Misinformation & Fake News
Online platforms have made it easier for anyone to share information.
We now get our news in many different ways, we might read a story on Snapchat, see it on Tiktok, read a post from our favourite influencer, or watch a YouTube video about a news topic. Having all these different types of sources makes it even easier for people to spread misinformation and disinformation, and it can be difficult to determine whether something is real or false.
Misinformation is the act of unintentionally sharing misleading or inaccurate information by accident without the intent to cause harm. For example, sharing inaccurate photos, quotes or dates online that you believe were true.
Disinformation is the act of intentionally sharing false information to trick someone into believing something that isn’t true. For example, fabricated news stories and political propaganda used to influence or change people’s opinion. It can also include online scams where criminals use online platforms to trick someone into sharing personal data like bank details or passwords.
Misinformation and disinformation can spread on most online platforms that have communication tools. This includes social media and video-sharing platforms, games, forums, comment sections, email and messaging apps.
Spreading misinformation and fake news can be harmful. It can also be confusing and upsetting to read stories which relate to the safety of others or ourselves, such as war or health. That’s why it’s important we know how to identify fake news and misinformation so we can help to stop it spreading further.
Here are some tips:
Make sure its genuine.
Check images and videos.
Keep it private.
Police Service of Northern Ireland
If you are worried or concerned about something, please make sure you speak to an adult you trust.
If you require help and support in confidence, you can call Childline free on 0800 1111, or visit the website.