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Fake News Spread Worldwide post-U.S. Elections: How Korea is Grappling with Fake News

Fake News Spread Worldwide post-U.S. Elections: How Korea is Grappling with Fake News


Washington. April, 2013. An alert about explosions in the White House
was issued by the Associated Press. The tweets sent the Dow Jones index plunging
wiping an estimated 130 billion dollars of share values. It turned out to be a hoax – the work of hackers. Incorrect news items are nothing new. For decades they’ve been distributed by nations
and individuals. But, what’s different today in 2017 – the
speed of dissemination and depth of penetration. It’s called fake news. Fake news is information that look legitimate,
but the stories behind the headlines entirely fictional. Hundreds of fake news sites have been set
up, some producing false stories to entertain and amuse – others to peddle their own agendas. For instance here’s one: Sony Music’s post
on its Twitter account last month saying Britney Spears had died. You can imagine how that was received by the
pop icon herself and her millions of fans across the globe. It was later found that Sony Music’s Twitter
account had been hacked. But, the idea of fake news really came to
prominence during the U.S. election. So powerful that it’s raised speculations
that fictitious news stories influenced voters in Donald Trump’s surprise victory. On platforms like Facebook, users shared false
stories like this one about Pope Francis endorsing Donald Trump – in fact, this actually made
the top fake news of 2016. OR this. that Hillary Clinton sold weapons to ISIS
hundreds of thousands of times. And, Angela Merkel is quickly replacing Hillary
as prime target of fake news. Facebook is being sued by this Syrian migrant
who… after posing for a selfie with the German Chancellor was falsely accused of being
involved in terrorism on social media. So, how viral are fake news? A study by Buzzfeed News shows that… in
the final three months of the U.S. presidential campaign, fake election stories gathered more
engagement on the social media platform than genuine stories from 19 major news outlets
combined. That’s outlets such as the New York Times,
Washington Post, NBC News and others. “In today’s 24-hour news cycle, dominated
by an always-on social media agenda, fake news with certain intentions can spread incredibly
quickly. Some are posted as a form of persuasive communication,
to try to sway or sow seeds of doubt in people’s mind about the character of an individual,
or group. Some can be forms of astroturfing, where the
story is constructed by lobby groups or other professional or political organisations, to
try to attempt to discredit someone.” Facebook will soon begin to set out a fake
news filtering tool in Germany… in time for the federal elections slated in the next
few months. German users of the network will be able to
report a story as “fake,” which will be sent to an indepdent fact-checking
organization for examination. If deemed unreliable, Facebook will flag the
post as “disputed.” A timely move… as a proposed law is under
review in Germany which would levy a 500-thousand euro fine for each single piece of misinformation
published and not removed within 24 hours. €500,000 With the “fake news” scare is making its way
around the world… especially in countries where elections are coming up, Korea is also
grappling with the spread of false news. A new unit at Korea’s National Election Commission
is preparing to combat disinformation campaigns and crack down on distribution of fake news…
ahead of the presidential election this year – one that may happen sooner or later. “We’ve come to realize that there are websites
in Korea that help you create fake news… which can be distributed extremely rapidly
reaching all corners. Fake news can be detrimental to democracy
especially during election time.” That’s why the nation’s election watchdog
has dispatched more than 180 agents to 17 regional offices nationwide to monitor and
scour the web for any misleading or fabricated information. “The distribution of false information or
fake news during election season is particularly concerning because once it’s been out there
even if the information is removed afterwards, the damage to reputation has already been
done. That’s why prevention is the most effective
strategy in reining in fake news so that the voters are given accurate information to make
the right decision for themselves.” “There’s never been such a challenging time
to be an informed citizen. As civil societies, we would like to do our
part in keeping tabs on the spread of fake news so that we, ourselves, can create an
environment to exercise our democratic right.” Will we be fed information with indiscretion
OR… will we educate ourselves enough to be selective about it?

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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