The subheading of this story on “misinformation” from Columbia Journalism Review is “a Truthy story,” in which David Alberti explains how “conservative media’s reaction to an Indiana University project shows how shoddy information can quickly become an online narrative”:
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On August 26, Fox’s Megyn Kelly aired a four-minute segment on an Indiana University project called Truthy, declaring sarcastically, “Some bureaucrat deciding whether you are being hateful or misinforming people — what could possibly go wrong?” Fox & Friends jumped onto the bandwagon two days later. During its four-minute segment, legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. managed to squeeze in not only a comparison to Joseph McCarthy, but also a reference to George Orwell’s 1984. “Is the First Amendment going into the dumper?” he asks.
The segments can be traced to a story published on a right-wing news site the previous Monday, which spawned a conspiratorial narrative that soon metastasized throughout social media and the conservative blogosphere.