In George Orwell’s 1949 dystopian novel 1984, Winston Smith spends his days changing the details of history. He erases and replaces images, alters headlines, and distorts stories of the past, recirculating them as subliminal revisions. This labor of manipulation serves the elusive Big Brother, a totalitarian state that perpetuates its power by constantly rewriting the past in order to fit its propaganda of the present. It is no literary mistake that all of this happens in the records department of the Ministry of Truth. This dark twist of words is just a piece of the Orwellian infrastructure built on doublethink: two opposing ideas presented as equal, casting doubt and confusion on intrinsic meaning, thereby granting Big Brother total control over thought, behavior, and how reality is defined.

It is in this context that I’m thinking about Fake News Archive Project (2020), a thirteen-volume set of books published by Eric...

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