Parents' Guide to

After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Bitter, upsetting, but enormously informative docu.

Movie NR 2020 95 minutes
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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

It’s a long commercial FOR fake news

I was hoping to see an unbiased account of the overall disinformation were being spoon fed by supposed journalists. Instead it turned out to be just another hit piece on anything NOT leftist. There’s one big reason why some of these obscure underground , crazy conspiracy types have gained so much popularity lately and that’s the FACT that many of our msm sources have become nothing but propagandist garbage for the elitist far left. The very idea that fake news didn’t exist prior to Donald Trump, is absolutely ridiculous. The very idea that spreading misinformation to change the views of voters , only started with the supposedly wide spread and (supposedly) election changing efforts of the Russians in 2016 - is ridiculous. This “documentary” needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but sadly it won’t. This is being pushed by leftists , along with many others - to prove the right are all bad people and the lefties are the ones on the defense. History will repeat itself , and history shows the leftist , progressive Democrats have been , and continue to be the biggest dividers in this country. While it’s a good lesson on being more aware of who/what you’re seeing and believing - it’s no better than those they profess to be warning us against. They are absolutely part of the problem. I’m ashamed of HBO for the wide use of their platform as yet another arm of the Democrat party. While you can find a steady diet of leftist driven hit jobs on HBO, I’ve yet yo find a single unbiased example. At this point in time, I’m only keeping my subscription to HBO, for the sole purpose of watching the further damage to our country by influencing the easily manipulated among us. Shame on HBO and shame on Andrew Rossi. I don’t expect anything more from Mr Rossi , he’s clearly a leftist going way back , but HBO shouldn’t be selling us this garbage as the gospel truth. I edited this to add - Common Sense Media has done no favors for themselves by promoting this as valuable. It’s clear that Common Sense is just more of the same. There’s literally nobody is journalism that can be trusted anymore. No wonder our country is failing.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

One journalist compares sorting through "fake news" to "bathing in garbage," and, indeed, this documentary is a very tough sit, but it also offers tools for viewers to start identifying this poison. Directed by Andrew Rossi (of the terrific Page One: Inside the New York Times), After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News is a complex disentangling of its subject -- and, in the end, it offers no clear answers. But it includes many unforgettable moments, mainly the emotional results of the featured disinformation attacks, such as anger and sorrow. Comet Ping Pong owner James Alefantis is heartbreakingly uncomfortable talking about his story, and he finally breaks down while telling it.

In another sequence, a press conference is held by alt-right lobbyist Jack Burkman and conspiracy troll Jacob Wohl to try to convince mainstream journalists that special counsel Mueller has been accused of sexual assault. The journalists see right through the ruse, but the trolls keep doubling down, apparently without shame. One reporter angrily explains that he didn't even run the story because mentioning it at all would give more power to the lies. Another scene shows the aggressive, acerbic Jones raging at and berating a CNN reporter for being "fake" (ironically) and even having it filmed. It's enormously upsetting -- as are many other moments in After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News -- but it's also informative and essential.

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