ABSTRACT

This chapter deals with the strategic use of fake news and pseudo-events by manipulative political actors, who devise them to help them make their lies believable. While the manufacturing and diffusion of falsehoods have existed since antiquity, the factors that make contemporary fake news different from earlier forms include the increased sophistication employed in their production, the powerful software and algorithms used to distribute them, the enormous scale on which they are now being created, and the speed, efficacy, and range with which they are spread. To complement the fakery, the political manipulator also holds so-called “pseudo-events,” a term introduced by Daniel Boorstin in reference to public events arranged merely for the sake of the publicity they generate, appearing as spontaneous events.