Conspiracy theories

"Misinformation" is's word of the year

Misinformation flyer at a news stand
The Columbia Journalism Review's 'Misinformation news stand.' Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images has selected "misinformation" as its 2018 word of the year, defining it as “false information that is spread, regardless of whether there is intent to mislead,” reports AP.

The big picture: Search results on suggested that society's "relationship with truth" has become a common theme, with words like "mainstream," "white lie" and "Orwellian" among those that spiked at various points this year, per AP. Social media platforms have come under intense scrutiny in 2018 for their role in spreading misinformation that incites violence — as in Myanmar, for example, where investigators say Facebook played "a determining role" in disseminating hateful rhetoric about Rohingya Muslims.

Michelle Obama will “never forgive” Trump for stirring up birther conspiracies

President Trump and Michelle Obama shake hands.
Michelle Obama and president-elect Donald Trump at his inauguration. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Former First Lady Michelle Obama writes in her new book, "Becoming," that she will "never forgive" President Trump for encouraging the birther conspiracy about her husband in 2011, ABC News reports.

Details: Per ABC, Obama writes that playing into the conspiracy is "crazy and mean-spirited... But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks. What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? ... Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family's safety at risk. And for this, I'd never forgive him."