Historically, the spread of information through society was based off a formalized method of investigation, vetting and journalistic integrity that was developed over hundreds of years. The first recorded American newspaper, The Present State of New-English Affairs, was printed and published by Samuel Green in 1689 in Boston, Massachusetts. The purpose of the newspaper was to prevent rumors of events in the colonies such as those reported across the Atlantic by The London Newsletter.

Back then, any person possessing – to borrow a modern phrase – “fake news” about New England was considered an enemy of the government and would be persecuted to the fullest extent of the law. New laws came into place resulting in bureaucratic control of the printing of pamphlets.

Of course, with time, these laws established a source of tension between the government, the...

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