"Fake News"

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Concept.png "Fake News" 
Fake News.jpg
Interest of • Brian Gerrish
• Poynter Institute
• Snopes
• UK Column
"Fake news website" is a meme started after the 2016 US election, to disparage websites that dissent from the opinions expressed by commercially-controlled media.

The term "Fake news", like the term "conspiracy theory", is a modern label of disdain, more or less equivalent to what used to be called "propaganda". It was introduced in November 2016, in the phrase "Fake News Website", and subsequently linked to discussion of internet censorship. However, the shorter phrase "fake news" caught on, becoming Macquarie Dictionary's "word[sic.] of the year" for 2016.[1]

Official narrative

On 15 November 2016, one week after the 2016 US presidential election, Wikipedia User:jfhutson started a page entitled "Fake news website".[2] Many commercially-controlled media outlets also started to echo the idea that the internet was full or Russian propaganda, and that this had influenced the outcome of the election. They have lead to calls that information on the internet should be checked for validity by expert "fact checkers", to avoid misleading people. The shorter phrase "fake news" caught on as a popular insult. A Wikipedia page for "fake news" was created on 15 January 2017.[3] In an article which applying the phrase in the context of KGB cold war propaganda, the BBC admitted (on the 1st April, 2017) that "the term fake news has taken on many meanings."[4]


Who will fact check the fact checkers?... Apparently, dissent from the establishment's self-styled "fact checkers" will not be tolerated. The "fake news" meme appears to be being used by corporate media to try to discredit any sources who express dissenting opinions. Global Research, targeted as a "fake news" outlet, made the counterclaim that the New York Times was the "world leader in proliferating fake news".[5]

“In the article, the [Washington] Post blurred the lines between “fake news” – stories that are simply made up – and what was deemed “propaganda,” in effect, information that didn’t jibe with what the U.S. State Department was saying.”
Robet Parry (February 28, 2017)    —   [6]

On December 29, 2016, Glen Greenwald accused The Guardian of "recklessly attribut[ing] to Assange comments that he did not make" that "those who most flamboyantly denounce Fake News, and want Facebook and other tech giants to suppress content in the name of combating it, are often the most aggressive and self-serving perpetrators of it."[7]

Usage by corporate media

While the BBC admits that "fake news" includes war propaganda created by MI7 a century ago[8], it continues to report as if the problem is a recent one, or at least, one that recently became acute. In January 2017, for example, an article asserted that "deliberate lies [have] been energised by the viral power of social media".[9] Facebook and Google announced in November 2016 that they would take steps to address the issue.[10]

Usage against corporate media

When the Venezuelan government banned CNN from their country in 2017, they charged CNN with "fake news" production.[11]

Deep political significance

Wikispooks was included on Propornot's list of 200 Russian propaganda outlets cited by a Washington Post article published under the name of journalist Craig Timberg. The article uncritically echoed the claims of this anonymous group, which stated on its website that it was "an independent team of concerned American citizens". It was widely criticised online,[12] prompting not a retraction, but the addition of a disclaimer by the Washington Post.[13]

Legal Significance

On 8 December 2016, Barack Obama signed the NDAA 2017 into law, which purported to legalize broad internet censorship. 21st Century Wire summarized the act by stating that “long before “fake news” became a major media topic, the US government was already planning its legally-backed crackdown on anything it would eventually label “fake news".”[6]

Fake news invasion.jpg

In California in March 2017 law which the EFF wryly observed was "a censorship bill so obviously unconstitutional, we had to double check that it was real" was proposed to make it a crime to distribute fake news over the world wide web.[14]


Research is ongoing into strategies to "vaccinate" people against "Fake News".[15]

Artificial Intelligence

Sites such as Facebook have been introducing software to "fact check" information posted in 2017. Their mechanisms are unknown, but they may be presumed to involve keyword matching and data mining rather than a proper semantic analysis. Some computer scientists reportedly hoped that AI would be able to detect and automatically flag up "Fake News", although the problem is proving harder than initially suspected.[16]



On February 14, 2017, 21st Century Wire, a website targeted as a "fake news website", launched "Fake News Week" to try to highlight the deliberate lies told by commercially-controlled media.[17]

Suspending April Fools Day

Swedish and Norwegian newspapers announced that they would refrain from the tradition of publishing April Fools' Day jokes in 2017 out of fear that it might spread "fake news".[18]  

Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Rothschild TNK-BP Intriguers Drafted The Trump-Russia Reportarticle14 January 2017Yoichi ShimatsuAn in-depth analysis of a 35 page UK-sourced intelligence document purporting to discredit Donald Trump and prove Russian involvement in the so-called 'hacking' of the 2016 presidential election.
Staged ISIS Videos are the Plot of Iron Man 3article14 September 2014Jay DyerPredictive programming and fake news - an analysis of the ISIS 'beheading' videos and 'Iron Man 3'

Related Quotation

Use the Up/Dn symbols to sort

Freedom of speech“Being right doesn’t entitle you to censor everyone who is wrong. That’s the central safeguard against tyranny, because even truth would be a tyranny if it didn’t allow opposition. Free speech – real free speech – has to include the right to be wrong, rude, stupid, offensive and a lying jerk. Because once you outlaw any of that – you’ve effectively ended free speech for all of us forever.”'Catte'26 February 2017


  1. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jan/25/fake-news-named-word-of-the-year-by-macquarie-dictionary
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fake_news_website&oldid=749709748
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fake_news&dir=prev&action=history
  4. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39419560
  5. http://www.globalresearch.ca/fake-news-on-aleppo-liberation-western-media-lies-and-fabrications-the-words-terrorists-or-al-qaeda-are-not-mentioned/5562356
  6. a b c ConsortiumNews.com
  7. https://theintercept.com/2016/12/29/the-guardians-summary-of-julian-assanges-interview-went-viral-and-was-completely-false/
  8. http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-38995205
  9. http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-38636042
  10. http://wideshut.co.uk/facebook-google-fake-news/
  11. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/768284/donald-trump-venezuela-cnn-spanish-fake-passports-report
  12. https://theintercept.com/2017/01/04/washpost-is-richly-rewarded-for-false-news-about-russia-threat-while-public-is-deceived/
  13. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-07/washington-post-apends-russian-propaganda-story-admits-it-may-be-fake
  14. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/03/california-bill-ban-fake-news-would-be-disastrous-political-speech
  15. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/01/23/research_psychological_vaccine_could_prevent_fake_news/
  16. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/02/14/ai_solving_fake_news_is_fake_news/
  17. http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/02/14/fake-news-week-a-guide-to-mainstream-media-fake-news-war-propaganda/
  18. https://www.thelocal.no/20170331/swedish-and-norwegian-newspapers-ditch-april-fools-due-to-fake-news
Facts about "Fake News"
ConstitutesPropaganda +
Description"Fake news website" is a meme started after the 2016 US election, to disparage websites that dissent from the opinions expressed by commercially-controlled media. +
Display docTypeWikiSpooks Page +
Display imageFile:Fake News.jpg +
Display image2File:Fake News.jpg +
Has fullPageNameFake News +
Has fullPageNameeFake_News +
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Has noRatings0 +
Has objectClassConcept +
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Has revisionSize7,704 +
Has revisionUserRobin +
Has wikipediaPagehttps://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fake_news_website&oldid=749709748 +
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Fake News + and Fake News +