INTRODUCTION TO FAKE NEW, RUMOURS & PROPAGANDA
“Fake news” are news stories that are false, where the story itself is fabricated, with no verifiable facts, sources or quotes. In recent years fake news stories have proliferated via social media, in part because they are so easily and quickly shared online. To an untrained eye fake news may pass as legitimate news sources.
Fake news should not be confused or conflated with propaganda.
Propaganda means information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicise a particular political cause or point of view. It is used primarily to further an agenda - often by presenting facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis or perception to produce an emotional rather than a rational response.
The proliferation of social media such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp has increased political polarisation and the spread of fake news and propaganda. One might hope the free flow of information would translate into a more informed populace that would make more informed choices. However, recent global and national trends show evidence to the contrary.
This course offers tools and strategies to verify stories and images, and help counter the spread of rumours, misinformation and fake news.