3 to read: How alt-right helped push fake news | Digital sleuth | From troll to father killer

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

July 21, 2018: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail. Originally published on 3toread.co

Fake news. That’s the theme of this week’s “3 to read.” Two stories are profiles — one of a top digital sleuth who is dedicated to uncovering fake news of all stripes and the other on a fake-news troll whose life derailed into murder. The third is about how conservatives in the US helped support Macedonians who created a tsunami of fake news on Facebook in the runup to the presidential election.

  1. Dirty secret: The role US conservatives played in the Macedonian “fake news” boom that helped elect Trump: Craig Silverman and others at BuzzFeed peel back the layers of how conservatives in America helped Macedonians create a whirlwind fake news factory of conspiracy theories and crazy stories that helped elect Trump. It’s not a pretty picture. But it is fascinating.

2. Meet Jonathan Albright, the digital sleuth blowing up fake news: Albright may be the biggest name in the battle against fake news. He has helped reporters at the NYT, WaPo, BuzzFeed and others on stories ranging from how Facebook played down the influence and number of Russian ads to how Cambridge Analytica was a bad actor. A wonderful profile by Issie Lapowsky of Wired.

3. From alt-right troll to father killer: The unraveling of Lane Davis: Some trolls push whacko conspiracy theories because of the fun that comes from stirring the pot. Others are true believers. Lane Davis was a true believer, and it led down a very dark road. Joe Bernstein of BuzzfeedNews tells the story of his one-time source — an alt-right hero with no income who lived in his parents’ house — who finally cracked and killed his own father. An intense but great read.

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