- This poster appeared on social media.
- The quote is accurate:
“The phrase “Fake News” has exploded in usage since the election, but the term is similar to other malleable political labels such as “terrorism” and “hate speech”; because the phrase lacks any clear definition, it is essentially useless except as an instrument of propaganda and censorship. The most important fact to realize about this new term: Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.”
The above poster appeared on Facebook – and surprisingly, is an accurate quote of what he said.
Unfortunately, there is no formal definition of “fake news”. The media spin is that they make mistakes – they do not publish or broadcast fake news. In their view, “fake news” applies to false or exaggerated stories that come from (in their view, mostly) right wing web sites.
My definition of fake news: any story that is false or exaggerated, is designed specifically to be shared widely on social media, and uses inflammatory or emotional headlines to encourage sharing, for the purpose of generating eyeballs for advertisers, is fake news.
It does not matter if the falsehood is due to poor reporting – or it is intentionally false. The end result is the same – wide spread sharing on social media.
It is the sharing on social media that turns false and poorly reported “news” into “fake news”.
The frictionless nature of social media is what turns poor journalism – and actual fake news – into fake news.