A week or so ago I was part of a conference panel that looked at the different ways that bad actors try to stop journalists from being able to do their job. That job, basically, is shining a spotlight on things that the aforementioned bad actors — politicians, businesspeople, criminals — would prefer to remain hidden, and then giving civil society the information to hold those bad actors accountable. 

When you write down bad actors three times in a row, the term starts to sound weird. I even went so far as googling the search term “‘bad actors’ definition”. The first result to pop up was “a person or organisation responsible for actions that are harmful, illegal, or morally wrong”, which is revealing if you think about it. You would expect the first result to be about actual thespians, and their relative skill or lack thereof. And that probably tells you all you need to know about the way disinformation dominates the (Google) zeitgeist. ..

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