Columns
Should we do anything about false news?
Lim Teck Ghee | 19 May 2017 00:30

FAKE or false news has gotten much attention abroad as well as at home recently. But what is “fake or false news” and should anything be done about it? In the US, France, Britain and other advanced nations where social media is competing with traditional media as the main source of news among the masses, these societies have seen a growing phenomenon of websites that focus on publishing hoaxes and disinformation to drive web traffic to them.

Such websites exist by fabricating content which are designed to fool readers. The news or disseminated content is subsequently made viral through the internet to the public with the intention of profiting through clickbait.

The purpose or purposes behind the dissemination of false news is often the same as the objectives driving much of traditional media. They can range from wanting to share a message, build visibility and influence, or simply start up or stoke a controversy designed to benefit the disseminating source and damage an opponent or threat.