Fake news: what are they and what consequences do they have?

Fake news what are they and what consequences
Fake news what are they and what consequences

It has become a phenomenon of such great dimensions that in some cases it has managed to cover up any truthful and contrasted news.

And is that the dissemination of false news on the network causes a dangerous circle of misinformation, which can affect all levels of society.

Today I want to talk to you about fake news, those news that tend to go viral on social media and for which there is no reliable source to confirm them. 

We will see how you can detect this type of false news, and get discredited to prevent its dissemination.

What is fake news?

Surely on more than one occasion you have found some news on the net that has sounded strange to you and has generated mistrust. Yes, it is possible that it was fake news.

With the advent of the Internet, the right of users to truthful and verified information has been affected by the impact of this phenomenon of fake news.

And it is proven that fake news is 70% more likely to be shared and replicated on social media, which makes them viral much earlier than real and quality news.

It is precisely the social networks that have facilitated the spread of this false news in a matter of seconds. Now any user can be a news consumer who shares information over the networks; but you can also accompany that news with your own opinion, and even create fake news.

Why does fake news spread faster than verified news?

The problem with fake news is that they are not only created by users, who are probably not trying to spread something false, but rather give a personal opinion about something.

The real problem, and why you must learn to differentiate fake news from authentic news, is in the platforms that are dedicated to launching these hoaxes online

They use bots that accelerate the spread of fake news, and also distribute the content after segmentation of users. That is, the filtered and conditioned information reaches each user.

In addition, the way in which the news on social media is updated plays an important role here, since they not only take into account the preferences of users, but also the relevance of the news in terms of the number of interactions and the reach that is catching.

The way the news is written also plays a fundamental role. These expert creators of fake news combine manipulation, based on telling half truths or betting on strategic lies, with a strong dose of emotion

This combination makes users notice false news earlier and feel the need to share it; as you can see it is a very studied manipulation.

Fake News Danger

The consequences of the phenomenon of fake news

The news fake apply the phenomenon called posverdad. According to the definition provided by the RAE dictionary, post-truth is the deliberate distortion of a reality, which manipulates beliefs and emotions in order to influence public opinion and social attitudes.

The consequences that the spread of fake news can cause when we are not aware of this devastating phenomenon, intensively affect the democratic integrity of countries in this way:

  • They weaken and deteriorate the credibility of traditional media
  • They interfere with the right of people to seek and consume information of all kinds, and freely
  • They can help in the growth of hostility and hatred towards certain vulnerable groups of society

Those who create these fake news to the detriment of the whole society, are looking for one of these reasons that are within the 8 “P” of disinformation: deficient journalism, Parody, Profit, Provocation, Passion, Partisanship, Power or political influence and Propaganda.

Learn to detect fake news

It is true that fake news exists, but it is not so easy for them to circulate freely on the web. The algorithms of Google, Facebook or Twitter are already working on the elimination of news, pages and portals that were created for disinformation and the dissemination of infamies and lies.

In addition, more and more media organizations and journalists are joining that help in the verification of news. 

Even so, here are some tips so that you learn to detect a possible false news while browsing the Internet, do not strain it:

  • Be wary of very long titles and/or written in capital letters: this type of headlines are written with a strong dose of emotion, and also seek to generate more interest in social media; think that being written so conspicuously (very long, in capital letters) it is easy for them to stand out from the rest.
  • If you are visiting a web page of a media that does not generate confidence, before reading anything go to their page “About Us” to find out who is behind everything. If there is nothing, or what you see does not convince you, distrust everything you read; Trusted media and websites have no qualms about telling who is part of the teams, where they are based or how you can contact them.
  • Check the links and quotes of what you are reading. A good way to verify the veracity of the news is to include the Google quote to verify that the person actually said that. Click on the links that the news has, and never trust urls of doubtful credibility.
  • Verify that the URLs where the links take you are not manipulated. Many times, sites that spread fake news use domains that are almost identical to the authentic ones to confuse users.
  • Search the images you see published on Google. Many times, the media that create fake news use images that do not correspond to the reality of what they are telling. 

First of all, if you see news that generates the slightest mistrust, do not share it. 

Consequences of Fake News

How can you help discredit fake news?

The best way to end the fake news movement is to make responsible and safe use of the information you find on the Internet.

However, you are not exempt from encountering some of these unpleasant news that only seeks to harm everyone. What can you do in those cases?

Take note of these tips that will help you keep those who try to harm us with disclosure of fake news at bay:

  • Personalize your searches: take advantage of the potential of the advanced filter of any search engine, both Google and social media. This guarantees you a result with places and means of trust.
  • If you spot false news, contact a subject matter expert to discredit the information with a public comment.
  • Take advantage of the geolocation of the news to confirm its veracity through witnesses in the area. This can help you check small details of the news that can be crucial when it comes to knowing if you are facing a fake news.


The fake news movement is something we all know and it exists. But don’t think it’s so easy to happily divulge manipulated information. 

In addition to the checks already made by Internet search engines, and the filters carried out by journalists’ associations, and even the governments of the countries themselves, fraud, theft of personal data or the dissemination of false news will always be sneaked in.

It is the responsibility of everyone, media and users, to maintain responsible consumption of content on the Internet .

Sometimes, we also find fake news very poorly done. Look at this example that is circulating on the net: it is the following sentence that Abraham Lincoln said: “Do not believe everything you read on the Internet just because there is a photo with a phrase next to it”