Why fake news are super-spreaders?
Fake news is there because we like it
Falsehood flies and the truth comes limping after it- Jonathan swift
Fake is real, and real is fake; A world in which technology-internet is universal. Obama is a Muslim. Pakistan Defence minister threatening Israel with a retaliatory nuclear attack when responding to the news that Israel will attack Pakistan with nuclear weapons if Pakistan sends its troops to Syria. However, it is later known that the news about Israel attacking Pakistan is fake.
Fake news has created chaos; People are not sure what to believe and what not to believe. As fake news has progressed, people find it harder to believe real news. According to a report, A false story reaches 1,500 people six times quicker, on average, than a true story does.
Further, people increasingly perceive media as biased. It has led to a trust deficit that has worked in favour of fake news. Media losing its credibility has made it easier for people to believe in fake news.
Why false story spreads faster?
The report, stated earlier, pointed out two reasons for false news spreading quicker: novelty and emotion
Humans like reading new stuff. Fake news has unheard facts, details that make people believe in it even if they don’t want to. I think people want to hear sensational stuff, and fake news provides people with the thrill of knowing the unknown.
False information online is often really novel and frequently negative,” said Nyhan, the Dartmouth professor. “We know those are two features of information generally that grab our attention as human beings and that cause us to want to share that information with others — we’re attentive to novel threats and especially attentive to negative threats.”
Fake news is emotion-evoking. Fake tweets evoke emotions that can be described as disgust and surprise while correct tweets can be associated with words like sadness, trust.
What can be done?
Removing fake news from the platform can help tackle fake news. Both humans and algorithms need to work together to ensure the removal is quick. Ever since Facebook, Twitter came into existence, content creation has become decentralized. Anyone can share their thoughts on these platforms, which challenges humans and technology to verify the content before it gets uploaded on the platform.
People need to verify any information that they see on Facebook or Twitter. Further, people must do fact-finding about the news they read before they share or forward that news.
Build a narrative
Instead of just finding holes in the fake news, building a narrative based on facts will be more effective in tackling fake news. Because fake news is a never-ending flow, one can easily get lost in disproving the facts. The people who spread fake news will find other information to ignore the real news when a piece of information has been proved wrong.