The truth about Fake News – by Katie Goodfellow
It’s being talked about everywhere at the moment but what is it? Represent explores the world of Fake News!
What is it?
Fake news refers to false information published under the guise of being authentic news. Fake news websites and channels push their fake news content in an attempt to mislead consumers of the content and spread misinformation via social media and word-of-mouth.
Is it new?
Fake News is in no way a new concept but what is new is the way in which the news is being distributed. With so many news outlets, channels and sources online it can be difficult to know which ones are the real deal and which ones are not, making it easy for those not-so-real stories to make it in to our timelines.
Is it always a bad thing?
There are differing levels of “fake” news and the consequences it can have as well – from fabricated to mistaken. Some news can be exaggerated or misunderstood which is often the case with certain publications (naming no names!) and can be mostly harmless – merely a way of making a non-news story a news story.
But it’s the other, darker side of fake news that is becoming increasingly worrying. Channels set up with the aim of distributing untrue headlines to the unsuspecting public (who believe every word they read!) is where fake news is causing the problems.
Most recently during the US elections a number of false stories were fabricated with the intent of making one particular candidate suffer.
So what can we do about?
Be wary – don’t believe everything you read and definitely not if you know nothing about the source. Think before you share!