Before the election, few Americans had heard of “fake news.”
Now, they’re all too aware: of the Russia-linked Facebook accounts that reached 126 million people, the deranged PizzaGate conspiracy, and the teens in Macedonia spreading lies to make an easy buck.
If you thought this was just an American problem, you’re wrong. In at least 17 other countries, fake news “played an important role” in recent elections, according to a new report from democracy watchdog Freedom House.
In a deeply divided Kenya, false reports labeled with CNN and BBC logos spread across Facebook and WhatsApp leading up to the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta. Nicolas Maduro’s power grab in Venezuela involved the government spreading false footage and lies about protesters on social media. And Facebook suspended 30,000 fake accounts only 10 days before the French presidential election. Read more…
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