Fake news is creating a rampant in the mainstream media and social media in recent times. Exaggeration of news events, creating sensationalism, putting clickbait articles which have no legitimate proof is part of producing fake news which is also called “Yellow Journalism”.
What is the Issue?
The Internet has become the most efficient medium to spread fake news. It has become challenging of late, to identify the authenticity of the story that is published on the Internet. Fake news has become a worldwide phenomenon. Fake websites create impressive and attention-grabbing headlines to gain credibility and attract visitors and sometimes impersonate reputable, legitimate news sources.
Technological advancements help in supporting the easy spread of fake news, for instance, Social Media, which is very effective and quick in the mass-spreading false news.
Role of bots in spreading fake news
Bots developed to automate content generation, use algorithms collect data of user interests and produce news regardless of the veracity of the news events. These tactics are being used for the elections – Russians exploiting Tumblr to spread fake news during Elections.
Tackling of fake news
All the big social media platforms have started the fight against the spread of fake news.
Recently Whatsapp started labelling forwarded messages to curb the spreading of fake news.
According to Whatsapp
Starting today, WhatsApp will indicate which messages you receive have been forwarded to you. This extra context will help make one-on-one and group chats easier to follow. It also helps you determine if your friend or relative wrote the message they sent or if it originally came from someone else.
WhatsApp cares deeply about your safety. We encourage you to think before sharing messages that were forwarded. As a reminder, you can report spam or block a contact in one tap and can always reach out to WhatsApp directly for help.
Facebook is buying Indian Newspaper Ads for Whatsapp to educate users about fake news spread across Whatsapp messenger app.
In December 2016 Facebook came up with a new update to address the fake news (renamed as False news by Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg) and hoaxes.
They approached users and made it easier for them to report hoaxes from their newsfeed. Facebook also reached fact checking institutes (called the Fact- checking program) to verify the authenticity of the stories spread on Facebook. This fact-checking program has been extended to 14 countries in 2018, June helping reduce false news spread by an average of 80%.
Face checking program by Facebook
Use of new techniques like Machine learning will help fight duplication of fake stories.
Google also is working against the spread of fake news by changing the way its search functions.
It is empowering users by adding new feedback tools and evolving results from their search ranking to bring out more relevant and accurate information.
According to Philipp Schindler, Chief Business Officer at Google:
We’re launching the Google News Initiative (GNI), our effort to help journalism thrive in the digital age. The GNI signifies a significant milestone in Google’s 15-year commitment to the news industry and will bring together everything we do in collaboration with the industry—across products, partnerships, and programs—to help build a stronger future for news.
The GNI will build on these efforts and deepen our commitment to a news industry facing dramatic shifts in how journalism is created, consumed, and paid for. It’s focused on three objectives:
Elevate and strengthen quality journalism
Evolve business models to drive sustainable growth
Empower news organizations through technological innovation
Fighting against fake news continues but what is to be dealt with primarily is the issue of privacy, which is influencing the users of social media – you and me, in many ways
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Director – Digital Marketing