This chapter argues against the notion of “fake news” to describe the latest information disorder of online communication. Truth and “fakeness” has little to do with this kind of misinformation that does not demand to be believed, but just to be fleetingly noticed and passed along. This type of contents should then be called “viral news” or possibly “junk news” for, just as junk food, they are consumed because they are addictive, not because they are appreciated.

The chapter is organised around a three-stage argument. First, I criticise the notion of “fake news”, dismissing the idea that this type of misinformation can be defined by its relationship to truth. Second, I propose a different definition of this phenomenon based on its circulation rather than of its contents. Third, I reintroduce the connection to data politics, by describing the economic, communicational, technological, cultural and political dimensions of junk news.