The term Fake News became a trend in 2016 during the American elections. Donald Trump shouted it at a journalist during a conference, while Trump was refusing to listen to his question.

Initially, the term described websites consisting entirely of intentionally fabricated news stories, but now, by saying Fake News, you’re describing virtually anything that doesn’t mesh with one’s own views.

There are a number of related words, which reinforce the concept of Fake News, such as Clickbait, which is essentially a bait that websites use to trick the viewer into clicking on the link in order to collect viewing statistics.

Whereas a Filter Bubble is the intellectual isolation that can occur when websites make use of algorithms, which are a set of computer rules that register the website the viewer uses most, in order to send targeted advertising.

An echo chamber is a situation in which information is amplified or reinforced.

Surprising validators are prominent people of society who influence viewers’ ideas in order to make them follow their own thinking, falsifying people’s convictions. Moreover, this is a term coined by Cass R. Sunstein and Edward Glaeser in the Paper ‘Why Does Balanced News Produce Unbalanced Views?‘, where they are seen as the solution to polarization, which means people or opinions being divided into two opposing groups. That is, the credibility and influence of surprising validators would promote agreement. However, giving others, whoever they are, the power to think or choose for us atrophies brain connectors and, in addiction, it is counterproductive, as often there are interests at stake.

The key factors in addressing this global phenomenon are human experience and ‘good’ algorithms. Indeed, the combination of the fact-checking units of the International Fact Checking Network and Les Decodeurs, combined with the good algorithms that Google and Facebook are developing, will stop spreading fake news. Hopefully.

How to Spot Fake News

How to Spot Fake News

1 Response

  1. Milly

    Thank you for this fake news I didn’t know about everything in there! Look forward to the next ones Barbara! I love your writing!

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