While social media now acts as a main or supporting source of news for almost everybody, fake news is sweeping all network channels.
Ajman University (AU), in collaboration with the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR), has organized a live broadcast session to explain how to spot fake news.
The one-hour workshop, delivered by Dr. Hosam Ali Salama, Dean of the College of Mass Communication, AU, affirmed that the topic of fake news is as old as the news industry.
“Misinformation, disinformation, hoaxes, propaganda, and satire have long been in existence on social media.”
Misinformation and disinformation are all about incorrect information, he added. “However, the motivation for sharing fake news is quite different.”
One may honestly share an error unintentionally included in a piece of news coming from a trusted source as a reputable media outlet, he said.
“However, disinformation is purposely spread to confuse the audience and make them believe in a lie.”
Dr. Salama further explained how the definition of news has changed over time. “This is mainly due to speed of life.”
There are so problems related to making and spreading news, though, he underlined. “Intentionally spreading fake news is always associated with an agenda and ends in confusion and sometimes disorder.”
It has become inevitable for everyone to stop spreading news without first verifying their sources and contents, he advised.
“This is how to reveal whether this or that piece of news is fake or genuine,” he said, urging the audience to raise positive energy and support mental health in times of crisis.