Fake news is not new. It has been here for a very long time in the form of rumours, gossip, lurid tabloid stories about aliens and celebrities, posters, or graffiti on walls. What is new are the vehicles, such as social media and the electronic mass media, that spread it; the immediate and pervasive connectivity that brings it right to your mobile devices, often unfiltered or completely verified; and the breadth and speed with which this “news” is shared and spread.
The term “fake news” was heavily used during the 2016 election campaign in the United States. The concept of fake news spawned a journalistic and political concern about how, and on what basis, voters evaluated the candidates and political parties, and therefore how voting choices were made. As Canadians head to the polls to elect a federal government, they will be inundated with news stories about political parties, candidates, proposed policies and programs, as well as opinion pieces, blogs, vlogs and articles from political pundits, accredited journalists, authoritative experts, self-titled experts, paid spokespeople and your Facebook friend’s cousin’s aunt’s neighbour.
In this media buffet and mediated landscape how will the voters tell the treasure from the trash, the truth from the partial truth or the outright lie, and will they have the time or knowledge to do so? Therefore, here are some resources to help you navigate the media offerings in the 2019 Canadian federal election news environment.
From the U.K. Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, via the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) website, comes a succinct definition of the kinds of fake news purveyed in the media and on social media. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/fake-news-misinformation-online-1.5196865):
The major Canadian television news outlets have their own fact checking services related to the federal election campaign:
International news fact checking sites include:
Canadian journalist Jeff Yates thoroughly tracks down sources, demonstrates bias and debunks all kinds of fake news. He can be followed at https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/fake-news-disinformation-propaganda-internet-1.5196964
Your local newspaper may also be a good source for determining the credibility of your local election news. An example of this is the Brampton Guardian newspaper https://www.bramptonguardian.com/news-story/9584967-5-statements-by-brampton-federal-election-candidates-that-we-fact-checked/
If you think you have read or seen fake or misleading news, this page provides strategies and tools to use to uncover the truth. https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/fake-news-disinformation-propaganda-internet-1.5196964
https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1612707907985 Explains the context and “misleading” use of information but does not identify those speaking on camera nor their background or expertise regarding the subject. Therefore why are they more credible than the politician?
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/conservative-scheer-gun-gang-violence-crime-fact-check-1.5309485 Here the sources are identified as are their qualifications to speak on the subject