Facebook to prioritize 'trustworthy' news based on surveys

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc will prioritize "trustworthy" news in its feed of social media posts, using member surveys to identify high-quality outlets and fight sensationalism and misinformation, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Friday.

The company, which has more than 2 billion monthly users, said its members, not experts or Facebook executives, would determine how news outlets rank in terms of trustworthiness. It also said it would put an emphasis on local news sources.

The move is likely to send shockwaves through the media landscape in nearly every country, given the ubiquity of the world's largest social network and how central it has become in some places to the distribution of news.

33 PHOTOS
Facebook over the years
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Facebook over the years

The original Facebook homepage from 2004 with a small picture of Al Pacino in the top left corner.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Mark Zuckerberg originally described himself as not only the founder of Facebook, but also as the "Master and Commander" and "Enemy of the State."

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Here's what a Facebook group page looked like in 2005.

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For comparison, this is what a Facebook group page looks like today.

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The Facebook homepage in 2005 also listed all of the schools the social network was in -- and still included the photo of Al Pacino.

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The company decided to drop the "the" from its name in 2005, after it bought the domain Facebook.com for $200,000.

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We love this gem about "poking" from one of the original FAQ pages.

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Facebook's homepage in 2006 was a stripped-back affair, doing away with the list of schools in favor of a simple login option.

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Mark Zuckerberg's profile in 2006.

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Facebook launched the News Feed to display all your friends' activity in a single timeline in 2006.

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At the same time, Facebook introduced the Mini-Feed. But the entire concept of a News Feed resulted in some very public outrage. Some users even went so far to call one of Facebook's product managers the devil.

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Facebook's 2007 homepage contained the first instance of its now-synonymous logo and offered the "latest news" from friends.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

The Facebook of 2008 continued to refine the homepage and offered options for signing up.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Facebook gained the "connected world" diagram in 2009, which lasted all the way until 2011.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

In 2009, Facebook's home page also got a facelift. Posts started to stream through the News Feed in real-time.

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That same year, Facebook also introduced its algorithm for determining the order in which status updates should be displayed.

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Facebook changed its logo font in 2010 but left the homepage much the same.

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2010 was also when Facebook brought notifications to the top navigation bar following yet another redesign.

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Facebook also rolled out a new, more visual profile in 2010. It added a row of recently tagged images below your name and basic profile information.

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Facebook left the design the same in 2011, but made the input boxes used to log in clearer.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Facebook launched the News Ticker in 2011 so users could keep up with their friends while browsing through other parts of Facebook.

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The Facebook Timeline feels like it's been around since the beginning. But it launched in 2011 to act as a virtual timeline of your entire life.

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Facebook also split its instant messaging into a different app called Messenger in 2011. It's now got more than 800 million monthly users.

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Facebook swapped out the connected world diagram for a phone in 2012 as its users moved from desktop to mobile. Today, over 800 million people access Facebook on mobile everyday.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Facebook started flooding the News Feed with sponsored stories in January 2012.

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Facebook settled on a design in 2013 that it would stay with for the next few years.

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This is what Facebook's mobile app looked like when it first launched.

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It has since been completely redesigned.

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Facebook also owns a bunch of other popular apps, most notably Instagram, which the company bought for $1 billion in 2012. With more than 400 million monthly users, that seems like a steal nowadays.

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2015 was a big year for Facebook that saw its first ever day with one billion users online simultaneously. The company had figured out how to make money from mobile too, turning it into a $300 billion business.

Photo courtesy: Max Slater-Robins/WayBack Machine

Today, more than 1.5 billion people use the social network every single month.

Photo courtesy: Facebook

And more than 1.4 billion people use it on their mobile phones every month. Not bad, considering 12 years ago smartphones didn't even exist.

Photo courtesy: Facebook

Here's the Facebook homepage today, on its 12th birthday.
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Zuckerberg said on Friday he expects recently announced changes to shrink the amount of news on Facebook by 20 percent, to about 4 percent of all content from 5 percent currently.

The chief executive outlined the shakeup in a post on Facebook, saying that starting next week the News Feed, the company's centerpiece product, would prioritize "high quality news" over less trusted sources.

"There's too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today," Zuckerberg wrote.

"Social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and if we don't specifically tackle these problems, then we end up amplifying them," he wrote.

The quality of news on Facebook has been called into question after alleged Russian operatives, for-profit spammers and others spread false reports on the site, including during the 2016 U.S. election campaign.

Two years ago, Facebook users saw hoaxes saying Pope Francis endorsed Republican Donald Trump for U.S. president and that a federal agent investigating Democrat Hillary Clinton was found dead. Facebook initially proposed fighting false stories by letting users flag them.

The change will affect not only links posted by news outlets but also news stories that individuals share, Facebook said.

News organizations immediately began considering how they would fare in the ranking.

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Russia-linked ads shared on social media during 2016 election
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Russia-linked ads shared on social media during 2016 election
This graphic of Jesus and Hillary Clinton is an actual post shared by the Russian page “Army of Jesus,” released du… https://t.co/08ObFsWnkG
this Russian-bought ad presented without comment (except to say it's a Russian-bought ad) https://t.co/X4Atha4fil
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FIGHTING FAKE NEWS

The trust ranking will help to address fake news stories, said David Chavern, president of the News Media Alliance, a trade group for old-line U.S. newspapers.

"For some time, we have argued that Facebook should give priority to news from trusted sources," he said in a statement.

Tom Gara, opinion editor at BuzzFeed News, wrote on Twitter that he expected partisan outlets to fare worse: "This sounds like extremely good news for news publishers that aren't hated by one side or the other."

Facebook has had a stormy relationship with news organizations, especially those with strong political leanings. In 2016, Republican U.S. lawmakers expressed concern that Facebook, based in liberal Northern California, was suppressing news stories of interest to conservative readers.

Facebook said that ranking by trustworthiness was not intended to directly impact any specific groups of publishers based on their size or ideology.

Zuckerberg said he settled on the idea of surveying Facebook users after rejecting having the company itself rank news outlets' trustworthiness.

"We decided that having the community determine which sources are broadly trusted would be most objective," he wrote in his post.

Facebook said it did not plan to release the survey results because they will represent an incomplete picture of how a story's position in a person's feed is determined.

Many factors determine where a post appears in a Facebook user's News Feed such as subject of the post, who wrote it and who is commenting on it.

Last week, Zuckerberg said the company would change the way it filters posts and videos on News Feed to prioritize what friends and family share.

News Corp, owner of the New York Post and other outlets, responded to the earlier Facebook announcement with a pledge to look for "any signs that the weighting of news sites is politically motivated."

The Rupert Murdoch-led company had no immediate comment on Friday.

(Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Leslie Adler and Cynthia Osterman)

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A running list of all the times Trump has attacked 'fake news' on Twitter
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A running list of all the times Trump has attacked 'fake news' on Twitter

**Click through the following slides to see a running list of tweets President Trump has sent regarding 'fake news.'

(Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Well, now that collusion with Russia is proving to be a total hoax and the only collusion is with Hillary Clinton a… https://t.co/9hkgQun4vG
The media has been speculating that I fired Rex Tillerson or that he would be leaving soon - FAKE NEWS! He’s not le… https://t.co/tYYnq58Zmk
So now that Matt Lauer is gone when will the Fake News practitioners at NBC be terminating the contract of Phil Gri… https://t.co/6vWDKTgCQG
Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” But when will the top… https://t.co/xvaYsbO0le
Great, and we should boycott Fake News CNN. Dealing with them is a total waste of time! https://t.co/8zJ3j7g5el
We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrup… https://t.co/3f2NxPueRO
Wow, even I didn’t realize we did so much. Wish the Fake News would report! Thank you. https://t.co/ApVbu2b0Jd
Does the Fake News Media remember when Crooked Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, was begging Russia to be our… https://t.co/0QnLU03c03
The rigged Dem Primary, one of the biggest political stories in years, got ZERO coverage on Fake News Network TV last night. Disgraceful!
....earth shattering. He and his brother could Drain The Swamp, which would be yet another campaign promise fulfilled. Fake News weak!
The Fake News is working overtime. As Paul Manaforts lawyer said, there was "no collusion" and events mentioned took place long before he...
Just read the nice remarks by President Jimmy Carter about me and how badly I am treated by the press (Fake News). Thank you Mr. President!
"Clinton campaign & DNC paid for research that led to the anti-Trump Fake News Dossier. The victim here is the President." @FoxNews
It is finally sinking through. 46% OF PEOPLE BELIEVE MAJOR NATIONAL NEWS ORGS FABRICATE STORIES ABOUT ME. FAKE NEWS, even worse! Lost cred.
Keep hearing about "tiny" amount of money spent on Facebook ads. What about the billions of dollars of Fake News on CNN, ABC, NBC & CBS?
Stock Market hits another all time high on Friday. 5.3 trillion dollars up since Election. Fake News doesn't spent much time on this!
I hope the Fake News Media keeps talking about Wacky Congresswoman Wilson in that she, as a representative, is killing the Democrat Party!
The Fake News is going crazy with wacky Congresswoman Wilson(D), who was SECRETLY on a very personal call, and gave a total lie on content!
So much Fake News being put in dying magazines and newspapers. Only place worse may be @NBCNews, @CBSNews, @ABC and @CNN. Fiction writers!
Sadly, they and others are Fake News, and the public is just beginning to figure it out! https://t.co/8B8AyA7V1s
The Fake News Is going all out in order to demean and denigrate! Such hatred!
With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!
It would be really nice if the Fake News Media would report the virtually unprecedented Stock Market growth since the election.Need tax cuts
The Fake News is at it again, this time trying to hurt one of the finest people I know, General John Kelly, by saying he will soon be.....
Rex Tillerson never threatened to resign. This is Fake News put out by @NBCNews. Low news and reporting standards. No verification from me.
Why Isn't the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!
Wow, so many Fake News stories today. No matter what I do or say, they will not write or speak truth. The Fake News Media is out of control!
We have done a great job with the almost impossible situation in Puerto Rico. Outside of the Fake News or politically motivated ingrates,...
In analyzing the Alabama Primary race,FAKE NEWS always fails to mention that the candidate I endorsed went up MANY points after endorsement!
Despite the Fake News Media in conjunction with the Dems, an amazing job is being done in Puerto Rico. Great people!
The Fake News Networks are working overtime in Puerto Rico doing their best to take the spirit away from our soldiers and first R's. Shame!
Fake News CNN and NBC are going out of their way to disparage our great First Responders as a way to "get Trump." Not fair to FR or effort!
Facebook was always anti-Trump.The Networks were always anti-Trump hence,Fake News, @nytimes(apologized) & @WaPo were anti-Trump. Collusion?
The greatest influence over our election was the Fake News Media "screaming" for Crooked Hillary Clinton. Next, she was a bad candidate!
Fascinating to watch people writing books and major articles about me and yet they know nothing about me & have zero access. #FAKE NEWS!
General John Kelly is doing a fantastic job as Chief of Staff. There is tremendous spirit and talent in the W.H. Don't believe the Fake News
The Fake News is now complaining about my different types of back to back speeches. Well, there was Afghanistan (somber), the big Rally.....
Last night in Phoenix I read the things from my statements on Charlottesville that the Fake News Media didn't cover fairly. People got it!
Thank you, the very dishonest Fake News Media is out of control! https://t.co/8J7y900VGK
Jerry Falwell of Liberty University was fantastic on @foxandfriends. The Fake News should listen to what he had to say. Thanks Jerry!
Heading back to Washington after working hard and watching some of the worst and most dishonest Fake News reporting I have ever seen!
Steve Bannon will be a tough and smart new voice at @BreitbartNews...maybe even better than ever before. Fake News needs the competition!
The public is learning (even more so) how dishonest the Fake News is. They totally misrepresent what I say about hate, bigotry etc. Shame!
Made additional remarks on Charlottesville and realize once again that the #Fake News Media will never be satisfied...truly bad people!
After 200 days, rarely has any Administration achieved what we have achieved..not even close! Don't believe the Fake News Suppression Polls!
Hard to believe that with 24/7 #Fake News on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, NYTIMES & WAPO, the Trump base is getting stronger!
...and West Virginia. The fact is the Fake News Russian collusion story, record Stock Market, border security, military strength, jobs.....
The Trump base is far bigger & stronger than ever before (despite some phony Fake News polling). Look at rallies in Penn, Iowa, Ohio.......
The Fake News refuses to report the success of the first 6 months: S.C., surging economy & jobs,border & military security,ISIS & MS-13 etc.
I love the White House, one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen. But Fake News said I called it a dump - TOTALLY UNTRUE
Only the Fake News Media and Trump enemies want me to stop using Social Media (110 million people). Only way for me to get the truth out!
I love reading about all of the "geniuses" who were so instrumental in my election success. Problem is, most don't exist. #Fake News! MAGA
...about then candidate Trump." Catherine Herridge @FoxNews. So why doesn't Fake News report this? Witch Hunt! Purposely phony reporting.
Is Fake News Washington Post being used as a lobbyist weapon against Congress to keep Politicians from looking into Amazon no-tax monopoly?
So many stories about me in the @washingtonpost are Fake News. They are as bad as ratings challenged @CNN. Lobbyist for Amazon and taxes?
Drain the Swamp should be changed to Drain the Sewer - it's actually much worse than anyone ever thought, and it begins with the Fake News!
While all agree the U. S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us.FAKE NEWS
Sean Spicer is a wonderful person who took tremendous abuse from the Fake News Media - but his future is bright!
The Fake News is becoming more and more dishonest! Even a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany is made to look sinister!
Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is "sick." All G 20 leaders, and spouses, were invited by the Chancellor of Germany. Press knew!
With all of its phony unnamed sources & highly slanted & even fraudulent reporting, #Fake News is DISTORTING DEMOCRACY in our country!
HillaryClinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?
If Chelsea Clinton were asked to hold the seat for her mother,as her mother gave our country away, the Fake News would say CHELSEA FOR PRES!
...have it. Fake News said 17 intel agencies when actually 4 (had to apologize). Why did Obama do NOTHING when he had info before election?
I will represent our country well and fight for its interests! Fake News Media will never cover me accurately but who cares! We will #MAGA!
Dow hit a new intraday all-time high! I wonder whether or not the Fake News Media will so report?
At some point the Fake News will be forced to discuss our great jobs numbers, strong economy, success with ISIS, the border & so much else!
Watched low rated @Morning_Joe for first time in long time. FAKE NEWS. He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no! Bad show
The #AmazonWashingtonPost, sometimes referred to as the guardian of Amazon not paying internet taxes (which they should) is FAKE NEWS!
Some of the Fake News Media likes to say that I am not totally engaged in healthcare. Wrong, I know the subject well & want victory for U.S.
The failing @nytimes writes false story after false story about me. They don't even call to verify the facts of a story. A Fake News Joke!
So they caught Fake News CNN cold, but what about NBC, CBS & ABC? What about the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost? They are all Fake News!
Fake News CNN is looking at big management changes now that they got caught falsely pushing their phony Russian stories. Ratings way down!
Wow, CNN had to retract big story on "Russia," with 3 employees forced to resign. What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!
Well, the Special Elections are over and those that want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN are 5 and O! All the Fake News, all the money spent = 0
The Fake News Media hates when I use what has turned out to be my very powerful Social Media - over 100 million people! I can go around them
Fake News is at an all time high. Where is their apology to me for all of the incorrect stories???
The Fake News Media has never been so wrong or so dirty. Purposely incorrect stories and phony sources to meet their agenda of hate. Sad!
Sorry folks, but if I would have relied on the Fake News of CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, washpost or nytimes, I would have had ZERO chance winning WH
Russian officials must be laughing at the U.S. & how a lame excuse for why the Dems lost the election has taken over the Fake News.
The Fake News Media works hard at disparaging & demeaning my use of social media because they don't want America to hear the real story!
Does anyone notice how the Montana Congressional race was such a big deal to Dems & Fake News until the Republican won? V was poorly covered
....it is very possible that those sources don't exist but are made up by fake news writers. #FakeNews is the enemy!
Whenever you see the words 'sources say' in the fake news media, and they don't mention names....
The Roger Stone report on @CNN is false - Fake News. Have not spoken to Roger in a long time - had nothing to do with my decision.
General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama Administration - but the Fake News seldom likes talking about that.
Why is it that the Fake News rarely reports Ocare is on its last legs and that insurance companies are fleeing for their lives? It's dead!
Wow,the Fake News media did everything in its power to make the Republican Healthcare victory look as bad as possible.Far better than Ocare!
The Fake News media is officially out of control. They will do or say anything in order to get attention - never been a time like this!
The two fake news polls released yesterday, ABC & NBC, while containing some very positive info, were totally wrong in General E. Watch!
Anybody (especially Fake News media) who thinks that Repeal & Replace of ObamaCare is dead does not know the love and strength in R Party!
It is the same Fake News Media that said there is "no path to victory for Trump" that is now pushing the phony Russia story. A total scam!
Why doesn't Fake News talk about Podesta ties to Russia as covered by @FoxNews or money from Russia to Clinton - sale of Uranium?
Just watched the totally biased and fake news reports of the so-called Russia story on NBC and ABC. Such dishonesty!
Just heard Fake News CNN is doing polls again despite the fact that their election polls were a WAY OFF disaster. Much higher ratings at Fox
James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!
Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nevertheless, Germany owes.....
Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, "went to his mailbox" and found my tax returns? @NBCNews FAKE NEWS!
Don't let the FAKE NEWS tell you that there is big infighting in the Trump Admin. We are getting along great, and getting major things done!
Russia talk is FAKE NEWS put out by the Dems, and played up by the media, in order to mask the big election defeat and the illegal leaks!
FAKE NEWS media knowingly doesn't tell the truth. A great danger to our country. The failing @nytimes has become a joke. Likewise @CNN. Sad!
Give the public a break - The FAKE NEWS media is trying to say that large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!
Don't believe the main stream (fake news) media.The White House is running VERY WELL. I inherited a MESS and am in the process of fixing it.
The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!
The Democrats had to come up with a story as to why they lost the election, and so badly (306), so they made up a story - RUSSIA. Fake news!
FAKE NEWS media, which makes up stories and "sources," is far more effective than the discredited Democrats - but they are fading fast!
The fake news media is going crazy with their conspiracy theories and blind hatred. @MSNBC & @CNN are unwatchable. @foxandfriends is great!
Just leaving Florida. Big crowds of enthusiastic supporters lining the road that the FAKE NEWS media refuses to mention. Very dishonest!
While on FAKE NEWS @CNN, Bernie Sanders was cut off for using the term fake news to describe the network. They said technical difficulties!
The failing @nytimes does major FAKE NEWS China story saying "Mr.Xi has not spoken to Mr. Trump since Nov.14." We spoke at length yesterday!
Chris Cuomo, in his interview with Sen. Blumenthal, never asked him about his long-term lie about his brave "service" in Vietnam. FAKE NEWS!
'16 Fake News Stories Reporters Have Run Since Trump Won' https://t.co/0dHld5kiVc
I call my own shots, largely based on an accumulation of data, and everyone knows it. Some FAKE NEWS media, in order to marginalize, lies!
Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting.
After being forced to apologize for its bad and inaccurate coverage of me after winning the election, the FAKE NEWS @nytimes is still lost!
Thank you to Prime Minister of Australia for telling the truth about our very civil conversation that FAKE NEWS media lied about. Very nice!
Somebody with aptitude and conviction should buy the FAKE NEWS and failing @nytimes and either run it correctly or let it fold with dignity!
The failing @nytimes has been wrong about me from the very beginning. Said I would lose the primaries, then the general election. FAKE NEWS!
Congratulations to @FoxNews for being number one in inauguration ratings. They were many times higher than FAKE NEWS @CNN - public is smart!
to the U.S., but had nothing to do with TRUMP, is more FAKE NEWS. Ask top CEO's of those companies for real facts. Came back because of me!
much worse - just look at Syria (red line), Crimea, Ukraine and the build-up of Russian nukes. Not good! Was this the leaker of Fake News?
Totally made up facts by sleazebag political operatives, both Democrats and Republicans - FAKE NEWS! Russia says nothing exists. Probably...
.@CNN is in a total meltdown with their FAKE NEWS because their ratings are tanking since election and their credibility will soon be gone!
We had a great News Conference at Trump Tower today. A couple of FAKE NEWS organizations were there but the people truly get what's going on
Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to "leak" into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?
I win an election easily, a great "movement" is verified, and crooked opponents try to belittle our victory with FAKE NEWS. A sorry state!
FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!
Reports by @CNN that I will be working on The Apprentice during my Presidency, even part time, are ridiculous & untrue - FAKE NEWS!
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