I was asked to contribute to #12daysofthinking, in which University of Sheffield academics offer reflections on the pressing issues of our time. My piece reflected on the rise of so-called ‘fake news’ in 2016.
It has been published online here and I include the contribution below for reference:
“2016 was the year ‘fake news’ outperformed real news on social media, most notably during the US Presidential Election. Companies such as Facebook were accused of not doing enough to prevent the spread of falsehoods. Yet, many citizens contribute to this ‘post-truth’ politics. It was no coincidence that many of the fake news stories that went viral during the US Election were those that appealed to pre-existing prejudices of social media users. The challenge for professional journalists in 2017 is how to counter the spread of disinformation amongst citizens who increasingly distrust traditional news media.”