In 2017, “fake news” became Collins Dictionary’s word of the year. It has remained in the headlines ever since.
False information is not new, but the rise of social media and online platforms means that misleading stories can go viral rapidly. Although we are aware of fake news, we are bad at spotting it. A recent survey found that only 2% of students in the UK had the skills they need to spot fake news.
Much of fake news is written to attract clicks and shares – and it works. A 2018 study at MIT found that fake news was more popular than the truth. Made-up or misleading stories reached more people and spread much faster than accurate information.
Most recently, fake news became a problem during the Covid-19 outbreak as rumours about the virus proliferated through social channels.
The Day is a brilliant place to fight fake news. Every story is thoroughly researched using multiple sources and includes a simple Q&A which separates what we know from what we do know. Reliable sources can be found in Become an Expert – and the debates encourage clear, fact-based discussions between young people.
Find out more about fighting fake news in our special report.
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False information is not new, but today it is travelling faster than ever. Watch this video on how fake news and inaccurate news stories can spread.
- Make a list of three reliable news sources that you trust to tell well-researched, accurate stories.
- Create an infographic, with advice about fake news and tips for spotting it, that you could share on your own social media channels.
- Become a fake news detective. Using the tips above, check an article you find on the internet for fake news. Is it accurate? How can you tell?