The term fake news isn’t new. But it wasn’t a term you heard very often until the past election. Suddenly it was everywhere. It was originally intended to describe social media and internet posts and stories that were either outright lies or grossly misleading. During the election, new sites were constantly emerging on the internet devoted solely or in part to these types of stories.
There were a number of reasons these sites became prolific. Some were purely partisan political sites that went beyond “slanted” stories or “spin” to promote a candidate or disparage an opponent. Many were run by current or past members of the Republican elite. These were not a well-coordinated force, but they were some of the first.
Others were simply profit making endeavors, preying on the public’s fascination with outlandish stories and their need to see people in high places brought low – especially if those people had different political views than they do. The lure of profit simply by having someone click on a web site link was irresistible to many. Kids in Macedonia financed their record collections. Marketing experts in the US got richer.
And then there was the Russian government sponsored campaign. Continue reading