The Atlantic

The Cynical Gambit to Make ‘Fake News’ Meaningless

As journalists push back against hoaxes and conspiracies, media skeptics are using charges of “fake news” against professionals.
Source: Steve Dipaola / Reuters

For a term that is suddenly everywhere, “fake news” is fairly slippery.

Is “fake news” a reference to government propaganda designed to look like independent journalism? Or is it any old made-up bullshit that people share as real on the internet? Is “fake news” the appropriate label for a hoax meant to make a larger point? Does a falsehood only become “fake news” when it shows up on a platform like Facebook as legitimate news? What about conspiracy theorists who genuinely believe the outrageous lies they’re sharing? Or satire

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