What is Fake News?

Fake news is news, stories or hoaxes created to deliberately inform or deceive readers. Usually, these stories square measure created to either influence people’s views, push a political agenda or cause confusion and might usually be a profitable business for online publishers. Fake news stories will deceive individuals by wanting like trustworthy net sites or victimization similar names and web addresses to reputable news organizations.

Types of Fake News

1. Clickbait

These are stories that are deliberately fabricated to gain more website visitors and increase advertising revenue for websites. Clickbait stories use sensationalist headlines to grab attention and drive click-throughs to the publisher website, normally at the expense of truth or accuracy.

2. Propaganda

Stories that are created to deliberately mislead audiences, promote a biased point of view or particular political cause or agenda.

3. Satire/Parody

Lots of websites and social media accounts publish fake news stories for entertainment and parody. For example; The Onion, Waterford Whispers, The Daily Mash, etc.

4. Sloppy Journalism

Sometimes reporters or journalists may publish a story with unreliable information or without checking all of the facts which can mislead audiences. For example, during the U.S. elections, fashion retailer Urban Outfitters published an Election Day Guide, the guide contained incorrect information telling voters that they needed a ‘voter registration card’. This is not required by any state in the U.S. for voting.

5. Misleading Headings

Stories that are not completely false can be distorted using misleading or sensationalist headlines. These types of news can spread quickly on social media sites where only headlines and small snippets of the full article are displayed on audience newsfeeds.

6. Biased/Slanted News

Many people are drawn to news or stories that confirm their own beliefs or biases and fake news can prey on these biases. Social media news feeds tend to display news and articles that they think we will like based on our personalized searches.

What can we do about fake news?

Google and Facebook have proclaimed new measures to tackle faux news with the introduction of reportage and drooping tools. Media organizations just like the BBC and Channel four have conjointly established reality checking sites whereas these area units welcome developments, digital media attainment and developing skills to critically judge data are essential skills for anyone navigating the net and particularly for tykes.
The Brobdingnagianquantityof knowledge obtainable online and rise in faux news highlights the necessity for vital thinking. Children ought to develop vital thinking from associate early age. This is a key talent for tykes to develop as they enter into third level education and prepare themselves for the work.

How to spot fake news?

There are a number of things to watch out for when evaluating content online.

  1. Take a closer look
    Check the source of the story, do you recognize the website? Is it a credible/reliable source? If you are unfamiliar with the site, look in the about section or find out more information about the author.
  2. Look beyond the headline
    Check the entire article, many fake news stories use sensationalist or shocking headlines to grab attention. Often the headlines of fake news stories are in all caps and use exclamation points.
  3. Check other sources
    Are other reputable news/media outlets reporting on the story? Are there any sources in the story? If so, check they are reliable or if they even exist!
  4. Check the facts
    Fake news stories often contain incorrect dates or altered timelines. It is also a good idea to check when the article was published, is it current or an old news story?
  5. Check your biases
    Are your own views or beliefs affecting your judgement of a new feature or report?
  6. Is it a joke?
    Satirical sites are popular online and sometimes it is not always clear whether a story is just a joke or parody… Check the website, is it known for satire or creating funny stories?

Fact checking sites

Snopes: snopes.com/

PolitiFact: politifact.com

Fact Check: factcheck.org/

BBC Reality Check: bbc.com/news/reality-check

Channel 4 Fact Check: channel4.com/news/factcheck

Reverse image search from Google: google.com/reverse-image-serach

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