The world of internet attracts everyone at an alarming rate. We surf the internet to find latest updates and happenings. Do you think all those breaking news and information on social media are genuine? No! Beware of fake news and false information, which receives overwhelming responses.
Financial intentions and political attention are the major keys behind a fake news. This news is highlighted with exaggerated, sensationalist or false headlines that grab attention. Fake news on the internet misleads public undermining serious media coverage. A Simple click is enough to spread Fake news and false information online. It also increases the readership.
The role of social media in spreading fake news and false information
When we talk about fake news, we focus on social media posts with eye- catching headings and attractive stories. In fact, disseminating fake news is not a new phenomenon. The social media is the latest means of communication to spread fake news and false information.
What’s Fake News Triangle
Have you ever heard about Fake News Triangle? The Fake News Triangle represents the three elements- tools and services, social networks and motivations- which help to spread false information.
- Tools and services required for manipulating message across social media networks are usually used for social media promotion.
- Social networks making use of tools and services act as a platform to spread propaganda. People, who are passionate to collect the latest news and information from social networks, play a crucial role in spreading wrong information.
- The third element- motivations include a desire for monetary gain via advertising.
Detection of deceptive news: Three types of fakes
The boundaries between traditional news and online information are blurring. So, detecting, filtering and verifying deliberate deceptive online news continues to be essential. A research on ‘Deception Detection for News’ by Victoria L. Rubin, Yimin Chen and Niall J. Conroy presents three types of fakes- serious fabrications, large- scale hoaxes and humorous fakes.
- Serious fabrications- Yellow journalism emphasizes on exaggerations or sensational stories using eye- catching headlines to increase profit. So, yellow press, a source of fake news and false information, requires investigation.
- Large- scale hoaxes –Hoaxing means disseminating deliberate deceptive or fake news through social media. It aims to mislead target audience.
- Humorous fakes- Humorous fakes are quite different from serious fabricated news. So people are aware of humorous fakes that have no face value.
Why are we attracting fake news and false information to our lives?
We are attracted to the latest updates and breaking news on the internet and we instantly tend to share it on social media, not even verifying what we are actually sharing. Our aim is to educate our peers. Eventually, we start sharing news across the social media. But this way, fake news, and false information get viral.
How to stop spreading false information
- Grabbing and spreading the fake news is not a problem of social media but it is all about you. You must follow the following steps to stop taking in false information.
- Check out the source of information: You must know the source of information and you should verify whether the source of information is credible.
- Beware of Facebook, Instagram: Today, we can’t live without checking social media and updating our status by sharing the latest news. Lesser handling of social media, lesser is the victim of false information.
- Search for different perspectives: Search for different perspectives and don’t get stuck with one source of information. Evaluate your information and opinions from different angles and give importance to opposing viewpoints.
- Use your common sense: When the story seems too unrealistic, use your common sense to find flaws in the story.
The impact of fake news and false information
Fake news and false information are a major threat to the world. Such news widens divisions between population groups. People tend to change their behavior on hearing the deceptive news. It also snatches the sense of security. Never ignore the impact of false information on politics, specific companies, and customer trends. It misleads public relations and decision- makers to follow right strategies. Incorrect information influences popular opinions regarding current events.
The articles on finance or stock market of many bloggers and freelancers, who may not even understand the stock market, can go viral and may mislead people to take decisions about investment to stock market.
Serious effects of Fake news
Fake news has a negative impact on your brain because the brain has no mechanism to erase a story you hear. Once a fake story gets in your head, it makes you either angry or upset and thus affects your actions. When you are sitting at leisure, you may recall fake news automatically.
Recently, Facebook has started a global fight against fake news by providing fact- checking organizations with a database of news. If Facebook points out the news false, it gives a warning label stamp below the news.
Before the French election held in February 2017, CrossCheck, a consortium of 37 publishers, began to work to debunk false stories. After checking stories, they gave a ‘true’ or ‘false’ stamp.
In Argentina, Chequeado, a fact- checker organization, checked news, rumors from social media before the Argentinian election campaign in 2011. A German fact- checker organization, CORRECT!v, busts fake news. Besides this fact- checkers, who are checking out the reliability of news, people should be conscious of fake news and false information on social media using their common sense.
Don’t share any news on social media any news without reading the article. Judge them from different perspectives and find out the source.