We live in a world where news stories are constantly churned out, filtered, and amplified in an ever-changing way.
News organisations are often keen to find ways to present their content in a way that’s easy to digest and share, which means that it’s easy for consumers to fall prey to the latest hoaxes, as well as to find more news that’s fake.
But in the age of social media, it’s not always easy to spot a fake news story.
And as fake news grows in number and reach, there are fewer ways to spot it and, therefore, fewer ways for consumers and journalists to differentiate between genuine news and fake.
“Fake news is everywhere,” says Mark Karpeles, director of research at news analytics company Media Metrics.
“If you look at Facebook, Facebook has about 200 million users.
If you go to Google, you can look at their numbers and you’ll find that there are almost twice as many people on Facebook as there are on Google.”
“The key to the fake news phenomenon is that there’s very little you can do about it.”
The problem with the news machine The problem is that, for a long time, people just assumed that the news that got shared on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram was the truth, says Mark McNeil, a media analyst at research firm IHS Markit.
“They just assumed the information that’s shared in these outlets is correct, and they didn’t take into account the fact that some people might just be lying,” McNeil says.
McNeil cites examples such as the story that former President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was paid by the Kremlin to lie about the nature of his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
“I think there was a perception that the media was doing a pretty good job of covering these issues and that this was what the public was interested in,” he says.
But as fake stories get more widely circulated, the truth becomes harder to verify.
And while fake news is widely shared, it doesn’t necessarily translate into any significant amount of real news, McNeil argues.
“The fact is that the more the public hears about fake news, the more people are exposed to it,” he adds.
“There’s more and more of it, and as we continue to get more and we continue our coverage of this stuff, it becomes harder and harder for the public to believe anything.”
The news machines, however, have been able to change the way people view fake news.
In the US, Facebook and Twitter are now allowing users to flag news stories that appear to be fake or “bogus” and they can then report those stories to Facebook and Facebook News Feed, where they’ll receive a response.
But even when users are able to flag fake news stories, it is not always clear that they are truly fake.
According to a report from the Pew Research Center, Facebook users have reported receiving at least 656,000 fake news posts since the start of the year.
And in December, Facebook’s internal watchdog, the company’s VP of news, Mark Zuckerberg, said the company had removed more than 5,000 posts that were deemed to be false or misleading.
“Facebook does a good job in keeping people safe and doing the right thing,” McNeill says.
“But we know that when people see that there is something that looks like it’s real, they’ll click on it.”
How to find a fake article The problem isn’t just that Facebook and Google do not always flag the most-watched or most-shared stories.
It’s also that there isn’t a way to know whether the news is real or not, McNeill argues.
McNeill points out that when Facebook removed fake news from the News Feed of its own news network, the site’s users started sharing that information with friends and family members.
“We know that in some cases, Facebook was not as vigilant as they should have been,” McNAILS says.
The problem for Facebook and other news outlets is that fake news has a direct impact on people’s trust in the media.
It’s a problem that McNeil points to in a number of other news industries, including the movie industry, which he says is struggling to find the right balance between promoting authentic news and avoiding the temptation of sharing stories that are just too easy to debunk. “
And if you share that information, they can share it with friends, family, and colleagues.”
It’s a problem that McNeil points to in a number of other news industries, including the movie industry, which he says is struggling to find the right balance between promoting authentic news and avoiding the temptation of sharing stories that are just too easy to debunk.
“This is an industry that is at the beginning of a transition,” Mc NAILS says of the way that news is distributed.
“So it’s really important to be vigilant about the fact you don’t just share fake news as news.
There are so many things you can tell people that can help you understand the source of a story