The social team behind the Merriam-Webster Dictionary wants to clarify what a 'fact' is

By Nick Romano
Updated January 23, 2017 at 09:10 AM EST
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Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway made headlines this weekend for rebranding the White House’s false information about Donald Trump’s inauguration crowds as “alternative facts.” So, the social media team behind the Merriam-Webster Dictionary felt the need to clarify the definition of the word “fact.”

Linking to a trending topic page for Conway’s quote, Merriam-Webster tweeted, “A fact is a piece of information presented as having objective reality.”

On Saturday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer scolded reporters during a press briefing for spreading what he deemed falsities about Trump’s inauguration, according to CNN. “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period,” he said, despite contrary findings from aerial photos, Nielsen ratings, and Metro reports on subway riders in Washington, D.C.

During a Sunday interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, Conway defended Spicer’s false claims as “alternative facts.”

“You’re saying it’s a falsehood, and they’re giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that,” she said. Host Chuck Todd countered, “Alternative facts are not facts. They are falsehoods.”

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