Topic 2 Fake news/ Misinformation/Malinformation/Disinformation

Fake news can be in the form of:

  1. Written text
  2. Text supported by a picture – this kind is usually the most powerful one
  3. “clickbaiting”: along with the text of the fake news a link to another webpage is shared with the intention to benefit from the increased clicks and interaction

For a piece of fake news to be effective, it does not need to convince everyone. It is enough that it creates a certain level of confusion, so as to undermine trust in official sources of information.

Why is fake news effective in being misleading

-Fake news point to the subtle difference between what is true and what is probable.

-In our societies we witness a continuous flow of information: this is a factor which lowers the level of our attention.

-The nature of modern social media is designed to offer people what they want to read, based on their demonstrated preferences (the “echo-chamber”).

Fake news

This term literally means «fabricated» news: it is false information that appears to be news, but which has been created deliberately with the intension to mislead its readers.

Misinformation

It means incorrect or imprecise information.

Disinformation

Intended  Misinformation” (i.e. when the writer/the sender has the intention of creating and sharing false or misleading information).

Malinformation

The most dangerous of all: it is information that is based on reality but is used to inflict harm on a person, an organisation or a country .

  • School children’s phones are often targets for fake news (Schultz, 2019), therefore it’s important for teachers to encourage their students to be sceptic and critical of any news the come across online.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, fake news and misinformation was widely spread which caused more chaos, fear and panic than the pandemic had already caused.
  • Organisations such as WHO advised people not to read the news, as a result of that.