OLLI Summer 2017
1-3 PM
University Hall Room 41 B

Professor Crawford


Charts purporting to identify Fake News sites

Guest Speaker:

Eric Maas

Eric Maas is an entrepreneur and search engine optimization specialist. He has over 10 years of SEO experience and close to 20 years in web marketing. His consulting work has included political candidates, publications, and fortune 500 companies.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Hilary Goldstine, Ph.D. Psychologist and Expert on Brainwashing, Cults, and their effects on their members

Guest Speaker, Sean Vernon, Senior Editor, Berkeley Political Review

Fake News or Real News: What's the Difference and How to Know
OLLI Summer 2017

"Fake News" is not a fight over Truth but rather a fight over Power"

2016 was the "Year of the Hoax" disguised as truth. Fake news and the proliferation of opinion that passes for news is creating confusion, punching holes in what is true, and leading us to doubt everything branded as "news." A BuzzFeed analysis found that false election stories from hoax sites and hyperpartisan blogs generated more engagement than content from real news sites during the last three months of the election. In the aftermath of the election, Donald Trump weaponized the term "fake news" and used it to describe the traditional media. The United States has become polarized between Liberal and Conservative factions, each one claiming that the other produces false information to further its own political agenda.  In this course we will examine the difference between "fake news", satire, opinion, slanted journalism, propaganda and factual news reporting. We will look at the rise of the fake news phenomenon, how and why it has gone viral, who writes it, why people believe it, and its actual and potential consequences. We will debate the issue of fake news and free speech: Should the spread of false information be regulated and if so, who should regulate it?

Week 1   June 6, Introduction and Overview of the Course