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Published March 30th 2020

Introducing Fake News Week 2020

Introducing this year's Fake News Week content series: What can you expect, and why are we exploring the issue?

It’s been three years since ‘fake news’ was made word of the year by Collins English Dictionary.

Yet the problem continues – mis- and disinformation has thrived across the web, arguably at a time when the truth matters most.

That this year’s Fake News Week fell in the midst of  the Covid-19 pandemic was of course a little unfortunate – we’re all pretty distracted right now. But it also gave us an opportunity to study, in real time, how dubious messages around the causes and cures of the virus have spread. It’s been fascinating, and somewhat depressing, to research.

Our goal with Fake News Week is not to define fake news or to present foolproof ways to filter it out. To quote Creative Technologist Matt Pearson from his article in last year’s FNW: “Filter out everything that could be labelled FAKE NEWS you’ll soon find you’ve nothing left.” Instead, we want to explore how the issue looks in 2020, the implications of the spread of mis- and disinformation, and to present brands with new ways of tackling it.

Fake News Week 2020

This week on the blog, you’ll find two case studies into examples of fake news in 2020:

You’ll also find an interview with academics Dr Delia Dumitrescu & Andrew Ross, MA, who’ve done incredible research into online vox pops, and the implications of a stretched press quoting ‘everyday people’ from the internet. Online, no one knows you’re a dog (or if you’re employed by a ‘troll farm’). We’ll also discuss the ‘stickiness’ of fake news from a psychological standpoint, and how that can make it hard for brands to shake off negative stories once they become familiar to consumers.

On Thursday we’re excited to present a webinar with Robert Matney from Yonder. We’ll be exploring the problem of misinformation in relation to brands, and how they can reframe their thinking around the issue to better tackle it. Make sure to sign up with the link below – even if you can’t make it, we’ll send you the recording.

And we’ll also be releasing a full report containing all our Fake News Week 2020 data, plus tips for identifying fake news.

A crazy time

We’re living through a moment that history has not prepared us for. With Fake News Week 2020, we hope to provide you with some context and some distraction from the wild time we’re all going through.

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Robert Matney

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