Fake news can be a major threat to your organization. We help you recognize and combat fake news.
What is Fake News?
Fake news is disinformation disguised as real news, spread through websites, social media and traditional media. The aim is to influence public opinion.
History of Fake News
Presenting fictitious events as reliable news is... actually very old. Some academics even claim that fake news has been around for some 2,500 years, according to the Wall Street Journal .
In the 20th century, journalism changed into a more serious scientific discipline. The guidelines for truthful news reporting became noticeably stricter. Although dictatorial regimes resorted to propaganda to gain public support, for decades the most influential media were characterized by a common pursuit of accurate reporting and a constant pursuit of the truth.
With the emergence of news stories on the internet and a rapidly shifting online media landscape, those ethical standards are being called into question and the way seems clear again for fake news. The strong need for high online traffic, impressions, clicks and shared social media posts is fueling this trend, which means that the pursuit of truthful news stories is underwhelming.
Reasons for Spreading Fake News
The British newspaper The Telegraph lists three main reasons for the widespread spread of fake news in today's online media world:
- Distribution and costs – The costs of publishing on a blog and distributing via social media are zero point zero.
- Audience and Trust – If there are no revenue requirements to offset production costs, there is no need to build trust and reputations become disposable.
- Laws and Regulations – The flow of information published online is a tidal wave of content and it is impossible to manage it effectively in real time.
Recognizing Fake News
Fake news undermines the credibility of the established news media. When news consumers are inundated with a deluge of online messages, some of which are objective accounts and some complete fiction, they are more likely to read everything with the same skepticism and mistrust. It is therefore extra important to recognize fake news in good time. Here are a few tips:
- Be critical and check the news before posting. Assume the source is wrong and look for supporting evidence.
- Listen to your 'gut feeling ' with any news source. Does the news come across as unreliable, or does it seem too good to be true? Then check it immediately.
- Does an interesting message appear online? Check whether it is also published on a reliable site . A large amount of reposts of a message is no guarantee of reliability: fake news spreads quickly.
- Be alert to your own conformation bias : your confirmation biases. We all subconsciously tend to look for information and evidence that confirm our existing opinions, ideas or expectations.
- Does a news report make you angry or emotional ? If so, the message may have been manipulated to cater to your biases.
- Look for evidence outside the news media . Authorized data sources may provide you with corporate, legal and other information that is not freely searchable on the Internet.
Fighting Fake News with LexisNexis
Nexis Solutions provides information tools for professionals in various industries to filter out fake news and quickly get to the facts. We've been developing reliable premium research solutions for over 40 years and know how important it is that you have access to data that is relevant and accurate.
In-depth research with Nexis®
Nexis is a premium collection of news sources that is expertly managed to give you access to factual and relevant news in one place. No more scouring the internet, searching behind paywalls and researching questionable sources. The Nexis archives go back more than 40 years and also include content that is no longer publicly available on the Internet.