The Washington Post: After Fox settlement, experts warn election falsehoods will persist

UC social media and communications expert Jeffrey Blevins weighs in on Fox News settlement

In 2021, Dominion Voting Systems sued Fox News for $1.6 billion after the network spent weeks broadcasting false claims about the company and its voting machines. A Delaware judge last month determined the statements were obviously false, undercutting many of Fox’s defenses. The network agreed to a massive settlement of $787.5 million— the largest known publicly disclosed defamation settlement in U.S. history —just before opening statements began in a trial that was expected to last six weeks.

University of Cincinnati journalism professor Jeffrey Blevins, a misinformation expert, predicted that news networks “will be more careful.”

“I think they’ll get more savvy about how they cover [baseless claims], but I still think they’re going to give platforms to those,” he said. “If I had to guess, I would think the conspiracy theorists would move on to something else. Maybe the culprit won’t be voting machine companies next time, but individual people. Those individuals don’t have the resources to fight them in court.”

Professor Blevins is the co-author of “Social Media, Social Justice and the Political Economy of Online Networks.”  He holds affiliate faculty positions at UC in the Department of Communications and the School of Public and International Affairs. His scholarship is grounded in U.S. telecommunication law and policy and engages critical political economy theory.

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Featured image of Jeffrey Blevins. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand. 

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