This week, I heard about a 3/26/17 60 Minutes [CBS] segment on Fake News [a subject I’ve gotten into in some of my blog posts — e.g., Fake News Or Just Meaningless News? and News [or NNTN?] Circa 2017]. Somehow, this turned out to be a kind of epiphany for me. Thanks to 60 Minutes, I now know how to become a much more widely read blogger and draw millions of hits to this web site. I’m writing this post to let my current followers know about this early on so you’ll be able to say you knew me before I was famous.
If you’d like to watch the video, you can follow this link: 60 Minutes – Fake News – 3/26/17 [whether this plays automatically depends on your computer operating system and which web browser you use — I think it may do a commercial first; once you’re in the broadcast replay, you can drag the positioning bar to get to this segment, which is from 16:09 to 29:15].
One of the most interesting [and eye-opening] parts of the segment was the information about “bots” — computer software agents that generate large volumes of “likes” on FaceBook and “retweets” on Twitter [and similar replicators on other social media like Instagram]. There was actually a guy interviewed on the segment who utilizes this technique and sometimes gets over 100 million “hits” on his posts. That, in turn, gets him on the radar screens of Social Media companies and makes his posts show up on their “trending now” lists. That, in turn, results in mention of him by talking heads on TV programs, and … well, you get the picture.
So Here’s The Plan
I’ve only had a few days to think this through, and I’m sure I’ll need to make some refinements, but here’s the plan as I see it at this writing. …
- First, I’ll learn all about bots and work out the details of how to use them.
- Next, I’ll proceed with some content ideas that would probably be sure-fire “go-viral” hits on their own — but with the bot technology will no doubt be catapulted to major “trending now” items on Social Media platforms. One example of an arrow in this quiver is self-accompanied “performances” of a verse or two and the chorus from a ballad-style song I wrote during the 2016 campaign [some of the verses need modification, since they were written before the election outcome was known]. I never got around to putting any of that into finished form for posting, but with lyrics to over 30 verses and several tune ideas already done, this one is almost “shovel ready” [to pick up on Barack Obama’s famous “misstatement” from his 2007 campaign, which he later qualified by saying those projects turned out to be “not quite as shovel-ready as we thought”].
- Next, I’ll pick one of these content ideas, develop it into specific blog segments, and begin posting them. After each post, I’ll turn the bots loose and let them do their thing.
- Once my posts are being seen by millions, I’ll identify specific causes I want to promote and develop content around those causes. Examples might include helping our leaders in Washington use common sense in repealing/replacing Obamacare and getting our fiscal situation under control [common sense seems to be an unknown concept in those circles these days].
- This is where it really gets interesting, because at this point, I’ll be able to use both real news — and when it furthers my cause, fake news — to gain traction and produce content that can flood the media.
Observing how the media operates over the past year to year and a half has shown me how easy it is to create a fake news story and have it proliferate coverage for days at least, sometimes weeks or even months. The 60 Minutes segment was kind of like icing on the cake in that it helped me understand more clearly the methodology for using the media to push an agenda. With my site and blogs now attracting millions of followers, anything I post will at least be noticed by media outlets that will now include my offerings in the stuff they sift through each day [actually, hourly or even realtime by the minute] for their next “Breaking News” graphic.
All I have to do is write a post that says I’ve learned that “it has been reported” that “X did Y” or “X said Y” [X could be a person, an organization, a government agency, etc.; Y could be an action or a statement]. The media picks up on it within days [if not hours], and it’s a major “news” story because it’s “juicy” and fits into various agendas within the media. From there …
Day 1: “Reports from ‘undisclosed sources’ indicate that X did Y. We’re researching this and will report more details as we uncover them. Stay tuned.”
Day 2: “X vehemently denies that he/she did Y, but we’re finding more and more reports that he/she did. Our investigation is continuing.”
Day 3 [maybe 4, 5, …]: “Let’s bring in our panel of experts to discuss this ‘issue’ “. …
And there you have it.
Again, I felt that those who already follow me deserved this pre-production notice of this endeavor. Once I’ve executed this plan and am being followed by millions, I won’t forget those who followed me when I was still one of the “little people”.
Charles M. Jones