Opinionomics | 23 May 2012

Must-read comment and analysis. OMG, WTF IMF?

1. Monetary and fiscal stimulus are not the same thing (ToUChstone)

"The IMF is advocating a monetary stimulus first, followed by (if that doesn’t do the trick) a fiscal stimulus", writes Duncan Weldon. "At least it has implicitly recognised that monetary and fiscal stimulus are not the same thing."

2. The IMF's economic statement: reading between the lines (Market Square)

The IMF argues for fiscal action now… but Lagarde pulls her punches, argues Ian Mulheirn

3. You say princelings, I say elite corps of investment bankers (Reuters)

Ben Walsh compares and contrasts China's elite with America's.

4. British energy policy is a dark underworld of fanatics (Guardian)

The government's decision to direct resources to nuclear and wind is typical of an institution befuddled and beset by lobbyists, writes Simon Jenkins

5. Has Krugman been reading a different report on the UK economy? (Telegraph)

Jeremy Warner doesn't agree that the IMF was critical of the Government's plan at all.

Wind farms in Greece. Photograph: Getty Images

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.

 

 

In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.