Beatles “Pedophile Scandal” Shows How Google Promotes Fake News

Today, right now, (12:17 PM EDT, 10/01/19) Google News is featuring the following article:

The Beatles were PEDOPHILES and now, 50 years later, they are admitting it?

Which of the Beatles were pedophiles, you wonder?

NONE OF THEM. (As far as either I or the internet appears to know.)

If you actually bother to follow the hyperlink (and please DO NOT do that; it only encourages this bad behavior), you will find an article from something called alternativenation.net which is one of the worst purveyors of fake news on the internet.

Here’s the lead and follow-up paragraphs from this story:

Paul McCartney revealed in a new BBC Radio interview that a controversial line that has led to backlash that it promotes pedophilia was actually changed. When discussing “I Saw Her Standing There” in the interview, he said that the first line ‘Well, she was just seventeen / You know what I mean’ was originally ‘She was just seventeen / She’d never been a beauty queen.’ Paul McCartney’s family recently made disturbing announcement about what could end the world.

McCartney said he thought about the line when looking at Lennon. He said he thought, “Oh god, there’s something terribly wrong with that line.” He added that he and John were “brutally honest with each other. If John had written something or if I had written something that wasn’t good, it was like just a look between us [that said] ‘OK, let’s fix that’. So we changed that to ‘seventeen / you know what I mean,’ which is kind of a much better line.

There’s absolutely nothing salacious or, rather, “pedophile-ish” about either version of one of the Beatles best-known songs but, if anything, “She was just seventeen/You Know what I mean” is actually a little more suggestive than “She was just seventeen/She’d never been a beauty queen.”

The fact of the matter is that, “She’d never been a beauty queen” was simply not as good a line as, “You know what I mean.”

The second paragraph, above, is a description of the working relationship between Lennon and McCartney and how they criticized each other’s contributions to their work. It was not a description of how McCartney called Lennon out for an inappropriate sexual remark about a 17 year old, because that wasn’t what was going on at all.

But, wait, there’s more.

In the second paragraph of the quote, above, there is a link to ANOTHER article in alternativenation.net but, if you were to follow that link (which has been deliberately disabled in THIS article), you would find this lead sentence:

The Beatles icon Paul McCartney’s daughter Stella McCartney has announced a disturbing climate ‘crisis’ in a new video on her social media. Paul McCartney recently reacted to a Beatles pedophile revelation.

Now, if you followed THAT link (which has also been disabled for this article,) you would find yourself right back at the FIRST ARTICLE.

There is no pedophile revelation. Stella McCartney isn’t dishing any dirt on her famous father. (She was actually announcing a new award for climate activists under 25, which will undoubtedly go to Greta Thunberg.)

This is an example of “spam candy,” a type of self-spawning backlinks between two completely vacuous, unimportant, and fallacious articles that should never have been pushed into the collective consciousness by Google, the company that is most responsible for creating the collective consciousness in which we have become submersed.

This isn’t a singular occurrence. Google News does this all the time and it is time that someone called them out for it.

I just did but you can, too. The more, the merrier. Drop Google a line and tell them that you have had it with this kind of meaningless bullshit.

How hard is it to prove or disprove a story like this? it took me five minutes. Of course, Google’s defense is that the Google News digest is populated by an algorithm that is based in large part upon the number of searches for a given search term (which indicates the relative current popularity of a given topic) and the number of hits a given article receives (which indicates how popular that particular article is.)

(Gee, there’s nothing wrong with that algorithm, is there, except to the extent to which it is responsible for current crisis in American democracy.)

If you google “beatles pedophiles” you are going to come up with 4.7 million hits.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, right?

Well, not really.  When you backtrack the first few pages of those 4.7 results, you find that they all track back to more or less the same few references in which McCartney clearly states that the Lads from Liverpool steered clear of jail bait, which, at that time in England was under 16.

Many of these references track back to a site called “thspoof,com,” which claims that several Beatles songs have been banned by the Recording Industry Association of America, including “Little Child”, “I Saw Her Standing There” and Ringo Starr’s hit from the 70’s called “You’re 16, You’re Beautiful and You’re Mine,” which was actually written by Johnny Burnette in 1960.

The Recording Industry Association of America  is a real organization which, nevertheless, does not have the power to ban recordings.  The article on “thespoof.com” clearly indicates that the entire article about Beatles songs being banned due to references to pedophilia is entirely fictitious.

They call it satire, which mean they have no idea what term satire actually means.

Satire:  the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

You will note that satire does NOT excuse the deliberate publication of false information in order to ridicule someone or something.  There’s a fine line between satire and stupidity, and it seems that most so-called satirists no longer have the faintest idea of where that line falls, or they would be tripping over it all the time. (The preceding sentence is a correct example of satire.)

(REVISED 10/01/19 1:55 pm to insert additional information.)

 

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