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Fake news and the manipulation of public opinion
Where is it?
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Kirkus Review
An abbreviated overview of a hotly debated issue."Fake news," is defined here as "fabricated news or information that is meant to be perceived as factual," a definition that carefully excludes unintended errors, biases, or satire. It's hardly a new complaint, but this account examines few instances outside the 2016 U.S. elections and mostly ignores print and broadcast media. Technological innovations and widespread use of social media have dramatically increased disinformation's reach and impact; focusing on online phenomena permits tangents on algorithms creating ideological bubbles, harvesting of personal data, precise targeting of audiences, and strategic releases of hacked information. Partisan politics, foreign (mostly Russian) interference, and greed for ad revenue are presented as the chief villains, allowing brief digressions to recent cases in France, Great Britain, Kenya, and India; the last is the only noted example with violent results despite similar incidents elsewhere (including the U.S.). Indeed, while the earnest, meandering, and repetitive text adopts an ominous tone, it offers little evidence for any concrete consequences beyond the erosion of public trust. Proposed solutions include hopeful predictions for artificial intelligence and vague assurances from tech companies, but the author leans heavily on individual responsibility to become educated and remain skeptical and vigilant. Appendices provide a useful rubric for evaluating information and list some reputable fact-checking sites; the index is scattershot and sloppy. A subject much in demand, but there are better resources available. (source notes, appendices, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Fake news is not new but, thanks to the Internet and social media, it is spreading faster and farther than ever before. Fabricated stories are creating doubt and confusion and easing the way for the manipulation of public opinion. In some cases, websites and news articles are designed to confuse people into thinking that they are looking at trusted sources and factual stories. In other cases, the label fake news serves as a tool for discrediting unflattering accounts or opposing points of view. The result in all cases is public confusion that, many argue, threatens the foundations of democracy. Fake News and the Manipulation of Public Opinion presents a balanced but realistic view of what has been taking place, how, and why. It examines both the consequences of these actions and the efforts being made at all levels of society to end this problem.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Manipulating Public Opinionp. 4
Chapter 1The New Look of Fake Newsp. 9
Chapter 2Why Is Fake News So Hard to Spot?p. 20
Chapter 3Social Media's Role in the Spread of Fake Newsp. 31
Chapter 4Election Interferencep. 43
Chapter 5Fighting Fake News and Other Manipulation Techniquesp. 53
Source Notesp. 64
Six Ways to Evaluate Informationp. 69
Organizations to Contactp. 70
For Further Researchp. 72
Indexp. 74
Picture Creditsp. 79
About the Authorp. 80
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