Main content

The History of ‘Fake News’ (Part 1)

The meaning of the term “fake news” has been completely transformed – so what does it mean now, and is the phrase even useful at all?

The term “fake news” has been impossible to escape over the past year.

It started with teenagers in Macedonia pumping out posts to make cash on Facebook during the 2016 US presidential election

But it has since turned into a political football. Hillary Clinton blames it in part for her loss to Donald Trump. Meanwhile the president uses it as a stick to beat his enemies. Around the world, journalists, demagogues and all sorts of people throw the phrase around with abandon.

Misinformation and spin has of course been with us for centuries, but in the last year the meaning of “fake news” has been completely transformed. What does it mean now, and is it even a useful description these days?

Mike Wendling is joined by three experts who have been looking at the world of social media misinformation for years: Buzzfeed Media Editor Craig Silverman;
Clare Wardle of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center and First Draft News; and Alexios Mantzarlis of the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network.

Producer: Will Yates
Studio Manager: James Beard

Image Credit: Getty Images

Available now

23 minutes

Last on

Mon 15 Jan 2018 04:06GMT

Broadcasts

  • Fri 12 Jan 2018 20:06GMT
  • Fri 12 Jan 2018 21:06GMT
  • Sun 14 Jan 2018 00:32GMT
  • Sun 14 Jan 2018 10:32GMT
  • Mon 15 Jan 2018 02:32GMT
  • Mon 15 Jan 2018 04:06GMT

Featured in...

Download this programme

Download this programme

Subscribe to this programme or download individual episodes.

Podcast