The Daily Showdown
Before President Trump co-opted the phrase "fake news" to mean "news that he doesn't like," fake news was just that: "deliberately false stories posing as news," Trevor Noah reminded everyone on Wednesday's Daily Show. These false stories proliferated on non-traditional news sources like social media, which is a problem, because two-thirds of U.S. adults say they get at least some of their news via social media, he said. That's a particular problem for a man falsely accused of being the Las Vegas shooter, one of several fake news stories featured prominently on Google News and Facebook this week. Twitter's culpable, too.
It gets dicier, and more global, Noah said. "If there's one guaranteed way to make any situation worse, just sprinkle a little Russia over it." Facebook says more than 10 million people saw covert Russia-linked ads during the 2016 campaign, especially in Wisconsin and Michigan, he explained, but "regardless of your politics, the reason you should care about fake news online is because it's not just about Russians meddling in U.S. elections — it's about Russians working to divide everyone."
Noah brought out Senior American Correspondent Michael Kosta, who argued that Russia shouldn't be getting all the credit for dividing America, since "we have a rich history of dividing ourselves," but also suggested hitting Russia back with a "full-on meme war," with examples. Watch below. Peter Weber