The Disinformation Panic

Source: Reason
by Tiffany Donnelly

New York Journal publisher William Randolph Hearst reportedly said, ‘You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war!’ Hearst and his rival, Joseph Pulitzer, sensationalized, exaggerated, and outright lied to millions of Americans daily in the lead up to the Spanish-American War, spreading what many today would call ‘disinformation.’ Yellow journalism famously fanned the flames of conflict, wrongly blaming the Spanish for sinking the U.S.S. Maine. But if political lies aren’t new, why are so many powerful institutions hyping fears about the internet and flirting with new restrictions on speech?” (05/03/22)