hoax or deliberate spread of misinformation
- When terrorists attack, they’re terrorizing. When we attack, we’re retaliating. When they respond to our retaliation with further attacks, they’re terrorizing again. When we respond with further attacks, we’re retaliating again. When people decry civilian deaths caused by the U.S government, they're aiding propaganda efforts. In sharp contrast, when civilian deaths are caused by bombers who hate America, the perpetrators are evil and those deaths are tragedies. When they put bombs in cars and kill people, they're uncivilized killers. When we put bombs on missiles and kill people, we're upholding civilized values. When they kill, they're terrorists. When we kill, we're striking against terror.
- Norman Solomon, "Orwellian Logic 101 — A Few Simple Lessons", in FAIR (27 August 1998)
- Orwell's 1984 explained that "the special function of certain Newspeak words … was not so much to express meanings as to destroy them." During the week after U.S. missiles hit sites in Sudan and Afghanistan, some Americans seemed uncomfortable. A vocal minority even voiced opposition. But approval was routine among those who had learned a few easy Orwellian lessons... At all times, Americans must be kept fully informed about who to hate and fear... No matter how many times they’ve lied in the past, U.S. officials are credible in the present. When they... [say] the bombed pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum was making ingredients for nerve gas, that should be good enough for us.... Might doesn’t make right — except in the real world, when it’s American might. Only someone of dubious political orientation would split hairs about international law.
- Is terrorism the greatest threat to our country, or a recession? I suggest to you today that the quickest, most direct way to ruin a democracy is to poison the information.
- Scott Pelley, speech at Arizona State University upon receiving the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism award (21 November 2016) CBS News Anchor Scott Pelley Receives Cronkite Award from ASU'.
- Back in the 1800s, back in before the 20th century, especially in the 1800s, American journalism was a very, very factionalized partisan thing. Political parties had their own newspapers and their own magazines, and every one gave its version of political spin and interpretation. 20th century, for a variety of reasons, not just because we got smarter or more rational, maybe somewhat [of] that, there began being more of a shared set of facts in our media. People disagree violently left, right, center, whatever, but the facts were agreed upon.
- Kurt Andersen in How America Got Divorced from Reality: Christian Utopias, Anti-Elitism, Media Circus (9:13), Big Think, YouTube video (8 October 2017)
- In many ways Wikipedia pioneered the [fake news] phenomenon, and journalists' lazy reliance on using it as a source helped falsities to propagate on a scale never seen before.
- Andrew Orlowski, Why is Wikipedia man Jimbo Wales keynoting a fake news conference?, The Register (12 December 2017)
- In late April and early May the World Socialist Web Site, which identifies itself as a Trotskyite group that focuses on the crimes of capitalism, the plight of the working class and imperialism, began to see a steep decline in readership. The decline persisted into June. Search traffic to the World Socialist Web Site has been reduced by 75 percent overall. And the site is not alone. ... The reductions coincided with the introduction of algorithms imposed by Google to fight “fake news.” Google said the algorithms are designed to elevate “more authoritative content” and marginalize “blatantly misleading, low quality, offensive or downright false information.” It soon became apparent, however, that in the name of combating “fake news,” Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are censoring left-wing, progressive and anti-war sites. The 150 most popular search terms that brought readers to the World Socialist Web Site, including “socialism,” “Russian Revolution” and “inequality,” today elicit little or no traffic.
- ...a lot of people say they've lost trust in the media, and they think everything is propaganda. And then it becomes very hard to come to any kind of a consensus in society where we say, well, look; you and I disagree on a certain policy, but here are some facts underlying it, and we can at least agree on those facts, whereas now I feel like a lot of people are just adrift. They don't know what to believe.
- Jimmy Wales in Wikipedia Founder Says Internet Users Are Adrift In The 'Fake News' Era, by Ari Shapiro, kacu.org (28 April 2018)
- Our goal with fake news is not to prevent anyone from saying something untrue — but to stop fake news and misinformation spreading across our services. If something is spreading and is rated false by fact checkers, it would lose the vast majority of its distribution in News Feed. And of course if a post crossed line into advocating for violence or hate against a particular group, it would be removed. These issues are very challenging but I believe that often the best way to fight offensive bad speech is with good speech.