Talk:Fake News

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Here is a chart of fake news that shows consumption on Facebook skyrocketing in the months before the election. I think the reason is obvious. The mainstream media was so partisan and blatantly anti-Trump during this period that people looked elsewhere for news. PeterKa (talk) 21:51, 9 December 2016 (EST)

We should add that. I added some refs on Trump's article and the 2016 presidential election article about the blatant bias in the mainstream media. --1990'sguy (talk) 11:26, 10 December 2016 (EST)

WaPo and Russian hacking

The Washington Post has already backtracked on the Vermont power grid hacking story: "Facts force Washington Post to backtrack on report that Russia hacked US power grid". PeterKa (talk) 00:10, 2 January 2017 (EST)

But they didn't retract the insinuations and innuendo directed at Trump, which was the purpose of the piece and was repeated nationwide. WaPo is now the official mouthorgan of the CIA, since Bezos took it over is under contract to the CIA for cloud service. WaPo is not a reputable source. RobSCIA v Trump updated score:CIA 3, Trump 2 23:29, 5 April 2017 (EDT)

Not to be confused with satire

Should a section about incorrect news vs satire be added? Satire being completely sarcastic media (Ex, The Onion)IluvAviation (talk) 16:50, 27 March 2017 (EDT)

I checked, and some people define fake news as to include satire, so I wrote that it is debatable and cited sources claiming each. For better sources than what I got Googling, try OpposingViewpoints or something.--Abcqwe (talk) 16:39, 6 April 2017 (EDT)

Too much emphasis on Trump

The article has evolved in response to President Trump's allegations of fake news. However, the concept was there before he ever used the term. So the Trump section should come after a discussion of what fake news is and how the term originated. JDano (talk) 10:00, 5 April 2017 (EDT)

The last intro paragraph and the one beginning with Previously liberals, the lamestream media, and... clearly belong in the intro either way. If you want to make a section for Trump, I recommend finding a way to keep those two paragraphs in the intro, as well as still mentioning Trump in some way as well. His criticisms of the MSM as fake news are very notable.
Also, I noticed you removed any mention of the mainstream media from the intro, while keeping the mention of social media. If we are going to mention one, we should mention the other. --1990'sguy (talk) 11:34, 5 April 2017 (EDT)
Both should be mentioned, but it is true that the liberals started this term. For once, a term has been hijacked in a good way, but an encyclopedia does need to discus the origin first. --David B (TALK) 11:41, 5 April 2017 (EDT)
The main stream media engages in biased reporting, not fake news. The question of whether or not main stream media engages in fake news is not central to the definition. The problem I had with the article as it existed 24 hours ago is that it is not clearly written and leave the reader confused about what fake news is or is not. Thanks JDano (talk) 11:43, 5 April 2017 (EDT)
The mainstream media does promote fake news -- promoting false "facts" and interpretations. The difference between biased reporting and fake news is not as clear-cut as you might think. --1990'sguy (talk) 11:50, 5 April 2017 (EDT)
Let's separate what is fake news from how it spreads. For example, a fake news website starts an outrageous "news" story. Because it is clearly not true, nobody should believe it or repeat it. However, some people share it on social media, and rarely, a lazy reporter will pick it up in the mainstream media without properly vetting the source. More frequently, a fake news site like "Newswatch33" is designed to look like a mainstream media TV news site. JDano (talk) 12:15, 5 April 2017 (EDT)
Susan Rice's narrative of a demonstration initiated by a video was fake news reported by the mainstream media. Going forward, I would suggest we avoid labelling fake news as a pejoritive of either the mainstream or alternative news, and sum it up simply as a modern idiom for the terms "spin", that originated in the 80s, or "propaganda" dating back to WWI. We should simply say it is either spin or propaganda, or a pejorative one side of an issue levels at the other as a put down. (Rather than the msm's current definition fake news is an invention of the communist Putin and his alt-right allies against the defenders of truth). RobSCIA v Trump updated score:CIA 3, Trump 2 18:35, 5 April 2017 (EDT)
(edit conflict) @DavidB4: Fair enough, but I think JDano's changes were too drastic. He removed pretty much all mention of Trump from the intro (while at the same time inserting a mention of "Russian interference" in the intro (possible POV issue as well there). He also moved some paragraphs well-suited for the intro. He also un-bolded very good evidence that fake news mainly comes from liberals. If someone wants to make changes, please keep these points in mind. --1990'sguy (talk) 11:47, 5 April 2017 (EDT)
1) Use of bold italic in that manner is not consistent with our style manual. I can see it used for exceptionally important points in very long articles or to put one or two words in bold for clarity, but this particular use comes across a desperate and not persuasive.
2) The largest fabricators of fake news have been the Russians. Many fake news IP addresses resolve to Russia. As we note, this was a documented problem with the Netherlands elections before the 2016 US elections.JDano (talk) 12:06, 5 April 2017 (EDT)

I think that we now have a version that reflects everyone's concerns. Fake news is a very bad practice by Russians and people trying to profit from click bait. Fake news stories are designed to appeal to either liberals or conservatives. The response of both have been included as well as some examples of fake news.

I don't believe that President Trump is central to the fake news controversy, and the "fake news" controversy was recognized before the 2016 Presidential campaign. I think that this version would be helpful to a homeschooled high school student seeking to read up about the topic. Thanks, JDano (talk) 14:31, 5 April 2017 (EDT)

I don't agree with all of it, especially as you once against decided to mention only "social media" and not the mainstream media (despite what I just stated), and because you removed much info. It also seems to have an anti-Trump bent. I requested that other editors look at the article so we can find an agreement. --1990'sguy (talk) 16:47, 5 April 2017 (EDT)
The point is that social media spreads and magnifies the fake news. What do you include in "mainsteam media?" Fox? Brietbart? JDano (talk) 22:55, 5 April 2017 (EDT)
We shouldn't condemn it as either good or bad. We should merely point to how to identify it, and not assign it to one group, ideology, individuals or corporations. We should reject the msm premise that they are the arbiters since, historically they are the worst offenders.
Mainstream media has for a solid 18 months reported the DNC talking point that Trump is anti-Black. While Trump has made statements and held policy positions some may misinterpret to be anti-Mexican or anti-Muslim, or even anti-woman, you have to look far and wide to find any statement anywhere, written. paraphrased, or videotaped of Trump ever expressing any anti-Black feelings. A Google search will quickly identify every fake news purveyor on the internet. The point is, the originstors of fake news are sometimes not even in the media business. RobSCIA v Trump updated score:CIA 3, Trump 2 23:44, 5 April 2017 (EDT)


Hillary Clinton's outrage over "fake news" began when the Kremlin put out the story she had a colostomy bag, not a catheter as was widely speculated. To this day, I've seen no evidence to refute the Kremlin version, witnessed by the fact flies were landing on her head and chest in the debates. We should include this in the article. RobSCIA v Trump updated score:CIA 3, Trump 2 18:52, 5 April 2017 (EDT)

It's striking there's no mention of PizzaGate in the article, nor of the idiot who was inspired to march into the restaurant brandishing a rifle. JohnZ (talk) 19:03, 5 April 2017 (EDT)
Pizzagate is far from over, and its origins go back much farther. It goes back to Ted Gunderson and why Podesta's son has a security clearance.
As to the story attributed to the Kremlin about Hillary's colostomy, the Steele dossier, which Sen. Chuck Grassley is investigating right now, alleging inappropriate and deviant sexual activity between Trump and a Moscow prostitute, can be seen as payback. RobSCIA v Trump updated score:CIA 3, Trump 2 19:12, 5 April 2017 (EDT)
Hillary's colostomy is the only "Russian interference" that occured, and there is no evidence it was fake news. RobSCIA v Trump updated score:CIA 3, Trump 2 19:26, 5 April 2017 (EDT)

Propaganda vs. fake news

It seems to me there is an important difference between propaganda and fake news. A government official may lie or mislead, and if those comments are reported accurately and attributed to the source, it is "news" and not "fake news." Fake news takes the form of fictional sources: "Mayor James Jones of Smithtown reported that ISIS militants shot up city hall." when there is no Smithtown and James Jones is not the Mayor and there was no ISIS attack. For this reason, the false narrative about Benghazi was not fake news. It was propaganda that was accurately reported in the media, and later the media accurately reported why it was a lie. JDano (talk) 05:36, 6 April 2017 (EDT)

I'd have to disagree. Propaganda literally means indoctrination, like classroom instruction. It took on a colloquialism that meant news subtly trying to pursuade, and eventually false reporting. Even when a major news event is ignored, say an explosion of unknown causes, in favor of a 100% factual story about kittens dying in fire, it's considered fake news, false reporting, or propaganda.
Spin is another term that rapidly lost its original meaning. Reagan's media people knew Reagan spoke in such a way that could be ambiguous or misinterpreted. Knowing they were dealing with a hostile press, they went on 'spin patrol' after he gave a speech to 'spin' the story back in the right direction. Reporters loved having personal access to high-level campaign officials for follow up questions. The officials usually answered questions with, "What he meant to say...", or "What he really meant was...". Over time, given Reagan's success, the hostile press rebelled against what they willing participated themselves in and called "spin", spinning the reporters perceptions of the message in the way the Reagan campaign intended, to mean 'bulldung'.
I don't think you can conclusively define fake news, even though it's always been with us, its meaning is always changing. I'd say there are three types: fake news that begins with the subject who successfully pulls the wool over the eyes of s news entity; fake news bas3d on a reporter or interviewers bias; and fake news manufactured by editors who are the middle men between news collectors and the public. We don't need new terms for this sort of bias. Right now the mainstream 'professionals' just don't like competition from citizen journalists at home blogging in their underwear. So they use it as a pejoritive while they themselves have interfered in elections and built empires for themselves with fake news. And the msm denyin these facts is fake news.
Just leave things as they are. Who ever reports false, misleading, biased, slanted, fails to report accurately, or ignores a legitimate and vital story, is guilty of fake news reporting. Whether it's corporate media or alternative media,RobSCIA v Trump updated score:CIA 3, Trump 2 07:14, 6 April 2017 (EDT)

It is not clear why anyone would want to access this page. The intended purpose of this page is to find out about "fake news" as a concept and its significance. It is clear that Rob, Guy and I have three different ideas of what constitutes "fake news" and also disagree on where to look for authoritative sources of information about it. I tried to fix the page in line with the Conservapedia commandments of something that is balanced and could be understood by a home-schooled high school student. However, the current version seems to be a rehash of United States ideological and cultural wars and leave the impression that when you read something on the internet that you disagree with then you call it "fake news." The current text is incoherent name calling. At this point, I think we should find a way to decouple the fake news article from the 2016 election from liberal-conservative cross-criticism and just focus on the original problem: a bunch of people who made up outlandish attention grabbing click bait to profit from internet advertising. I know that there is both conservative and liberal mainstream media and that sometimes they are tricked into spreading fake news, but main source of spreading fake news is "sharing" on social media. I would like to see an article that if a high school student read it, he or she would never be tricked into sharing a fake news item. We can also cover how Google, facebook and Twitter try to combat fake news and the problems involved in censorship. We can also cover the legal issues. I will leave it to someone else to move this article back from the cliff of ideological one-up-man-ship. Thanks, JDano (talk) 10:34, 6 April 2017 (EDT)

I think this article is much more balanced than it was at first. I kept the mention that both liberals and conservatives can fall to fake news, and I did moderate much of the wording. Also, the whole "fake news" controversy is too closely related to the election to separate entirely. Besides, I did move almost all mention of the election to the sub-section. I also kept your additions to the article, including how to spot fake news.
Fake news means more than simply fake social media posts. We cannot avoid the fact that fake news comes from pretty much all mediums. --1990'sguy (talk) 11:10, 6 April 2017 (EDT)
By the way, if you want to cover how Google, FB, and TW combat fake news, covering legal information, and showing people how to identify fake news, I support you adding that information. Despite our disagreements on the other issues here, I think those would be good additions. --1990'sguy (talk) 11:20, 6 April 2017 (EDT)
JDano's definition amounts to a pejorative term aim at non-professional and alternative news reporting which stands on contrast to real news - the mainstream media. All media need a source of revenue (unless you are PBS, BBC, or RT) clickbait is no different than 30 or 60 second ad on broadcast media, and does not in itself impugn the content. RobSCIA v Trump updated score:CIA 3, Trump 2 16:14, 6 April 2017 (EDT)
That is not correct. "Fake news" is news items that are fabricated for the purpose of click-bait or page views. For example, we can write an article to clearly define the animal "rat." Later, a politician calls another person a "rat." We would not expand the article to define a rat as meaning either an animal or a politician that you do not like. Although all media need a source of revenue, there is a difference between fake news organizations and organizations that adhere to journalism standards. (I believe that many "alternative news organizations" adhere to such standards.) JDano (talk) 21:14, 6 April 2017 (EDT)
Click bait is no different than a "teaser" headline in print or "we'll be right back after this message" in broadcast. It's a 21st century medium, nothing more. RobSCIA v Trump updated score:CIA 3, Trump 2 03:23, 7 April 2017 (EDT)

Proposed new article structure

very brief lead paragraph explaining original definition of fake news and the fact that it has been since used in different ways.

  1. Origin of term
  2. Examples of "fake news" - containing only a few examples that all three of us can agree upon.
  3. Ways to spot fake news
  4. Attempts at censorship
  5. Liberal viewpoint
  6. Conservative viewpoint
    1. include President Trump's tweet
  7. Hypocracy

Under this plan, examples of fake news that are contested, should be moved to the liberal or conservative sections. Those sections would also contain statements from liberal or conservative commentators.

What do you think? JDano (talk) 10:51, 7 April 2017 (EDT)

I oppose removing any of the examples already listed, nor moving them to other sections of the article (thus implying they are not fake news). While you may consider fake news to only refer to social media stories, your definition seems to be in the minority. Most people use the definition I am supporting. If you haven't watched this already, I encourage you to do so. It's only 5 minutes. Your definition would take away any ability we would have to combat the leftist narrative of fake news (i.e. that the mainstream media does not promote false news stories). Including your definition is helpful, but fake news is clearly more than that.
I am not opposed to moving Trump's tweet to the "Conservative response" section, but this article now has info about the president all in one area, making it convenient for readers. --1990'sguy (talk) 11:27, 7 April 2017 (EDT)
Let me associate myself with the gentleman's comments above. And I would further add there is no way for Donald Trump or CNN to ever walk back his calling CNN fske news at a press conference. JDano's premise follows Hillary Clinton and the New York Times excuse for her loss. Fake news has been around for ever. According to polls, people under 35 hold Jon Stewart and the Daily Show in as high esteem as our parents held Walter Cronkite (only Stewart is funnier. btw, did you know, CBS's Moscow bureau chief, Bernard Redmont, whom Cronkite introduced nitely while Americans were being killed at a rate of 100 per wk for ten solid years fighting the spread of Soviet communism, was a KGB agent? If that is not 'fake news,' what is?) RobSCIA v Trump updated score:CIA 3, Trump 2 13:11, 7 April 2017 (EDT)
I suggest we stick to the subject rather than moving off into politics. My understanding is that "fake news" was in widespread use before the 2016 election and referred to news items designed to appealing to the emotion of the reader to the point that the item would be spread without investigating the truth of the underlying item. While some fake new items were designed to appeal to liberals and others to conservatives, these "fake news" authors did not care. "Fake news" was also a problem in other parts of the world and was a way to drive up ISIS recruitment. We need to explain that problem and possible solutions at a high school reading level without assuming that the reader knows a lot about it. The purpose of Conservapedia is to write articles like that, not to re-argue the latest headlines. There is so many bad examples in the current article that the meaning of "fake news" is lost in a blur. Perhaps another editor can suggest a positive path forward. JDano (talk) 16:24, 7 April 2017 (EDT)
Sticking to the subject does mean entering the realm of politics. Once again, we have two different definitions of fake news. "My" definition does not exclude "yours"; it is broader than "yours". I think almost everyone thinks of "my" definition, and in order for this article to be relevant and useful and speak out against the leftist elite, we need to follow "my" definition. You can create subsections for your types of fake news (seriously, that would be helpful -- in the "examples" section, make subheaders of ISIS-related fake news and other types). But we must not pretend that news stories reported in the media that are false or misleading are not fake news. --1990'sguy (talk) 16:30, 7 April 2017 (EDT)


This article, coupled with the phenomenea of "leaking," is instructive to anyone who has paid attention over the past two years (heck, over the past several years). We can learn how an administration, or permanent bureaucrats, thru selective leaking, shape the narrative and manipulate public opinion.

Numerous examples abound in recent years of selective leaks to generate false narratives, influence attitudes and perceptions, and gain public aquiescence or consent for objectives, that if all the facts were known, people would never consent to. Hillary's email server for example - if all the facts were dumped in public in 2013-2014 - she never would have been nominated in 2016. Hillary, the DOJ and FBI knew in 2013 that all the facts would be known at some point, so through selective leaking they get watered down. Same was true in the Benghazi investigation, or the "moderate rebel" narrative, etc.

So let's call it what is, a lack of transparency and incomplete information. Few news items are complete in themselves.

"Leaking" actually serves a vital purpose, yet can also be damaging. We really need a good article on Leaks, present both sides throughout its history. How it serves a vital purpose in informing the public and Congress on what the Executive Branch is doing, while it can also be abused, risky to national security, or unnecessarily damaging to public perceptions simply out of partisanship.

Leaking is a game played in Washington that the public doesn't really understand. While a journalists' job is to secure leaks and a flow of information to meet publishing or broadcast deadlines, his source risks their job and prison time to do it, in theory. But here we see powerful people, agency and department heads (even presidents) quoted anonymously in an effort to control the narrative and shape public opinion.

On the surface it looks like an unholy or unhealthy relationship between public officials who leak and journalists, but in reality they need each other and are dependent on each other.

No article on fake news should ignore a discussion on leaks, else it risks being labled fake news itself. That's why we need a separate stand alone article on leaks, cause the two compliment each other and give a much fuller understanding how to identify fake news. RobSDeep Six the Deep State! 15:14, 6 August 2018 (EDT)