Trump’s use of the term “fake news” harnesses a world-wide backlash against globalism. Whether repeated in South America, the Middle East, or Asia, the term makes it easier for governments to find the words to explain away injustice and reduce free expression.
The world’s new axis of undemocratic leadership shares an ease with Trump’s anti-press “fake news” shorthand. Since January 2017, when Trump began deploying the phrase, countries including Russia, Egypt, Malaysia, and Singapore have criminalized “fake news” and empowered government officials to define coverage they don’t like. Here, we trace the reverberation of Trump’s toxic rhetoric.
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