Forces mount to defeat fake news

The news media and social media industries are rising to the challenge of the tsunami of lies and distortions. “…newsrooms like BuzzFeed have successfully turned investigating misinformation on social platforms into a potent media beat. New techniques and technologies employed by enterprising investigative journalists everywhere from the New York Times to Bellingcat, an independent site, have challenged conflicting reports on subjects as diverse as the shooting down of Malaysian airliner MH17 and the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist.” (Columbia Journalism Review, December 4, 2019, by Emily Bell)

Ravi Somaiya in the Columbia Journalism Review, December 4, 2019, describes how the phony video of a supposedly drunk Nancy Pelosi stormed the internet and says the solution is to verify information with thorough reporting. “False videos cannot spread if reporters insist on verifying them before publishing.,” writes Somaiya. “No matter how convincing a fraud is, it cannot stand up to the bravery of an editor who refuses to cover it until it is confirmed and comment has been sought from everyone in it, no matter how long that takes or who else publishes in the meantime.”

For related FAC coverage, click here, here and here.