How false news can spread

by | 5 Mar 2018

The Fake News Series #2

UM Library supports students to critically assess and access information. That also means to inform students about the danger (false information) and challenges that come with open and easily accessible information. The following short TEDEd clip exemplifies the drawbacks of open sources and its impact on societal matters.


One quote that is often referred to Mark Twain goes like this: “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes”. Ironically, there is reason to question that Mark Twain ever said this at all. Yet, today the quote – whoever said it – is truer than ever before.


Circular reporting

The speed in which information spreads today has seed the ideal condition for a phenomena known as circular reporting. This is when news A uses false information from news B and disseminates it to their readers. I guess most of us have experienced circular reporting, whether it happened on Facebook or other social media platforms. But do we fully understand the impact that fake news has on our daily decisions? I doubt it.

More examples on the societal impact of fake news can be retrieved from the TED-Ed video ‘How false news can spread’.

Check it out and leave some comments about additional or (personal) examples that illustrate the danger of fake news.

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