I often see people who call themselves liberals or progressives claim that they’re so much smarter and well-informed than Republicans. Over and over again, they tout their intellectual superiority while pointing to conservatives as being ignorant for believing “news” sources like Fox News or The Blaze.
As much as liberals are right about those sources, many often have a habit of engaging in the same cognitive dissonance when it comes to information they want to believe. It’s not a liberal or conservative thing, it’s a very real human habit of only wanting to believe news that fits with our existing views.
Because of this, I figured I’d list five websites that I’ve seen liberals share from far too often. These websites are not only unreliable, but some also support anti-government and right-wing conservative causes.
5. Natural News:
A lot of liberals are reasonably suspicious of corporations. While this view is certainly justified, the owner of Natural News, Mike Adams, is a right-wing conspiracy nut who hates President Obama but makes his money off both liberals and conservatives who buy into his “natural foods” racket.
Alex Jones is not only a right-wing libertarian conspiracy nut, but he’s also good friends with Rand Paul and his father, Ron Paul. He’s also one of the key individuals driving the increasingly aggressive anti-government movement of the far-right, constantly telling his followers that vaccines cause autism and President Obama is coming for their guns.
IJReview is a conservative version of Buzzfeed and Upworthy rolled together. Their conservative slant used to be more apparent, but they’ve determined they can get larger appeal by poorly hiding their bias behind viral videos and clickbait headlines like “13 Things ‘Muslims Will Ban’ When They Take Power: Islamic Radical’s Tweet Goes Viral.”
2. Cop Block:
While many people think Cop Block is a police accountability group, they’re actually little more than an anti-government libertarian organization that pushes links which focus on bad cops rather than advocating for better policing. I’ve personally dealt with them after exposing their nonsense; they attempted to smear an Oklahoma Highway Patrol captain by falsely claiming he told women to avoid being assaulted by officers by not getting pulled over in the first place. Cop Block uses liberals to purposefully undermine law enforcement and further an agenda driven by anti-government sentiment; stop rewarding them.
1. David “Avocado” Wolfe:
He may not be the worst of the websites I’ve mentioned, but David Wolfe is a case study in social media manipulation for profit. His political views are unknown, but Wolfe (who recently removed “Avocado” from his Facebook page’s name) certainly has developed a very large following through social engineering, which makes for a nice financial base. He may not be publicly political, but he is certainly a con artist, and I should know because my grandfather was his generation’s version of David Wolfe.
I’ll let my friend Dan from A Science Enthusiast explain:
David has created his following by being quite clever. In fact, I don’t think he’s dumb at all- I actually think he’s pretty smart. Most con artists are extremely intelligent after all, as they have to manipulate their victims into believing and buying into their schemes.
For the most part, David will create a rather innocuous meme that is either cute or motivational in nature, so the casual Facebook user will be naturally inclined to share them. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with following a page that makes/disseminates good motivational quotes. However, David has a method to his madness, and does this in what I call “The David Avocado Wolfe Effect” (or DAWE). (Source)
What all of these sites have in common is that they pose as one thing to lure folks in, and then feed them something else for political and financial gain. The problem is that people want to see things that reinforce their beliefs. Whether it is that there is a secret cure for cancer that pharmacy companies are hiding, or that all members of a different political party are idiots, cognitive dissonance is a huge problem in our political system these days.
Before sharing something you see on the Internet, take the time to fact-check the claim, and investigate the source. The mainstream media doesn’t always tell you the truth, but neither does the “alternative media” which claims to give you the “facts” that Fox or MSNBC won’t.
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