How to Get Real News in a World of Fake News

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There was a time when three dominant television networks had the power to control the news and information narrative. Societal sources of information, though, have been constantly shifting over the past several decades due in great part to changes in technology.

The widespread reliance on digital information today has allowed ta trio of technology companies to be in a position to increasingly influence cultural and political conversations in a host of ways.

When it comes to establishing the news narrative, the big three consist of Google, Facebook, and Twitter. It is the tech giant Google, however, that has managed to morph into a monolithic kingdom of web search.

Google has become a digital pathway to information for almost the entire world, having secured approximately 70 percent of the global search market share. The usage of the search site for exploring the net is almost double the amount of its nearest competitor, Bing.

Additionally, as the owner of the principal video sharing site YouTube, Google is second only to Facebook as a social media platform.

Using its extraordinary algorithms and artificial intelligence, search giant Google unfortunately displays blatant and explicit biases against conservative viewpoints, all the while favoring left-leaning positions.

This partiality is underscored by discrimination lawsuits filed by former Google employees James Damore and David Gudeman against their prior employer. Damore alleges that he was fired for writing a memo criticizing Google’s diversity policies, while Gudeman claims he was blacklisted and let go for holding conservative beliefs, particularly for his support of now President Donald Trump.

The lawsuits describe a systemic ultra-liberal atmosphere at the tech giant. What is of major concern for the unknowing public is the fact that the radically left-leaning Google culture has manifested itself in distorted and biased search results.

In 2017 researchers from Northeastern University and the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology presented a paper that demonstrated a pervasive bias favoring Hillary Clinton existed in Google search results regarding the 2016 election.

Later in the year a research report written by Leo Goldstein of the group Defeat Climate Alarmism used data from Alexa.com to determine that Google searches were biased in favor of liberal domains and against conservative domains.

Using a current news story that broke over this past weekend concerning the Democratic memo, which was released to counter the Republican FISA abuse memo, a search on Google was conducted by this article’s author using the term “democrat memo.”

The results of the search were as follows: Two articles that appeared on the first line as “Top Stories” were one-sided pro-Democrat pieces from the The New York Times and Vox.

It was not until halfway down the third page of the Google search listings that a single article with a divergent point of view appeared. The article titled “What The Democrats Left Out Of Their Memo” was from the Daily Caller website.

The Google search exhibited the results, despite the fact that a plain reading of the Democratic memo indicated significant facts set forth in the Republican memo were left unanswered.

Particularly disturbing was the lack of any mention in the Democratic memo of the DNC and Clinton campaign funding of the infamous Steele dossier, or any mention or explanation of why that information was not provided to the FISA Court.

Assuming that Google’s bias is extensive and is unlikely to be addressed, conservatives cannot sit idly by and continue to use the search site.

In the business world, there are antitrust laws that exist to protect consumers from monopolies, which artificially raise prices and stifle innovation. Perhaps people who are seeking objectivity should consider using an alternative approach when conducting Internet searches.

Considering the fact that Google and most other search engines track and mine personal information without an individual’s knowledge or consent, it becomes even more important to adopt an alternative approach.

This brings us to some Google alternatives that may surprise the reader. DuckDuckGo.com not only provides unbiased news and information, it also maintains personal privacy by not engaging in tracking, data mining, or retention of search history. It is as comprehensive as Google and allows customization of its interface. It enables searches to be free from adult content via a safe setting similar to Google.

Ixquick’s Start Page claims to be the world’s most private search site. The site does not participate in data mining or tracking and additionally offers users the ability to visit sites via proxy, thus rendering searchers the protection of invisibility to the sites that appear in the search results.

Yippy is a search engine that also protects privacy with the added benefit of delivering child-friendly results. Yippy pulls search results from other search engines and groups topics together, organizing the results in clusters. Although the site filters out topics to which children ought not be exposed, including gambling, pornography, and other inappropriate material, adept teenagers may still find a way to obtain unsuitable results.

Conservatives may enjoy the experience of a search engine that gives results of a right-leaning nature. 4conservatives.com will do just that. The search engine delivers content from a conservative perspective and uses reputable sources.

By using more objective search alternatives, we can move toward a world with less fake news and more real news.

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#HashtagWars

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The new reality, in which billions of people are able to interact and converse via social media about anything and everything, has undergone an evolution that has enabled order to emerge out of chaos.

A hashtag is an essential linguistic element in the new media discussion, which is being used to relay a message and establish a meme surrounding an issue, opinion, and even a desired action.

The use of hashtags on Twitter began with the placement of a number symbol (#) in front of a key word or phrase for the purposes of gathering together posts from different users into a single category. Posts with matching hashtags are jointly aggregated and then viewed simultaneously by a large number of people.

The idea of using media to focus public attention on a singular topic is in no way new. However, the scope of this particular digital phenomenon is. So, too, are the capacity and speed at which a hashtag can potentially influence public opinion. A carefully honed one oftentimes has the power to move individuals en masse from one side of a debate to another.

In 2008 then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama held a digital advantage over GOP rival presidential candidate John McCain, due to Obama’s deeper involvement with Facebook, Twitter, and other social media online platforms. Social media missives and hashtags became commonplace means through which campaign messages were propelled through cyberspace.

In the 2012 presidential election, GOP standard bearer Mitt Romney stepped on to social media territory when he purchased a hashtag as part of his campaign efforts. Through his acquisition, #RomneyRyan2012 became a trending topic. Romney’s campaign was reportedly the first to buy Twitter advertising in the form of a hashtag.

In the 2016 election cycle, then-GOP candidate Donald J. Trump was making a run for the presidency, and his campaign bought the following trending hashtag: #GetYourTrumpGear. The nexus between social media and politics was further established and so was a new virtual rubric.

Fast forward to the present. President Trump is the first occupant of the Oval Office to truly understand and fully embrace the digital universe in which we all find ourselves immersed. And many people who are acclimated to the digital climate, yes, even captivated by the virtual experience, are loving it.

It comes, then, as no surprise that his enemies do not share the same sentiment, and they continue to try to discourage the president from fully participating in social media activity. The digital debate continues to escalate as does the virtual war.

Most notably, a recent four-page memorandum that has been circulating in Congress, which reportedly reveals alleged United States government surveillance abuses, has been depicted in the following manner by legislators who have had the opportunity to preview its contents: “shocking,” “troubling,” and “alarming.”

The memo reportedly details the Intelligence Committee’s oversight work for the FBI and Justice Department, including FISA surveillance. Sources close to the committee indicate that it references text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, which appear to verify that the dubious Trump dossier was used to justify and obtain FISA warrants.

A recent vote by the committee to release the memorandum to lawmakers broke down along party lines, with Democrats voting against making the memo available to all members of Congress. If the committee votes to do so and there are no objections from the White House within five days, the memo can additionally be released to the public.

The hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo, which calls for the memorandum to be revealed to the public, has gone viral. WikiLeaks has added an additional dimension to the hashtag initiative by offering a reward of up to $1 million to anyone who can send them a copy.

Meanwhile the government shutdown is resulting in a tug-of-war for the very minds of social media users. This is occurring via a hashtag battle of the epic kind. At issue is who is to blame for the failure in the Senate to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government up and running.

Both sides have lined up their hashtags, with Democrats brandishing the #TrumpShutdown in their tweets and Republicans wielding #SchumerShutdown in their social media posts.

Both hashtags are trending high, but #SchumerShutdown has the edge as the most memorable and effective. Its double alliteration makes the phrase roll off the tongue, and it has the distinct ring of truth.

Because it deals with an individual who has also earned the brand of “Cryin’ Chuck,” imagery tends to float to the forefront in the minds of listeners, viewers, and/or participants in the Internet fight.

Democrats have traditionally controlled the narrative, when it comes to government shutdowns. One of the problems that they presently have is that although the objective may be to lay responsibility for the partial government shutdown on President Trump’s shoulders, they and their mainstream media allies have already used up an inordinate amount of digital capital trying to pin the blame on the elephant instead of the donkey.

The Democrats have another serious impediment to winning the narrative wars this time around. It is none other than the president himself, the duly elected outsider who has the power to bypass traditional news outlets with his social media savvy.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders employed the #ShumerShutdown language when she tweeted an official statement from the White House. And President Trump used his Twitter account to point out who was responsible for causing the government shutdown. His tweeted response read: “Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border,” followed by the hashtag #WeNeedMoreRepublicansIn18.

In another tweet, the president celebrated the one-year anniversary of his presidency by posting the idea that in creating the shutdown “the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present.” He followed the tweet with the hashtag #DemocratShutdown.

In a digital punctuation mark, President Trump tweeted out one of the primary themes of his presidency, which has never failed to stir the hearts of his supporters.

“#America First!”