Analysis | In Putin’s Russia, “fake news” now means real news –

Analysis |  In Putin’s Russia, “fake news” now means real news –

So fake news is real news.

While President Vladimir Putin tries to hide a vulnerable situation, the law is part of a vast crackdown on freedom of expression in the country: the unwarranted invasion of a peaceful neighboring country.

In Russia, the Orwellian use of the word “fake” – a phonetic translation of the English word “fake” – to criminalize the truth has been the logical consequence of the term “fake news” for many years. The concept was first popularized by bona fide disinformation researchers in the United States to identify fake websites used by the media to spread deliberately falsified information. But it wasn’t long before the media turned against him, especially the new president, Donald Trump.

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In 2014, a researcher at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism, who tracks true media mistakes, spotted a new trend: Websites that post stories that look like news but are purely fictional and often go viral on Facebook and other social media. Platforms. Researcher Craig Silverman called them “fake news” sites. Previously, the term “fake news” appeared in less than 1,000 news items each year in major US news organizations, mostly on satirical sites like Onion, aimed at amusement rather than deception. Factiva news database.

In 2016, a trend was exploding as sites returned to social media users with all their fabric making. Silverman, a BuzzFeed journalist at the time, published an analysis showing that the most viral “fake news” – such as the baseless claim that Pope Francis supports Donald Trump – reaches a wider audience on Facebook than real news. This is partly because Facebook’s news algorithm is an efficient machine for widely spreading posts that get the most reactions, whether they are true or not.

Fake news suddenly became big news in the US as Facebook came under pressure to spread false information and many liberals blamed this viral lie for Trump’s rise to power. But with his rhetorical mastery, Trump saw an opportunity to reverse the term for his own purposes. Until January 2017 it was labeled “fake news”. Identify the main news he wants to discuss or suspect. During his presidency, the term largely lost its original meaning, particularly to Trump supporters, and in turn meant any news source or publication that misled the president.

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Trump’s rhetorical jujitsu hasn’t lost the political leaders of other countries, notably, but not limited to, With a populist or authoritarian disposition. Numerous countries, from Singapore to Hungary and Vietnam, have passed laws against fake news or disinformation in recent years, some of which are controversial. Using the Covid-19 pandemic to cover the wider consequences of the press crackdown. Russia already passed fake news laws in 2019 with fines and up to 15 days in jail for “unreliable” information out of respect for state officials.

The latest Russian law goes much further, with a prison sentence of up to 15 years. It is understandably likely that media prepared under previous laws to circumvent the threat of censorship and the threat of wrist strikes spend most of their staff and reporters in prison.

Just last week, news outlets, from the BBC to the New York Times to Bloomberg News and tech platforms like Netflix and TikTok, suspended or curtailed their operations in Russia, helping to create a wasteland of truth in the name of “fake news” . . “There is no doubt that this is part of the Kremlin’s intentions.

Silverman and other disinformation researchers have moved away from the term “fake news” for years. “I helped popularize the term ‘fake news’ and now I go crazy every time I hear it,” said Silverman. Written in 2017. After initially denying that fake news played a significant role in the 2016 election, Facebook later promised to strangle them, but then dropped the term in favor of politically motivated “fake news.”

Perspective: What does it really mean when Trump calls a story “fake news”?

Claire Wardell, a Brown University professor and leading disinformation researcher, said she stopped using the term in 2017 when it was revealed that politicians around the world were using it as a weapon to “attack the media.” Instead, she teaches the importance of using the right terms to describe various forms of false or misleading information, such as “false information”, “propaganda”, “conspiracy”, “satire” or “rumors”.

He says that nowadays fake news – original, limited-sense websites that allegedly spread fake news like newsletters – are old-fashioned, with more sophisticated and politically motivated propagandists switching to techniques like taking real photos. Cheating people out of context.

In the age of social media, perhaps the most effective way to deceive the masses is not to try to convince them of a lie, but to discredit the media and question the facts. For Trump as well as for Putin, the concept of fake news has proven to be a powerful tool for this.

Source: Washington Post