It’s Fake News! Where Have I Heard That Before?

From an Inside the Times column by Elizabeth Williamson headlined “Where Have I Heard That Before?”

After being condemned around the world for bombing a maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, Russia advanced a bogus conspiracy theory last month that was chillingly familiar to me.

Using unrelated images from social media, dodgy “reports” and constant repetition, the Russian Defense Ministry falsely claimed the airstrike was a “staged provocation” by Ukraine. The hospital, Russian officials falsely said, was nonoperational and a base for Ukrainian fighters. Moscow’s ambassador to the United Nations dismissed Associated Press photographs of the aftermath as “fake news,” and the Foreign Ministry alleged that bloodied, pregnant women evacuated from the rubble were crisis actors.

Richard L. Hasen: How to Keep the Rising Tide of Fake News From Drowning Our Democracy

From a New York Times guest essay by Richard L. Hasen headlined “How to Keep the Rising Tide of Fake News From Drowning Our Democracy”:

The same information revolution that brought us Netflix, podcasts and the knowledge of the world in our smartphone-gripping hands has also undermined American democracy. There can be no doubt that virally spread political disinformation and delusional invective about stolen, rigged elections are threatening the foundation of our Republic. It’s going to take both legal and political change to bolster that foundation, and it might not be enough.

The One Group of Americans Most Likely to Spread Fake News

From a story on politico.com by Hemant Kakkar and Asher Lawson headlined “We Found the One Group of Americans Who Are Most Likely to Spread Fake News”:

Whether it’s anti-vaccine messaging or falsehoods about the 2020 election, it’s easy to blame conservatives or Republicans as a group for spreading misinformation, as many in the media and academia have done. But this message is oversimplified, and anyone who wants to fight back against the very real scourge of fake news in American politics should look more closely.

Sweden Sets Up Psychological Defense Agency to Fight Fake News

From a Washington Post story by Adela Suliman headlined “Sweden sets up Psychological Defense Agency to fight fake news, foreign interference”:

Sweden is launching a new agency to defend against a rising threat: disinformation — organized campaigns to spread false information.

The Scandinavian country, home to about 10 million people, established the Swedish Psychological Defense Agency on Jan. 1, in a bid to safeguard its “democratic society” and “the free formation of opinion,” the agency said. As the country heads into elections this year, the agency will work alongside the Swedish military and government on the new battleground of fake news and misinformation.