Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Russia was behind fake news during the presidential election when questioned at a Senate hearing on Thursday.
Democratic Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed asked Clapper, “One of the aspects of this Russian hacking was not just disseminating information they had exploited from computers, but also the allegations of fake news sites, fake news stories that were propagated. Is that an accurate- is that one aspect of this problem?”
“This was a multifaceted campaign,” Clapper replied. “So the hacking was only one part of it, and it also entailed classical propaganda, disinformation, fake news,” he said during the hearing, which is focused on the topic of Russian hacking.
Made-up news has been such an issue across the media landscape that Media Matters, a liberal media-watchdog organization known for its fixation on Fox News, recently announced that fake news will now be its prime target.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently outlined his plan to fight the spread of fake news and partnered with a variety of media organizations, including ABC, to keep fake news off the platform. Zuckerberg initially downplayed criticisms that fake news spread on his social media site could have significantly swayed the 2016 presidential election, but later made concessions to the contrary.
ABC News president James Goldston told TheWrap that he is “eager to help” prevent what is an “alarming amount of misinformation” circulating on the internet.
“I think we’ve all seen the toxic effects of fake news over the course of this election cycle and we regard ABC News as being a key part of that public service mission to help the American people understand what is real out there,” Goldston said. “I do believe that fake news is a true scourge of journalism. I think it’s extremely dangerous.”
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