BOSTON (CBS) – In some ways, the internet and social media have made our lives easier, easier to connect with others, track down information, and process transactions. But if you care about finding the truth and being an informed citizen, especially in the heat of an election season, you have to work harder than ever, thanks to the web.

Case in point – the false claim that liberal Jewish billionaire George Soros is funding the migrant refugee march through Mexico, a lie that is now tied to both the recent spate of letter bombs and the slaughter of innocents in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

George Soros. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

USA Today published a report Wednesday on where that lie came from and how Facebook, Twitter and Reddit’s unsupervised platforms quickly spread it to more than 850 million people.

It was shared by members of Congress and the likes of popular right-wing pundit Ann Coulter and Donald Trump Junior. I heard it repeated by a pro-Trump voter Wednesday afternoon in a live network TV interview.

Political partisans spinning and lying is nothing new, and it is hardly confined to conservatives.

But the weight and reach baseless slurs like this one are given by their access to social media is unprecedented.

And that process has been causing misery and death around the world for awhile now, as greed-crazed tech executives stand by and do little or nothing to stop it.

Now, it’s sliming all of us. And too many of us are too partisan or lazy or both to exercise minimal skepticism and do the minimal work necessary to determine if something we see online is true or a vicious lie.

Your thoughts are welcome via email at, or use Twitter, @kelleratlarge.

Comments (3)
  1. Jordan Lewis Ring says:


  2. Theodore Oule says:

    How do we know it is not a lie, Jon? Are you privy to details that the public is not? If so, you have an obligation to make them public.

    Soros is a secretive funder of left-wing causes. It is known that he is a funder of the outspoken leftist organization in Mexico that is encouraging these caravans…We don’t know the extent of the the “coordination” of the efforts, but the money connection is there.

    It is clear that you are willing to play the emotional blackmail card, but is that really the best way to analyze the issues here? Does the United States have a right to control its borders? Do we have an obligation to take in everyone that wants to come? Is there no right to set immigration policy, even though the US Constitution clearly gives that power to the federal government? Are the laws that have been passed and signed by a president not binding in the same way that, say, the laws against racial discrimination are supposed to be?

    Are we a nation governed by the rule of law? Or are we a nation governed by the rule of equity?

    The Magna Carta and English common law, on which our legal system is based, doesn’t recognize equity as a viable means of governance.

    So, please give us the reasons why we should return to a system that was rejected because it was…well…er…so objectionable to the people that were being governed?

  3. Richard Naylor says:

    “Lie”. That this caravan is being funded Soros. Possibly. But the latest “fact based” media report says the folks in the caravan are “weary” and now “asking for buses after getting just 250 miles in to Mexico. So WHO helped them a) get this far, b) get in to Mexico, c) is giving a group of “poor needy folks” the food and water to be able to keep marching North towards the USA (coincidentally, just as the mid-term elections are occurring there? C’mon, seriously, if it isn’t “Soros” it is some other left wing Democratic funder. SOMEONE is feeding and watering this human caravan that is at its very core a political PR stunt.

    Human biology 101, hundreds (thousands?) of human beings don’t march along a highway ‘north’ for days and days without food and water. WHO is providing the LARGE amount of simple human body required logistics for this to occur by that many people for that long of period of time? Acting like it is a “big lie” to say Soros, or SOME politically motivated person or entity is beyond NAIVE. Eh?