Misinformation - FAQs
Misinformation is fake news, or a false narrative published and promoted as if it were true. False, incorrect, misleading, or deceptive information
- Fabricated Content: Completely false content;
- Manipulated Content: Genuine information or imagery that has been distorted, e.g., a sensational headline or populist ‘click bait’;
- Imposter Content: Impersonation of genuine sources, e.g., using the branding of an established agency;
- Misleading Content: Misleading information, e.g. comment presented as fact;
- False Context: Factually accurate content combined with false contextual information, e.g. when the headline of an article does not reflect the content;
- Satire and Parody: Humorous but false stories passed off as true. There is no intention to harm, but readers may be fooled;
- False Connections: When headlines, visuals or captions do not support the content;
- Sponsored Content: Advertising or PR disguised as editorial content;
- Propaganda: Content used to manage attitudes, values, and knowledge; 10. Error: A mistake made by established new agencies in their reporting
- Check the source. Always use trusted sources.
- Establish if the source is legitimate. Look for facts.
- Establish the date and time the information was shared.
- Double-check what you read. If possible read the full story.
- Consider the targeted audience.
Do the following checks:
- Look beyond the headline.
- Check your individual bias.
- Check the facts of the story.
- Check other sources, Is it a joke?
- Take a closer look, who else is sharing the same story?
- There is a large amount of information from different sources that is hard to know who or what to believe.
- It may not be clear to know where the information has come from, who wrote it, or when it was produced.
- When we share something online, we do not stop to think whether it is true.
- Misinformation can be new, surprising, or emotive, which makes one more likely to share it and it can often spread faster than the facts.
Fake news spreads more rapidly than other news because it appeals to the emotions, grabbing attention. Here are some ways disinformation spreads on social media:
- Continuous sharing.It’s easy to share and “like” content on social media. The number of people that see this content increases each time a user shares it with their social network.
- Recommendation engines.Social media platforms and search engines also provide readers with personalized recommendations based on past preferences and search history. This further contributes to who sees fake news.
- Engagement metrics.Social media feeds prioritize content using engagement metrics, including how often readers share or like stories. However, accuracy is not a factor.
- These people can plant stories into real media news outlets, appearing as though they are from reliable sources. For example, Ukrainian officials reported hackers broke into government websites and posted false news about a peace treaty.
- Fake news can also appear in the comments of reputable articles. Trolls deliberately post to upset and start arguments with other readers. They are sometimes paid for political reasons, which can play a part in spreading fake news.
- Is it true?
- Is it informative?
- Is it harmful?
Not more than 48hrs depending on the complexity of your enquiry.
The sender of the fake news is responsible for its accuracy and therefore liable for any outcome resulting from receipt of the information shared.
- Beware, there is a lot of misinformation online. When in doubt, please verify its correctness before forwarding, reposting, sharing, copying, retweeting any post.
- Do not be the person responsible for perpetuating misinformation that could destroy somebody’s reputation, family, career, business, and many more. It could be You!
- Use social media responsibly by taking care to verify the authenticity of the information before sharing it.
Immediately send a WhatsApp message to our Fact Checker phone No. 0760 445 256, or
- Call UCC on Toll Free Line: 0800222777
- Connect on the Social media platforms:
- Twitter: @UCC_Official
- Twitter: @ConsumerUCC