The outrage over fake news is based on fake news about fake news.
A. Barton Hinkle writes:
Fake news on social media has gotten so bad that it threatens democracy itself, according to President Obama and a host of other deep thinkers. Why, a recent study by Buzzfeed concludes that fake news beat out real news during the past three months of the election. And we all know how that turned out.
There are at least two problems with this. First, the epidemic of fake news is overstated. Second, fake news is far from new.
The Washington Examiner‘s Tim Carney took the trouble to look beyond the headline about the Buzzfeed analysis. Turns out the “analysis” was not at all rigorous. It compared only the Facebook engagement metrics—the number of shares, reactions, and comments—for a small handful of stories.