The Russian foreign ministry has begun compiling a list of Western media outlets it says are promoting "fake news." As of Wednesday morning, the Russian foreign ministry cited articles written by Bloomberg, The New York Times, NBC, the Santa Monica Observer, and the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph.
The stories written by these media organizations portrayed Russia in an unflattering light, touching on the recent and suspicious death of a Russian diplomat and accusations of Russia's involvement in the French presidential election, for example.
A screen grab from the Russian foreign ministry's website lists the five articles that put "forward information that does not correspond with reality."
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakarhova acknowledged the creation of the "fake news" project in a Wednesday press conference. She said the initiative was launched to counter an "information campaign aimed against Russia" by exposing false statements from leading foreign media outlets and officials.
Zakarhova added that reports that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election to help Donald Trump's campaign was an example of "fake news"
The issue of "fake news" and what constitutes it has been the subject of increasingly heated debate in the U.S., and the Trump administration has often used the term to dismiss unflattering articles. After Trump was sworn into office, a disagreement about the crowd size at his inauguration led White House press secretary Sean Spicer to employ the phrase "alternative facts."
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