Making your research accessible

How to report fake news

By 31 January 2017

Incredible how quickly the term ‘fake news’ has gone from unknown to hashtag superstar. The recent US election was a masterclass in how quickly people are now able to use social media in particular to spread false information, or information that is so badly distorted or one-sided that it is at very least more propaganda than news – but certainly fake. As mainstream news sources struggled to understand how they had lost control of disseminating ‘the news’, research emerged that showed that a huge number of people now get their news mainly or even exclusively from social media, in particular Facebook. As my own feed showed, the articles are cleverly written to appeal to our existing likes and prejudices (on both sides of the political spectrum), and many of my friends were sharing them in the genuine belief that they were true.

The corporations behind the social media giants are bristling with indignation that they might be part of the problem, and they’ve recently made changes to ensure that users are able to alert them when ‘fake news’ pops up on their screens. Sometimes it’s a bit of a faff (yep, that’s the official spelling!), but we all need to do our bit.

Late last year the BBC published a decent guide to deciding whether or not something is indeed ‘fake news’, with details of how to report it on from various social media platforms. This is something that you really should share with friends.


  • jeffjones

    I want to report fake news on Face book. A page by the name of Sherry Shriner dated , Feb.10 at 5:33 A.M. posted that “NBC Reports: All Americans Will Receive an RFID Implant.” ” One of the pieces of “evidence” now commonly proffered in support of
    this claim is a video clip from an NBC Nightly News broadcast (with
    anchor Brian Williams) touted as reporting that “All Americans Will
    Receive a Microchip Implant in 2017”:” (Snopes, David Mikkelson)
    Apparently Obama care is blamed and this is why some Americans do not support public health care. At any rate I tried to communicate this with FB but it was beyond my ability. I felt obligated to write this piece of reality.
    I want to thank-you for giving me ease of access.