Historians observing the current debate on fake news are tempted to make comments from a long-term perspective. First, fake news, as a type of lie that constitutes disinformation, has an ancient pedigree.
Indeed, among the plethora of primary sources used by historians to study the past, some are forged, many distorted and all are biased. To filter truth from such sources, historians have developed a severe method of source criticism over the ages, first in East Asia and Europe.
Although an old phenomenon, fake news in its recent guises also has some strikingly new features because it spreads on the internet nowadays, mainly via social media platforms.