July 2023 – Culture Café: Fake News

Social media are part of our daily life. People use social media to find out about current events and news and there is a particularly large amount of Fake News in social media. People keep sharing Fake News for various reasons, such as political intentions, hate and discrimination, and economic interests. 

While talking about Fake News it is important to distinguish between three different types of Fake News: falsified news, invented stories and “twisted” truths. People believe certain Fake News because they like to believe things that confirm their point of view. Often Fake News provide a simple answer for a complex issue and thus makes it easier to believe in. Furthermore, people are not able to notice all things happening, especially not outside of each other’s focus. 

Thus, they lose a wide-angle view and are trapped in their filter bubble. Exactly this dynamic is dangerous in case of radicalization and political extremes. Especially because of this it is very important to be aware of Fake News and rather check news before sharing then with other. For checking a Fake News start by question the message, check the image, and further check the source. When it comes to responding to Fake News it’s the first step to share with other users why it might be Fake News. It is very helpful to share own background knowledge and prove it scientifically (e.g., statistics, scientific facts). Further, assign fact checkers with the content or counter with irony and humor (memes).