This is Bulls**t! Retrain your critical thinking in a misinformed world

The term ‘truthiness’ was first popularized but the American comedian Stephen Colbert in 2005 to describe the “truth that comes from the gut, not from the book”. It started as a reaction to George W Bush’s decision-making and the public perception of his thinking, but it soon became clear that the concept could be applied […]

Fixing the broken web

A new #FuturePRoof guide highlights the ills of the web. It’s the start of an important conversation about how communicators tackle disinformation and fix the broken web. The great hope of the world wide web in 1989 was that it would democratise the publication and sharing of information. It enabled anyone with access to the […]

Can increased trust in employers help society win the war on fake news?

By Stephen Humphreys, Whom to trust is an increasingly complex issue and separating fact from fiction, in an age when anyone can mass produce and share information, is getting harder. At the same time, trust   continues to be shaky. Today people are most trusting of others they believe to be like themselves and those they have […]

Fake news report picks easy target in Facebook

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport fake news report disappoints in its single-minded attack on Facebook as the destroyer of public discourse and democracy. I’m tired, weary even, of people seeking easy answers to complex problems. Life isn’t that simple. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee has published its final […]

Disinformation and faking the news

By Daniel Gerrella, On Monday, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) published Disinformation and ‘Fake News’: Final Report. It calls for: The introduction of a compulsory code of ethics for tech companies A requirement for social media companies to remove harmful content, including proven sources of disinformation The creation of an independent regulator to monitor […]

Astroturfing’s historic roots back in 4th century BC

Online astroturfing, or faking grassroots opinion, crops up at unfortunately regular intervals in discussions of both online PR and online politics. All the more so with the rise of fake news. But it’s got deep historic roots that are rarely mentioned. The story starts in the 4th century BC with the Greeks: Greek playwrights hired […]

Fake news fact-checking checklist

By David Benigson There’s been an explosion of so-called fake news in recent months. Reports of fakery, fabrication and misinformation have hit fever pitch, particularly during election season. While fake news is nothing new, it’s gained momentum, and notoriety, as news consumption has shifted from traditional print to online news to social media. We each […]

Kevin Myers and Basil Clarke

By Richard Evans The biggest media story of the weekend was the Sunday Times column written by columnist Kevin Myers, which News UK has admitted contained “unacceptable comments both to Jewish people and to women in the workplace”. The Sunday Times has confirmed that Myers won’t write for it again. A good thing too; these kind […]

Fake news – scope, public trust and options for policy

Fake news distribution is becoming a central focus for publishers, digital platforms, advertisers and consumers. Today’s Westminster Media Forum has been organised to decide what next for industry and government. I’m speaking on behalf of the CIPR at today’s Westminster Media Forum which has been organised to debate the issue of fake news. Throughout the […]