Huffington Post’s Contributor Platform Is a Magnet for Fake News and Crazy People
Your dumb friend from high school shares an article from Huffington Post on Facebook. The headline is ridiculous, but hey, HuffPo is allegedly a respected website, or at least a well-trafficked one.
Then you start reading.
“Impeachment and removal from office are only the first steps; for America to be redeemed, Donald Trump must be prosecuted for treason and—if convicted in a court of law—executed.”
WTF! How did this get published?
This is a real article (since deleted) that was posted on Huffington Post through their “contributor platform.” The platform is a way for unvetted, unpaid bloggers to post directly to the site without editing, which of course, is a recipe for fake news and insane opinions getting shared around the internet under the banner of The Huffington Post.
According to Digiday, the contributor network was 100,000 bloggers strong in December 2016, and HuffPo wanted to grow it to 1 million. But apparently they have changed course since and now only periodically allow people to sign up as contributors. However, some of the people that are signed up are absolutely insane and should have never been entrusted with a “news” platform in the first place.
All that separates a normal article, one written by a reporter and edited by an editor, and a contributor-platform article is a small disclaimer on the righthand side of the page.
HuffPo has to routinely delete many of these articles for being false, or just flat out insane.
Here’s some of the worst published in the last year.
- A piece calling for the nuclear annihilation of Trump supporters (deleted)
- A proposal for a two-state solution in the United States and the creation of a white ethno-state (still published)
- A case for bringing treason charges against Donald Trump and “everyone assisting in his agenda” that will result in executions (deleted)
- An enthusiastic call for political violence (still published)Contributor Jesse Benn routinely posts articles advocating political violence against Trump supporters. In response to the grisly ball field shooting of Republican congressmen and police officers that happened this week, he has been absolutely giddy on Twitter.
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