“One Big Fake News”: Misinformation at the Intersection of User-Based and Legacy Media
This article explores audiences’ online reactions to public service broadcasting content manipulations. Drawing on a case study of Israeli televised content, we discuss the role user comments play in mediated calls for media literacy and civic awareness, allowing audiences to gather and discuss the impact of misinformation and fake news on culture, civic participation, and trust in public service media and other democratic institutions. We show how online mediated spaces that are considered aggressive and counterproductive should also be understood as facilitators of calls against misuse of public resources and manipulations spread in society. We thus suggest that alongside legacy mainstream media, user comments can become part of the solution for the prevalence of disinformation in our current digital media ecosystem.