People who intentionally publish fake news on the web are getting every day more sophisticated. They are pretending to base their content on apparently serious sources: scientists’ statements, scientific publications or even completely invented or distorted statements attributed to famous people – says Michel Viatteau (Agence France-Presse).
It is great that everyone can speak on the internet, post whatever we want. It’s marvellous. At the same time it is a danger because everybody can comment everything. There is no control and we mix those people who really know something with those people who may know nothing, who just like to talk – says Malgorzata Bonikowska, president of the Centre for International Relations.
Staying critically minded is even more important today, as the level of journalism decreased. In the past we had this rule of journalism to check every information in two different sources. Today it does not exist anymore. Time is money. The more information media give us, the more money they can make – Adrianna Śniadowska, Centre for International Relations.
Today, especially with the pandemic, but even without the pandemic, we see the world mainly on the screen of our computers. So as the fake news are invading our screens, we have all to become fact-checkers. Why? To be sure we see the world as it is, and not as some people would like us to see – says Michel Viatteau (Agence France-Presse).
Do not fall victim to clickbait, or exaggerated headline. This is a very frequent and cunning manoeuvre we find in the fake news. Few days ago I read a headline “A Kansas woman dies AFTER having been vaccinated against Covid-19”. I saw many similar headlines in the past year, and they get viral every day – says Michel Viatteau, coordinator of the fact-checking department at AFP for Central Europe.
There are many ways of checking the credibility of the website. The simplest for an average user is just to read several posts on the website and look whether they look trustworthy. It is always good to see who is the person or the organisation managing the website. Is it someone well-known we can see elsewhere on the web? – says Michel Viatteau (Agence France-Presse).
Disinformation has a feature of repeating fake news. This is applicable especially when we talk about theories of conspiracy or the time when we have conflict of collective memories. When we talk and try to control somebody’s past – says Dalia Bankauskaite, Country Coordinator of Start2Think platform.
New tools are born every week, almost every day. Most of them are for free. And let’s say that the big platforms such as Facebook or Instagram are reacting to the accusations of inundating the world with fake news. They are inviting us and helping the public to fight back, to react – says Michel Viatteau, Agence France-Presse.
If one is not sure that the content is serious news or a joke, one should study other contents of the website and to look at it welcome page. We, fact-checkers, if we see that the joke is getting viral, and if the users believe it is a serious piece of news, we publish what we call “an explainer” to clarify things – says Michel Viatteau (Agence France-Presse).
If you see a very surprising information, try to get two independent sources before you share it. Fake news are often viral, they are meant to become viral. You may have 10 or 20 posts repeating exactly the same thing but the source is in fact only one, and dubious – so beware – says Michel Viatteau, Agence France-Presse.
Today we are basically overwhelmed by information. From every side media is bombarding us with news, with photos. We started to talk about a new phenomenon, which is “information diet”. We try to cut ourselves from unnecessary information – says Adrianna Śniadowska, Centre for International Relations.
The only answer is to keep open mind, to zap, and zap, and zap again. Surf on different websites. Visit the traditional pluralistic media. To make a comparison with other media, switch from CNN to Fox TV even if you do not like it. Switch from Washington Post to USA Today. Switch from Liberation to Le Figaro – says Michel Viatteau (Agence France-Presse).
We cannot exclude that the deep fake software, which improves every day, will be often used to really put in the mouth of the politicians or other celebrities – words they have never pronounced – says Michel Viatteau, Agence France-Presse.
For many people freedom on the web means they can stay anonymous, hidden behind the nickname. It is sometimes very difficult to find out who they are –says Michel Viatteau, coordinator of the fact-checking department at AFP for Central Europe.
Disinformation and new propaganda can take many forms nowadays – from the use of the false visuals or misleading headlines, to social media techniques that create an impression that the majority understands the issue and shares the same position – says Dalia Bankauskaite, Country Coordinator of Start2Think platform.
Today sharing information became very intuitive and very easy. In one click we can share information in our social media. It is so easy that we do not even take time to check credibility of information –Adrianna Śniadowska Centre for International Relations.
Nowadays an election campaign and the election itself is a rich source of fake news. I think everybody knows about it. The problem was that the fakes were often based on the real statements of some politicians. – says Michel Viatteau, Agence France-Presse.
In our fact-checking work at Agence France-Presse we see many fakes using old pictures to go with completely different event to produce a fake version of them – says Michel Viatteau, Agence France-Presse.
We have to keep in mind also that some fake news are written by people who are not really writers, they are not very competent. They may use some slang words or expressions and it might be a source of misunderstanding and mistakes – says Michel Viatteau, Agence France-Presse.
Most likely, all of us have been in a situation when acquaintances on social networks begin to share vague and polarizing information, so-called “truths” or other statements that very often have nothing to do with reality. Especially during the period of COVID-19, the scope of false information about coronavirus has dramatically increased. Therefore, in order to stay alert, we are sharing with you some tips on how to effectively identify disinformation.
I think fake news is an industry. This is an industry which has employees, working hours, norms and pays. The only way to battle against the industry of lies is to create the industry of truth – says Nenad Pejic, former vice-president of Radio Slobodna Europa (Free Europe) in the interview.
Interview with Gordana Vilovic, Vice-dean, Political Science University of Zagreb
Fake news is nothing new, it has always existed, but in the past there were no social media which enabled the proliferation of it on such a large scale – says Gordana Vilovic, Vice dean at the Faculty of Political sciences of Zagreb University.
I think the biggest challenge overall is that we have to fight very hard to return to the basis of journalism. Journalists these days are fighting with social networks or citizen journalism – which is a new concept that is hopefully going to trail away because it is not journalism. At the same time, journalists are often criticised today for not being professional, being biased, being politically affiliated with different political options. – says Leila Bicakcic, Executive Director of the Centre for Investigative Reporting.