Tags: fake news | russia | myanmar | leaders

Report: 'Fake News' Phrase Being Used Around the World to Quell Dissent

Image: Report: 'Fake News' Phrase Being Used Around the World to Quell Dissent
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By    |   Friday, 08 December 2017 09:44 AM

Authoritarian leaders throughout the world are using President Donald Trump's "fake news" phrase as a way of limiting free speech and denouncing their critics, Politico reported.

Leaders or state media in at least 15 nations are now using the phrase.

"I'm seeing it more and more," said Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

And he noted, Trump "is providing a context and framework for all sorts of authoritarian leaders — or democratic leaders and others who are dissatisfied or upset by critical media coverage — to undermine and discredit reporting."

The website noted Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro was quoted by Russia's RT as saying there has been a lot of "fake news" about his nation.

And Politico said a state official in Myanmar was quoted over the weekend in The New York Times as saying: "There is no such thing as Rohingya. It is fake news."

The Rohingya is a persecuted ethnic group in the southeast Asian nation.

Earlier this year, state media in China said a prominent Chinese rights activist had made up "fake news" of torture in an effort to grab international headlines, Reuters reported.

Politico also said the Russian foreign ministry puts "fake news" stamps on its website on story it claims to be untrue.

"These governments, they're pushing the boundaries of what it's possible to get away with in terms of controlling their national media," said Steve Coll, dean of Columbia Journalism School, "and there's no question that this kind of speech makes it easier for them to stretch those boundaries."

Trump has repeatedly used the phrase to attack what White House officials call inaccurate reporting about his administration. He recently used it again in a tweet to comment on an ABC News report about the Russia investigation.

But the White House said the president is not responsible for the worldwide use of the phrase aimed at limiting free speech.

"This story is really ridiculous," press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Politico. "The president isn't against free speech but we do think reporting should be accurate."

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Authoritarian leaders throughout the world are using President Donald Trump's "fake news" phrase as a way of limiting free speech and denouncing their critics, Politico reported.
fake news, russia, myanmar, leaders
385
2017-44-08
Friday, 08 December 2017 09:44 AM
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