Fake news is one of the most discussed phenomena in politics. Traditional media, the papers and big TV channels have lost their careful, fact-checked dominance in an age of Twitter trolls, angry bloggers and far-right Youtube videos – or so goes the argument. Distortions of the truth and lies have been blamed for recent political upsets such as the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit referendum. But fake news’s significance to these results is not universally accepted and political forces on the left, right, and centre have all been caught falling for and peddling fake news.
It is not just a question of accurate information. The fake news debate touches on the key political questions facing societies: the erosion of democracy; social, geographic and educational inequalities; the collapse of the political centre; foreign influence in domestic politics; and the power of technology. Though fake news has a long heritage spanning back millennia, it is hard to deny that something strange is happening to way we consume information.
To help guide you through the messy story of Macedonian bloggers and ever-changing algorithms, we have put together a broad selection of articles on fake news. With analysis spanning 13 countries as well the view from the EU, this focus hones in on the topic through the lens of media industry trends, government capture of the once-free press, the quest for a technical fix online, and much more.
Articles in this focus
Fake news is thriving in the new media environment, presenting a threat to our democratic societies which we underestimate at our peril.Read more
Voters in the Visegrad countries rely on increasingly blurred lines between truth and falsehoods while making their choice at polling stations.Read more
With the autonomy of the media facing new threats, censorship is a thing of the past.Read more
Analysis of the run-up to the June 24 elections in Turkey in a media landscape plagued by repression of dissent, fake news, and suspicion from all sides.Read more
An examination of the politics behind steps to regulate online hate speech, misinformation, and data privacy in the EU.Read more