Fake news are stories, often of a sensational nature, created to be widely shared or distributed for the purpose of generating revenue, or promoting or discrediting a public figure, political movement, company, etc. Despite this not being a new phenomenon, its prominence continues to grow, often with fatal consequences for the society.
Through the internet, anyone can access, create and spread any amount of information. Fake news is not new, it has been around for centuries, but the technical tools that exist today, coupled with increasing distrust of the mainstream media, have proved to be logarithmic multipliers of the potential of false information. Fake news tends to find its peak when big events occur, such as elections, fatal accidents or dramatic events concerning celebrities.
After observing the social media behavior of my community through this event, I was inclined to do something about it. I could not just stand back and watch false information being widespread and causing unnecessary panic. This was very noticeable during the coronavirus pandemic.
To help me tackle this issue, I sought the help of Rono Chonginio, a freelance journalist based in Kenya. Chonginio runs a great information platform called Youthbase, where he tells inspiring stories of what he calls ‘the changemakers.’ In this video, we get to share tips of how to identify Fake News.
The fake news video with Chonginio got an overwhelming feedback. Olivier, from the UK, honored us with his personal tips on spotting fake news.