With the help of uncritical journalists, a story about “fake news” ended up disseminating far more than it exposed.
The Intercept (and others) allege the Washington Post published a fake news story based on anonymous sources and lobbyists, making assertions and allegations without supporting evidence.
The WaPo story reads like fake news stories prevalent on social media, typically based on allegations sourced from flimsy evidence and quotes of “she said, he said”. RT notes WaPo has agreed to publish a correction to provably fake allegations made in the article.
The article appears designed for the so-called “outrage culture” – literally the shouting and sharing on social media. Social media amplifies the media’s propaganda message, as people Like and Share online, attempting to persuade their “friends” to adopt someone else’s agenda. As we note on this blog, few will attempt to question or correct such stories, as few want to take the time or risk their friendships. The consequence is that social media becomes a friction-less platform for the spread of nonsense.
The WaPo article appears to use many propaganda techniques including appeals to anonymous authorities, logical fallacies, patriotism, lies, and emotion.