KMMS and Fake News
The committee questioned the tech company representatives about attempts by Russian operatives to spread disinformation and purchase political ads on their platforms, and what efforts the companies plan to use to prevent similar incidents in future elections. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Facebook and Twitter and other social media platforms are under attack from the US Government for running ads purchased by dummy corporations or PAC’s that have been traced to Russian interests.
It’s assumed that the Russians produced and ran political ads on social media in an attempt to disrupt our 2016 election.
Federal agencies are conducting investigations into various officials to see if there was any collusion between anyone running for office and their campaign contacting the Russians to influence our election.
The Origin of Fake News
Not sure if President Trump was the first to coin the term Fake News but he certainly wears it out on a daily basis in both tweets and speeches.
Over the past few years many people have lost confidence in the accuracy of reported news and especially in political ads.
Many political ads push the envelope by cherry picking sound bites or taking comments out of context to vilify a political candidate.
Where Does KMMS Fit In?
I’m certainly not going to defend fake news. But I would say that when someone comes to KMMS, or any of our five stations to place a political ad, I fail to see that KMMS has any responsibility whatsoever to verify the accuracy of that ad.
That falls under the Election Commission and other agencies that regulate how elections are financed and promoted.
I would suggest that in the case of Twitter and Facebook they also were under no obligation at all to determine whether ads they ran were accurate or who from.
If someone took exception to a particular political ad then there are methods to correct that wrong that would not include action against Facebook, Twitter, or KMMS.
Some Final Thoughts
To the best of my knowledge no one has legally questioned any political ads that ran on any of our stations.
I’m sure the validity of ads might have been questioned by listeners with opposing views but again there is a process to right a perceived wrong.
The final thought when it comes to political elections unfortunately is buyer beware. It’s more critical than ever to do your homework on the people you elect.
Just because there is an R or a D after their name doesn’t give them a halo. If an ad seems too good or too bad to be true it might be — fake news.