KIT311/KIT611 Effects Of Fake News On Society Assessment 3 Answer

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Question :

Social and Cultural Issues of Interactive Digital Media (KIT311/KIT611)

Assignment 3 (individual) worth 20% of your total marks "Critical Evaluation"


For Assignment 2 you looked at alleged damages of social media. As part of the journey you interrogated the claims, you used different perspectives to understand the nature of the underlying phenomenon, and you might even have explored some ideas as to how to mitigate some of the alleged effects.

For Assignment 3 you need to focus on "fake news". This phenomenon is often attributed to social media however the infosphere also includes more traditional media and news sources including newspapers and of course blogs. Distinctions are blurred considerably anyway these days with newspapers engaging in social media and companies like Facebook exercising content control while trying to avoid editorial responsibilities.

This assignment is about reviewing some of the suggestions "out there" as to how we could mitigate the effect of "fake news". The review should focus on opportunities for ICT interventions and less so on journalistic practices which are relevant but beyond the scope of this unit. In any case, SCU's Trust projectis a good starting point as are articles like Tandoc et al's Defining “Fake News” A typology of scholarly definitionsand Audiences' acts of authentication in the age of fake news: A conceptual framework3.

Unleash your creativity! As in the previous assignment I am open to non- traditional ways of presenting your findings using forms of expression other than written text. Your assignment may consist of mixed modes such as a written part and another part presented in different media. I am fairly open re formats but please check with me if you think about presenting your finding as say, interpretative dance.

Written up as an essay this assignment should consist of 2,500-3,000 words for individual students (scaled up in the case of groupwork). Any non-text part

needs to reflect a contribution similar to the textual part that it replaces.

Written parts should be in standard English, free of grammar and spelling errors, and set in a 12 pt font. Referencing should follow Harvard style.

Please submit your essay in PDF format to the Assignment 3 drop box on MyLO by the due date. Please include name and student ID in the document! Check with the lecturer if there is no easy way to dropbox your work.

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Answer :

Social and Cultural Issues of Interactive Digital Media


This assessment presents a unique concept relating to fake news. The term fake news evokes the sense of wonder and astonishment in the minds of the people who are inclined to read story both in offline and online. It will define the term of fake news and will also present a suitable background of fake news exemplifying the various types of fake news and its source and process of evolution.  It also tells about the harmful effects of fake news on our society in fostering hate and distrust, leading to social riots. It lays the mitigation strategies needed to avoid fake news.

Fake news background 

Fake news is also known as trash news, or prank news is a dispersing communication that involves delivering false information or prank through the traditional media like print or broadcast or via online social media that includes Facebook, or what's app status, etc. This trash news is either provided by the reporters who make an ant type incident to an elephant one or by the story that is brought via digitalization ( Tandoc, Lim & Ling, 2018). These types of information are published to misguide people by damaging any persons, groups, and institutions reputation to gain monetary and political profits. The headlines used in the news often attract the ordinary people eyes compelling them to believe in the fake news. This news hides serious news and makes it hard for reporters to cover real and genuine stories (Jang et al., 2018). The intent of false communication is significant. Report that appears as fake news might be farce or satire, which is used to exaggerate and introduce elements which are not based on reality (Lazer et al., 2018).

 Several types of fake news persist in our society. The first is the satire, which spreads foolish news to make laugh. Next to it is trash link news in which the content does not match with the given headline. Misguiding context is the category of news that gives false information to mislead people. Another type of trash news is the prank content news which gives or spreads the story that is a mix of the original or genuine news and trash or false news (Lazer et al., 2018).

 The types of communication which come after this are manipulated context and chalked out content. The managed background gives a manipulated version of the original or genuine communication to ditch is called managed news. Chalked out news is that news which is created to do ditch or damage. It contains data which completely trash or fake. 

 The term fake news was coined by the American president Donald Trump. He used this term to ridicule the false information being spread by the media in the world and creating an adverse impact in every sphere of politics, social, economic, and others. The practice of this fake news is not a matter of one day. It has been in existence since time immemorial or before the coming of print, broadcast, or social media. The practice started in ancient times. In 13th century BC, there was dispersed a lie that the Egyptians had sought victory in the battle of Kadesh (Archaeologists Find 'Fake News' Existed Some 3,000 Years Ago Thanks To Ramses The Great | Ancient Code, 2018). But it was a lie because the agreement between the Hittites and Egyptians reveals that the result of the fight was drawn. This practice ushered the use of myths in delivering news which was followed in the medieval times, modern period, and the 19th century and is follow in the 21st century. In this high tech world also the fake news is spread via internet websites, blogs or as trolls, and many others. This fake news has a severe effect on country politics as it creates confusion in judging and understanding the real facts and figures. This trash news has started dividing or separating the people from each other. This trash news breaks the inbuilt confidence in human being.  The trash news presented with dubious pictures which misleads the people driving them in the wrong way. It creates social upheavals in society, leading to a quarrel between two communities resulting in loss of life and property (Baum et al., 2018. It manipulates the belief of the ordinary people and creates a myth which they start considering true. To educated and aware people it has created hate and distrust against the media companies and technology companies for fostering prank news.

Impacts of fake news

Information shapes our imagination and builds our general view. Information about a person, groups, or individual obliges us to form specific thoughts and beliefs. The entrance of misinformation in our life can cause severe problems making us disbelieving the true ones and submitting us in the false hands. If a data is posted about any product and the person likes the content given for the product and end up in buying that product. After purchasing, the person may find that the product is trash, and then there is a complete drain of cash (Corner, 2017). This type of fake news sometimes is spread to rob people who affect them very, both physically and mentally. There is some fake news which springs fear in our mind.Like press can say that if anyone goes out of the house, they will be caught by some malicious viruses. This type of news can affect persons very severely. A person not going out to work can affect the productivity of the company and on his part, not getting his wage for that day. Therefore it can change his personal life also. So fear is the critical effect of fake news. Fake news sometimes overpowers the minds of individuals by making them the belief of racist ideas. The story tells that Muslim women are sitting on a bus and traveling to borders for evil purposes. This type of intelligence can spread fear, hatred, distrust between communities, and other negative impacts.  It can give rise to racist ideas.

  This distrust and hatred between communities can create false image resulting in the social unrest and separating of people from one another. It is very much opposed to the concept of brotherhood (Torres, Gerhar & Negahban 2018). Fake news which spreads violent and frivolous rumors targeting a particular people or groups or institutions can result in over-harassment of the people or groups against whom the story is posted. The news results in the targeted people to earn intolerable insults, disrespect, and threats. Thus fostering of fake news can make the innocent one suffer very severely and gain the title of fraud or cheat. The most harmful effects of fake news are on politics. Continuous trolling on the internet or social media sometimes overpowers the mind of the educated persons. This takes away their capacity to reason or judge accurately ( Benkler,et al.,  2018). It becomes challenging to get the original news since the trash news is already being attached to the excellent news giving it to a rise of the manipulated version of the news. The managed story makes it difficult to judge the facts accurately and often leads in misguiding one. It might result in choosing the wrong political leader or taking decisions that are not good for the nation (Allcott & Gentzkow, 2017).This can result in significant social upheavals both in the political and social sphere. The wrong information spread via fake news not only attempts to harm the very sense of social unity, but it also hits the emotional confidence level of one's ability. These pranks often mislead people to make things unclear and obscure the excellent and fruitful public opinion and shun the good qualities of information by their trash news lines to exert their wishes to come true.  

The digital revolution in the world has also made this news more active in creating social unrest. Fake news is spread by producing content in the form of blogs, pictures, lists and other spreading it via face book, what’s app status, on websites, and other various means. Example of such fake news is the sudden death of the former president of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee (Death hoax: Fake news of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee's death circulated on social media. 2018), the involvement of Hilary Clinton in a child sex ring (The term 'fake news' is doing great harm, 2018) and others.  The chief reason to make such fake news is to make money. The ad units give ads through this fake news, and the more the view it gets, the more money it makes. The bloggers or fake newsmakers are also given the contract to foster false communication to harm any personalities or organization reputation. The upcoming of the social media and the internet has given more scope to dilute the correct information and turning it to false information. Most of the people living in this world use online media to know the facts of the offline world but the presence of fake news in such a way that it becomes difficult to distinguish between the facts and fiction. It completely confuses the people.

 9 out of 11 are in an inside job (The “9/11 was an inside job” guy has some regrets, 2019), vaccines causing abnormality,( Writers,S Vaccine Myths Debunked | Retrieved 16 May 2019), the earth is not circular but flat, life found in moon, (NPR Choice page, Retrieved 16 May 2019) etc. are the news which is covered by the social media. There are thousands of likes, shares, and comments on this news which are published on facebook, youtube, what's the app, and others.  It has created a remarkable image of people on these platforms as these are also indulged in setting people in confusion and making them choose the wrong way. The uncontrolled and unregulated promotion of fake news can create falsehoods. It is also producing this every sphere, and this is resulting in the occurrence of fatal events. Not only disastrous but also unexpected events are also occurring, making the social sphere entirely in unrest position. Due to the posting of fake news on social media and gaining more and more shares and likes, has made a situation where people believe in the post and get them into trouble. Social media has created an unpleasant effect on its users. It has a destructive impact on the users since they are troubled by the fake news both mentally and physically, which are posted.

 With the excessive rise of falsehood in social media, people are not able to trust the real and original things that are posted. Moreover, the original or the positive thoughts do not get much attention as it deserved to be.  It has laid stress for the PR officials to make belief of the genuineness of their product because the fake news in social media has created so much distrust in the minds of ordinary people that it has become tough for them to rely on anybody. The fake news on social media has made the people dispersed from each other. It has also affected the business reputation of good firms very severely by spreading trash ideas. Many people are there who trust in the social Medias post. If there is a post stating that if children are given with vaccines, they can get polio. The public who believe in this type of job can refuse to get their child vaccine this action can make their child not immune to the pondering diseases. Fake news circulation has just invalid the communication system. It is very much challenging to perceive the political communications and political communicators along with social and economic connections that are presented. 

 The manipulated version of the news of puts the democracy in threat. The farce and satirical fake news which are presented on the social platform of median often dishonor the personalities, groups, or any other organizations (Spohr, 2017). It also fosters a scam about them. Coming up of fake news has damaged the issue of rational debate on technological companies platforms. It has inhibited the professional conversations and financial planning and strategic ideas due to the fear of scamming and security. The lack of transparency in the news fostered has made an opinion of the social media operations complicated and unclear but not satisfactory. Absence of proper mitigating strategies, inconsistency, or very slow rectifications cannot win the trust of the professional and media companies thereby putting them off to use the online social media networks or not reacting actively over the fake news by giving it no worth. The slow function of the technology company has put off it potential suitors, thereby fostering a bad reputation on their capability to control the unfair practices. It has also lowered their financial gains since for not working correctly to manage the fake news. When one believes in a fake article, it means one is dazzled by the valuable contents of the story. Similarly when one prude over the problem to believe or not believe on the item send makes the sense that the person is trying to reason the contents with logic and is seeing whether it is accurate or not. If the person concludes that the article send is not just by not reading, it can be perceived that the concept of fake news overpowers the person.

Suggestions to control fake news

Banning of face book or what's app cannot solve the problem of misinformation. As the counterfeit messages in what's app are forwarded or shared to the other users by clicking on the forward button. There should be a control on the messages sent to the friends at one time via forwarding. Recently the CEO of what's app has limited the level of forwarding messages (Attkisson & Attkisson, 2017). Earlier messages can be sent to twenty persons at one time, but now the limit has been decreased to five. To fight with the online fake news, their economic activities should be disturbed. This is because the fake news is produced to earn capital. This can be done by identifying the false report by the third party check organizations to make it uneconomical. It can be made difficult for people to post trash news by developing suitable strategies and enforcing them into practice. High tech machines should be used to check pranks and slow the pace of trash news. New scientific products should be made to avoid the posting of false news's.  Techniques like hierarchy improvements and easy reporting should be used to control this problem. If the content of any news makes people less assertive to share and like it, then this content must be checked because it might include trash news lacking with proper logic and reason. The hierarchy system can do this thing. Similarly, the secure reporting system involves reporting the availability of trash news on the social media platform (Barnett, Henriques & Husted2018). Earlier reporting can enable the platform to check the contents, and if any trash news is found, it can automatically delete the content from the media platform. The social and technological media companies should make awareness news and foster it through their respective networks so that innocent people might not plunge into such disastrous fake news. Efforts should also be made to develop certain apps to check about the transparency, legitimacy, and reality of the story.  

A recent study is showing Facebook is trying to collaborate with the best news organizations to make prolific output together, giving suitable instruments, device or services to reporters and helping ordinary and innocent people to get better and specific information. It can help people to make ethical and useful choices about the content they will be reading. Active research in this field is being made to access this goal easily and more quickly (Allcott, & Gentzkow, 2017). The Facebook company is integrating investors and other contributors like persons from high tech industries, academic institutions, nonprofitable government organizations, and other third-party organizations to start the project of integrating that will be focusing on to help people in making informed judgments about the news they come across and share online. The concept of moderating message depicts that the comment, replies, and words are needed to be approved by a genuine and authorized user. Users like them have the full power to handle the act of passing or deleting the message, comment, and reply (Reis, et al., 2019. If a company like a facebook moderate specific messages, this might create both good and bad effects. The sound result is that lessening of words will not allow anyone to post rubbish in the content of their stories that it might not spread the trash news and face its consequences. The adverse effect is that it put the question concerning privacy and security. Moderating of messages will put a third person to intermediate before the users who are seeking to talk privately and keep their matters private.

Furthermore, if the third person is known, it can lead to the dispersion of secrets or privacy to him or her. Moreover, the third person holding some biases cannot work efficiently to moderate the messages in a good manner, thereby resulting in the disruption of the connection and the relation between two individually grownups. Therefore if the concept to moderate message becomes so important, then an automatic high tech mechanized system should be developed to perform this function. 

If the legitimate news gets deleted, then it can cause significant problems for the users to get the correct information and to make a proper analysis of it since social media is full of fake news. Even one cannot update oneself for not getting the right information and might face the situation unexpected reactions from friends and acquaintances for not knowing correct data (Fisher, 2017). If the controls, as mentioned earlier, do not work or fails, then both the user and service provider will be affected very severely. The user can't avail the right data and might compel to stop using that particular media app. And the service provider will gain a bad reputation, which will affect its business.


This project expresses the harmful effects of fake news in our society and also the online and offline source that extends the platform to publish such trash news. The project involves the exploration of such impacts of fake news in our society along with the intrapersonal declaration of action which would be taken in correspondence with the different condition of presentation of fake news. It also involves an analysis of one's sense of it in judging story, fake or real. The assessment declares of the various mitigation strategies and the following action if they are not followed. It also records the measures taken by competing media to mitigate the problem of trash news.