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TRiO Workshop -- Fake News: What is fake news?

Conspiracy theories, hoaxes, fake news, oh my!

Fake News:  a catch-all term to describe media stories that intentionally mislead readers into believing false information. Today, the term frequently has a political connotation.

Conspiracy theories:  explanation of a set of events that involves powerful people with dubious motives controlling the events for their own purposes.

Hoax:  an attempt to trick others into believing something happened or is true that is false, and often ridiculous.  

How do you know?

Why would someone do this??

Power:  

  • State actors:  some countries actually maintain "troll factories" of workers whose job is to create misleading or untrue internet content designed to damage their political enemies.
    • Russia in the U.S. 2016 election
    • China uses "50-centers" to create propaganda for their own people 
    • Great Britain created a fake news radio broadcast for the Germans in WWII
  • Corporations:  some companies may put out false or misleading information about their competitors to gain market advantage
  • Politicians:  like corporations, politicians sometimes use fake news to smear their opponents

Money:

  • Bad actors may try to sell you a solution to a fake problem
  • "Clickbait:" outrageous headlines to lure people to open a website
  • Your attention is valuable:  websites charge advertisers based on the number of people who view the site

Information:

  • Lists of information about people are bought and sold
  • Sites may ask for your name, email, phone number or other personal information
  • Sites may collect information about you without your knowledge
  • Worst case scenario: the site may infect your computer with a virus or install spyware

Real News

You'll never believe what happened next! Click on the picture for the REAL news!

Click Bait

click·bait
[ˈklikbāt]

NOUN

  1. (on the Internet) content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page:
    "these recent reports of the show's imminent demise are hyperbolic clickbait" ·
    "a clickbait article"