When people hear the term “fake news“, their usual first thought is about those social-media posts that contain inconceivable and bizarre stories. While the posts that are shared on different social media channels happens to be an aspect that is most visible, there is a lot more to “fake news” than an exaggerated article title on a social media feed. The Doe is an anonymous newspaper that provides a safe space for honest, straightforward thought-provoking news and is central in the fight against fake news. They discuss the use and abuse of social media in the world of news at the moment.

Cyber Propaganda And Fake News

Fake news often appears to be new. However, it usually just the platform that has been used that is new. Propaganda has been in use and around for hundreds of years, and the Internet has become the most current form of communication that is abused to tell lies and spread misinformation.

A Fire Triangle is a representation of 3 elements that are needed for a fire to burn. This includes fuel, heat, and oxygen. In a similar way, “fake news” needs 3 items in order to succeed. These items combined represent the Fake News Triangle. When one of these factors is missing, the misinformation and lies are not able to reach targeted audiences and spread.

The Fake News Triangle

The initial requirement includes services and tools to spread and manipulate a message across specific social media platforms or networks and many of these are sold across several online communities all over the world. There is a wide range of services and tools available, with some that are somewhat simple (paid followers/likes, etc.), while others are a bit more unusual, with services that promise to overstuff online polls. There are even services that force the owners of websites to remove stories. Regardless of what tactic is used, the services and tools for social media promotions are available from outside and the inside of the underground scenes.

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In order for these types of tools to become useful, social channels need to be present as the platforms to spread propaganda. With more and more people spending a lot more of their time on such sites to gather information and to keep up-to-date with the current news, their importance when it comes to spreading fake stories and news should not be underestimated. However, there are differences between just putting up a propaganda post and turning the post into something targeted audiences consume. We give information on the types of techniques that spammers use to attract users into watching or reading their stories.

Analyzing social media provides us with more of an understanding of relationships that occur between bots and recipients of a social media promotion when it comes to platforms such as Twitter. This offers us a good idea of the organization and scope of these campaigns that are attempting to manipulate the opinions of the public.

Finally, propaganda campaigns are also always accompanied by the question: why? We talk about the motivations and goals behind these fake stories and news. In some cases, it is simply the desire to make profits through advertising. While in other situations, the goals may vary from political to criminal. Regardless of what the motive might be, how successful the propaganda campaign will be is based on the way that it has an impact on the “real world”.

Users, companies, and governments, have started to become more aware of the seriousness of manipulating public opinion, which has manifested in the form “fake news”.

Governments have started to realize that propaganda and “fake news” is something that needs to be dealt with. Many different government agencies have now started to set up services that are focused on exposing these stories, that they believe are false. Some government entities have even started to consider imposing regulations along with punishing and fining websites that have published this misinformation.

There is plenty of room for opinion-based reporting without it becoming fake news. Thedoe is a great source for this.

Some of the targets linked to the latest regulations include social-networking services. This will make misinformation and fake news extremely bad for businesses, and this is why they have taken the necessary steps to avoid it. These steps include suspending suspicious accounts/bots, adding in features that allow their users to file a report on fake news, and hiring additional personnel to assist with handling such reports.

However, at the end of the day, users need to become more informed and educated. In our paper, we go over the main signals to look out for when it comes to fake news, which will help readers to determine whether the posts they are reading are real or fake. We also go over the psychology linked to fake news in the way of explaining what makes these types of campaigns work, along with how they convince readers. When readers are aware of these techniques we hope that it will empower them to resist these misleading stories and information.

Posted by Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized marketing plans depending on the industry and competition.

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