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Fake news examples for students

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Fake news examples for students

Fake news-what is it and how it spreads

The downside of social networking is the increase in “news by amateurs for amateurs”.

Students should be aware that fake news is all around us because of social media. Fake news is not necessarily information sent out with malicious intent to “deceive” someone, however, studies show that more than 75% of people would believe fake news.

What is fake news?

“Fake news” can be defined as false news stories which is fabricated based on no verifiable facts or sources.

Fake news spreads faster and wider than truth. -shocking research results were published in the journal, “Science” in 2018.

The paper, by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Assistant Professor Soroush Vosougi and colleagues, analyzed more than 100,000 tweets and found that the truth takes about six times longer to reach 1,500 people than fake news. Fake news is 70% more likely to be retweeted than the truth.

Why does fake news so widely spread?

One reason is that fake news has something new and unique. People like new things which they have not heard or seen anywhere else and new and unique information tend to spread more easily. People who encounter disinformation or misinformation on social media may reflexively spread it further often by sharing a post.

Since fake news is often intentionally created, it can be made as novel and interesting as possible. If it is too far-fetched, it will be detected as a lie, but if it is mixed with truth, novelty is easy to achieve.

Examples of Fake News spread recently

Here are some examples of fake news that spread in 2022.

AI robots attacked and killed scientists in Japan.

Linda Howe, an UFOlogist known for conspiracy theories told the audience at Conscious of Life Expo in LA in 2018 that 29 scientists were killed  in Japan by AI military robots being developed by a top robotics company. This fake news of AI robots killing humans started spread when social media users shared the video of her speech at the expo, which went viral and it widely spread worldwide in 2022. This alleged news spread worldwide but not in Japan where the incident allegedly took place perhaps mostly because if there had ever been such a killing accident, locals in Japan would have known immediately. AI is not so advanced as to instill self-awareness as of now and most people would not indulge this claim as legitimate but some people still believe this to be true.  Read more on the page, Fake news – 4 AI robots killed 29 scientists in Japan 

Denmark banned COVID-19 vaccine for people under 18

The fake news of “Denmark banned COVID-19 vaccine for youths because the vaccine is dangerous” spread in September, 2022. This was more like a misinformation spread by the misunderstanding by people who believe that vaccine is dangerous. Although Denmark halted offering COVID-19 vaccination to people under the age of 50,  the reason is because they concluded that it is very rare that young people become seriously sick. Denmark does offer vaccination to vulnerable people such as the people aged 50 and over, pregnant women and also minors with the high risk of becoming seriously ill.  Some people believe that COVID vaccine is dangerous and when they heard that Denmark halted vaccination on people under 50, they misunderstood that vaccine was banned because it is dangerous.

Read more : Denmark banned COVID vaccine for people under 50 -Fact Check

Coup in China and President Xi Jinping under house arrest

Around September 23, 2022 a rumor claiming that there was a military coup d’etat in China and President Xi Jinping was under house arrest spread widely. The fake news first went viral only on social media such as Twitter but as the rumor spread widely major news outlets started to report this as “unconfirmed rumor”. Around the same time there was a mass cancellation of flights in China and some claimed on Twitter that this was a sign of coup because air traffic is controlled by the military. Some twitter users tweeted with a short video of military vehicles claiming that the line of military vehicles was 80 km long and it was heading to Beijin, the capital city. The video was less than a minute long and it did not show how long the line of vehicle was or where it was heading. The rumor of President Xi under arrest spread while there was no public appearance of his for a few days after his return from a trip to Central Asia. The rumor came to an end when he made his first public appearance on Sept 27, just a few days after the rumor spread widely.

Read more on Coup in China – Xi Jinping  under house arrest-rumors spread

Students, be careful.

Recent studies have shown that most people think more highly of their own ability to judge whether news is true than they really are. In addition, those who were so overconfident were more likely to be deceived by fake news.

When you learn about information, make it a habit to consider whether or not it is true before posting or spreading the word about it.

Compare it with other information.

Search the Internet and read and compare multiple pieces of information. It is also a good idea to look up information from other sources, such as books or newspapers.

Verify the source of the information.

Even if the source of the information is obvious, check whether it is from a reliable person or a reliable website.

A survey result on experience of spreading fake news

According to a survey result, the highest percentage of respondents (approximately 70%) have “never spread” fake news. On the other hand, about 15% of all respondents answered that they have “experienced spreading” the news. The younger the age group, the more likely they were to have “spread” the news.

Another survey report indicate that fake news is more likely to be believed by middle-aged and older adults than by younger generations especially students. These two results would mean that younger generation such as students play an important role in preventing the spread of fake news since they are more likely to tell fake news from facts while they are also the one that could possibly spread fake news as they use social media more .