Fact: No one cares about facts anymore, especially on the right and alt-right.
As Americans increasingly prefer what Stephen Colbert once dubbed "truthiness" to truth itself, it's not respected news sources citing verified election results, but instead what you feel in your heart and share on your Facebook feed that really counts.
As Donald Trump's aspersions on established mainstream media sources (lyin', biased, not fair!) erode our collective ability to separate fact from fiction, major technology companies like Facebook aren't making it any easier, providing instead a fecund environment for half-truths, distortions, and outright lies to flourish alongside verified, genuine information — the ultimate false equivalency.
A shining example: Mediate notes that when Americans turned to Google in the last few days to ask who had won the popular vote in last week's presidential election, the first result was and continues to be a conspiracy-driven website with false final numbers. Go ahead and open a new tab and Google "final election numbers 2016." You'll get as the top result:
"FINAL ELECTION 2016 NUMBERS: TRUMP WON BOTH POPULAR ( 62.9 M -62.2 M ) AND ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTES ( 306-232) HEY CHANGE.ORG, SCRAP YOUR LOONY PETITION NOW!"
70News.wordpress (couldn't shell out for a dot com, could we?) is that site, where, literally, a section is devoted to "Hillary's Health." It's now been updated:
Anyone asking where I got the figures, it was from Twitter posts. Knowing the Democrat media have been dragging their liberal feet giving Michigan to Trump - finally they did, with Arizona finally declared two days ago - Trump now has the 309. Except for the twitter posts, the popular vote number still need to be updated in Wikipedia or MSM media - which may take another few days because the liberals are still reeling and recovering from Trump-shock victory.
You can't believe everything you read on Twitter. Or apparently on Google.
Ok then, Google. pic.twitter.com/am1r6T1I38— Mark Bergen (@mhbergen) November 14, 2016
So, why are you reading this, huh? Trust nothing and no one! Not even Google's new search result for the query "who won the popular vote," which shows its own chart. There, Google alleges, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, netting (so far, as votes in California and elsewhere are still being counted) 61,039,676 votes to Trump's 60,371,193.
Live your truth, people, however factually inaccurate that "truth" may be.
Meanwhile, Trump tweeted this yesterday, suggesting the New York Times' coverage of anti-Trump protests and the "Trump phenomena" is "highly inaccurate."
Wow, the @nytimes is losing thousands of subscribers because of their very poor and highly inaccurate coverage of the "Trump phenomena"— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2016
Update: Google announced plans Monday to disallow purveyors of fake news from using its AdSense software, and thereby will curtail those sites' ability to make money and spread misinformation, as the Wall Street Journal is reporting.
Also, as of Monday afternoon, that false search result has been removed from Google, and Politifact's story refuting it is now the top result.
Related: Facebook Could Have Fixed Fake News Problem But Feared Conservative Reprisal, Sources Say