Amanda Knox and the Birth of "Fake News"

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June 2019: The online phenomenon of Amanda Knox was a portent of the Age of Trump, with its elevation and celebration of unreason, as the digital age linked and energized what most charitably could be called "suspicious minds."

In 2007, Twitter was just coming online, with 5,000 Tweets per day. Facebook was still in its data-harvesting infancy, with less than 100 million users. But the Amanda Knox story tapped into something previously inchoate, a vein of irrationality, rage, misogyny, pettiness and paranoia that -- as the world has since come to understand -- has bubbled along in the human species, unshared and unspoken, until it was enabled and amplified by the World Wide Web.

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