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What’s so bad about fake news?


Student: I get most of my messages on social media.

Student: Instagram

Student: Just watch it on TV.

Student: Facebook.

Student: Snapchat. Even tiktok when someone talks about something for a minute.

Vick Hope: News. It is everywhere.

Student: Celebrity News. Political news.

Student: Sports news.

Student: Boring news.

Student: But then everything just happens.

Student: Falling over in a funny way.

Student: Lots of fake news.

Student: Fake news, there’s a lot of that.

Student: You can’t avoid it.

Vick Hope: It’s on twenty-four hours a day, and with the mega-fast rise of social media, it’s getting pumped into your feeds all the time.

Donald Trump: This is fake news. It is a fake. I’m telling you it’s just fake news.

Vick Hope: We have all heard the term “fake news”, but what does it actually mean and does it matter? Latest research shows that only two percent of young people can tell, and over 60 percent say that fake news stories make them less trusting all the news. If we don’t trust the news, how do we know what is really going on?

Student: I would say that I was definitely confused by fake news.

Student: It’s a bit like Chinese whisper, you know what I’m talking about?

Student: Anyone can do anything and he can be completely anonymous for what he has created and brought into the world.

Student: You can’t even have a right opinion about something because you don’t know what’s real and what’s wrong.

Student: It can ruin people’s lives.

Student: It confuses me a lot. If you share it, spread it too.

Vick Hope: It doesn’t have to be. With a little knowledge, you could be the generation that got smart about fake news. We’ll show you the different types and who is behind them. Most of the forgeries created are on purpose, today this is called disinformation, however some are errors and this is called misinformation.

James Ball: Journalists get a lot of training in figuring out what is true, and they have a lot of controls and editors to make sure that when they tell something, they have good reason to believe it. And most importantly, when a journalist makes a mistake, he apologizes and corrects it because he has to.

Vick Hope: Light-hearted stories that turn real news and situations into humor can sometimes be mistakenly shared as real.

Alastair Reed: Satirical website The Onion wrote an article about Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator who said he was the sexiest man in the world – and this is a hoax website in the US. People in China and North Korea did not realize this was a joke and shared it because they believed it was true.

Vick Hope: One of the most common types of fake news is clickbait.

James Ball: We all know that kind of headline that looks great, “Hey, you’re the millionth person on this site, take your free iPad”. It is never true and that is kind of fake information that can really leave you disappointed.

James Ball: There is a trick on the internet that you also see some really fascinating news. “The Pope supports Donald Trump”. And it’s something that makes you go, whoa, what’s that and click. They offer you a story that looks sensational so that millions of people click on it. And then they put tons of ads next to them and so they get maybe a penny or even less for each click, but if you can get tens of thousands of people to click on your really exciting looking headlines then you will make big bucks of them.

Vick Hope: But not all clickbaits are fake news, and money isn’t the only motivation for the people who create them. The oldest form of fake news is propaganda. It’s been around for years now, but because of the internet, so many more of us are seeing it these days.

Alastair Reed: In the past, politicians and those in power used propaganda to get their ideas and policies out to the wider population through leaflets or a television broadcast. The thing is what social media have done is allow everyone to use the same tools and tactics to get their ideas across to others. It can affect the future of an entire country when many people make decisions and vote based on things that are not true.

Vick Hope: We all have to think about fake news and its consequences. How would you feel if someone made up a rumor about you? Think how bad you would feel if you lied to someone important and only later found out it wasn’t true. Before you share, why not stop and consider whether what you are sharing is fact or fake.


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