This week we travel to a future where there is so much fake news that nobody can tell what is real anymore. Are we already there? What happens next?
This week’s guests include:
Amy Webb — Founder of the Future Today Institute, and author of The Signals Are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe Is Tomorrow’s Mainstream. Amy explains that we’ve been here before, how technology is accelerating the pace of fake news, and what keeps her up at night.
Brooke Borel — a science journalist and the author of The Chicago Guide to Fact Checking. Brooke explains what we reporters can learn from science reporters, who’ve dealt with fake news for a while now, and how we can all be better fact checkers.
Enrique Armijo — an associate professor of law at Elon University where he focuses on the media and first amendment issues. He describes his trip to Rwanda, where they tried to crack down on dangerous journalism after the media aided in a genocide.
Some reading from the episode:
- This Analysis Shows How Fake Election News Stories Outperformed Real News On Facebook
- Facebook fake-news writer: ‘I think Donald Trump is in the White House because of me’
- Washington gunman motivated by fake news ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy
- Pizzagate is a lie. But what it says about our society is real
- Is Social Media Disconnecting Us From the Big Picture?
- Don’t believe anything you read at Natural News
- Fact-checking doesn’t ‘backfire,’ new study suggests
Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. Special thanks this week to Diane Kelly, Matt Weller, John Oloier and Caroline Sinders. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.
If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.
And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.
That’s all for this future, come back next week and we’ll travel to a new one.