In Trump’s America, half the population lives in a world where the “crooked media” tells “fake news” made up of “alternative facts,” while the other half fights to maintain public trust in traditional media.
Much of this stems from the parallel online universe that led up to the 2016 election. Clinton and Trump supporters really don’t listen to each other on Twitter, according to an analysis from the Electome project at the MIT Media Lab provided exclusively to VICE News.
“At least on Twitter, we see that there is a separation of where the journalists, and who the journalists are following, and no one is really listening or plugged into this Trump supporter graph.” Eugene Yi, a data-scientists at the lab told VICE News.
Formerly fringe bloggers, like Milo Yiannopolus and Mike Cernovich, seized the golden opportunity to speak directly to Trump supporters and flooded the internet with false information.
The now-infamous data targeting company Cambridge Analytica allegedly used mass amounts of personal information on the internet to manipulate voters, spreading pro-Trump news, no matter the factual evidence, which may have helped win the election for him.
With Trump in office, conservative new media and the mainstream are now at war over who is “fake news,” and a record low of 32 percent of Americans trust the press. And President Trump’s personal crusade against the traditional press has only deepened the public divide.
But, “the president doesn’t get to decide what the truth is,” CNN’s Jim Acosta, a common target of Trump’s criticisms, told VICE News. VICE’s Isobel Yeung meets the people on the frontlines in the battle for truth.
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