The Era of Fake Video Begins


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Fake news will soon become passé. Fake videos are soon going to dominate media.

But the problem isn’t just the proliferation of falsehoods. Fabricated videos will create new and understandable suspicions about everything we watch. Politicians and publicists will exploit those doubts. When captured in a moment of wrongdoing, a culprit will simply declare the visual evidence a malicious concoction. The president, reportedly, has already pioneered this tactic: Even though he initially conceded the authenticity of the Access Hollywood video, he now privately casts doubt on whether the voice on the tape is his own.

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Franklin Foer — The Atlantic

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The real history of fake news


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Fake news has been in news this year. Keeping the irony aside, fake news is a serious issue. Media propaganda through false reporting is nothing new. But, now that this has affected the US election everyone is talking about it.

A little bit of brake-tapping may be in order: It’s worth remembering, in the middle of the great fake news panic of 2016, America’s very long tradition of news-related hoaxes. A thumbnail history shows marked similarities to today’s fakery in editorial motive or public gullibility, not to mention the blurred lines between deliberate and accidental flimflam. It also suggests that the recent fixation on fake news has more to do with macro-level trends than any new brand of faux content.

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David Uberti — Columbia Journalism Review

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WHY WE’RE POST-FACT


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The new age of information has brought in a revolution. The good thing is that anyone has access to the vast information available and the information arbitrage seems to have lessened. The bad thing is the digital wildfire – lies and fake news spreading like wildfire.

Many blame technology. Instead of ushering a new era of truth-telling, the information age allows lies to spread in what techies call ‘digital wildfires’. By the time a fact-checker has caught a lie, thousands more have been created, and the sheer volume of ‘disinformation cascades’ make unreality unstoppable. All that matters is that the lie is clickable, and what determines that is how it feeds into people’s existing prejudices. Algorithms developed by companies such as Google and Facebook are based around your previous searches and clicks, so with every search and every click you find your own biases confirmed. Social media, now the primary news source for most Americans, leads us into echo chambers of similar-minded people, feeding us only the things that make us feel better, whether they are true or not.

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Peter Pomerantsev — Granta

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