The phrase “fake news” has become as a rallying cry for many people on both sides of the political spectrum during the last several years. It is a term that has been used to characterize anything from humorous news items to serious reporting that is critical of a certain political person or ideology. Today, the phrase is at the center of a defamation case that has been valued at $20 million. The complaint was brought by Fox News against the fact-checking website Snopes in response to an article that referred to the network as “fake news.”
In the case, which was submitted to a federal court in Tennessee, it is said that Snopes “smeared” Fox News by referring to the network as a “fake news” outlet. Fox News alleges in its lawsuit that the report was published by Snopes with “reckless contempt for the truth,” and that the publication of the story has resulted in severe harm to the reputation of the network.
The article in question was written in 2017 and given the title “The Greatest ‘Fake News’ List.” In the article, Snopes included a number of items that it said were “fake news,” including many that had been published by Fox News. Among the stories featured were several that Snopes claimed had been published by Fox News. The article did not directly refer to Fox News as a “fake news” source; nonetheless, the network contends that the inclusion of its items on the list gave the impression that Fox News was one.
In response to the legal action taken against it, Snopes has said that the website stands by its reporting and that it considers the legal action to be without foundation. The website that checks the veracity of information has issued a statement in which it asserts that it has “always worked carefully to retain its reputation as a trustworthy source of information” and that it would “vigorously defend itself against this false action.”
The case might have enormous repercussions for the media as well as journalism, especially in light of the present political atmosphere. The usage of the phrase “fake news” has become highly political, with some people using it as a method to discount any news that is critical of their ideas or beliefs and others using it as a way to discredit any news that is critical of their views. A worrying new trend is the fact that a major news network is now suing a fact-checking website over the usage of the phrase.
The lawsuit also sheds light on the difficulties that fact-checking groups face in an environment that is becoming more divided and political across all forms of media. Fact-checking groups are facing an uphill struggle in their attempts to counteract misinformation and deception as the media is becoming more fragmented and sources of information are becoming more walled.
In the end, the case brings up crucial concerns regarding the function of the media in democratic societies, as well as the difficulties faced by fact-checking groups and their capacity to function in an atmosphere in which the truth is increasingly under assault. The outcome of the case is yet to be determined, but one thing is now abundantly clear: the conflict over so-called “fake news” is far from ended.
Please visit our main home page at abcnews.com.co.