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"Fake" News

There's a real obsession out there with "fake" news.

Here are the two best thought pieces that I've read on the matter:

  • MIT Media Lab's Ethan Zuckerman: "Stop Saying Fake News." It's Not Helping.

    "Immediately after the US election, “fake news” emerged as a major story, a partial explanation for Trump’s surprise electoral victory. Within a week, I’d been invited to four different conferences, brainstorms or hackathons to combat fake news, done a dozen media interviews and briefed the heads of two major progressive foundations on the issue. Fake news was a problem for American democracy and progressive leaders were on it! ... "

    Zuckerman argues that we should build strength into our institutions such as mainstream media. i.e. if mainstream media outlets make mistakes, they should be fixed. And we need more trustworthy, diverse voices. 

    I would argue that we need a better educated public as well. But then Dana Boyd argues that "media literacy" educational efforts might have backfired.

  • NYU's Dana Boyd's "Did Media Literacy Backfire?"

"Addressing so-called fake news is going to require a lot more than labeling. It’s going to require a cultural change about how we make sense of information, whom we trust, and how we understand our own role in grappling with information. Quick and easy solutions may make the controversy go away, but they won’t address the underlying problems."