One Man & His Blog

How the alt-right media machine stole the "Fake News" tag

How the alt-right media machine stole the "Fake News" tag

This really is a mark of just how efficient and savvy the media machine around Trump is:

But though the term [Fake News] hasn’t been around long, its meaning already is lost. Faster than you could say “Pizzagate,” the label has been co-opted to mean any number of completely different things: Liberal claptrap. Or opinion from left-of-center. Or simply anything in the realm of news that the observer doesn’t like to hear.

“The speed with which the term became polarized and in fact a rhetorical weapon illustrates how efficient the conservative media machine has become,” said George Washington University professor Nikki Usher.

And Trump himself has grabbed onto it gleefully:

I call my own shots, largely based on an accumulation of data, and everyone knows it. Some FAKE NEWS media, in order to marginalize, lies!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 6, 2017

The main thrust of the article is correct, and I can’t help worrying that the current efforts to counter “fake news” by appealing to government and the social networks will prove counter-productive.

Gosh, I can't see any way that handing over that power to government and corporate interests will backfire on us. None at all.

— Adam Tinworth (@adders) February 7, 2017

If that simpler solution is too dangerous – perhaps we just have to buckle down and do the hard work of building audiences, getting better at using social media and debunking lies compellingly.


Written by

Adam Tinworth   Adam Tinworth

Adam has been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 25. He currently works as a consultant and trainer, helping people do better, more engaged online journalism.


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