Fake news


Home page Research Findings

Background
Fake news is news, stories or hoaxes created to deliberately misinform or deceive readers. Usually, these stories are created to either influence people's views, push a political agenda or cause confusion and can often be a profitable business for online publishers (Webwise, 2017).
Types of fake news are: clickbait, Propaganda, Satire/Parody, Sloppy Journalism and Misleading Headings (Webwise, 2017).
A list of fake news sites in south Africa: Daily Buzz SA, African News Updates, iMzansi, Live Monitor (Bath, 2018).
Problem
Fake news can cause major economic disruption (Bath, 2018).
Sometimes the sheer number of repetitions of false information makes people believe something is true. Fake stories are often sexier or more interesting than the real ones, and as such get wider dissemination (Bizcommunity, 2015).
Fake news stories can deceive people by looking like trusted websites or using similar names and web addresses to reputable news organisations (Webwise, 2017).
Solution
One of the easiest ways to make sure the story you're reading is legitimate is to check its URL and domain name. Check out other stories published by the same company to ensure it isn't taking you for a ride. Check the story you're reading against others posted by reputable news sources to see if they add up (Bath, 2018).
Google and Facebook have announced new measures to tackle fake news with the introduction of reporting and flagging tools (Webwise, 2017).