Monday, January 23, 2017

MSA to take aim at Fake News websites

Washington, DC -- Spurred on by the increasing number of Freemasons using the Internet, the Masonic Services Association joined forces with the US Office of Masonic Affairs to draft a guideline for Freemasons who appear to be continually taken in by what the media is now calling "Fake News."

"One of the many issues that we see with Freemasons who have recently discovered social media like MySpace, Buzz, and Xanga, is that may of them fall for pretty much anything that's published. They seem to have this mindset that if it's on the internet, then it must be true," said Lee Wayne Tracey, Director of Online Research at the Office of Masonic Affairs. "They then copy and paste the information into their emails and send it all over the Information Superhighway, where it ends up in chain letters, bulletin boards, and sometimes lodge newsletters."

But why now?

"Our concern is that the fake news stories are being spread too quickly, so our plan is to put up a list of websites to be aware of. If a brother is copying a link from a website, they should check that website against our list of sites known for spreading fake news."

The Office of Masonic Affairs explained that the list would contain information site, as well as sites run by web loggers, or "bloggers," who are becoming a common source of fake news for many internet using Freemasons.

"First on the list will be the well known website of Chris Hodapp," Brother Tracey explained. "While Brother Hodapp claims to have had verification for his stories, the fact that he does not release names of these anonymous "brothers" from which he gets most of his inside news indicates that some of those news items are probably fabricated or at least exaggerated."

Tracey went on to describe how one can spot fake news by using the Freemasonry for Dummies website as an example.

"Sharp readers will notice that most of his news stories take place in just a few states, like, Georgia, Arkansas, or Tennessee; states where there are very few Masons to begin with. That means that he could easily fabricate stories about events there, and nobody would ever know."

Brother Tracey hopes that the new website will soon become a common resource for Freemasons.

-- Conte Calvino Gliostro


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