According to Macquarie Dictionary (2018), fake news are the” disinformation and hoaxes published on websites for political purposes or to drive web traffic, the incorrect information being passed along by social media.”
Fake news can be a deliberate act to mislead for financial or political gain. It is related to propaganda with a biased or misleading nature. It can be used to promote or publicize a particular cause or point of view, be it political or not.
Fake news is not a new phenomenon. However, it seems prolific and important now because it is easy to create and spread widely and rapidly. Fake news can be consumed quite easily due our 24/7 news cycle and social media.
Why are people falling for fake news?
People are falling for fake news quite easily due to a number of factors:
a decline of trust in the media and government.
lower attention spans.
any one can create content online with no strict editing and fact-checking guidelines that news organisations have to adhere to.
it is appealing to readers' emotions and biases.
Generally, fake news has the following characteristics:
Meant for mass sharing
Meant to distort and obscure people's views
What is not fake news:
A news story is simple inconvenient or impolite.
A news story that challenges viewers' beliefs or values.
A news story that is rejected by those in power.
Honest reporting mistakes
Some journalism that you don't like.