A fact is a “thing that is known or proved to be true.”
An alternative fact is uttered or posited as equal to or a version equal to or greater than indisputable fact.
An alternative fact does not have direct supporting evidence and thus is supported by speculation, perception, and non-credible sources.
In January 2017, Kellyanne Conway first used this term in an interview with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, which is hosted by NBC News. This term was used in response to the question Todd presented referring to Trump’s proclamation that his inauguration had one of the largest audiences in history. While Todd explained that this was a falsehood, Conway stated that the Press Secretary provided “alternative facts”.
Since then, the use of the phrase “alternative facts” has had both a social and political impact on society. Many netizens have been mocking the phrase through parodies and remixes of the original interview video like this one. SNL created a skit that pokes fun at Sean Spicer’s press conference where he tries to defend Trump’s inauguration attendance. An “alternative facts” game was even created which also makes fun of Conway, Spicer, and Trump. Various news outlets such as New York Times, CNN, and NPR have covered articles on the use of this phrase. Politifact went as far as annotating the entire conversation between Todd and Conway to prove that her alternative facts were not facts.