There is an entire ecosystem at work, he continues, that can enable a falsehood from the obscure reaches of the web to jump on to millions of TV screens with dizzying speed. “It’s a small amount of disinformation originating in some of the social media platforms used by foreign adversaries and their domestic allies. They get amplified: there’s multiple levels including conspiracy sites, then news sites which don’t care about fact-checking. And then once that becomes news, sometimes that emerges into conventional or mainstream media.”

How can it be stopped? “People in mainstream media can just do things like fact-checking. They could avoid giving airtime or space to people they know routinely disinform and they can just avoid amplifying disinformation.” The new journalism centres he is funding are considering whether journalistic ethics codes should explicitly say: “Don’t amplify this information.”