I don't read the local Fallbrook newspaper anymore. The publisher is a nice person and has always been a good friend, the ex editor a great friend. It's tough to run a newspaper in these economic times. I understand that. But somehow the paper shifted to an extremely right wing editorial stance when it became affiliated with the Epoch Times. Not exactly sure what the relationship is but I believe that they are a financial backer of some kind.
I can't hang with it anymore, especially when the Epoch company is tied to so much agitprop and propaganda. Almost makes Fox News look fair and balanced. And they are engaged in a flat out national disinformation campaign. Among other things the Epoch people have floated a Q-anon claim that Trump is leading a secret effort to uncover a global pedophile ring that includes many top Democrats, media figures and other members of the "Deep State."
I read the Village News to find out about garage sales and obituaries, not to get reprogrammed with far right lies and propaganda.
The Epoch Times was founded in 2000 by John Tang and other Chinese Americans connected to the Falun Gong church. It has been very supportive of Trump and far right leaders in Europe. It has a generally negative stance on abortion and lgbt issues. It has worked hand in hand with the Trump administration spreading Spygate and Q-anon disinformation. Fiercely anti Beijing, not that there is anything wrong with that.
Facebook banned the Epoch Times from advertising in August of this year for using fake "sockpuppet" proxies to disguise authorship and get around its review policies. Now word that Facebook has taken down down more than 600 accounts tied to the pro-Trump conspiracy website for using identities created by artificial intelligence to push stories about a variety of topics including impeachment and elections.
The New York Times has a good article yesterday exposing the deception. An arms reach subsidiary of Epoch called B.L. was the perpetrator. Machine generated artificial intelligence using fake photos to create false identities to influence social media.
Facebook said that it removed 610 accounts, 89 Facebook pages, 156 groups, and 72 Instagram accounts that were connected to the organization. Around 55 million accounts followed one of these Facebook pages and 92,000 followed at least one of the Instagram accounts. The organization spent nearly $9.5 million in advertisements, according to Facebook.
Twitter has followed suit. Twitter and Facebook have shut down a network of fake accounts that pushed pro-Trump messages all while “masquerading” as Americans with AI-generated faces as profile photos.
It is pretty sad. You go to bed with dogs you wake up with fleas, Julie. You do what you have to do to survive but I think that your paper has now lost all credibility in our community. Small community newspapers work better when they are ideologically neutral. Cut the cord with these people if you still can.