Compared with the US last year, European nations that face hotly-contested elections in 2017 aren’t seeing a major fake news explosion.
“Even as Democrats decry the false claims streaming regularly from the White House, they appear to have become more vulnerable to unsupported claims and conspiracy theories that flatter their own political prejudices,” political scientist Brendan Nyhan writes in The New York Times.
Appearing at an airport hangar in Melbourne, Florida, Mr Trump accused the “dishonest media” of publishing one false story after another as his administration gets under way.
But it’s not just Donald Trump and PewDiePie that are seemingly at war with how the media portraits them, many news outlets have been the victims of spoofing / parodying as of late that battling fake news seems to be like finding the light switch in an unfamiliar dark room.
But Europe is steadily more prepared than the U.S in the spread of false stories or alternative facts.
Catching fake news stories is like playing whack-a-mole but, in Europe today, there are plenty of people standing around with hammers waiting for something to pop up. Both in France and in Germany, Facebook has recently launched the same anti-fake news solution it had first tried out in the US: Users can mark content that looks fake to them to send it to a pool of moderators. In France, Facebook, Google, mainstream media outlets and civil society groups have also launched a project called CrossCheck, dedicated to tracking and stemming the spread of fake news stories.
Self-referential in nature, news is what is reported and what is reported is news. News and truth are fundamentally different concepts. Mankind invents rules to live and think by. News is one of these rules, being a central element in framing information. It signals an event or presents information or knowledge in a specific way to create a desired picture of reality to influence how citizens think and act.