After being alerted to the issue of false stories spread online, companies like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook systematically purged all publishers of fake news from their websites. In response, various groups, including conspiracy theorists and racists, created their own websites and decreased the user base of all major social media sites.
“This actually works out way better than sharing our stuff on Facebook,” said amateur reporter and round-earth-denier Evan Colletti. “My page had a big following and they all moved with me to my new site, so I get ad revenue now. I’m thinking about using the money to start a podcast where I record my experience as I drive until I find the edge of the planet.”
More concerningly, several former alt-right Twitter accounts have banded together to create an official alt-right website, including pages detailing their party platform and listing their favorite laws from the 1800’s.
“Nothing’s really changed,” said an anonymous alt-right member. “I mean, I guess we can’t troll the libs as much anymore. But we figured out in 2016 that voting can be a form of trolling if you do it the way our founding fathers intended — choose the richest white guy.”
Industry leaders are unsurprised, citing their understanding of how the human brain works. “It’s the internet, stupid,” said YouTube Communications Director Lara Wilson. “If people want to see something, no matter how terrible, they’ll find a way. That’s how we ended up with Logan Paul rap videos.”
“The real problem is that some people are dumb,” said Twitter Media Director Nate Lee. “We just moved the dumb people to their own corner of the internet where they can be dumb together. But sometimes they go outside and be dumb there, too. Twitter doesn’t really specialize in the outside, so we don’t know what to do about that.”
Some believe that social media companies didn’t go far enough in banning fake news sources, pointing out the continued existence of the Fox News Facebook page. “President Trump still has a Twitter account,” explained online security expert Monica Lycett. “The dude’s tweets are entirely fake news. But, legally, you can’t ban the President from Twitter. I recommend blocking him.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin also kept his account, although he had allegedly ordered fake news to be spread in order to influence the 2016 presidential election. Political analysts have revealed that he likely plans on doing it again, especially in light of his tweet saying, “See you in 2020 America xoxo.”
Democrat politicians have suffered the most from the scourge of fake news and were the biggest advocates for tech companies, blocking users who share false information. As it becomes clear the solution isn’t that simple, the party has become nervous for the 2020 presidential elections.
“It looks like we’ll have to fix the source of the problem,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “We’ve never had to do that before, so it’s a little concerning.”