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News makers/news fakers: Disinformation

Discover how fake news is spread, why people create it, and what we can do to avoid it.


Traditionally published by governments as part of a larger propaganda campaign, disinformation is now rife on the interwebs. Governments and government departments still publish disinformation, but the internet has seen a proliferation of other types of disinformation - from bogus health claims to conspiracy theories.

The word "disinformation" comes from KGB spycraft, and is designed from an agenda-driven standpoint to sway or cement the opinions of its readers through only telling part of a story, withholding certain facts in reporting a story, or through outright lies.

Watch the 'Home brewed high' story on the right. While you're watching, think about these questions and watch as much as you need to answer them:

  • What does the anchor say? What's being implied?
  • What is the majority of the story about? How much time is dedicated to which narrative?
  • What sort of language is being used? What about tone of voice?
  • Are we given any statistics about how prevalent this problem is?
  • What is the over-arching message this story is trying to convey? What emotions are we meant to feel?

Once you've done that, and just for fun, feel free to enjoy Randy Rainbow's take on "alternative facts".

Alternative facts

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