How to deal with ‘fake news’ in the wake of the Paris attacks
A new report suggests that fake news in the digital age is more pervasive than previously thought.
A study by researchers at the University of Oxford and Google, the company behind the popular Google News app, has found that fake stories on social media accounts on the web account for as much as 10 percent of all news stories published online.
The researchers, which include Professor Andrew Witte and his team, looked at the social media profiles of 1,600 journalists across the globe, including those with over 100,000 followers.
The researchers then looked at articles that were published between March 8 and March 21.
According to the report, “fake news” refers to articles that are either untrue or have the intent of undermining confidence in an existing political or social issue.
The authors, who were funded by the European Union’s Scientific Research Council, used the results of their analysis to create a classification of fake news, a process that has become increasingly common in recent years as the internet has become more widespread.
“For a number of years, the term ‘fake’ had been used as a descriptor of social media and it was not clear whether the same definition applied to other platforms such as social media, the web or the news itself,” said Witte.
“It’s important to note that, while it is very difficult to detect fake news on social networks, there is no doubt that social media platforms can amplify or amplify fake news content.
This means that fake information can spread quickly.”
Witte and the Oxford researchers said the study showed the importance of understanding what people post online.
“What the study shows is that a huge number of articles on the internet can be made up by the most gullible readers who are willing to share content that appears to be from trusted sources,” he said.
“This makes it very difficult for users to distinguish between real news and the fake.”
There are several examples of fake stories published on Facebook and Twitter, and even the fake news of the last few days has had a significant impact on the political debate, both on the right and left.
“The use of social platforms to spread misinformation is an increasingly important issue, and one that is largely ignored by policymakers.”
The researchers also found that the vast majority of fake information was shared with more than one person, with the majority of shared articles containing one or more false claims.
The study found that more than 90 percent of articles published on social platforms in March were shared with one person or fewer.
“Fake news has the potential to disrupt democratic discourse, erode trust in government, undermine public trust in institutions and ultimately undermine the rule of law,” said Dr Christopher Johnson, the lead author of the study.
“We must ensure that our society remains free from misinformation and misinformation acts and can prevent them from becoming the norm.”