Today I received my daily “must read” email from the The Times with the title: Horrified, and wondering whose fault it was, I clicked on the link; http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/public-cash-paying-for-growth-of-fake-news-vb2hbvs3x and discovered (thanks to the Times investigation) that fake news is the fault of “false or outrageous websites”, Islamic extremists, white supremacists, hate sites, illegal piracy forums, and also advertising agencies: Aha. Did the Times just hint at who the victims are in all this? The reading public? Those lied about in fake news? Consumers? Nope, it is “real publishers”. Then showing the tact, discretion and fairness that real publishers are famous for, and without naming names, the Times continues: Deeply unsettled about the problem of fake news, I decided to consult an objective and unbiased news source, so went to the BBC website and found the following recent article: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-38790254 Well at least our elected representatives are worried about the threat to democracy, and concerned “about the public being swayed by propaganda and untruths”. Thank goodness. The committee chairman identifies “fake news on social media platforms” as the problem, and also adds that “the rise of propaganda and fabrications is a threat to democracy and undermines confidence in the media in general". Well we can’t have confidence in the media in general being undermined, can we? That would be nearly as bad as real publishers being damaged. The bbc also reports: “The way that fake news affects people's understanding of the world and their trust in traditional journalism will also be examined”. Suddenly hope springs in my world-weary breast - are the government and the media (real) about to organize a War on Fake News for me? This would be great, because to be honest since the War on Crime, the War on Drugs, and the War on Terror were all won I’ve been looking for an outlet for my sense of moral outrage, and this will do nicely. So kind of them also to tell me in which direction to point my concerned outrage - false or outrageous websites (see, they’ve already labelled the websites “outrageous” to make it easy for me), Islamic extremists, white supremacists, hate sites, illegal piracy forums, advertising agencies, social media platforms. I think I read somewhere that “the Russians” are somehow in on it too, which is always good if you’re having a War on something. They’ve also told me who the good guys are and what I should be concerned about: damage to real publishers, confidence in the media in general being undermined, and people’s trust in traditional journalism (and democracy of course). So that’s all sorted then. Thank goodness they’ve not only made it clear who the good guys are, but also who the bad guys are. Otherwise imagine the confusion if I was left with the impression that there was to be scrutiny of fake news in all the media, including print media and traditional journalism. In my initial zeal to help the cause I might inappropriately send them a link to one of the most offensive fake news platforms I know of: http://www.sciencemediacentre.org/ or an example of fake news in the Times: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/science/medicine/article3116831.ece or an example of a bbc radio 4 science program being infiltrated by serial fake news prankster Sir Simon Wellsly (as if claiming to explain unexplained medical syndromes wasn’t a big enough clue): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08dnr3g Any other ME sufferers concerned about fake news?