Macquarie Dictionary has revealed its Word of the Year for 2016. ‘Fake news’ was given the award for its role in highlighting how social media has influenced the way news is relayed to the public.
According to the Macquarie definition, fake news relates to “disinformation and hoaxes published on websites for political purposes or to drive web traffic; the incorrect information being passed along by social media”.
The term became particularly prominent during the US election and was credited with swaying public perception to contribute to the election of Donald Trump.
The judging panel is comprised of eight people, including editor of Macquarie Dictionary Susan Butler, author Kate Grenville and journalist Annabel Crabb.
The judges said about ‘fake news’:
“It captures an interesting evolution in the creation of deceptive content as a way of herding people in a specific direction.”
“There has come a point with fake news where people are beginning to believe what they want to believe, whether or not the news story is actually true.”
According to an analysis by Buzzfeed, during the last three months of the US election, users on Facebook engaged more with fake news stories than with legitimate election pieces.
The runner-up award was given to Aussie favourite, the ‘Halal snack pack’. Affectionately shortened to HSP, ‘Halal snack pack’ has become a ubiquitous term to describe Halal-certified doner kebab meat, with chips, grated cheese and one or more sauces.
Now, the judges are calling to you, the public, to help them decide the 2016 People’s Choice Award Word of the Year. Check out the finalists below and cast your vote before Tuesday 31 January.
Youlk: a perennnial apiaceous plant of WA, Platysace deflexa, with a sweet-tasting yellow tuber; bush carrot; Ravensthorpe radish.
Racebending: the process of altering the ethnicity of a character in a book, film, etc., for a new version of it.
Standing desk: a desk which is raised to a height so that the person using it can stand, the desk being fixed at that height or being adjustable to the height required for sitting or standing.
Shoefiti: the practice of tossing shoes, joined by the laces, over power lines, high branches on trees, etc.
Fake news: disinformation and hoaxes published on websites for political purposes or to drive web traffic, the incorrect information being passed along by social media.
Halal snack pack: a fast food compromising layers of hot chips, grated cheese, halal doner kebab meat, garlic sauce, barbecue sauce and chilli sauce.
Fatberg: a congealed mass in a sewer system consisting of material that does not break down, as fat, sanitary items, etc., which has to be removed to unblock the system.
Greige: a warm grey, that is, grey with some brown in it.
Rumbler alarm: an alarm on a fire engine or other emergency vehicle which emits a low-frequency sound designed to alert people who are prevented from hearing an ordinary alarm by traffic noise, mobile phones with ear plugs, etc. Also rumbler siren.
Patient navigator: an administrative support person who assists a patient to manage their illness and make the best use of the health system by coordinating healthcare teams and resource providers.
Filter Bubble: an information environment which, because of the ability of search engines on the internet and technology on social media to build on the user’s personal preferences, ultimately excludes all information that is not in accord with the user’s opinions.
Alt-right: 1. extremely right wing. 2. such a person. 3. the alt-right, the far-right political movement.
Enby: 1. not identifying as male or female; non-binary. 2. a non-binary person.
Bubble soccer: a soccer game in which each player wears an inflated plastic torus-shaped sheath covering the upper body and head. Also, bubble football. [from the idea that the player is inside a bubble]
Plyscraper: a skyscraper built using super-strong, engineered wood products which are as tough as steel or concrete.