` `

How Do People Generate Fake News?

Khadija Boufous Khadija Boufous
24th January 2022
How Do People Generate Fake News?
It is simple to create fabricated statements (Getty).

Note: The views and opinions expressed in blog/editorial posts are those of the author. They do not reflect the views or opinions of Misbar.

Several social media users have circulated news about the decision of the International Court of Justice to cancel all forms of vaccination, manufacture, and sale in addition to dropping out the health protocol of the World Health Organization.

Accounts sharing the news also claimed the ICJ further “decided to cancel the World Health Organization’s health protocol, issuing a warrant for the arrest of several personalities, including Pfizer’s CEO, on charges of committing genocide.” The claim mentioned that the U.K. is the first country to enforce the verdict. And the posts cited a link they claim to be the link to the court’s official website.

Our investigation found out that the claim was fake. The International Court of Justice did not issue any statement regarding this subject, and the website of Commonlaw.earth has nothing to do with the court or its activities.

According to Reuters, Common Law is not a legally recognized governing body. It is the invention of Kevin Annett, a former pastor who was removed from the ministry in 1997 for spreading conspiracy theories.

Although many fact-checking websites and platforms have already debunked claims uploaded to the website, social media users are still sharing and posting new fake statements coming from the same source. It seems easy to generate fake news to attract people and convince them because of many drivers, including psychological ones.

Fake news could start as a fake story made for specific purposes and end up as false content shared accidentally by a social media user who does not know that the information is inaccurate. And if the fake story matches the receiver's beliefs, it gets more likely to be shared or retweeted because of confirmation bias. Also, the shocking nature of the content can use emotions and psychological drivers to get people to share it, especially when it is during a pandemic or a world crisis.

According to the Common Sense Media website, it is easy for anyone to create a fake news story. Everyone can plug in a fake news story, a fake image, and a fake author and even get a fake URL. 

The website found that people usually generate fake news to make money by running ads and do not necessarily do it for ideological purposes. Fake news stories are a great clickbait and “the same technology tools that can be useful to create quality, informative content also can be used to mislead.”

Fake news generators create a legitimate-looking domain address that extends to how the website is supposed to look. Those people try to make the website look like real news sites. After having a fully designed website, the fake news generators could create their content and pass it off as accurate content. But since this process takes time and energy, other fake news sites owners often steal their content.

Fake news websites owners are concerned with attracting a large audience to visit their platform and “click” on their “fake articles” to get more ads. And when it comes to the advertisers are concerned with having their advertising on the most popular websites. It is all about gaining more money.

Social media help fake news websites by providing more visitors. Sharing the claim on one of the social media platforms can help people see the headline easily and click on it. It takes them directly to their web browser and opens the specific page of the fake story or statement. And “the most common ways of doing this are creating fake social media accounts and posting to existing groups.”

Social media experts insist on considering the source to spot fake news or fake statements. They also advise checking the author, his biography, and other articles mentioning his name. It is also crucial to check the date and every detail that may be useful. And if it is not clear yet, the social media user can consult the experts.

Misbar’s Sources:

Misbar 1
Misbar 2
The International Court of Justice
Common Sense Media

Most Read