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Letter: Nothing friendly or funny about Fake News

This past election saw the rise of a phenomenon called "fake news." "Fake news" stories often appear remarkably like real news stories but are designed to deceive or influence the reader.

This past election saw the rise of a phenomenon called "fake news." "Fake news" stories often appear remarkably like real news stories but are designed to deceive or influence the reader.

Why are we calling them "fake news" stories? The word "fake" sounds a little harmless, fun and benign. Like a fake beard and glasses. And calling it news gives it an air of legitimacy.

Why aren't we calling these stories what they are, which is this: Propaganda.

Propaganda is defined as the spreading of ideas, information or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause or a person.

Democracy depends on an informed electorate. According to the PolitiFact Scorecard, the statements by our 45th president, Donald Trump, are Half True 15 percent of the time, Mostly False 18 percent of the time, False 33 percent of the time and Pants On Fire 18 percent of the time.

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Our leader is lying 84 percent of the time! Propaganda is repeated on social media as fact! Why do we tolerate this?

As Edmund Burke said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Wayde Schafer

Mandan, N.D.

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