Fintan O’Toole: The ancient art of slander has been reborn

Local paper liable for every claim it publishes, but social media liable for nothing

Put the word ‘social’ before ‘media’ and it dissolves the responsibility of publishers. Gossip, now written down, becomes gospel

Put the word ‘social’ before ‘media’ and it dissolves the responsibility of publishers. Gossip, now written down, becomes gospel

There is nothing new about disinformation. It used to be called gossip or rumour or the cognitive capacity of the dogs in the street.

In 1970, when I was 12, Charles Haughey was minister for finance. He was due to deliver the budget. But it was taoiseach Jack Lynch who stood up in the Dáil instead. He explained: “Before leaving home this morning, the minister for finance met with an accident that resulted in concussion.”

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