The definition of Fake News went from ‘specific term for misinformation spread via social networks’ to ‘objective fact I disagree with’ within a week of its conception. In the same way you can physically watch bamboo grow, you could watch the the term ‘fake news’ become meaningless with your bare eyes.
While the term itself is nebulous and ill-defined now, the responses to it have been very real and concrete. Facebook, a vector for the spread of misinformation, has now implemented its response, making it much harder for users to spread ‘fake news’. But there are other efforts underway behind the scenes, and attempts to curb the spread of misinformation is hitting satirical humour sites too. In this episode of TheMediaBriefing’s podcast, NewsThump’s founder Richard Smith explains how his site has been caught in the crossfire.
In the news round-up, Chris and Esther discuss TMB favourite Quartz becoming profitable after four years, George Osborne’s ascension to editorship of the London Evening Standard and how the Hustle email newsletter raised $300k from its readers in 55 hours.