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Survey: 51% Of Tech Workers Believe Trump Has A Point About Fake News

By BuzzFeed News

A new study by BuzzFeed News and Lucid surveyed tech workers on their attitudes toward the media. The results show deep skepticism toward the press, and concerns about the role of identity politicsRead full story

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  • A remarkable set of data, some of it reinforcing widely held beliefs about tech workers (media “too feminist”).

    Given the prevalence of social media distribution, “hot takes,” and how infrequently readers actually read articles, clickbait headlines that are not written by the person writing the story can often exacerbate some of these issues. What if writers wrote their own headlines?

  • Mark Douglas
    Mark DouglasproPresident & CEO at SteelHouse

    I see sensationalized headlines all the time. Headlines like Google is recording where you go in Google Maps. Yeah, so I don’t have to type the address again the next time I want to go there. Trying to turn the obvious into news is a form of fake news that we could do without.

  • Using the term “fake news” perpetuates the journalism-bashing that has become endemic in this era. “News” always implied “truth,” until truth itself came under attack. Fight the impulse to adopt this trumpism. Criticize hyperbole, link-baiting, and other unethical activities that put attention-grabbing before accuracy. But don’t undercut the core.

  • This survey is ridiculous. They asked the wrong questions, and learned nothing useful.

    Tech doesn’t create disinformation. It encourages it and amplifies it. It profits from it.

  • Paul O'Brien
    Paul O'BrienCEO at MediaTech Ventures

    And the other 49% really just don't care enough to pay attention to how it's true.

  • Darla Contreras
    Darla Contreras

    Odd how much more fake news we developed so suddenly under trump. Or is it just more whine? They say repeat something over and over and it gets believed. Brainwasing technique. Y'all be brainwashed. Not me.

  • Heather Chin
    Heather ChinFreelance Journalist

    This comes across as one societal whipping boy (tech) joining the bandwagon against the other societal whipping boy (media) in the hope that it will distract from their own culpability, shenanigans and complicity. The tech industry has long sought to straddle the line between publisher and platform, hiding behind the platform excuse in order to avoid legal and ethical issues/accountability that arises from the being a publisher. That's why Facebook continues to fight so hard against it, even while

    This comes across as one societal whipping boy (tech) joining the bandwagon against the other societal whipping boy (media) in the hope that it will distract from their own culpability, shenanigans and complicity. The tech industry has long sought to straddle the line between publisher and platform, hiding behind the platform excuse in order to avoid legal and ethical issues/accountability that arises from the being a publisher. That's why Facebook continues to fight so hard against it, even while expanding into the publisher space and seeking to upend traditional journalism models in order to fuel their mercenary profit motives. In the tech world, it is trendy to talk about sustainable and socially conscious issues, ethics and doing good... but divorced from actually engaging in public service. So it's rich that over half of those surveyed dare to judge anyone else for anything "fake."

  • It's funny... Men have been in power for so long that the majority of them think the media is "too feminist" now that women are getting closer to a fair shake. Just because a majority of people agree with a survey doesn't mean it's right. And, who gives a flying fuck WHAT Trump thinks.

  • Max Lockie
    Max LockiePlatform Editor at Quartz

    It's interesting because only 42% of the general public agree with Trump on this point, so the tech industry buys into the fake news narrative to a greater extent than the average American.

    Perhaps this is because of increased recent scrutiny on the tech sector from mainstream news outlets. I know it can be frustrating when reading an article about your company that gets basic facts wrong.

    Overall though, it's an unfortunate state of affairs, because much of the wealth of tech industry professionals

    It's interesting because only 42% of the general public agree with Trump on this point, so the tech industry buys into the fake news narrative to a greater extent than the average American.

    Perhaps this is because of increased recent scrutiny on the tech sector from mainstream news outlets. I know it can be frustrating when reading an article about your company that gets basic facts wrong.

    Overall though, it's an unfortunate state of affairs, because much of the wealth of tech industry professionals - specifically in the social, media, and advertising spaces - derives from people's never ending desire to engage with the news.

  • Brian  Whistler
    Brian Whistler owner at Treehouse Studios

    Considering the number of lies Trump has averaged over the past couple of years, it’s a bit like calling the pot calling the kettle black, wouldn’t you say? But then whatever news source I post to back up this fact, (and there are dozens, including the international press,) I’m sure there will be those who call it fake news, so what’s the point? https://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/statements/byruling/false/

  • It’s worse than it looks. Here’s a most telling statement:

    “The survey asked respondents to select outlets that they felt covered the industry most fairly; TechCrunch, CNN, and Wired led the way, with 12%, 11%, and 11% of respondents selecting them, respectively.”

    Barely out of single digits for selecting news outlets they think treat them fairly, and those are the best!

    While there’s still a lot of great journalism, fake news is a huge problem. And it’s bigger than the everyday blatant misrepresentation

    It’s worse than it looks. Here’s a most telling statement:

    “The survey asked respondents to select outlets that they felt covered the industry most fairly; TechCrunch, CNN, and Wired led the way, with 12%, 11%, and 11% of respondents selecting them, respectively.”

    Barely out of single digits for selecting news outlets they think treat them fairly, and those are the best!

    While there’s still a lot of great journalism, fake news is a huge problem. And it’s bigger than the everyday blatant misrepresentation. A lot of positive news is buried. Pravda is more reliable than many major US media organizations. And that’s sad.

  • Kyle King
    Kyle King

    Yeah I agree. The other 49% stopped watching main stream media, so don’t care.

  • The honest truth is that "breaking news" inherently leads to misreporting of facts. There is no incentive for media outlets to report only the facts as they're known. There is always an agenda to push on both sides of this argument.

  • Mike Osswald
    Mike OsswaldVP, Experience Innovation at Hanson Inc.

    What percent of people don’t actually know what “media”, “news” and “journalism” is versus shit shoveled through Outbrain and Taboola?

  • James Cakmak
    James CakmakEntrepreneur | Tech Analyst

    It’s refreshing to see introspection from the media. But a flight to quality for those that get it needs to happen fast, as the media fallout is bound to happen faster than many expect.

  • Mandi Mower
    Mandi Mower

    Fake news is not a new concept. Most public office holders have the filter and restraint not to make main stream media their enemy. Information can be easily manipulated to fit whatever narrative you wish and most all media platforms utilize those opportunities. True journalism is rare and often difficult to find these days.

  • Mark Riley
    Mark Riley

    The number 1 reason for fake news is the Marxist agenda or post modernism. The idea that there are no moral absolutes and no God by which humanity has rights or worth has led to tribalism. Group rights now are more important than truth. This is verified with the countless accounts from the Duke Lacrosse team to the Empire actor . Its is more than just irony that the post modernists deification of Science as the only truth has led to a culture that has no idea what is true anymore. Manipulation, propaganda

    The number 1 reason for fake news is the Marxist agenda or post modernism. The idea that there are no moral absolutes and no God by which humanity has rights or worth has led to tribalism. Group rights now are more important than truth. This is verified with the countless accounts from the Duke Lacrosse team to the Empire actor . Its is more than just irony that the post modernists deification of Science as the only truth has led to a culture that has no idea what is true anymore. Manipulation, propaganda and outright lies. Winning and destination have moved past journey and process. The age of science as a predominate form of truth to philosophy and theology has led to a non inquisitive culture.

    Focus on self and on immediate gratification ( because there is no after life) has turned us inward and has every philosopher has known from the beginning of language...man is bent to evil. Turning inward only accelerates the process.

  • This headline could say that any Republican or Democrat politician — Trump, Cruz, Clinton or Sanders — has a point about fake news. They just define it differently.

  • This is a feedback loop problem. The tech industry brings us social media which, in turn allows instant creation and consumption of news articles before they can be vetted by reputable news organizations. The more people are on social media the more fake news will be shared.

  • William MacMonagle
    William MacMonagleCommunity College Instructor

    I think that the media’s obsession with overblowing not-very-important events and issues, while, at the same time not recognizing and accurately reporting the state of difficulties that effect us all, trivializes public needs in favor of hyperventilating over personality based news such as Kardashian nonsense or Smollett stupidity.

  • Kurt Bateman
    Kurt BatemanConstruction Worker

    When an industry faces criticism it is natural for them to dismiss the criticism as fake news. Why would they want to ally themselves with president Trump who has very little credibility is beyond me. He seems to be the epicenter of fake news. Perhaps it is political.

  • Anthony Duignan-Cabrera
    Anthony Duignan-CabreraCEO at ADC Strategy

    These numbers are not surprising, but what's generally interesting is the perception that identity-based news coverage is considered a negative. Having to suffer through the tedious offerings of Huffington Post, Mic and BuzzFeed it's easy to understand the animosity. Whether intentional or not, stories and headlines about LGBTQ or black or feminist issues either come from the position that anything straight, white and male is wrong or are presented with the toe-tapping impatience of a well meaning

    These numbers are not surprising, but what's generally interesting is the perception that identity-based news coverage is considered a negative. Having to suffer through the tedious offerings of Huffington Post, Mic and BuzzFeed it's easy to understand the animosity. Whether intentional or not, stories and headlines about LGBTQ or black or feminist issues either come from the position that anything straight, white and male is wrong or are presented with the toe-tapping impatience of a well meaning harridan (eg, Such-and-Such Is A Brave Whatever...). The theme is to put the majority down to lift up the minority, a formula not prone to win over many hearts and minds.

  • Ian Maddox
    Ian MaddoxCloud Solutions Architect at Google

    Sad day when it's newsworthy that POTUS happens to spout something rational people understand to be at least somewhat true.

  • Kenlyn Atwater Deckard
    Kenlyn Atwater Deckard

    Buzzfeed conducted a poll about fake news??

  • Randy Eldridge
    Randy Eldridge

    After reading the article, I do have to wonder if people here just can't realize how manipulated you are, that you bash Trump on a fairly positive article with his name in it. That is cause the media; day in and day out criticize him over the most mundane of issues. It goes to show just how effective fake media really is. About the article itself: It only stands to reason we face a paradigm shift in how society gets its news, so much so that it has created a rift in the media world. Something along

    After reading the article, I do have to wonder if people here just can't realize how manipulated you are, that you bash Trump on a fairly positive article with his name in it. That is cause the media; day in and day out criticize him over the most mundane of issues. It goes to show just how effective fake media really is. About the article itself: It only stands to reason we face a paradigm shift in how society gets its news, so much so that it has created a rift in the media world. Something along the lines of the reformation era. Where the catholic church declared war on the protestants. Where the victims were everyone in between. What i mean is: When you have conglomerate news agencies fighting to keep their propaganda as mainstream, their final is to out produce the up in coming information age that the tech industry is creating. I E: social media and yes even Buzz Feed itself. Where conservative views can no longer be shouted down. Fake news didn't start with Trump, it just exploded because Trump brought it to the forefront, and proven rightly true. Our government has committed treason and the media tried covering it up, without expecting Trump to win, they would of buried the reality of this and no doubt already turning our government into a Chinese democracy. My question is: Why are you so easily manipulated by a media that would have you all castrated to fit in their ideology or be black backed in an industry that should never have limits put on it by a socialist/ communist society.

  • Alberto Marquez
    Alberto Marquez

    Strictly speaking, there are two types of error. Type one with alpha probability of error and error type two, with beta probability of error. When someone make any statement, potentially some evidence may drive you to the conclusion that is wrong even when true. That's type one. When someone make a statement and evidence suggest that it is true and you believe it even when it is false, that's an error type ii. Even the most truthful journalist and editors. Even you, if you consider your self informed

    Strictly speaking, there are two types of error. Type one with alpha probability of error and error type two, with beta probability of error. When someone make any statement, potentially some evidence may drive you to the conclusion that is wrong even when true. That's type one. When someone make a statement and evidence suggest that it is true and you believe it even when it is false, that's an error type ii. Even the most truthful journalist and editors. Even you, if you consider your self informed, honest, and open minded. We all could make either of mistakes. So now tell me how is it not possible that there are some news that are fake? How is it possible you think a particular note is fake while is not. Most everyone think they are infalible. Let me remind how fallible we are. Even in the presence of all information, most people if not everyone, would make several mistakes while playing something simple as chess. Now consider the dealing with partial information in something as complex as politics. Let's recognize our own fallibility first. Everyone. Specially you, Mr. 🍊 🤡.

  • Randy Myers
    Randy Myers

    Fake news exists. However that doesn't mean that any news piece that reports negative news about Trump is fake news. And the media is not the enemy of the people. That's what a tyrant would say when they incur pushback on their propaganda.

  • Steve Nevins
    Steve Nevins

    Okay, let me get this straight. People are now saying there is no emergency crisis on our southern border after the media has been drowning us in stories about caravans and the increasing numbers of illegal immigrants coming into our country for the last 5-10 years AND we now have this story that MAYBE Trump has a point about the media manufacturing and distorting stories that may challenge journalistic integrity? Well, will wonders never cease. Most critical thinking Americans have been aware of

    Okay, let me get this straight. People are now saying there is no emergency crisis on our southern border after the media has been drowning us in stories about caravans and the increasing numbers of illegal immigrants coming into our country for the last 5-10 years AND we now have this story that MAYBE Trump has a point about the media manufacturing and distorting stories that may challenge journalistic integrity? Well, will wonders never cease. Most critical thinking Americans have been aware of this for quite a few years and we don't need anybody in the media telling us that (as if we need confirmation from the culprits 🤣🤣🤣🤣)

  • This is such garbage. We can't have gov't controlled media -- Nazi Germany among others taught us that -- but our alternative isn't much better: corporate-controlled media. In the first case political point of view controls content, in the second, sensationalism and sex. Over all of these Donald has great control, so I don't know why he could object!

  • Such headlines lure both sides... of anxious skepticism & endorsed tribalism. These headlines only feed to the divisiveness.

  • Jim Wayne
    Jim Wayne

    One can conclude Trump popularized the phrase if they like. The higher truth is, profit seeking has made media into its image. Truth, short of true, and well told lies are all roommates and keep each other's secrets. Fake news abounds and will be as long as it makes one extra person click that yummy, yummy bait. Change the model. Evict Fake News.

  • Cathy Eppes Black
    Cathy Eppes Black

    I can't agree that Trump has a point because his understanding of fake news is anything that he doesn't like or that is derogatory toward him. However, that said, fake news seems to be on the rise and I do believe that it leads the public in the direction wishs it to go. I'm sure there's an agenda behind it and I think you should do your own research before you listen to any news outlet and depend on it solely to be completely true and objective. It does seem to be trying to clean up its act recently

    I can't agree that Trump has a point because his understanding of fake news is anything that he doesn't like or that is derogatory toward him. However, that said, fake news seems to be on the rise and I do believe that it leads the public in the direction wishs it to go. I'm sure there's an agenda behind it and I think you should do your own research before you listen to any news outlet and depend on it solely to be completely true and objective. It does seem to be trying to clean up its act recently. I think they jump to conclusions too quickly and they'll say almost anything to get ratings. you have to be careful what you believe out there because you might see almost anything at any time. Do your research people.

  • Henry Tobias Jones
    Henry Tobias JonesEditor of Dyson on: at Dyson

    Good to see a big majority there...

  • Dan Duncan
    Dan Duncan

    And then there are Fake Polls....

  • Sidney Patin
    Sidney Patin

    51%? Really? That's all? It should be 100%.

  • Mel Hoffman
    Mel Hoffman

    The media being wrong about tech has nothing to do with Trump. Making that correlation is like saying even a broken clock is right twice a day (an analog clock, anyway).

    Remember all the Y2K hype? Hysteria around a kernel of truth; for example some bank systems at the time were legacy COBOL that nobody had ever considered needing to handle the turn of the millennium when written. It was a concern and was addressed.

    But the computers in pre-2k cars? They didn't control much more than engine timing

    The media being wrong about tech has nothing to do with Trump. Making that correlation is like saying even a broken clock is right twice a day (an analog clock, anyway).

    Remember all the Y2K hype? Hysteria around a kernel of truth; for example some bank systems at the time were legacy COBOL that nobody had ever considered needing to handle the turn of the millennium when written. It was a concern and was addressed.

    But the computers in pre-2k cars? They didn't control much more than engine timing and emissions, and it would have been a big surprise to me if any of them kept track of calendar date in any way.

    It's probably not fair to expect news anchors to be experts on tech, any more than it's fair to expect them to be medical or scientific experts. What tech probably needs is a marketing/media expert for MSM to tap. A Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a Bill Nye, a Neil deGrasse Tyson, et cetera.

    I don't think MSM is deliberately manufacturing stories about tech that they know to be false. I think they just don't have a good understanding of the subject, and also don't have a go-to techie translator-to-layman-terms that they trust, like they have with other areas.

  • Elijah Eby
    Elijah Eby

    "Donald Trump refuses to renounce the KKK"

    "Trump on black supporter: look at my African American"

    "Trump praises confederate leader Lee; calls him a great general'"

    These stories were reported on every major news media outlet, and it seems like a new one shows up every other week.

    The thing is it's easy to figure out these trump-as-bigot narratives aren't real. All it takes is an open mind, 10 seconds, and an internet connection. - and I know most people have 10 seconds and an internet connection

    "Donald Trump refuses to renounce the KKK"

    "Trump on black supporter: look at my African American"

    "Trump praises confederate leader Lee; calls him a great general'"

    These stories were reported on every major news media outlet, and it seems like a new one shows up every other week.

    The thing is it's easy to figure out these trump-as-bigot narratives aren't real. All it takes is an open mind, 10 seconds, and an internet connection. - and I know most people have 10 seconds and an internet connection.

    So is there "something to" Trump's complaints about fake news? Sure. But "something to" is a low bar, and the media also reports on many genuinely toxic issues with Trump. Please don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  • Henry Stucky
    Henry Stucky

    News is a business. It lives off of advertising fees. The more a story is shared on social media, the more it’s worth. Tell how that doesn’t lead to sensationalism, and leading with what causes the most buzz. The truth in the news has been absent for decades. Trump just relentlessly points it out.

  • Till Eulenspiegel
    Till Eulenspiegel

    My comments here pertain to the main media outlets, not podcasts and shock news. To label the media fake news, is a very dangerous precedent. If we come to not believe the media anymore, we will be reduced to only believing what we actually see, or what political leaders tell us. I believe it is rather our leaders who actively withhold, miss represent, or outright lie, and the media will fill in the gaps. The term fake news was weaponized by the current administration to devalue the main stream media.

  • Jack Cross
    Jack CrossStudent

    As a non-American I find it interesting how a genuine issue that has real effects on society can be ignored by blaming it on a president you don't like. Technology has opened up an opportunity for misinformation to spread very quickly, but it seems this was only drawn into the public eye with the controversial 2016 election. This problem isn't going to go away and we've seen several examples in recent months. "Fake" or sensationalized news should not be ignored to make a political point.

  • Missy Paul
    Missy Paul

    "Fake News" is not a new phenomenon!!! And President Trump is not the only President to confront the news media.

    Walter Cronkite, whom many have been the most respected as an excellent reporter of news stated "In seeking truth you must get both sides of a story." Of course, Cronkite also stated "We are on the precipice of being so ignorant that our democracy is threatened." He often addressed the problems of one sided partisan news reporting!!

    Have you ever heard of the Yellow Journalism? A time

    "Fake News" is not a new phenomenon!!! And President Trump is not the only President to confront the news media.

    Walter Cronkite, whom many have been the most respected as an excellent reporter of news stated "In seeking truth you must get both sides of a story." Of course, Cronkite also stated "We are on the precipice of being so ignorant that our democracy is threatened." He often addressed the problems of one sided partisan news reporting!!

    Have you ever heard of the Yellow Journalism? A time when newspaper reporting was so politicized that it was deemed unreliable. The term was coined in the 1890's in a circulation battle between newspaper greats Pulitzer & Hearst. Yellow journalism and the yellow press are American terms for journalism and associated newspapers that present little or no legitimate well-researched news while instead using eye-catching headlines for increased sales.Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism.

    Before that we find that even in the times of Our Founding Fathers newspapers were so unreliable that Thomas Jefferson stated "A man who reads nothing at all is better educated than a man that reads nothing but newspapers." George Washington even cited in his speech refusing a 3rd term as President that he was tired of being vilified by the press.

    Fundamentally...we must all remember that newspapers & media exists as For-Profit companies. Their profits may come through advertisements, political party support or through circulation. A media that lies to you is NOT a free press. It is a Propoganda tool.

  • Dave Kabler
    Dave Kabler

    MSM is dead. Most of the people who consume political media are getting it from YouTube, because the talking heads on at primetime are too busy spinning us to tell us the facts even the ones who watch cable news supplement that with podcasts and YouTube videos. Fox tries to separate themselves from MSM but they are just as guilty in decieving america. I was worried what would happen when INGSOC ran the media, I'm happy with the response. Instead of falling in line like sheep we have sought out alternative

    MSM is dead. Most of the people who consume political media are getting it from YouTube, because the talking heads on at primetime are too busy spinning us to tell us the facts even the ones who watch cable news supplement that with podcasts and YouTube videos. Fox tries to separate themselves from MSM but they are just as guilty in decieving america. I was worried what would happen when INGSOC ran the media, I'm happy with the response. Instead of falling in line like sheep we have sought out alternative media. The real conversations about the future of America are going on on podcasts and YouTube channels.

  • Loel Larzelere
    Loel Larzelere

    Journalism died in 1974. Woodward and Bernstein used bitter and impeached sources, totally missed the real story (hint: no one really thought Teddy Kennedy had a chance after Chappaquiddick. It was just "his turn"). And they picked up a Pulitzer anyway.

    Ever afterwards, the old school of journalism - "get it first, get it fast, get it right" - went in the dumpster and became "we have to bring down successful people and especially conservatives". Journalism schools, instead of teaching the craft

    Journalism died in 1974. Woodward and Bernstein used bitter and impeached sources, totally missed the real story (hint: no one really thought Teddy Kennedy had a chance after Chappaquiddick. It was just "his turn"). And they picked up a Pulitzer anyway.

    Ever afterwards, the old school of journalism - "get it first, get it fast, get it right" - went in the dumpster and became "we have to bring down successful people and especially conservatives". Journalism schools, instead of teaching the craft of reporting the news, began teaching a brand of activism that said "You are the news ... Now go out there and ruin some one's life, especially a Republican."

    You may bristle at the term "fake news". But since we no longer have honest journalism, at least in the United States, what you suggest?

    Other places in the world still have real journalists. The government and oligarchs don't like it much, so they jail and murder them. But at least the reporting is honest and real.

  • d carter
    d carter

    Interesting, informative. It’s about the conversation, which seems to get lost in the constant noise of political dogma. We should go back to having conversations.

  • Dvorak Cafe
    Dvorak CafeExecutive at Discover Kubuqi, Elion Group

    Not before long we’ll be over directed by AI all the time.

  • Krishna Phanse
    Krishna Phanse

    NPR does a pretty good job. News corporations on the other hand are by nature, audience/profit based so you can't completely blame them for under-researched reporting or even completely ignoring topics necessary for the long term societal health that would rub people the wrong way. After all they operate on quarter/share price bottomline. Also, tech employees are generally better educated than the general populace so they can understand privacy concerns and nuanced aspects better. However the ugliest

    NPR does a pretty good job. News corporations on the other hand are by nature, audience/profit based so you can't completely blame them for under-researched reporting or even completely ignoring topics necessary for the long term societal health that would rub people the wrong way. After all they operate on quarter/share price bottomline. Also, tech employees are generally better educated than the general populace so they can understand privacy concerns and nuanced aspects better. However the ugliest form of conservatism (subtly but actively anti-minority) is also embedded in the tech industry in not insignificant numbers. So while it may be nice to look at numbers on a sheet, the motivations behind similar answers are vastly different.

  • Steve Passage
    Steve Passage

    Agree!

  • Michael Weston
    Michael WestonUtrzymac Wielka Ameryke

    A silenced majority.

  • D G
    D G

    So what. I'm a tech guy, and there are a couple ways to look at this. Trump is the creator of so much fake news that he's right. But Trump's definition of fake news is anything qthat doesn't paint Trump in a positive light.

    My definition of Fake News is what is hailed as fact with not one shred of provable facts.

  • Gene Venable
    Gene Venable

    Can anyone give me an example of Trump calling something "fake news" that was favorable to him? Why would 100% of fake news be anti-Trump?

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