Fake News for the Week Ending October 18, 2019

Let’s get to it:

  • No, Thomas Jefferson did not say “The government will one day be corrupt and filled with liars, and the people will flock to the one who tells the truth,” in an apparent premonition of support for President Trump. FactCheck.org can’t track down who originally wrote those words, but it definitely wasn’t Jefferson.

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  • Also false: the Nobel Peace Prize Committee didn’t nominate President Trump for the prize after his administration negotiated a “ceasefire” in Turkey. It’s satire from the website Taters Gonna Tate (written by “Rod Gozinya,” which should also tell you it’s satire), as reported by Snopes.com.

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  • “We are living in challenging times for those who depend on the work of a free press,” begins a powerful op-ed by Fred Ryan, publisher of The Washington Post. He goes on to make the point that conflating “unfavorable news” with “fake news,” as President Trump is wont to do, is dangerous. It’s a must-read, which you can do here.
  • Science News for Students reports on studies that are testing ways to slow the spread of fake news, and MIT News reports on research that uses artificial intelligence to detect false information online.
  • Then there’s the fake video (not really a deepfake, but rather a doctored clip from the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service) that shows “Donald Trump” shooting, stabbing, and otherwise violently assaulting his opponents in Congress and in the press. The video was shown to a pro-Trump group at the president’s National Doral Miami resort – the same resort he wants to personally rent out to host next year’s G-7 summit. (Which is a totally different discussion entirely.) Read about it from NPR; I refuse to repost it here.

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