With a new year looming, Reddit is once again reigniting the debate over the influence of social media in the news and culture world.
And for the first time, there’s a new leader in the fight against fake news, with a new group of activists, journalists and bloggers taking on the media’s new enemy: Reddit.
“Reddit has been an important force in the evolution of news, and it’s a very real threat,” said Jeff Jarvis, a veteran journalist who founded the group PropOrNot in 2014.
“It’s become the go-to place for misinformation.”
Jarvis, who has been working with the group for several years, said the subreddit, which hosts hundreds of millions of posts every day, has become an increasingly powerful platform for spreading misinformation and creating misinformation-laden websites.
He said there’s “an unprecedented amount of power in Reddit” and the site is “now effectively the enemy of the truth.”
“There’s a whole cottage industry out there that has been doing a lot of the work for Reddit in terms of creating and promoting fake news,” he said.
“They’re the ones that are actually doing the most damage to the news in general.”
Reddit’s users are divided over the legitimacy of its decision to ban a fake news site called The Daily Stormer, but Jarvis said it is “inarguable” that the site has become the most important source of fake news online.
“The amount of attention that the Daily Stormers has gotten over the past two years has been staggering,” he told The Globe and Mail.
“It has created this false narrative that the alt-right is a hate group.
There are a number of sites that were founded by white supremacists, and many of them have also been targeted by Reddit, which has effectively removed them from the platform.”
Jarvas said the site’s popularity has increased as it has become more popular.
“We saw it happen with the alt right, where people were coming up with ideas for new news sites and sites that have an ideology that was very anti-feminist, very anti–gay, and so on,” he explained.
“There is a certain amount of hyperbole, but I think it’s also important to understand that it is still relatively new, that it has not been around for quite some time.”
He said Reddit users can also feel the power of their communities and communities can have a big impact on what goes viral.
“I think there’s an enormous amount of value in being a part of communities, and having a presence,” he added.
“As soon as you are a part, you are the most powerful person on the internet.”
The battle against fake storiesOn Monday, Reddit users began the new year with a “hottest trending topic” of the year, as the site posted news stories, political analysis, viral memes and other posts about a number from around the world.
Reddit has already been criticized for being a place for fake news.
Last month, the company announced it would not allow the spread of fake stories, as well as fake news from the fake news aggregator 4chan.
That prompted several prominent news outlets to call for the company to be shut down.
But Jarvis said that in 2017, “Reddit is the enemy.”
He believes the site itself has a significant impact on the spread and circulation of misinformation.
“All the content on Reddit, whether it’s articles that are sourced from the alt media or not, has a very specific and very powerful effect on the people who have the time to watch the news,” Jarvis said.
“I think the problem with the fake content on reddit is that there is so much of it.”
Reddit users have been busy posting stories and discussing memes, including those that glorify violence, which the group calls “white supremacy.”
“It’s an amazing, powerful tool,” Jarvis added.
“People are willing to take it and share it because it’s so powerful.
It has the ability to make a difference in how people are perceiving the world around them.”
He added that the spread also creates a “massive amount of misinformation,” as people spread false information online and then post it on social media sites.
“If you’re a journalist or a political reporter, if you’re an expert in a certain field, you’re going to see that information spread all over the place,” Jarvis noted.
“There’s so much misinformation.”
He noted that there have been reports that the fake story was spread through Facebook and Reddit, where users can post their own stories.
“This is the most insidious way to spread fake news because it is incredibly difficult to track who’s posting what,” Jarvis explained.
“But it also creates this massive amount of disinformation.”
The fake news is spread through social media outlets, which is why Jarvis and his team decided to make this effort, he said, adding that it’s important to recognize that the movement has the potential to have a chilling effect on free speech online