What’s so bad about fake news?

Fake news has been around for many years, but with the explosion of the internet and social media it is getting harder and harder to know what can and can’t be believed.

Does this matter?

Radio and TV presenter Vick Hope gives the lowdown on different types of fake news, who is behind it and why it helps to take a moment to pause before we post rather than just sharing what we see.

What are the different types of fake news?

  1. Satire – made-up stories that aren’t meant to be taken seriously, written to joke about the news or famous people
  2. Clickbait – eye-catching but misleading headlines, designed to get people to click on links to make money or views for a website
  3. Propaganda – false facts which are written to promote a political agenda or a set of ideas
  4. Mistakes – sometimes accidents can happen, but a trusted source will always correct errors in their stories and say when they’ve got things wrong.

Different types of false facts you find online can also be described as...

  1. Disinformation – fake or misleading stories created and shared deliberately, often by a writer who might have a financial or political motive, e.g. propaganda
  2. Misinformation – this also means fake or misleading stories, but in this case the stories may not have been deliberately created or shared with the intention to mislead.

Where next?

How does fake news spread?
Think like a journalist: How to check a story
BBC Own It: Fake News song
Fact or Fake?