In this week’s edition of The Weekly Standard, author Thomas Friedman argues that the rise of social media has given new meaning to the word “fake news.”
As the “fake” media becomes ever more mainstream, Friedman warns, there are limits to the kind of propaganda that can be sustained on social media.
And in the case of the fake news phenomenon, Friedman says, it is not just the news that needs to be scrutinized, but the social media content that is being fed to the public.
The Post’s Michael Birnbaum agrees with Friedman, and argues that we need to “stop using the term ‘fake news’ to describe what’s being peddled online.”
The Post editorial board calls on the White House to ban “fake content” in the White Houses own terms and to establish a task force to investigate whether such content is “propaganda” or “false information.”
If it is propaganda, the Post editorial says, the administration should “make sure the content is carefully vetted and that it’s clearly labeled.”
But in a broader sense, we should also start to question whether the notion of fake news is even a useful term.
The fact is, the notion that we have “fake,” or “fake, fake news” is actually not that new.
For more than a decade, the term “fakenews” has been used by news organizations to describe stories that are either false or misleading.
These are stories that have no factual basis, or are simply made up, such as a claim that President Donald Trump ordered the murder of a police officer in the “Battle of Gettysburg,” which is widely believed but never confirmed.
The idea of “fake information” is the opposite of news, says Michael Biesecker, an assistant professor of political science at Princeton University.
Fake information is a distortion of information to achieve a desired result.
Fake news is just a distraction from real news.
“The idea of fake information is an old idea.
It has existed in some form for decades, and it’s not new,” Bieses writes in the New York Times.
But what was once an old, but not necessarily wrong, notion has become a new one that is largely accepted as fact, he argues.
For example, in the early 2000s, a Harvard study found that people were more likely to believe a story about Osama bin Laden if they saw it in the news.
But a recent study published in the journal Public Understanding of Science, in which researchers analyzed over 20,000 articles about the topic, found that the “news bias” that is a central feature of news was actually “a myth,” says Bies.
“News organizations are not just trying to sell you something, they’re trying to make you believe what they want you to believe,” Byses says.
So, it’s unclear what the new definition of “news” should be.
The notion that there is a need for “fake media” to be banned or “sensationalized” was first proposed by an American professor, and has been repeated widely in the media over the years.
The concept is that fake news and “alternative facts” are the result of “political correctness.”
But Bies and his colleagues argue that there’s no evidence that “fake facts” in general or “alternatives to conventional facts” is driving the spread of fake stories, or that it has the effect of driving people to engage in “misinformation” or to create fake “alternate facts.”
Rather, they argue, it may just be that the notion is used to explain why we shouldn’t trust news media or the “mainstream media,” as the term suggests.
“There is a strong tendency to believe that there must be a good reason to trust the mainstream media, or at least that we should trust the information it publishes,” Bioses argues.
“And if there is some reason to believe there is such a reason, it appears to be that that reason is not a rational one.”
But the idea that there are legitimate reasons for distrusting the mainstream press or the mainstream public is a myth, Biess writes.
“It’s not a myth that the mainstream news media is dishonest.
Rather, it seems to be a myth in which the media is so dishonest that people are simply unwilling to accept its truth.”
Bies argues that what has changed in the last 20 years is the amount of information available on the web.
“People who are in the mainstream are now so familiar with information that they can’t distinguish between what they see and what they don’t see,” he says.
“We are now in a digital age where we can access information that is not only easily accessible, but also at a speed that allows us to engage with the information that we see.”
The idea that the idea of the mainstream has become “fake and fake news,” Bayses says, is “not new.
It’s not something that’s ever been challenged in a way that it would be challenging in the present.” It