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News Feature: The genuine problem of fake news

  1. M. Mitchell Waldrop, Science Writer
  1. Fig. 2.

    “Fake news” has become common parlance in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. But many researchers and observers believe the term is woefully loaded and of minimal use. Not only has President Donald Trump co-opted the term “fake news” to mean any coverage he doesn’t like, but also “the term doesn’t actually explain the ecosystem,” says Claire Wardle, director of research at an international consortium called First Draft. In February, she published an analysis (7) that identified six other tricks of the misinformation game, none of which requires content that’s literally “fake.” Image reproduced with permission from Claire Wardle, modified by Lucy Reading (artist).

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