Given that we are talking about the impact fake news has on modern society, it’s perhaps important to underline that it is by no means a new phenomenon.
To illustrate this, allow me to take inspiration from the organisers of this conference. The Financial Times was founded in London well over a century ago, in 1888, when it promised to be a friend of the ‘honest financier and the respectable broker’.
It’s up to you whether that was a case of drumming up business, or just some pretty good 19th Century fake news.
Manipulation of information, and of how it is presented to the general public, has been around for ever. It got a big boost with the invention of the printing press.
What is different today are the digital tools which make mis- and disinformation easier, cheaper and far more impactful on society. They target, spread and amplify fake news. A well-placed tweet here; a timely Facebook post there; and they can send an item of fake news viral potentially affecting an election.
- : https://ec.europa.eu/commission/commissioners/2014-2019/king/announcements/financial-times-future-news-impact-social-media-abuse-european-society_en
- : Sir Julian King European Commissioner for the Security Union European Commission
- : European Commission