Someone’s decided to get up and do something about the idiotic fake news sites peddling nonsense to all and sundry!
An advertising boycott is attacking the finances of fake-news sites. Major brands are pulling out, and panic is spreading among the propagandists whose work has fed the Corbyn movement, Tommy Robinson and the new-look Islamophobic Ukip.
The Stop Funding Fake News Campaign is targeting the far left and far right in equal measure. It says, correctly in my view, that the similarities between the extremes are far more striking than the differences. The sites they target share three characteristics: they do not produce original reporting; they are happy to inflame the prejudices of their readers; and they share a disregard for truth and contempt for democratic institutions that fits too easily with our Trumpian times. The campaign is targeting a business model that is the alt-left and alt-right’s strength and weakness. Companies and institutions do not necessarily know where their advertising is going. They tell Google AdWords and other brokers they want to reach so many people – broken down by age, class, location, and so on – and are billed when the ads are delivered. What can be easily given can be easily taken away. A firm need only sign into its AdWorks account, navigate to ‘campaign placements exclusions’ and add the web address of the Canary or Westmonster to bar them.