Impact and Significance of Fakes in World History

: 143-147
Lviv Polytechnic National University
Lviv Polytechnic National University

The first mention of fake news comes from the seventeenth century. Newspaper duck — this is what they call false, falsified and unverified information distributed in the media. According to one version (and many of them), the occurrence of the expression is associated with an anecdote of the Belgian journalist Cornelissen, who once published quite seriously, as if a scientific message, an anecdote about the greed of ducks. Some scientist chopped, say, a duck into small pieces and gave “for breakfast” to other nineteen ducks. Despite the obvious falsehood and even the absurdity of such a message, the newspapers took this amusing story for the pure truth and reprinted it on their pages. Subsequently, when this story was conceived in its essence, the word “duck” became a symbol of fictions of newspapermen. So, as we can see, false information is a long time ago.
In the annals of world history, fake information was created not only to sow the grain of lies about others, but also to conceal their own atrocities. This tactic was used by the monstrous machine of the USSR for almost 70 years.
A striking example is the communist regime’s silence and careful concealment of the famine in Ukraine in 1932–1933. The Kremlin’s leadership forbade state authorities and institutions to record in the documents the true cause of death by starvation. The USSR has implemented a policy of information blockade and misinformation against mass hunger. September 17, 1932 — the decision of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) on the deportation of a correspondent of the Canadian newspaper “Daily Express” for the publication of information about “uprisings and famines” in the USSR.
In world history, fake information could not even be disseminated intentionally, but would still cause enormous proportions. It happened in the US in the late 1930’s. One of the most famous fakes is the radio show “War of the Worlds” by Herbert Wells’ novel of the same name on CBS on October 30, 1938. Listeners received the performance staged by Mercury Theater on the Air under the direction of Orson Wells for real news coverage, resulting in about 1.2 million Southeastern Americans believing in a Martian attack and panicking.

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