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Fake News, Reasons For Its Creating And Ways Of Identification

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Introduction

Nowadays with the rise of Online networks the phenomenon of “Fake News” have been spreading widely, becoming a controversial issue. People started to question the reasons behind fake news being disseminated in media. The focus of this proposal is to raise the student’s understanding of what Fake News is, by explaining the types and motivations behind creating fake news and to propose ways of how to spot online fake news.

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What is Fake News?

To start, Fake news as defined by Ghallager, J. D. , Magid, and Ed. D (2017) is “any information that is deliberately meant to be wholly or largely false or misleading”. In order to understand the motivations behind fake news the reader most know several types of this phenomenon. Wardle (2017) categorized fake news based on the “Problematic content”, that includes false connection, false context; manipulated content; satire; misleading content; imposter content and fabricated content. For example, according to Gallagher, J. D. , Magid, and Ed. D. , (2017), “Satire” contains a false content that is financially or culturally motivated.

Another example is “Propaganda” which is a biased content mainly to support a political point of view by deceiving the readers. In brief, fake news is a fake information, and the reasons of creating fake news involve financial gain, cultural factor and to persuade readers to take an action or to support a political cause or candidate. Online fake news is hard to spot, but few indicators can help to find if the news is fake or true. For instance, authenticating the author and source, looking for other sources, determine the Central Message, and the use of trusted news outlets.

The first approach for students to spot online fake news is by authenticating the author and source. This is done by (1) identify the author, as usually, fake news author is unknown. Check the source credibility, double check the references used and the grammar and spelling mistakes. The second method is searching the news in other sources, if the same news is found different in many sources then it is fake. Thirdly, determine and analyze the focus of the news, apply the types of fake news. For instance, check if there is a “Satire”, this is when fake news is published but with either comedic intent or as social commentary. Finally, the best way to avoid fake news is by using trusted news outlets, such as known newspapers online e websites.

Methodology

The methodology used in this proposal is a Quantitative Method, that is an online survey. Fake News Survey will be conducted to determine students use of online media as a source of news. Also, students point of view on online media fake news. The targeted sample is 20 students of Faculty of Modern languages UPM, 10 Females and 10 Males. The survey will include two sections:

  1. Demographics: Age, Gender and Education
  2. Multiple Choice questions: Eight questions will be included, focusing on: Students use of online media as a source of news, online media platforms used by students as a source of news, students point of view on the reasons behind fake news and on whose role is to identify Online media fake news, method used by students to spot fake news, and how students react to online media fake news.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Fake News issue is not new but in this era with online media emerging it started to become a serious issue. Types of fake news cannot be counted, mainly it differs based on the news creator intentions. From the different types of fake news, we come to the reasons behind creating it: to deceive the readers based on the writer motivation – financial, cultural or political gain. Knowing the types of fake news is the key method that helps to start dealing with this issue.

18 March 2020

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