Is the present level of anxiety about fake news simply a moral panic? According to an opinion piece in The Guardian by Cas Mudde, “the biggest obstacle to having an informed electorate isn’t fake news but, rather, the ever more commercial, profit-seeking media seeking clicks and eyeballs”
At first sight, recent studies seem to provide a solid basis for the popular assertion that populism and fake news are closely connected, and have therefore been widely cited in the media. Researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) found that “on Twitter, a network of Trump supporters shares the widest range of junk news and circulates more junk news than all other political audience groups combined.
While these studies paint a disturbing picture of news consumption in the United States, they are much more nuanced than much of the debate on “fake news” and “post-truth” would suggest.