Sunday, August 6, 2017 at 9 a.m.
There’s nothing “new” about fake news — slaveholders spread rumors that African-Americans were spontaneously turning white, Nazis printed children books that equated Jewish people to poisonous mushrooms, and The Onion tricked journalists at the Korea Times into thinking North Korea’s Kim Jong-un was named the “Sexiest Man Alive.”
But in the “everyone can blog” age of media, fake news has turned into an entirely new being.
Sword and shield in hand, the researchers at University of Arizona attempted to tame, or at least understand, this three-headed beast.
In their new study, researchers from the James E. Rogers College of Law dismantled fake news and identified it into four categories — satire, hoax, propaganda, and trolling. In doing so, they also broke down the incentives of why this fake news was created.
As always, a “follow the money” technique was crucial in debunking these far fetched tales.
For example, why someone would make up that a 15-year-old Phoenix boy was charged with “self-rape” after his mother caught him masturbating? Well, if that someone is Phoenix local Paul Horner, then clicks on stories like this can earn him $10,000 a month through companies like AdSense.
Companies like Facebook and Google are trying to stem this by not allowing fake news to use their advertising platforms. The UA researchers listed legal ramifications among their suggestions for ending fake…
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