Fake News: Definition and Types

Categories: Fake NewsNews

Introduction to Fake News

Fake news is not only false news but also manipulated or distorted from the reality. They are not interesting but because their nature, content or form are different from that of authentic news. They spread like wildfire and transmit, and travel as much as or sometimes more than the mainstream news. During the presidential election in the USA, a blog claimed that Pope Francis endorsed Donald Trump, it’s was just a lie. Then the story was picked up by dozens of other blogs, retransmitted by hundreds of websites, cross-posted over thousands of social media accounts and read by hundreds of thousands, all over the country and world, then it became hot selling, sensationalize fake news.

The detail study and investigation of the circulation of fake news can be attributed mainly to two reasons. Firstly, from a political aspect, many have revealed disappointment that techniques and tactics normally used to address fake news have not been satisfactory.

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The various fact-checking and debunking ways and processed often proved to be the disappointment and unsatisfactory in preventing the circulation of hoaxes and rumors. On the other hand, they can inadvertently furnish, contribute and supply them more to make them visible on the web. A better overview and understanding of how fake news travels online can assist to inform and receive feedbacks that are more adapted to the creation phenomena. If analyzed and reviewed from a methodological point of view, as there is no ontological difference between fake and authentic news.

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It means the metaphysical study of the nature of fake news being, existence and circulation can help us understand more about how other kinds of news travels.

The sophistication and advancement of technology in the form of easy access and fast internet can be related to the fake news. It is created, produced and generated by people who use on a regular basis the new technologies, modern and sophisticated data analysis to target special segments of the public. The omnipresence and huge segments of social media users made the sharing and further passing of fake news and stories worse. People perceived them to be authentic and truthful, the news forwarded by friends, relatives, users and they further disseminate and forward them and makes them global in no time. (Anatomy of Fake News, By Jim Logan, Thursday, August 30, 2018)

Creation of Fake News Through Technology

There are different viewpoints about the creation of fake news. As per one of the well-known media literacy experts, Martina Chapman three factors mistrust, misinformation, and manipulation are responsible for initiation and production of fake news. The fake news is not a new thing however it has become a hot cake in 2017 aftermath the election in the United States. Generally, the sources of news are trusted and reliable sources, journalists and media outlets by adhering to strict codes of practice, ethics, and morals. But the internet has empowered a holistic new approach and way to publish, exchange, share and consume information and news with very less regulation or editorial standards, ethics and morals.

Nowadays people acquire, disseminate, update news and stories from different social media sites and various networks which are often difficult to prove legitimacy, credibility, and trustworthiness. Excessive information and a general lack of understanding regarding how the internet functions have also attributed to swelling fake news or hoax stories. The popular social media sites do play a significant part in increasing the reach, frequency, and accessibility of these type of stories

Classification of Fake News

There are varying perceptions, ideas and opinions regarding the types of fake news. But when it comes to evaluating, analyzing and reviewing content online there is a different class of fake, distorted and manipulating news. These are

Clickbait

This news or incidents are intentionally falsified with deceitful intent to have more and more website visitors and thereby maximize advertising revenue for websites. Clickbait news and stories use sensationalist headlines to catch the attention and drive click-throughs to the published article or news on the website, generally at the expense of truth or accuracy

Propaganda

This news or stories are produced to deliberately mislead and misinform readers and audiences, promote or favor ideologies and philosophies and the point of view or particular political cause or agenda.

Satire/Parody

Many websites and social media accounts publish fake news and stories for entertainment and parody. Some of the examples are The Onion, Waterford Whispers, The Daily Mash, etc.

Sloppy Journalism

The writers, reporters or journalists may publish a story with irresponsible and erratic information without verifying all the truths and aspects which can mislead and confuse audiences. This occurred during the U.S. elections, as fashion retailer Urban Outfitters published an Election Day Guide which contained incorrect information in regard to the voters that they needed a voter registration card. This was not a prerequisite in voting in any state in the United States.

Misleading Headings

The news and stories are manipulated, exaggerated and distorted using misleading or sensational headlines. These types of news can spread quickly like wildfire on social media sites where only headlines and small snippets of the full article are displayed on audience newsfeeds and opinions.

Biased/Slanted News

Many people are attracted to news or stories that support their own beliefs or biases and fake news can catch on these biases and prejudices. Social media news feeds tend to exhibit and show news and articles that are based on individual preferences and searches.

The fake news is created, published and produced by the internet via different social media, varying website, blogs and reach large audiences. The fake news is a profitable business as it generates large sums of advertising revenue for publishers who create and publish stories that go viral and makes sensational viewership. Therefore, more clicks a story gets, the more money online publishers make through.

Sophisticated, innovative, new and modern technology enhances the manipulation and distortion of content simple and social. The dramatically glorified fabrication is sometimes encouraged by States, populist politicians, and not honest corporate houses, as they are consumed, uncritical people.

Role of Technology

As 21st century can be termed as the century of weaponization of information. The companies, state, and countries are trying their best to woo readers, viewers and the general public through all means. And fake news is also one of the tools to influence to bring to their sides. The motives can be economical, social, political, judicial and so on differ from case to case. The mainstream media, social, and others are vying for the competitive market which sometimes they do try to have through unfair means or deceitful intent. They all are equally responsible for spreading fake news.

The role of technology is vital for producing fake news. It depends upon the number of varying technologies and their related business models. The media plays an active role in the spread of fake news. The sensational and fabricated news is created, shared, liked, commented on, attacked and defended in all sorts of different ways by hundreds of millions of people all over the world. The consumption of such news becomes the usual daily habits of readers and viewers. Most of the websites do earn revenue with more clicks and more feedbacks creating confusion, anarchy, and mistrust in people. They do compromise quality, authenticity, and truth while publishing fabricating news. It not spread rumors and hoaxes but also impresses readers to believe them and distort the real nature.

It is internet which is largely responsible for the propagation of fake news. The different websites, Google, Facebook, and others are hogging the limelight recently in distorting and manipulating true incidents and news to earn more clicks and thereby maximize visitors sidelining the truth, authenticity and real incidents, stories and news.

The Role of Social media

In recent years, social media has taken a huge leap in usage, creation, production, and consumption of news. Most of the times, social media was responsible for the passing of information in quick time thereby helping fake news to travel indefinitely. Easy availability of internet makes typically an undesirable situation, or an unfounded belief spread continuously and indefinitely. The different versions of social media have been responsible for the creation, production, and consumption of fake news which leads to discontentment, the creation of confusion and anarchy. In India, many of the lynching and brutal killings are attributed to the technology. WhatsApp is a free app which is used by a large population and runs even on low-priced phones, making it easier and quicker for messages to spread among the intended community members. The creation of SMS and viral transmission through WhatsApp made even the job of police and government officials difficult in controlling riots and mayhem. The impact of fake news lead to unrest between different castes and religions is an example. The ill effects of fake news were felt during the elections in the USA where candidates tried to bring bad reputation to the rival through hoax and spread of fake news. and voter. The impacts can be felt all over the world and are prevalent in all spheres of life-social, economic, political, legal and so on. The roles of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube is questionable as they are not able to control the dissemination of fake news. They ran into controversies and governments all over the world are pressurizing them to take concrete and strong steps to minimize and keep close eyes on crowd platforms.

Ways to Find Out Fake News

There are several aspects to watch out and observe for when reviewing, evaluating and analyzing content online.

  • Careful reviewing the source of origination
  • The first step in finding out fake news is the identification of the source of origin. The authors and sources can be found out after careful consideration.
  • Focus more on contents than the headline
  • It is important to read carefully the online content as they tend to make eye-catching headlines to grab the attention of readers. Usually, the headlines of fake new in all capital letters and use exclamation marks.
  • Refer to other media and check the sources

The news may or not be featuring in other media it will help us to know the authenticity of news. At last, checking the sources and origination will assist us in knowing the reality.

  • Examining the facts

Fake news frequently has wrong dates or changed timelines. It is also better to ascertain whether the article is an old or new one and the date of publication.

  • Scrutinizing our own beliefs and biases

Sometimes we perceive the fake news to be true as it matches our own views or beliefs

  • Verifying whether humor and satire

Some satirical websites are very popular online and occasionally we fail to confirm whether it is a joke, humor, satire or parody. At times, they are written to read and sound funny.

  • Fact checking sites
  1. Snopes: snopes.com/
  2. PolitiFact: politifact.com
  3. Fact Check: factcheck.org/
  4. BBC Reality Check: bbc.com/news/reality-check
  5. Channel 4 Fact Check: channel4.com/news/factcheck
  6. Reverse image search from Google: google.com/reverse-image-serach

The Responsibility of Technological Firms

As per Emil Eifrem, a graph database expert technology is responsible for the production of fake but technology. He is of the opinion that technology can play a major role in counteracting the problem.

The information that flows through huge numbers of blogs, websites and varying social media is unimaginable. Therefore, the companies owning them should have concrete approaches to deal with fake news. The closure of dubious accounts, malicious users should be the first step in tacking fake news. The monitoring and observation of mischievous accounts should be the other. Now the process of identification of such users is a complex process. The companies should hire more specialist and professional personnel to handle them. The news published on the blogs and websites should be monitored through the regulatory body as proposed in Germany is a welcoming step for all the countries to emulate. The recent rulings by European courts emphasize that information passing through online should be monitored and governments should regulate with legislation of laws. The different stakeholder’s inflow of online information are users, technological companies, government, non-government organizations and It is easier said than done, as users should also be a part of it. Online literacy programs, campaigns and fact-checking the facts should be the obligation and duty of users. Only the efforts of the technology company would be not enough. It should be an integrated approach from all the stakeholders involved with the internet would reduce and minimize the fake news.

Conclusion

Fake news on blogs, websites and social media is a difficult and complex phenomenon. Therefore, should be handled from various perspectives. The social media are also putting their efforts to minimize, reduce and control the streaming of fake news via online content. The different stakeholders should come forward and take the responsibility diligently. It is not only the companies which create, distributed fake news but also sores them indefinitely. The role of a government should be more of a facilitator between companies and the users. The legislation should be introduced keeping in mind the different stakeholders involved in the dissemination of fake news. The online literacy programs, fact-finding tools should be readily available to the users and the certain agency should be assigned to take up grievance and complaints of users and others. For example, by learning to verify the information that we read on social media platforms. Personal responsibility can be the first step to protecting the fabric of our societies

Conclusion

Technology has been accused of being the machine responsible for much of the fake news that is generated today – but technology also plays a major role in counteracting the problem, according to graph database expert Emil Eifrem

It was acknowledged that social media platforms and other related tech companies are in an odd position: they are arguing that their contribution to the spread of fake news is purely happenstance, an unfortunate combination of human traits and neutral information-sharing platforms. However, they are simultaneously arguing that their algorithms are due First Amendment rights as a type of speech. This presents a challenge on how best to view the results of algorithmic sorting: is it the voice of the platform, or not speak at all? Finally, participants acknowledged that one of the potential benefits of pursuing governmental regulation was that its threat might spur tech companies to develop their own internal means of addressing the problem—which provided an excellent transition to the subsequent session.

Fake news itself is nothing new, but the internet and social media have made it cheap and easy to perpetuate, making it a potential threat to democracy while denting trust in the mainstream media.

Fake news is dreamt up and put out to resemble credible journalism to attract maximum attention and manipulate its readers. These so-called news stories can be used to push political agendas, spread propaganda and deceive its readers. Governments are already making a stand against fake news. Malaysia has just passed a law against fake news ahead of its election. Such laws, however, could threaten free speech on a global scale, according to campaigners. Many believe it is the actual technological framework that should be looked at to stem the flow of fake news.

There is little doubt that technology helps fake news spread like wildfire. As technology advances so do the ways misinformation can be churned out. Social media and its crowd dynamics, for example, provides a platform that actively encourages sharing.

References

  1. https://github.com/PublicDataLab/fake-news-field-guide/blob/master/texts/chapter_2.md
  2. Anatomy of Fake News UCSB graduate seminar students create a website that shines a light on the modern scourge of bogus “news” By Jim Logan, Thursday, August 30, 2018 – 15:30, Santa Barbara, CA
  3. file:///C:/Users/amadh/Downloads/SAMPLE-field-guide-to-fake-news.pdf
  4. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0026/002655/265552e.pdf
  5. https://www.webwise.ie/teachers/what-is-fake-news/
  6. https://www.webwise.ie/teachers/what-is-fake-news/
Cite this page

Fake News: Definition and Types. (2021, Mar 01). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/fake-news-definition-and-types-essay

Fake News: Definition and Types

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