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FAKE NEWS There are news from traditional media, alternative media, consumer-generated content, sites specialized in producing exaggerated or false information. And then there are opinions.


Dec 29, 2021



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FAKE NEWSFAKE NEWS T h e r e a r e n e w s f r o m t r a d i t i o n a l m e d i a , a l t e r n a t i v e m e d i a , c o n s u m e r - g e n e r a t e d c o n t e n t , s i t e s s p e c i a l i z e d i n p r o d u c i n g
e x a g g e r a t e d o r f a l s e i n f o r m a t i o n . A n d t h e n t h e r e a r e o p i n i o n s .
Fake News or When Anybody Can Publish Fake news is hot news all over the world. M-Brain explored the discussion in more detail. If this analysis sparks your interest or you wish to draw your own conclusions, find out what’s happening right now and dig deeper in the discussion through M- Live on website.
• Fake news is defined as yellow journalism or propaganda, intentionally misleading, deliberate misinformation or hoaxes. Usually there are underlying financial or political motives.
• In reality, two discussions on fake news are taking place: the purely political one regarding different perspectives and objectiveness of media and the other one about the spread of hoax and the trustworthiness of media.
• And in the end it all comes down to the stories that consumers choose to share in their peer groups in social media, according to their world views.
• Which are the most popular channels talking about fake news around the world and which are the most used languages? Who started the discussion and who sustain it?
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• Our extensive data gathered and observed during a few months reveals that fake news undoubtedly is a globally shared concern and a topic which divides opinions of the consumers worldwide, having consequences on domestic and foreign politics.
• In France, US, Kenya, UK, and Brazil, elections or political movements otherwise have increased the volume of discussion. For example, Kenyan general election in August was affected by propaganda and irregularities by the electoral commission in a way which required organizing a new presidential election in October (Kenya election: Fake CNN, BBC reports target voters).
• Fake news has become a concept related to politics and media which is used in main world languages as such. Germans and Brazilians alike are using the term “fake news”.
• English is the top language of the discussion in our long-term monitoring data, followed by Portuguese, French, German, Spanish, and Italian with roughly a 5 per cent share each.
• A large part of the discussion originates from the United States where the term is used to divide and conquer among the liberals and conservatists.
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10000 12000 14000
2.7. 9.7. 16.7. 23.7. 30.7. 6.8. 13.8. 20.8. 27.8. 3.9. 10.9.
• The discussion over fake news has been very active over the past months, with a continuous volume of an average of nearly ten thousand daily hits. The overall trend is slightly descending towards the autumn.
• Some greater volume peaks were caused, for example, on →July 6 Trump wrestling CNN was depicted as a video meme →July 18 Facebook published a new feature to fight fake news and Trump was alleged to have a secret
dinner with Putin. →July 21 Brazilians re-tweeted Mayor of São Paulo accusing CBN news radio network for lying about the
city throwing water over homeless people.
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19% editorial
• Twitter is globally the most active channel of discussion, as it is with many themes and companies today. Twitter users are actively sharing the news of editorial media, which is the second most popular channel.
• Facebook, forums and perhaps unexpectedly, Google Plus, share a similar slice of the channel cake (~5%). Instagram is seemingly not the right channel for a political discussion, but bloggers are relatively quiet about the topic, too.
→ French and Italian-speaking chose Twitter in 85% of the cases and Portuguese-speaking in over 90% of them. In Germany, the share of editorial media was high, nearly 30%.
Confused and Concerned Consumers ”if you don't like it, it's fake. if you do like it... it is real”
• Consumers have the means to participate in the public discussion more than ever. At the same time, a concern about control and threat over free speech is portrayed in the discussions. ‘War’ and the fear of it are both psychological, media-related and reality-stricken.
→ Control: “When you control the flow of information, you control what people think” vs Facebook updates its technology to better flag 'fake news' for its readers; Mozilla Information Trust Initiative to fight fake news
→ Threat: First Amendment defender Floyd Abrams warns of threats to free speech in 'fake news' era; “spread of fake news is one of the great threats to modern society”
→ War: war against fake news, North Korea threat, Fake news is low-cost warfare
→ Election: outrage over "fake news" stories that went viral during the U.S. presidential election; Kenya election: Fake CNN, BBC reports target voters
• Conspiracy theories and provocation are common, as well as suspicions such as ”The only objective of fake news is to try and save the traditional media by throwing in doubts against the web”.
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• In consequence, all media is hastily considered to be untrustworthy and consumers do not regard the two sides of the discussion: the political one and the moral one concerning truths and lies. But can you blame them, for these two are confusingly intertwined.
Whether to Laugh or Cry or Just
• In addition, there is a fine line between joking and politicking. For many consumers, this poses an extra challenge of differentiating between the two. Sometimes the fake news are deliberate jokes, sometimes they are obvious hoaxes in the form of news pieces.
• Top hashtags in M-Live have, for example, shown a mixture of humorous and political posts, at the same time displaying the most popular tagged words such as #conservative, #trump, #maga, #macron, #brexit as well as #funny, #joke, #haha, #epic, #witty.
• In the end of August, Trump’s fight against fake news became a laughing stock again as American media had warned about looking at the solar eclipse without special glasses (see photo).
Trump’s one man’s war against ”fake news” was received with amusement
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• It’s unfortunately not possible to talk about fake news without Donald Trump: nearly 40% of the discussion in the US and 45% in the UK involves Trump – most of these certainly fake news according to President Trump. It is quite undisputedly him who politized and personified the term, and is now producing his own ’real news’.
• During July-August, the @realDonalTrump account tweeted about fake news practically every second day. Each of his tweets usually receives around 30 thousand retweets and comments.
• A graph combining the most often tweeting Twitter accounts and the number of followers of these accounts describes this influence very vividly.
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0 100 200 300
• How is it possible to distinguish “fake media” among all those that are being accused of being one? There are various attempts to pinpoint fake news around the world: research and listing of fake news sites, survey-based information on top trusted social media platforms, Facebook’s fact-checking filters and other, various media combat against fake news. Digital trust is a valuable asset today.
• The editorial media – or should we say, traditional media - that writes the most about and has the most influence in the fake news discussion includes a range of news media. For example, Bangalore Mirror has a Fake News Buster to reveal hoaxes from around the world, but also Economic Times in India is keen in the subject. In the US, the top list includes Los Angeles Times, HuffPost, CNN and Fox News, while in the UK, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, the Guardian and BBC News are actively involved.
• The list of the most influential profiles in Facebook is topped by the well-known duality of Fox News and CNN followed by other American, politically-involved Facebook pages such as The Liberty Eagle and GMA News. During shorter observation periods also USA Patriots for Donald Trump and Breitbart have made it to the top ten list.
• The inclusion of Brazilian pages in the top ten is an indication of a similarly inflamed political situation, featuring a conservatist profile of MBL (Movement Free Brazil) and liberal congressman Jean Wyllys.
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Example Facebook
Myside Bias vs Hoax • How to keep the discussion sane and on an
objective track? How to improve media literacy? How to make people distinguish “myside bias” and downright false information? It seems that we have wandered far off from our original topic, but so has the term fake news.
• Jim Stone, Ph.D writes aptly in Psychology Today: Political debates on social media are not generally cooperative in-group dialogues. They are competitive debates between people in our in-group, and people in our out-group. […] This isn’t a cooperative venture between people who care about each other. It’s tribal warfare.
• Let us, however, straightforwardly sum up the theme with a cry of exasperation of a Facebook user and leave you with this thought:
“Fake news isn't media bias, for God's sake!”
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monitoring tools for tracking editorial and social media coverage. → Social media channels tracked: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Tumblr,
Instagram, Vkontakte, blogs, forums → Editorial media channels tracked: all news sites covered by the tool
• Search words were fake news, alternative news and translations in 31 languages, in millions of editorial and social media sources globally.
• The analysis is based on and reflects the results over a three months monitoring period, July–September 2017. Tag and word clouds show glances from shorter time periods.
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M-Brain is a global information, technology and consulting services company. We help our clients to navigate the turbulent and ever expanding business environment. We offer crucial external business information, and advise in its efficient management and utilisation.
We turn information into actionable insights for daily decision-making and strategic planning. We call it Informed Leadership.
Slide Number 1
Slide Number 2
A Topic that Connects and Divides
Twitter Sings Loud about Fake News
Confused and Concerned Consumers”if you don't like it, it's fake. if you do like it... it is real”
Whether to Laugh or Cry or Just
Who Started This? Who Keeps It Going?
Who Started This? Who Keeps It Going?
Myside Bias vs Hoax
Slide Number 12