How does fake news spread?

We all love a bit of drama, but usually that’s how fake news spreads. Often scandalous stories are written to make us feel angry, sad, surprised or shocked – anything to get us to share!

Radio and TV presenter Vick Hope, with the help of some willing teenagers, finds out how fake news plays on our emotions and why we should pause before we share…

Pause before you share:

  1. Watch out for the “woah” – emotion fuels fake news. When you see something that makes you feel super sad or super happy, it might be playing on your emotions to get a reaction
  2. Beware exaggeration – words like “terrible”, “worst”, “amazing” or “shocking” add drama to a story and make us want to click on it
  3. Fight the ‘Illusory Truth Effect’ – the more you hear or see something, the more likely you are to believe it’s true – even if it’s not. If a story seems to be everywhere, remember that doesn’t mean it’s 100% fact
  4. Check your ‘filter bubble’ – social media and ads are designed to suggest stories that match your browsing habits, interests and opinions, so watch out for being taken in by fake news that sounds too good to be true!

Where next?

What's so bad about fake news?
Tips for spotting fake news online
How algorithms and filter bubbles decide what we see on social media
Fact or Fake?