To prepare for a discussion, reflect on the reading about identifying “fake news.” Then please read these two news articles related to “Pizzagate,” a false conspiracy theory spread in November 2016 which claimed Secretary Hillary Clinton was running a child-trafficking ring out the (non-existent) basement of a Washington D.C. pizza shop. In this story, a gunman allegedly traveled from North Carolina to investigate and fired shots in the restaurant.

BBC Trending. (2016, December 2). The saga of ‘Pizzagate’: The fake story that shows how conspiracy theories spread. BBC News. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-38156985

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-38156985

Lakshmanan, I. A. R. (2016, December 8). The shocking TRUTH about #PIZZAGATE! Boston Globe. Retrieved from https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/12/08/the-shocking-truth-about-pizzagate/kUpm1bqKFVwlVfF49bXDqI/story.html

For the discussion, please post your thoughts about “Pizzagate” and other “fake news.” Reflect back to when the fake story was circulating. Respond to these questions:

Did you click on this story and/or wonder if it were true, until it was debunked?

What is the danger of fake news spreading throughout our country and around the world?

Most of these fake news stories are spread through social media. What are the platforms’ responsibility to filter out the bogus articles?

As a PR professional, what would your responsibility be to call our and/or avoid spreading fake news?