By Tyler Durden | 23 November 2016
ZERO HEDGE — Picking up the torch on the most hotly debated topic by the humiliated US mainstream media, namely the spread of so-called “fake news” (not to be confused with Brian Williams lying for years on prime time TV, and which until recently was branded far simply as “conspiracy theory”), German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Wednesday against the power of fake news on social media to roil the establishment and to spur the rise of populists, after launching her campaign for a fourth term.
Speaking in parliament for the first time since her announcement Sunday that she would seek re-election next year, Merkel cautioned that public opinion was being “manipulated” on the internet.
“Something has changed — as globalisation has marched on, (political) debate is taking place in a completely new media environment. Opinions aren’t formed the way they were 25 years ago,” she said.
Quoted by France 24, she said that “Today we have fake sites, bots, trolls — things that regenerate themselves, reinforcing opinions with certain algorithms and we have to learn to deal with them.” The chancellor said the challenge for democrats was to “reach and inspire people. However, should that fail, Merkel essentially suggested the time for censorship has come: “we must confront this phenomenon and if necessary, regulate it.” […]