Citations Needed

Citations Needed is a podcast about the intersection of media, PR, and power, hosted by Nima Shirazi and Adam Johnson.

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Episode 18: Fake News Panic and the Silencing of Dissident Media


In this episode, we dive into the Fake News hole with Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, New York Times best selling author, and activist Chris Hedges.

Since Hillary Clinton's surprise 2016 loss to Donald Trump, there have been thousands of articles, columns, and op-eds lamenting the rise of so-called “fake news” and its pernicious effect on our democracy. The definition of what exactly "fake news" is has never quite been made clear - yet this hasn’t stopped major corporate media outlets and even the U.S. Congress from rushing to curb this uniquely pernicious and dangerous threat.

The primary response to this alleged crisis - the creation of a tiered, fact-checking system for social media that effectively bifurcates “real news” and “fake news” - has many in alternative, leftist, and libertarian media claiming the anti-Fake News algorithms made by Twitter, Facebook, and Google have reduced their web traffic and readership. While it’s difficult to gauge the specifics of these individual reports, it does seem clear at this point that dissident media has taken a hit from efforts to stop co-called “fake news.”

So what are the origins of this panic and whom does it benefit? How can one protect against obvious bullshit without bestowing the power to arbitrate truth unto a handful of U.S. national security state-aligned corporations and tech giants?

 


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 2017-12-06  1h15m