Things That Matter

This Society Of Journalists Is Trying To Trademark The Term ‘Fake News’ To Stop Trump From Using It

Since President Donald Trump took office, he has frequently relied on the term “fake news” to describe a myriad of things: an exaggerated headline, a dubious “source” that chooses to remain anonymous. But more often than not, he has used the term indiscriminately to describe the media at large–regardless of a news item’s accuracy.

According to Factba.se (a website that allows you to search everything Trump has publicly said and Tweeted), Trump has used the term “fake news” over 1,200 times since becoming president–definitive proof that it is a phrase he regularly relies on the phrase when addressing the public. 

But while Trump may use the term “Fake News” often, he rarely, however, has used the term correctly. 

Dictionary.com–which recently added the word to its lexicon after a surge in its use by the public–defines “fake news” as “(noun): false news stories, often of a sensational nature, created to be widely shared or distributed for the purpose of generating revenue, or promoting or discrediting a public figure, political movement, company, etc.” 

In other words, the term “fake news” should only be applied to stories that are blatantly and demonstrably false–stories that are made to intentionally mislead their reader. The fact that President Trump uses this term in such a misleading way can work to confuse citizens who are trying to discern fact from fiction within the barrage of information they’re exposed to on a daily basis. And as for this journalistic organization, they believe it is their duty to stop President Donald Trump from continuing to misuse the term.

On Tuesday, the President of Florida’s local Society of Professional Journalists published an article on Teen Vogue announcing that her organization was applying to trademark the term “fake news” in order to prevent Trump from using it. 

According to reporter Emily Bloch, the president of the Florida Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the move is meant to bring awareness to the harm that Trump inflicts on the public when he uses this term so erroneously. And keeping the public well informed is something the organization doesn’t take lightly. 

According to its website, The Society of Professional Journalists is an advocacy group dedicated to protecting the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The organization is “dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior”.

Not pulling any punches, the Florida Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has teamed up with the creative agency WAX in order to bring as much awareness as possible to their campaign. While a decision is being made by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the organization will meanwhile be sending cease and desist letters to President Trump, accusing Trump of “trademark infringement”. The Cease and Desist letter states that the organization believes his “misuse of the term” has “greatly confused the American people and shaken their trust in the journalism that’s so vital to our democracy.”

Although they’re optimistic about the discussion their campaign might promote, the organization admittedly doesn’t expect their trademark will be approved. 

According to Bloch, the application to trademark the term “Fake News” isn’t being done in earnest–it’s satire. “No one can really trademark a generic term like ‘fake news’,” she said in her article. According to Bloch, the term “fake news” was widely being used “long before Trump even took office”. Instead, the organization’s ultimate goal is to create enough of a splash in the national discourse that it gets people “to stop and think about what fake news is, and what it means to them”. 

Reporter Emily Bloch also took the time to explain how labeling all journalists as part of the “Fake News Media” agenda (as Trump so regularly does), dehumanizes them. Not only does it degrade a profession that is so important to our democracy it’s referred to as the “Fifth Estate”, it also casts suspicion on journalists as a whole. Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric about journalists puts the safety of journalists at risk.

Bloch argues that it is no coincidence that there have been an uptick of attacks (both verbal and physical) on media outlets since Trump took office.

Bloch cites a laundry list of violent activities that have been aimed at the media since Trump entered the political spotlight: the pipe bomb sent to CNN and other Trump-critics by an unstable MAGA fan, the doctored footage of Trump shooting reporters shown at his resort, and the shirt that an airline passenger wore that promoted the lynching of journalists. 

So, even if the application for trademark is simply “a joke with a point”, as Bloch calls it in her article, it is at least an attempt to spark an important discussion. When the elected leader of our country consistently calls news stories he doesn’t like “fake news”, he is desensitizing Americans to the true meaning of the term, making them question reality. And when Americans don’t know what to believe, how can they be confident in their decisions?

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Here Are The Executive Actions That President Biden Is Signing His First Day In Office

Things That Matter

Here Are The Executive Actions That President Biden Is Signing His First Day In Office

Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool / Getty Images

President Joe Biden has a lot of work ahead of him and he is hitting the ground running. On his first day in office, President Biden has a series of executive actions he is signing to reverse a lot of the damage created by the Trump administration. Here are some of the things President Biden will do with these actions.

The border wall on the southern border is done, y’all.

President Biden is saving the taxpayers billions of dollars by halting the construction of President Trump’s border wall. The border wall is one of former President Trump’s several unfulfilled promises at the expense of the taxpayers.

Despite his unrelenting campaign, Mexico never paid a dime to the wall. President Biden’s action to halt the border wall is a humanitarian and conservationist move that will save billions of tax dollars. According to estimates, there would be $3.3 billion in unused funds in the projects accounts.

The emotionally devastating Muslim ban will finally come to an end.

Former President Trump famously put an end to travel from predominantly Muslim countries. The order arbitrarily excluded a group of people based on their religion. The order that has kept families apart for years is finally coming to an end thanks to President Biden.

President Biden’s ation will bring families together and safeguards the rights of religious freedom. The ban has kept spouses separated, children apart from parents, and caused real damage. There is more to be done to make up for the stain on American history and the action is the first step.

The Keystone XL Pipeline is toast.

We all remember the terrifying scenes of Native people being brutalized by federal officials under Trump’s command. President Biden will make sure that the permit for the pipeline is revoked and put an end to a project that has been devastating the Native community. Activists have been fighting for years to get this done.

Undocumented people will have to be included in census counts.

President Biden is getting rid of the Trump administration’s terrible policy of ignoring undocumented people in the census. There have been several arguments by officials that the move would work to undermine certain states. The policy would take federal money away from states that did not support the former president and have high undocumented populations.

President Biden is going to preserve DACA.

More than 600,000 people benefit from the Obama-era program. Former President Trump waged a war against DACA and Dreamers for political points. Most Americans support DACA and a pathway to citizenship for DACA beneficiaries. With the new executive action, President Biden will instruct the federal government to restore the program to its fullest.

There is still a lawsuit the Biden administration will have to fight. The lawsuit challenging DACA’s legality was filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

In total, President Biden will sign 17 executive actions that will roll back several issues created by the previous administration.

“Today, hours after taking the oath of office, President-elect Biden will take a historic number of actions to deliver immediate relief for families across America that are struggling in the face of converging crises. He will sign a combination of executive orders, memoranda, directives, and letters to take initial steps to address these crises, including by changing the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing economic relief, tackling climate change, and advancing racial equity,” reads a statement from the Biden-Harris Transition Team. “President-elect Biden will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward. These actions are bold, begin the work of following through on President-elect Biden’s promises to the American people, and, importantly, fall within the constitutional role for the president.”

READ: President Joe Biden’s And Vice President Kamala Harris’ Inauguration Represented America

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Mexico’s AMLO Wants To Launch New Social Media Network For Mexicans After Twitter Banned Trump

Things That Matter

Mexico’s AMLO Wants To Launch New Social Media Network For Mexicans After Twitter Banned Trump

Hector Vivas / Getty Images

Love him or hate him, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has long called himself the voice of the people – and many Mexicans agree with him. That’s why his latest announcement against social media companies has many so worried.

In the wake of Twitter and Facebook’s (along with many other social media platforms) announcement that they would be restricting or banning Donald Trump from their platforms, the Mexican president expressed his contempt for the decisions. And his intention to create a Mexican social network that won’t be held to the standards from Silicon Valley.

Mexico’s AMLO moves to create a social media network for Mexicans outside of Silicon Valley’s control.

A week after his United States counterpart was kicked off Facebook and Twitter, President López Obrador floated the idea of creating a national social media network to avoid the possibility of Mexicans being censored.

Speaking at his daily news conference, AMLO instructed the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt) and other government departments to look at the possibility of creating a state-owned social media site that would guarantee freedom of speech in Mexico.

“We care about freedom a lot, it’s an issue that’s going to be addressed by us,” he told reporters. He also added that Facebook and Twitter have become “global institutions of censorship,” sounding a lot like the alt-right terrorists that stormed the U.S. Capitol.

“To guarantee freedom, for freedom, so there’s no censorship in Mexico. We want a country without censorship. Mexico must be a country of freedom. This is a commitment we have,” he told reporters.

AMLO deeply criticized the moves by Twitter and Facebook to ban Trump from their platforms.

Credit: Hector Vivas / Getty Images

AMLO – like Trump – is an avid user of social media to connect with his constituents. He’s also been known to spread falsehoods and boast about his achievements on the platforms – sound familiar?

So, it came as little surprise when he tore into social media companies for ‘censoring’ Donald Trump, saying that they have turned into “global institutions of censorship” and are carrying out a “holy inquisition.”

Nobody has the right to silence citizens even if their views are unpopular, López Obrador said. Even if the words used by Trump provoked a violent attack against his own government.

“Since they took these decisions [to suspend Trump], the Statue of Liberty has been turning green with anger because it doesn’t want to become an empty symbol,” he quipped.

So what could a Mexican social media network be called?

The president’s proposal to create a national social media network triggered chatter about what such a site would or should be called. One Twitter user suggested Facemex or Twitmex, apparently taking his inspiration from the state oil company Pemex.

The newspaper Milenio came up with three alternative names and logos for uniquely Mexican sites, suggesting that a Mexican version of Facebook could be called Facebookóatl (inspired by the Aztec feathered-serpent god Quetzalcóatl), Twitter could become Twitterlopochtli (a riff on the name of Aztec war, sun and human deity Huitzilopochtli) and Instagram could become Instagratlán (tlán, which in the Náhuatl language means place near an abundance of something – deer, for example, in the case of Mazatlán – is a common suffix in Mexican place names.)

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com