Happy New Year! Here’s all the new fake news for the start of the new year:
- Chief Justice John Roberts, in his annual year-end address, warns about the dangers of fake news: “In our age, when social media can instantly spread rumor and false information on a grand scale, the public’s need to understand our government, and the protections it provides, is ever more vital.” I couldn’t have said it better; read about it from Politico.
- Alex Jones, perennial peddler of fictitious information through his InfoWars operation, has been found guilty of defamation and causing emotional distress for his fake news stories about the Sandy Hook school massacre. This past week a judge ordered Mr. Jones to pay the parents of victims $100,000 plus court costs. This proves that while spreading fake news isn’t illegal (thank you, First Amendment!), the damage it causes may be. HuffPost has the story.
- NBC News investigates the most viral fake health news in 2019. It’s worth a read.
- Also from NBC News, “Meet the Press” discusses disinformation in the age of Trump and how to combat false information. Worth a peek.
- Hoaxes are a big part of the fake news world. Here’s a list of the 8 Biggest Hoaxes of the Decade, from the Daily Beast. Number 1: The story of Anna Sorokin, who passed herself off as a wealthy German socialite — until she got charged with six counts of grand larceny for scamming hotels and business partners, and was sentenced to twelve years in prison.
- Want to know what sorts of shenanigans we can expect from the use of fake news during the upcoming 2020 presidential campaign? Check out this “deceptively edited” video on Twitter that paints Democratic candidate Joe Biden as a blatant racist. (Which he’s not.) The Washington Post has the deets.