CNN, one of the media outfits that regularly complains about “fake news,” ran a fake news story of its own when it claimed that Russia was closing an Anglo-American school in Moscow as retaliation for President Obama’s sanctions.
“Russian authorities ordered the closure of the Anglo-American School of Moscow, a US official briefed on the matter said. The order from the Russian government closes the school, which serves children of US, British and Canadian embassy personnel, to US and foreign nationals,” reported CNN.
However, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova responded swiftly by denying that the school had been closed.
“US officials ‘anonymously informed’ their media that Russia closed the Anglo-American School in Moscow as a retaliatory measure,” Zakharova wrote on her official Facebook page. “That’s a lie. Apparently, the White House has completely lost its senses and began inventing sanctions against its own children.”
Zakharova accused CNN of spreading “false information citing official American sources”.
The misreported story is an embarrassment for the network, which has run a series of articles over the past month complaining about so-called fake news.
Russia’s actual response to the sanctions was to propose that Vladimir Putin declare “31 employees of the US Embassy in Moscow and four diplomats from the US Consulate service in St. Petersburg as persons ‘non-grata.’” However, Putin later rejected this measure.
Meanwhile, in a related story, a senior U.S. official told Reuters that President-elect Donald Trump could reverse Obama’s executive order once he takes office and allow the 35 expelled Russian officials to return to America.
Cable News Network; American-based new channel
The Cable News Network (CNN) is an American basic cable and satellite television channel that is owned by the Turner Broadcasting System division of Time Warner. It was founded in 1980 by American media proprietor Ted Turner as a 24-hour cable news channel; however, by April 2016, a CNN executive officially described the channel as “no longer a TV news network” and instead as “a 24-hour global multiplatform network.” Upon its launch, CNN was the first television channel to provide 24-hour news coverage, and was the first all-news television channel in the United States.
Fake news website
Site that publish hoaxes and misinformation on the Internet
Fake news websites (also referred to as hoax news) deliberately publish hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation, using social media to drive web traffic and amplify their effect. Unlike news satire, fake news websites seek to mislead, rather than entertain, readers for financial or other gain. Such sites have promoted political falsehoods in Germany, Indonesia and the Philippines, Sweden, China, Myanmar, and the United States. Many sites originate, or are promoted, from Russia, Macedonia, Romania, and the U.S.
Screenshot of a fake news story, falsely stating Donald Trump won the popular vote in the 2016 U.S. election.
One pan-European newspaper, The Local, described the proliferation of fake news as a form of psychological warfare. Agence France-Presse reported media analysts see it as damaging to democracy. The European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs in 2016 when it passed a resolution warning that the Russian government was using “pseudo-news agencies” and Internet trolls as disinformation propaganda to weaken confidence in democratic values.
In 2015, the Swedish Security Service, Sweden’s national security agency, issued a report concluding Russia was using fake news to inflame “splits in society” through the proliferation of propaganda. Sweden’s Ministry of Defence tasked its Civil Contingencies Agency to combat fake news from Russia. Fraudulent news affected politics in Indonesia and the Philippines, where there was simultaneously widespread usage of social media and limited resources to check the veracity of political claims. German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of the societal impact of “fake sites, bots, trolls”.
Fraudulent articles spread through social media during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Several officials within the U.S. Intelligence Community said that Russia was engaged in spreading fake news. Computer security company FireEye concluded Russia used social media as cyberwarfare. Google and Facebook banned fake sites from using online advertising. Facebook launched a partnership with fact-checking websites to flag fraudulent news and hoaxes; debunking organizations that joined the initiative included: Snopes.com, FactCheck.org, and PolitiFact. U.S. President Barack Obama said a disregard for facts created a “dust cloud of nonsense”. Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) Alex Younger called fake news propaganda online dangerous for democratic nations.