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Quick and dirty timeline of evolution of “fake news” and its relationship to our website:
4/29/2014: “The strange truth about fiction,” from Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/notes/
facebook-data-science/the-strange-truth-about-fiction/10152215561458859
1/20/2015: Algorithm change announced by Facebook to cut back on spread of “fake news”
http://www.snopes.com/info/news/facebookhoax.asp
https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2015/01/news-feed-fyi-showing-fewer-hoaxes/
December 2015-March 2016: We begin to notice an uptick in recirculation of old stories or urban
legends — but this time, with an overtly racialized component. I put the original stories and fact
checks first, then the stories we had to debunk. Some keep recurring and I have noted that
where it happens.
For example:
December 2015:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-Sr4Tc86LA
http://www.snopes.com/cookie-dough-explodes-shoplifting-incident/ (note the fake mugshot)
February 2016:
http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jul/18/local/la-me-satanic-killer-sentencing-20130718
http://www.snopes.com/bodies-blm-carved-skin/ (note the similarities and added components;
this returned in April 2017)
June 2016:
http://www.factcheck.org/2009/09/muslim-stamp/
http://www.snopes.com/politics/stamps/eidstamp.asp (note that it’s now tied to Obama)
July 2016:
https://twitter.com/theWest/status/543977469099769856
http://www.snopes.com/black-lives-matter-protesters-chant-for-dead-cops-now-in-baton-rouge/
July 2016:

http://www.offthegridnews.com/current-events/a-day-of-rage-in-america/ (2011)
http://dailycaller.com/2014/08/22/anonymous-day-of-rage-over-michael-brown-fizzlesnationwide-as-ragers-fail-to-materialize/ (2014)
http://www.snopes.com/2016/07/11/anonymous-day-of-rage-protests-2016/ (2016)
September 2016:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/sep/24/soros-funder-liberal-jewish-american-lobby/
http://www.snopes.com/george-soros-bring-down-us/ (George Soros is basically a code name
for “Jews” for anti-Semites and one of their favorite bugbears)
November 2016:
http://www.snopes.com/politics/ballot/2012fraud.asp (updated for 2016)
http://www.politifact.com/ohio/statements/2016/aug/16/viral-image/viral-post-alleges-voter-fraudwood-county-ohio/ (2016 iteration)

And it’s continuing now, but it’s not worth pointing out because at this point everyone is aware of
it.
You get the idea. Stories were appearing again and again but with those BLM or Muslim (or
even simply “refugee”) components. I watched the same thing happen in the leadup to Brexit
with some interest because of this. It seems quite clear to me given this pattern that it was
purposeful and very targeted. Look at Pizzagate, for example (an anti-Clinton conspiracy at its
core) or Seth Rich (ditto).
Which reminds me that I would like to highlight the Seth Rich conspiracy. I watched a reboot of
it form in real-time a few weeks ago and it’s really hepped me to how this works.
First, the Russian Embassy in the UK: https://twitter.com/RussianEmbassy/status/
865571158862811136
Then Newt Gingrich floated something in passing on Fox May 21st: https://
www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/05/21/gingrich-spreads-conspiracy-theoryabout-slain-dnc-staffer/
While everyone was wondering where this came from, a whole network of bots, shills, and
useful idiots were quietly getting to work on social media:
https://twitter.com/search?q=%23sethrich%20may%202017&src=typd
(Sorry, I don’t use anything sophisticated to track, that’s what I mean by quick and dirty)
Julian Assange chimed in:

What happened the week this all began? https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/nationalsecurity/russia-probe-reaches-current-white-house-official-people-familiar-with-the-case-say/
2017/05/19/7685adba-3c99-11e7-9e48-c4f199710b69_story.html
You can see it here, too. Note the dates of the spikes.
https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?q=seth%20rich

Finally, #SethRich is spiking right now, on 11 July 2017, as is #DonJr. Here’s a comparison
graph:

I realize none of this is a smoking gun of any sort on its own, but it provides a lot of insight into
how disinformation spreads.
Happy to answer any questions you might have.


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