We’re all familiar with the term ‘fake news’. President Trump have used the term referring to news stories that portray him in a negative light. The media has disputed the ‘fake news’ claims as fact checking to make sure the public knows the validity of President Trump’s statements.
Fake news is the release of false claims as news with the intent to hurt someone’s reputation. According to the Council of Europe, there are three types of information disorders; “dis-information [false and deliberately cause harm], mis-information [false w/ no intentional harm] and mal-information [real info used for harm].” (Claire Wardle, PhD). Fake news can be detrimental to elections and a person’s reputation because of the effectiveness of blurring the lines between fact and fiction. Elections could be tipped between political parties due to fake news. We saw the outcome of the 2016 election between Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Robert Chesney and Danielle Citron at Foreign Affairs explained that, “deep fakes are highly realistic and difficult to detect the digital manipulations of audio/video.” It has become easier to show a politician or person of power saying or doing something that never happened. The other side is called, “liar’s dividen, public figures caught in real recordings of misbehavior will find it easier to cast doubt on the evidence against them.” (Foreign Affairs).
There are ways to verify the validity of online news. I found an article on Fox News website and it categorizes as mal-information. There are real facts in the article, but they are written to discredit and inflict reputational harm to congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. You must follow all the steps for validity because content can pass certain steps and fail others.
AOC appears in Vanity Fair in outfits worth $14,000 to curse Trump out
Freshman Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York wore thousands of dollars worth of outfits and…
To determine how true content is:
- Check if the content is the original or if it’s a reposting of the original. This article is an original from the Fox website. You can reverse search images on google to see if the content or similar are found on other sites.
- Determine who the creator is and the reputation they hold. Fox journalists wrote the article making them the creators and Fox is seen as reputable a news source as other news sources, like CNN. Connect the dots on media sites and accounts to find the creator, not the person who uploaded.
- Think of the motivation of why the piece was created. Fox created this article to distract from President Trump’s tax fraud and put the spotlight on an coverup topic. There are instances when content is created on accident by bystanders.
- Research information in the content. I read the Fox article and noticed discrepancies in the facts from the magazine photo shoot. Sometimes background knowledge is enough to see the ‘fake news’ and other times use reputable sources of information.
Additional steps include verifying the date and location of created content. The date information is uploaded is not always the date that information was captured. Locations can be manipulated, like backgrounds and well-known landmarks in content. Following these steps can help define the line between true and fake news.