Fake News for the Week Ending August 2, 2019

Let’s get right to it — all the fake news news happening this week:

  • This is real news about a fake thing. This week President Trump appeared at the Teen Student Action Summit, which itself isn’t particularly notable. What was notable is the fact that he stood in front of an obviously fake presidential seal that included the image of a two-headed eagle clutching a set of golf clubs in its talons. Read about it in The Washington Post.

A graphic designer from Virginia never expected his fake presidential seal to be featured on stage with President Donald Trump.

  • A meme circulating on social media claims that Donald Trump was awarded the Ellis Island award for his work “within the black community.” That is not entirely true. Trump did receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1986 for his contributions to the city of New York through his development projects – not for any specific work with the “black community.” It’s not an exclusive award, either; Trump was just one of 86 people that received the medal that year, not the three claimed in the meme. As usual, FactCheck.org has the straight poop.

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  • Technology to the rescue! CNET reports that AI can now spot fake news that was generated by AI. We don’t need humans at all; perhaps the next major war will be fought by bots against bots. Read about it here.
  • Fake news isn’t limited to the U.S.; it’s a big problem throughout the connected world. Finland is particularly hard hit by its next-door-neighbor Russia, one of the primary disseminators of fake news and propaganda. The government of Finland is fighting back, however, including educating its citizens on how to spot and respond to various types of fake news. Finland’s high marks in media literacy makes for an interesting story with strategies we could adopt here in the United States. CNN has the story here.
  • Speaking of fake news outside the U.S., the British Army has put together a unit to combat both cyber propaganda and computer hackers. The Guardian breaks the story here.

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