The term fake news refers to news stories that contain misinformation in order to deliberately misinform or deceive the public. It is a form of propaganda that is commonly used to influence the views of the general public or to attain spread political motives.
Description: This article defines fake news, identifies its purpose, and illustrates how it impacts society.
A lot of you read online or in newspapers, or hear on news stations may appear to be true, but in reality, are anything but true. Instead, it is a fabricated story that aims to misinform the public, sway their opinion, cause confusion, or push a political motive. Often, fake news is created and shared because the outcome of such information can prove to be profitable for a business or can help a political figure achieve his or her agenda.
Fake news is appears to be authentic news, but in reality, the information is fabricated and/or based on opinions. The aim of such news is to achieve a specific goal that would usually be viewed as negative or undesirable by the general public.
Fake news isn’t new. It has been around for millennia. People of power and governments have spread falsified information or opinions under the disguise of real news as a way to attract more support and increase their popularity.
Augustus, a Roman statesman who served as the first Emperor of the Roman Empire, used fake news to gain victory over Marc Anthony in the last war of the Roman Republic. Adolf Hitler, the infamous Chancellor of Germany and the head of the Nazi Party, also used fake news to fuel his political agenda.
Though fake news has existed for millennia, it was clearly biased. Add to that the fact that people became more accustomed to mass communication, and it was easier for people to differentiate between fake news and real news.
In recent years, however, fake news has become more widespread, and it’s now more difficult to differentiate between factual and fabricated information. This is largely thanks to the Internet and social media.
Before the Internet and social media existed, news was acquired from authoritative sources, reliable journalists, and reputable news outlets that were required to adhere to strict codes of conduct. However, the Internet has made it possible for information to be published, shared, and consumed by the general public. The editorial standards for this information are very low, as is the regulation.
With billions of people accessing the Internet and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter for news, it can be hard to tell if a story is credible and based on factual information, or if it is non-credible and based on fabricated information. The abundance of information coupled with the fact that many people do not take the time to fact-check the information that they read on the Internet and social media channels has led to an overabundance of fake news stories.
There are different types of fake news. In terms of evaluating online content, it is important to understand the different types of fake news so that you can identify it.
The most common types of fake news include:
The rise of fake news has lead to serious societal issues, creating divides and pinning groups of people against each other. It is important to know how to identify fake news to avoid spreading it and further fueling its negative consequences.
There are several ways you can identify fake news: