campuswide security assessment to prevent similar future events and protect the Capitol and the people working there.

      It doesn't look good for most serious news organizations. Advertising revenue is down; staffs continue to get cut; the number of newspapers has declined by 100 since 2004. Between 2003 and 2014, with the decline of the printed press, the number of professional statehouse reporters dropped 35 percent. The real news is not coming back, as most people base their opinions on fake news.

July 30, 2022 02:56

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Lily Finch
20:50 Aug 04, 2022

Thanks, Judith for the informative read albeit shocking, to say the least. I liked your historical references to bring out the point that since people have lived they have been creating fake news. It is astonishing how many people will believe just about anything that they read on social media. Thank you for a great read and for dealing with such a real issue. LF6


Judith Robinson
00:30 Aug 05, 2022

Thank you for reading my story. All the issues in the last election caused problems in my family. One sister was Pro-Trump and discussed it with my brother, who was anti-trump. He blocked her on Facebook, and she died when he realized his mistake. I now only post happy things on Facebook and do so to try and make people smile.


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