NEW YORK—There was no faking it. The Daily News Innovation Lab meetup last February 8 at Microsoft was packed. The debate, “Proposition: We can solve fake news” had people, including the Office Lease Center team, giddy with anticipation. The debaters would not disappoint.
The hopefuls were Sally Kohn, political commentator and columnist, CNN and The Daily Beast; Dean Pomerleau, co-director, Fake News Challenge; and Melissa Ryan, expert in politics and technology.
The skeptics were John Borthwick, CEO of Betaworks; David Carroll, associate professor of Media Design at Parsons The New School for Design; and Jane Elizabeth, senior manager at the American Press Institute.
Justin Hendrix, executive director at NYC Media Lab moderated the debate with an equal dose of Orwellian seriousness and aw-shucks disbelief following the rise of fake news on social media platforms in the 2016 presidential elections.
The arguments on the pro side:
The arguments on the con side:
Questions abound. One particular thorny issue concerns media literacy: How do we tell people about fake news without insulting those who believe in them?
The effect of fake news will also de-brand institutions while also opening a glitch in American democracy. But even most of the audience knows America has overcome worse things—real or fake.