Writing anti-immigrant sentiments always sold. In recent years it became normal. In 2017 we won’t even flinch when it happens.
The simple fact is that stories that help to encourage mistrust and demonise minorities sell. Articles are more likely to be read and stories are more likely to be commented on.
Earlier this month a new website ‘Westmonster’ was launched by the biggest financial backer of the campaign to leave the EU. It is hoped the website will build upon the Leave campaign’s success of 2016.
But what can we really expect? Barring the familiar anti-European rhetoric I will not be surprised if the website does what most others of its nature do.
I can foresee plenty of anti-immigrant style articles that have helped to propel many other right-wing websites up the rankings.
We already have Breitbart which is closely followed by newspaper websites such as the Daily Express, the Daily Mail and the Sun.
And then we have several broadsheets who can’t help themselves but to pander to the same rhetoric when it requires them to do so.
What these websites do is use anti-immigration and in particular anti-Muslim stories and encourage hate. And it is perfectly normal now to do this.
I was a little surprised at how people were quick to criticise Donald Trump on his election. And now are up in arms over his ‘travel ban.’ I suggest you scroll through some of these websites and see how many of their readers are supporting the ban.
Yes, it is all very well moaning about how he has gone too far but when you drip feed your readers anti-Muslim and anti-immigration stories, is anyone really surprised? You all stood by and let this happen so why the uproar.
Mr Trump is feeding into this narrative and he is quite entitled to do so.
We have a full right to free speech but we have in the past ten years seen a huge rise in the number of articles directed merely to cause distrust of Muslims and immigrants.
The internet has simply amplified the thoughts and ideas to an audience who wanted it.
We have ‘trained’ writers and journalists who will not think twice about posting stories that clearly want to demonise Muslims and foreigners.
Whilst politicians will press home the idea that the UK is the most tolerant place on the planet – it is shocking that our most popular media outlets are not.
This week it was revealed that MP’s will raise concerns over the issue of fake news.
The Culture, Media and Sport Committee is launching the investigation into concerns about the public being swayed by propaganda and untruths.
The Culture, Media and Sport Committee chairman Damian Collins said, "The committee will be investigating these issues as well as looking into the sources of fake news, what motivates people to spread it and how it has been used around elections and other important political debates."
But let me point out a simple issue here. What is the difference between actual fake news and articles that border on being false? We have all seen headlines which demean a minority or a religion over a dubious link.
People’s attention spans are so low that they will not go past the headline and first paragraph and look at the full content of the article.
The vast majority of fake news is being used to suit particular right-wing agendas.
You want to stop fake news, how about stopping media outlets posting these stories?
I am not surprised that another right-wing website has been launched. And I can see it becoming a success.
Whilst we may decry the situation we need to face the facts.
Websites such as the Daily Mail and the Sun have such a huge volume of traffic because they cater for a growing audience.
If you tell a country over and over again that immigrants and in particular Muslims are dangerous then people will begin to believe it.
Blame does lie with those who post lies about minorities but also with those who constantly post vicious racist comments on these stories.
Don’t like the way the media portrays you? Sorry, but racism sells.