The Gist

Fake News Is Nothing New

It may feel like disinformation is at an all-time high, but hoaxes, lies, and yellow journalism are age-old.

A hoax illustration depicting winged creatures living on the moon.
A lithograph from the Great Moon Hoax of 1835 that appeared in the New York Sun.

Wikimedia Commons

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On The Gist, war games are back.

Hoaxes have fooled us at least since the era of P.T. Barnum, but they’re especially prevalent in our era of political disinformation. Kevin Young is the author of Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News and tells us about the racist roots of the hoax and how hoaxes often lead us to believe what we wanted to in the first place.

In the Spiel, Trump shouldn’t try to critique an algorithm.

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Twitter: @slategist

Podcast production by Pierre Bienaimé and Daniel Schroeder.