In November, 2016 Oxford Dictionaries proclaimed “post-truth” the word of the year. The choice was obviously a reflection of two important political campaigns: Brexit and the US Presidential elections. In both campaigns truth became subservient to political gain. The distinction between fact and fiction eroded as fake news spread globally through social media sites. However, Oxford Dictionaries’ choice was, to a certain extent, a publicity stunt in its own right.
The 2016 presidential race was rife with disinformation, none more blatant than fake news -- hoaxes, half-truths, outright lies -- that flashed through the internet at warp speed. Take, for example, "Pizzagate," a made-up story of a pedophilia ring supposedly being run out of a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor by none other than Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman John Podesta.
Congressional negotiators on Wednesday approved an initiative to track and combat foreign propaganda amid growing concerns that Russian efforts to spread “fake news” and disinformation threaten U.S. national security. The measure, part of the National Defense Authorization Act approved by a conference committee, calls on the State Department to lead governmentwide efforts to identify propaganda and counter its effects. The authorization is for $160 million over two years.