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The Problem of Fake News

Author: Amanda Hosking


Fake news is becoming increasingly more common around the world and can be very convincing. Untrue stories are often posted on fake news websites and on social media. Sometimes, these stories are then picked up by real news sites who believe the news is genuine and thus report on it.

Through the spreading of fake news over the internet, social media, newspapers, and TV more and more people start to believe it. This can cause problems, especially in the political world where a lot of fake news crops up.

Here are some examples:

United States


The US election brought about quite a few fake stories. Sean Hannity, a Fox News host, reported that President Obama and the First Lady had been deleting tweets that promoted Hilary Clinton. However, it was later revealed that the story was false. This shows how big names in the media can spread fake stories. These kinds of stories could affect election voting.


usa map                                                                                                                     Source: commons.wikimedia.org

India


News spread that a new 2000-rupee note, introduced by India’s prime minister, would contain a surveillance chip so the notes could be tracked. This news was widespread over Whatsapp and it also got into the mainstream news. The story was shown to be untrue by India’s reserve bank.

This indicates how easy it is to pass on fake news to millions of people. Whatsapp has over 50 million users in India.

india                                                                                                                                        Source: Pinterest

Germany


Politicians in Germany are worried about how fake news may affect federal elections this year. Rumours have included that Chancellor Merkel is Adolf Hitler’s daughter and that she was in the East German secret police. If these fake stories increase and are widespread they could affect elections.

germany                                                                                                                                Source: travelchannel.com

This mixture of real and fake news is twisting politics and making it hard for people to decipher which stories are true and which are false.