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The New York Times takes it on the chin after asking for help finding ‘false information’

September 18, 2018

A Tuesday request by The New York Times asking for readers’ help in finding examples of “false information” intended to “confuse, mislead, or influence voters” met with predictable results.

The request teed up a blast of sarcasm from critics, many of whom suggested reading the newspaper’s own pages or posted stories such as last week’s walked-back Times report on U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley’s curtains.

“Have you checked your op-ed page lately?” tweeted on commentator in a typical post.

Others jabs included, “Buy a mirror,” “Look within,” “Start with every article you publish,” and “The offices of Bret Stephens and Maggie Haberman are right down the hall.”

From the left came comments such as, “Just switch on Fox News,” “there is this guy named Donald Trump,” and “every time @PressSec opens her mouth,” referring to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

I’ve got some bad news for you. https://t.co/T3ngFQ6IyD Sean Davis (@seanmdav) September 18, 2018

Found some pic.twitter.com/zhums7LgGL Mike Ciandella (@MikeCiandella) September 18, 2018

Ha! Good one! Look no further than NYT! Carpe Diem (@childofvisions) September 18, 2018

This is simply too funny. Kimberly (@Crazybabywren) September 18, 2018

Have you checked the WH? Donald Trump Jr? Rudy Giuliani? Fox News? Those would be great places to start! Ddh41 (@Ddh41Dedi) September 18, 2018

The newspaper’s query came after a 2016 election season marred by fabricated posts and hoaxes on social media, although a study by Stanford and New York University researchers released in January 2017 found it was “unlikely that fake news swayed the election.”

The Times’ post seeking out examples of phony election ads, posts and texts said, “If you see disinformation ahead of the midterms, we want to hear from you.”

The New York Times needs your help. We’re looking for false information being spread deliberately to confuse, mislead, or influence voters ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. https://t.co/p3eeW5fnGm The New York Times (@nytimes) September 18, 2018

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