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Monday, January 22, 2018

Impact of "Fake" News

For John, BLUFThis idea that the version of news presented isn't the real truth goes back to Yellow Journalism, and a hundred years before that.  I understand the first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, hired a newspaper published as a State employee, to help fund the gentleman's journal, The National Gazette.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Old Gray Lady, by Mr Benedict Carey, 2 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

Fake news evolved from seedy internet sideshow to serious electoral threat so quickly that behavioral scientists had little time to answer basic questions about it, like who was reading what, how much real news they also consumed and whether targeted fact-checking efforts ever hit a target.

Sure, surveys abound, asking people what they remember reading.  But these are only as precise as the respondents’ shifty recollections and subject to a malleable definition of “fake.”  The term “fake news” itself has evolved into an all-purpose smear, used by politicians and the president to deride journalism they don’t like.

But now the first hard data on fake-news consumption has arrived.  Researchers last week posted an analysis of the browsing histories of thousands of adults during the run-up to the 2016 election — a real-time picture of who viewed which fake stories, and what real news those people were seeing at the same time.

This seems to suggest the "Russian interference" may be less of a problem than we thought.

The other thing that jumped out was how the author differentiated between politicians and the President.  I wonder if that is a blind spot for old line media?  Is this President, President Trump, not a sublime politicians?

Regards  —  Cliff
-2 Sat 3.0

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