Essay on Impact of Different Types of Fake News

Published: 2021/11/12
Number of words: 2307

1.0 Introduction

The spread of fake news is on the rise with the increased use of the internet on a global front in the recent past. It is important to understand the impact of such fake on different groups within the society as a way of understanding the effect news can have in the community (Borden and Tew, 2019). There are different groups of people in society, including students, teenagers, the old, youth, businesses, journalists, politicians, and individuals. For instance, the impact of fake news on politicians might differ from the effect the news can have on businesses. Understanding the scope of fake news allows individuals to differentiate between reality and propaganda, which is sometimes detrimental to key activities in society (Borden and Tew, 2019). Different types of fake news that have impacted social groups in society include bait news, misleading information and political satire. Conventional media is faceless and, in most cases, nameless, which gives people the audacity to broadcast or print such fake news. The report will examine the role that fake news plays in society to different groups of people, including politicians, journalists, and individuals (Willnat and Weaver, 2018). A literature review on the topic of discussion will help unfold facts that other authors have established in the area.

2.0 Impact of Fake News on varied groups

2.1 Effect on Politicians

Politics is the most affected field with fake news, as research from different sources indicates. In politics, fake news is regarded as propaganda, and it has different outcomes in society. The media is always at the forefront of peddling fake news, and it is up to the audience to determine whether the news is true or fake (Jang and Kim, 2018). Politicians comprise a group in society that widely relies on propaganda to build a brand name or demean an opponent. The digitalization of media has democratized the production and dissemination of news through social media platforms. Jang and Kim, in the year 2018 researched the third-person effects of misinformation and media literacy interventions. The research elaborates on the effect of fake news on voters and other online campaigns that run, especially for developed countries (Jang and Kim, 2018). The political arena is ever affected by news whose authenticity cannot be determined by the audience. Political propaganda is common in both present digital media and traditional media. Misinformation and cynicism are aspects that crop up in society as a result of fake news in the political arena. Egelhofer and Lecheler, in the year 2019, researched fake news as a multifaceted aspect that has different impacts on the audience. Politicians benefit from fake news, while others lose out supporters due to the spread of propaganda (Egelhofer and Lecheler, 2019). The research is elaborate on why society should be skeptical about news always peddled on social media. In essence, politicians consist of a group in society that is affected by fake news to a large extent.

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2.2 Effect on Journalists

Journalists are tasked with the responsibility of producing and disseminating news through different avenues. As such, the involvement of journalists in the event of fake news is inevitable in society, necessitates for keen scrutiny of news before dissemination. Research conducted by Borden and Tew examines lessons that journalists should learn from the spread of fake news. The report notes with concern the essence of ethical considerations in the field of media as a way to guarantee the public real news. Misinforming society is unethical, and it is the role of journalists to disseminate true news to the public (Borden and Tew, 2019). Journalists are at the center of fake news that circulates either on mainstream media or online platforms. The research is detailed enough and gives a view of the role of professionals in the media field. Importantly, the report mentions ethics, which is an important aspect of professionalism in any area. Different types of fake news that affect journalism as a field include satire, bait and misleading information (Egelhofer and Lecheler, 2019). Fake news tarnishes the name or brand of a particular media outlet or journalism if confirmed. Ethical considerations in media production have taken effect in the recent past due to the increased spread of fake news.

Political satire can affect journalists and the profession negatively in a significant manner. For instance, journalists who are inclined to particular political alignments might not deliver news as required (Willnat and Weaver, 2018). It is important to note that several media houses and online platforms have been on the front line of spreading political satire, questioning the ethical position of such individuals and organizations. A research conducted by Willnat and Weaver in the year 2018 focused on social media and US journalists (Willnat and Weaver, 2018). The study emphasizes that social media is being used in the US to peddle political propaganda, which has a significant effect on voters’ decisions. In the study, the researchers conducted a survey that established that most journalists use social media to check what other news organizations have shared. In the event, one’s perception of what to report to others is affected in one way or another.

2.3 Effect on Individuals

People in society have different perceptions of news that they view or read on the internet. The increased digitalization and globalization have changed the face of the media industry to a large extent. The most common fake news that is used online and on mainstream media is bait, which impacts people’s decisions on different matters (Borden and Tew, 2019). For instance, consumers in the market can be swayed away from a product due to the spread of fake news. Such an unhealthy rivalry in the industry can spark issues that have a far much effect on consumption decisions that people make. Bait news is used to capture the viewer’s attention or reader to visit a particular page or news organization (Nelson and Taneja, 2018). Most people look for traffic, and it can be achieved through the use of bait news as a way of drawing attention from people. Most of such news is unreliable and invalidated, which affects how people perceive and understand society’s issues. In the year 2018, Nelson and Taneja researched small, fake news and their impact on different social aspects. The rate of fake news consumption has risen in the recent past, as supported by increased use of the internet. The research established that in the US, fake news is commonly used to influence presidential elections. For instance, voters who view videos and political ads that are run on social media platforms are likely to change their minds in one way or another. Fake news used as bait draws the audience’s attention and is used by websites and organizations seeking traffic.

The fact that people in society have different perceptions of what they hear or read makes fake news a complex matter (Nelson and Taneja, 2018). Political satire affects the minds of people in society to a large extent. Politicians enjoy the idea of using satire as a way of mobilizing support for their ideologies. With disloyal voters and individuals in society, the chances of fake news consumption rising are high. It is important to understand the essence of being skeptical, especially on the news peddled on various social media platforms. Allcott and Gentzkow, in the year 2017, researched social media and the US presidential election 2016. The report asserts that social media played a significant role in impacting voters’ minds on who to choose as a leader (Allcott and Gentzkow, 2017). As such, it is important to understand that social media plays a crucial role in disseminating political, bait, misleading and invalidated information within society.

2.4 Effect on Business Organizations

Fake news impacts the operations of businesses and other multinational corporations to a large extent. For instance, fake news based on stock market performance can be misleading to many players in a given industry. Business organizations across the world have the privilege of sharing important information with their clients. In the event, fake accounts for such organizations are set to demean and belittle a specific brand name. Such practices in business result in unhealthy rivalry, which is detrimental to business success (Kim, Moravec and Dennis, 2019). It is important to examine online websites and establish sites with formidable content, especially for consumers of specific products. The consumer market is affected by various aspects, and digitalization is one aspect that has impacted operations. Production and dissemination of information are highly reliant on the latest technology, which democratized how people use and perceive the news. In 2019, Kim, Moravec and Dennis researched combating fake news on social media as a factor that influences business organizations. News form part of an important aspect in organizational management, especially decision making.

Organizations should act ethically in the event of disseminating and producing information for their clients. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram are used to peddle news that harms business organizations (Van Duyn and Collier, 2019). Equally, some organizations reap the benefits of using social media to run a business. A criterion that can identify fake news from real can be helpful businesses and multinational organizations. For instance, when fake news forecast a recession in the economy, there is a likelihood that many organizations will change their operations plans. Van Duyn and Collier in the year 2019 researched fake news and its effect on perceptions among the elite in society (Van Duyn and Collier, 2019). The fact that people analyze news that they read differently makes fake news a significant aspect that affects social life.

2.5 Effect on the illiterate

It is important to examine the impact of fake news in societies that are less privileged on education matters (Ilavarasan and Kar, 2019). For instance, when an individual does not know about differentiating between facts and rumors, there is a likelihood that they will believe much of what they hear or read. The number of people who are less literate in the world is many as compared to the literate. Believing fake news is a matter that affects almost every sector of the economy. People who buy such ideas end up making decisions based on the fake news that they read online. The illiterate are more likely to fall for fake news as compared to elites in society (Ilavarasan and Kar, 2019). Ilavarasan and Kar in 2019 committed to studying fake news and authenticity of such information in society. The research utilized an empirical approach to gather necessary information for a detailed conclusion. In the study, the author established that fake news impacts businesses significantly, especially for businesses in the IT sector. The study is based in India and provides a detailed view of the concept in discussion. Fake news affects the illiterate in society prevalently than it does to elites.

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The elite in society have the skills and critical approaches that can be used to differentiate between fake news, political propaganda, bait or misleading content. Bait news on various social media platforms is a factor that affects the illiterate in society to a large extent ((Allcott and Gentzkow, 2017). Production and dissemination of fake news should be avoided by maintaining a high level of ethical conduct. Failure to maintain an acceptable code of conduct in the media industry might be detrimental to the efforts of achieving the right practices.

3.0 Conclusion

To sum it up, fake news impacts many aspects of social life in society, including business, journalism, and individual perception of various matters. Different types of fake news include bait, misleading and political satire. Political satire is common in many as opponents seek to mobilize support for their ideologies. For instance, the US presidential election was impacted by various electoral practices on social media. The ads run by politicians have a multifaceted effect on perceptions held by individuals. Different types of social groups impacted by fake news include journalists, politicians, individuals, the illiterate and the business entities. Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram are used to disseminate important information to the public. Each individual needs to be vigilant in society as a way of embracing truthfulness in the media industry. Such news can be a source of destruction or success in society.

4.0 References

Allcott, H. and Gentzkow, M., 2017. Social media and fake news in the 2016 election. Journal of economic perspectives31(2), pp.211-36.

Borden, S.L. and Tew, C., 2007. The role of journalist and the performance of journalism: Ethical lessons from “fake” news (seriously). Journal of Mass Media Ethics22(4), pp.300-314.

Egelhofer, J.L. and Lecheler, S., 2019. Fake news as a two-dimensional phenomenon: a framework and research agenda. Annals of the International Communication Association43(2), pp.97-116.

Ilavarasan, P.V. and Kar, A.K., 2019, July. Authenticating Fake News: An Empirical Study in India. In ICT Unbounded, Social Impact of Bright ICT Adoption: IFIP WG 8.6 International Conference on Transfer and Diffusion of IT, TDIT 2019, Accra, Ghana, June 21–22, 2019, Proceedings (Vol. 558, p. 339). Springer.

Jang, S.M. and Kim, J.K., 2018. Third person effects of fake news: Fake news regulation and media literacy interventions. Computers in Human Behavior80, pp.295-302.

Kim, A., Moravec, P.L. and Dennis, A.R., 2019. Combating fake news on social media with source ratings: the effects of user and expert reputation ratings. Journal of Management Information Systems36(3), pp.931-968.

Nelson, J.L. and Taneja, H., 2018. The small, disloyal fake news audience: The role of audience availability in fake news consumption. New media & society20(10), pp.3720-3737.

Van Duyn, E. and Collier, J., 2019. Priming and fake news: The effects of elite discourse on evaluations of news media. Mass Communication and Society22(1), pp.29-48.

Willnat, L. and Weaver, D.H., 2018. Social Media and US Journalists: Uses and perceived effects on perceived norms and values. Digital Journalism6(7), pp.889-909.

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