Fake news is a type of yellow journalism or propaganda that consists of deliberatemisinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional print and broadcast news media oronline social media. Fake news is written and published with the intent to mislead inorder to damage an agency, entity, or person, and/or gain financially or politically, oftenwith sensationalist, exaggerated, or patently false headlines that grab attention.Intentionally misleading and deceptive fake news is different from obvious satire orparody which is intended to humor rather than mislead its audience. Fake news oftenemploys eye-catching headlines or entirely fabricated news stories to increasereadership, online sharing and Internet click revenue. In the latter case, it is similar tosensational online “clickbait” headlines and relies on advertising revenue generatedfrom this activity, regardless of the veracity of the published stories.
Fake news alsoundermines serious media coverage and makes it more difficult for journalists to coversignificant news stories.Easy access to online advertisement revenue, increased political polarization, and thepopularity of social media, primarily the Facebook News Feed, have all been implicatedin the spread of fake news, which have come to provide competition for legitimate newsstories. Hostile government actors have also been implicated in generating andpropagating fake news, particularly during elections. An analysis by Buzzfeed found thatthe top 20 fake news stories about the 2016 U.S. presidential election received moreengagement on Facebook than the top 20 news stories on the election from 19 majormedia outlets.
Anonymously- hosted fake news websites lacking known publishers have also beencredited, because they make it difficult to prosecute sources of fake news for libel.Therelevance of fake news has increased in post-truth politics.With the expansion of technology, the need for views and ratings has been increasinglyhigher.
For media outlets, the ability to attract viewers to their websites is a necessity inorder to please advertisers that pay for advertising on their websites. If publishing astory with false content will produce a big caption and attract viewers it may be worthyproducing in order to benefit advertisers and ratings.Fake news is a neologism often used to refer to fabricated news. This type of news,found in traditional news, social media or fake news websites, has no basis in fact, butis presented as being factually accurate. Michael Radutzky, a producer of CBS 60Minutes, said his show considers fake news to be “stories that are provably false, haveenormous traction popular appeal in the culture, and are consumed by millions ofpeople”. He did not include fake news that is “invoked by politicians against the mediafor stories that they don’t like or for comments that they don’t like”.
Guy Campanile, alsoa 60 Minutes producer said, “What we are talking about are stories that are fabricatedout of thin air. By most measures, deliberately, and by any definition, that’s a lie.”Theintention and purpose behind fake news is important. In some cases, what appears tobe fake news may in fact be news satire, which uses exaggeration and introduces nonfactualelements, and is intended to amuse or make a point, rather than to deceive.
Propaganda can also be fake news.Claire Wardle of First Draft News identifies seven types of fake news:131. satire or parody (“no intention to cause harm but has potential to fool”)2.
false connection (“when headlines, visuals or captions don’t support the content”)3. misleading content (“misleading use of information to frame an issue or anindividual”)4. false content (“when genuine content is shared with false contextual information”)5. imposter content (“when genuine sources are impersonated” with false, made-upsources)6. manipulated content (“when genuine information or imagery is manipulated todeceive”, as with a “doctored” photo)7. fabricated content (“new content is 100% false, designed to deceive and doharm”)In the context of the United States of America and its election processes in the 2010s,fake news generated considerable controversy and argument, with some commentatorsdefining concern over it as moral panic or mass hysteria and others worried aboutdamage done to public trust. In January 2017 the United Kingdom House of Commonsconducted a parliamentary inquiry into the “growing phenomenon of fake news”.Infographic How to spot fake news published by the International Federation of LibraryAssociations and InstitutionsThe International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) published asummary in diagram form (pictured at right) to assist people in recognizing fake news.
These points have been corroborated by experts in the cognitive science of informationprocessing.Its main points are:1. Consider the source (to understand its mission and purpose)2. Read beyond the headline (to understand the whole story)3. Check the authors (to see if they are real and credible)4. Assess the supporting sources (to ensure they support the claims)5. Check the date of publication (to see if the story is relevant and up to date)6. Ask if it is a joke (to determine if it is meant to be satire)7.
Review your own biases (to see if they are affecting your judgement)8. Ask experts (to get confirmation from independent people with knowledge).Roman politician and general Mark Antony killed himself because of misinformation.In the 13th century BC, Rameses the Great spread lies and propaganda portraying theBattle of Kadesh as a stunning victory for the Egyptians; he depicted scenes of himsmiting his foes during the battle on the walls of nearly all his temples. The treatybetween the Egyptians and the Hittites, however, reveals that the battle was actually astalemate.During the first century BC, Octavian ran a campaign of misinformation against his rivalMark Antony, portraying him as a drunkard, a womanizer, and a mere puppet of theEgyptian queen Cleopatra VII.He published a document purporting to be Marc Antony’swill, which claimed that Marc Antony, upon his death, wished to be entombed in themausoleum of the Ptolemaic pharaohs. Although the document may have been forged,it invoked outrage from the Roman populace.
Marc Antony ultimately killed himself afterhis defeat in the Battle of Actium upon hearing false rumors propagated by Cleopatraherself claiming that she had committed suicide.During the second and third centuries AD, false rumors were spread about Christiansclaiming that they engaged in ritual cannibalism and incest. In the late third century AD,the Christian apologist Lactantius invented and exaggerated stories about pagansengaging in acts of immorality and cruelty, while the anti-Christian writer Porphyryinvented similar stories about Christians.MedievalIn 1475, a fake news story in Trent, Italy claimed that the Jewish community hadmurdered a two-and-a-half-year-old Christian infant named Simonino.The story resultedin all the Jews in the city being arrested and tortured; fifteen of them were burned at thestake. Pope Sixtus IV himself attempted to stamp out the story, but, by that point, it hadalready spread beyond anyone’s control.Stories of this kind were known as “blood libel”;they claimed that Jews purposely killed Christians, especially Christian children, andused their blood for religious or ritual purposes.Early modern periodAfter the invention of the printing press in 1439, publications became widespread butthere was no standard of journalistic ethics to follow.
By the 17th century, historiansbegan the practice of citing their sources in footnotes. In 1610 when Galileo went ontrial, the demand for verifiable news increased.During the 18th century publishers of fake news were fined and banned in theNetherlands; one man, Gerard Lodewijk van der Macht, was banned four times byDutch authorities—and four times he moved and restarted his press.
In the Americancolonies, Benjamin Franklin wrote fake news about murderous “scalping” Indiansworking with King George III in an effort to sway public opinion in favor of the AmericanRevolution.”lunar animal” said to have been discovered by John Herschel on the MoonOne instance of fake news was the Great Moon Hoax of 1835. The New York Sunpublished articles about a real-life astronomer and a made-up colleague who, accordingto the hoax, had observed bizarre life on the moon. The fictionalized articlessuccessfully attracted new subscribers, and the penny paper suffered very littlebacklash after it admitted the next month that the series had been a hoax. Such storieswere intended to entertain readers, and not to mislead them.
In the late 19th century, Joseph Pulitzer and other yellow journalism publishers goadedthe United States into the Spanish–American War, which was precipitated when theU.S.S. Maine exploded in the harbor of Havana, Cuba.20th centuryDuring the First World War, one of the most notorious forms of anti-German atrocitypropaganda was that of an alleged “German Corpse Factory” in which the Germanbattlefield dead were rendered down for fats used to make nitroglycerine, candles,lubricants, human soap, and boot dubbing. Unfounded rumors regarding such a factorycirculated in the Allied press starting in 1915, and by 1917 the English-languagepublication North China Daily News presented these allegations as true at a time whenBritain was trying to convince China to join the Allied war effort; this was based on new,allegedly true stories from The Times and The Daily Mail that turned out to be forgeries.These false allegations became known as such after the war, and in the Second WorldWar Joseph Goebbels used the story in order to deny the ongoing massacre of Jews asBritish propaganda.
According to Joachim Neander and Randal Marlin, the story also”encouraged later disbelief” when reports about the Holocaust surfaced after theliberation of Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps.In the 21st century, the impact of fake news became widespread, as well as the usageof the term. Besides referring to made-up stories designed to deceive readers intoclicking on links, maximizing traffic and profit, the term has also referred to satiricalnews, whose purpose is not to mislead but rather to inform viewers and sharehumorous commentary about real news and the mainstream media. United Statesexamples of satire (as opposed to fake news) include the television show SaturdayNight Live’s Weekend Update, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Late Showwith Stephen Colbert and The Onion newspaper.21st century fake news is often intended to increase the financial profits of the newsoutlet. In an interview with NPR, Jestin Coler, former CEO of the fake mediaconglomerate Disinfomedia, said who writes fake news articles, who funds thesearticles, and why fake news creators create and distribute false information. Coler, whohas since left his role as a fake news creator, said that his company employed 20 to 25writers at a time and made $10,000 to $30,000 monthly from advertisements. Colerbegan his career in journalism as a magazine salesman before working as a freelancewriter.
He said he entered the fake news industry to prove to himself and others justhow rapidly fake news can spread. Disinfomedia is not the only outlet responsible forthe distribution of fake news.Facebook users play a major role in feeding into fake news stories by makingsensationalized stories “trend”, according to BuzzFeed media editor Craig Silverman,and the individuals behind Google AdSense basically fund fake news websites and theircontent.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, said, “I think the idea that fake news onFacebook influenced the election in any way, I think is a pretty crazy idea”, and then afew days later he blogged that Facebook was looking for ways to flag fake news stories.In 2014, the Russian Government used disinformation via networks such as RT tocreate a counter-narrative after Russian-backed Ukrainian rebels shot down MalaysiaAirlines Flight 17. In 2016, NATO claimed it had seen a significant rise in Russianpropaganda and fake news stories since the invasion of Crimea in 2014. Fake newsstories originated from the Russian government officials were also circulatedinternationally by Reuters news agency and published in the most popular newswebsites in the United States.Another issue in mainstream media is the usage of the filter bubble, a “bubble” that hasbeen created that gives the viewer, on social media platforms, a specific piece of theinformation knowing they will like it. Thus creating fake news and biased news becauseonly half the story is being shared, the portion the viewer liked. “In 1996, NicolasNegroponte predicted a world where information technologies become increasinglycustomizable.
“Decades ago people predicted that customized news would become areality. This becomes a problem in today’s society because people are seeing only bitsand pieces and not the whole issues making it much harder to solve the issues or talkabout it worldwide.In websitesThe impact of fake news has become a worldwide phenomenon. Fake news is oftenspread through the use of fake news websites, which, in order to gain credibility,specialize in creating attention-grabbing news, which often impersonate well-knownnews sources. Jestin Coler, who said he does it for “fun”, also said he earnedUS$10,000 per month from advertising on his fake news websites.
In 2017, the inventorof the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee claimed that fake news was one of the threemost significant new disturbing Internet trends that must first be resolved, if the Internetis to be capable of truly “serving humanity.” The other two new disturbing trends thatBerners-Lee described as threatening the Internet were the recent surge in the use ofthe Internet by governments for both citizen-surveillance purposes, and for cyberwarfarepurposes.Bots on social mediaIn the mid 1990s, Nicolas Negroponte anticipated a world where news throughtechnology become progressively personalized. In his 1996 book Being Digital hepredicted a digital life where news consumption becomes an extremely personalizedexperience and newspapers adapted content to reader preferences. This prediction hassince been reflected in news and social media feeds of modern day.In the 21st century, the capacity to mislead was enhanced by the widespread use ofsocial media.
For example, one 21st century website that enabled fake news’proliferation was the Facebook newsfeed. In late 2016 fake news gained notorietyfollowing the uptick in news content by this means, and its prevalence on the microbloggingsite Twitter. In the United States, 62% of Americans use social media toreceive news. This, in combination with increased political polarization and filterbubbles, led to a tendency for readers to mainly read headlines.By August 2017 Facebook stopped using the term “fake news” and used “false news” inits place instead. Will Oremus of Slate wrote that because supporters of U.S.
PresidentDonald Trump had redefined the word “fake news” to refer to mainstream mediaopposed to them, “it makes sense for Facebook—and others—to cede the term to theright-wing trolls who have claimed it as their own.”Research from Northwestern University concluded that 30% of all fake news traffic, asopposed to only 8% of real news traffic, could be linked back to Facebook. Fake newsconsumers, they concluded, do not exist in a filter bubble; many of them also consumereal news from established news sources.
The fake news audience is only 10 percent ofthe real news audience, and most fake news consumers spent a relatively similaramount of time on fake news compared with real news consumers—with the exceptionof Drudge Report readers, who spent more than 11 times longer reading the websitethan other users.In China, fake news items have occasionally spread from such sites to more wellestablishednews-sites resulting in scandals including “Pizzagate”. In the wake ofwestern events, China’s Ren Xianling of the Cyberspace Administration of Chinasuggested a “reward and punish” system be implemented to avoid fake news.
Internet trollsIn Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by startingarguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topicmessages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog)with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or off-topic discussion,often for the troll’s amusement. When interacting with each other, trolls often sharemisleading information that contributes to the fake news circulated on sites like Twitterand Facebook. In the 2016 American election, Russia paid over 1,000 internet trolls tocirculate fake news and information about Hillary Clinton.ResponseDuring the 2016 United States presidential election, the creation and coverage of fakenews increased substantially. This resulted in a widespread response to combat thespread of fake news.
120121122123 The volume and reluctance of fake news websites torespond to fact-checking organizations has posed a problem to inhibiting the spread offake news through fact checking alone. In an effort to reduce the effects of fake news,fact-checking websites, including Snopes.com and FactCheck.org, have posted guidesto spotting and avoiding fake news websites.
New critical readings of media events andnews with an emphasis on literalism and logic have also emerged.Social media sitesand search engines, such as Facebook and Google, received criticism for facilitating thespread of fake news. Both of these corporations have taken measures to explicitlyprevent the spread of fake news; critics, however, believe more action is needed.After the 2016 American election and the run-up to the German election, Facebookbegan labeling and warning of inaccurate news and partnered with independent factcheckersto label inaccurate news, warning readers before sharing it.
After a story isflagged as disputed, it will be reviewed by the third-party fact-checkers. Then, if it hasbeen proven to be a fake news story, the post cannot be turned into an ad or promoted.Artificial intelligence is one of the more recent technologies being developed in theUnited States and Europe to recognize and eliminate fake news through algorithms. In2017, Facebook targeted 30,000 accounts related to the spread of misinformationregarding the French presidential election.Fake news in the PhilippinesPhilippinesFake news has been problematic in the Philippines where social media has outsizedpolitical influence.
Following the 2016 Philippine election, Senator Francis Pangilinanfiled that there be an inquiry of conduct of social media platforms that allowed for thespreading of fake news. Pangilinan called for penalties for social media platforms thatprovided the public with false information about his ideas. The news that came out wasmeant to discredit the opposing party and used social media as an outlet to bringpropaganda into the mainstream media. According to media analysts, developingcountries such as the Philippines, with the generally new access to social media anddemocracy, feel the problem of fake news to a larger extent. Facebook is one of thelargest platforms being an open website, that works as a booster to sway the opinion ofthe public due to manufactured stories. While Facebook provides free media sources, itdoes not provide its users with the access to fact checking websites. Because of this,government authorities call for a tool that will filter out “fake news” to secure the integrityof cyberspace in the Philippines.
Rappler, a social news network in the Philippines,investigated online networks of Duterte supporters and discovered that they includefake news, fake accounts, bots and trolls, which Rappler thinks are being used tosilence dissent. The creation of fake news, and fake news accounts on social media hasbeen a danger to the political health of the country. According to Kate Lamble andMegha Mohan of BBC news, “What we’re seeing on social media again is manufacturedreality… They also create a very real chilling effect against normal people, againstjournalists (who) are the first targets, and they attack in very personal ways with deaththreats and rape threats.” Journalists are often risking their lives in publishing articlesthat contest fake news in the Philippines.The 2016 Filipino election was influenced, in large part, by false information propagatedby fake news outlets. By New York Times contributor Miguel Syjuco’s account,President Rodrigo Duterte benefited from a disproportionate amount of complimentaryfake news compared to his opponents. The pro-Duterte propaganda spread acrossFilipino social media include fake endorsements from prominent public figures like PopeFrancis and Angela Merkel. Duterte’s own campaign was responsible for a portion of themisinformation spread during the election; according to a study from Oxford University’sComputational Propaganda Research Program, Duterte’s campaign paid an estimated$200,000 for dedicate trolls to undermine dissenters and disseminate misinformation in2016.
An incident was the accusation made by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II regarding2017 Marawi Crisis in which he tagged various opposition senators and other people asmasterminds of the attack based on a photo shared through social media and other blogsites which produces fake news. Another government official, CommunicationsAssistant Secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson has been accused of spreading fake news.184185The prevalence of fake news in the Philippines have pushed lawmakers to file laws tocombat it, like criminalizing its dissemination. The Catholic Bishops Conference of thePhilippines strongly opposes the spread of fake news as a sin, and published a list offake news websites.Fake news can make or break a thing or person or situation, but in most scenarios, itbreaks more than it makes.