Marketing Viewpoint by Ruth Winett
Ten Ways to Arm Yourself Against Fake News
The pandemic has taught us to carefully assess the barrage of Covid information we receive daily. Business people must also be able to evaluate information when making strategic decisions and when disseminating information to their customers, suppliers, partners, and employees. Otherwise, their audiences may leave. Here are tips to help you distinguish reliable information from fake news.
The four major types of fake news:
"Misinformation is false, misleading, or out-of-context content shared without an intent to deceive." The information providers think they are providing accurate information. (RD.com) For example, they may carelessly post the wrong caption under a photo or misstate statistics. Nonetheless, "people die because of misinformation," noted Nancy Watzman of First Draft. Misinformation is usually protected under the First Amendment.
"Disinformation is purposefully false or misleading content shared with an intent to deceive and cause harm." (RD.com) Examples are robot calls, Russia's reasons for attacking Ukraine, and rumors and "intentionally created conspiracy theories." As disinformation may include slanderous or hateful language, it is not protected under the First Amendment.
Malinformation is "genuine information that's shared with the intent to harm." Examples are "leaked private information, revenge porn, and hate speech." (RD.com)
DeepFakes are "videos [that] use deep learning, a type of artificial intelligence" to insert images of a person in an audio or video file, such as inserting a celebrity's photo into a pornographic image. (RD.com)
Ask these questions to test whether information is reliable:
Combatting fake news requires "intervention" on three fronts, concluded the Communications Network:
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