You may have heard that the term “fake news” is building as a security concern. And so it is, but what’s “fake news” all about? Here’s a Security InfoWatch take on the subject, timely and helpful.
“Fake news” is a creation of cyber meanies, who are at home on the Internet. It didn’t just appear in the 2016 election cycle. “Think back to April 23, 2013, when a tweet, apparently posted by the Associated Press, reported that there had been an explosion in the White House and that President Obama had been injured.
“It only took two minutes to debunk the message, but during those two minutes the stock markets lost over $125 billion of value.” There was likely a small group of traders who were in on the mischief. Did they profit from it? You bet.
“Fake news is predictable,” the Infowatch post continues. “It is almost always initially delivered by Twitter or Facebook. It may or may not contain a link to a URL. Fake news is specific – its goal is to fan the flames of discord or to solidify public opinion within a small constituency. Fake news is usually designed to divide opinion, between those that want to believe it, and those that can’t possibly believe it.”
This doesn’t discredit social media channels that provide useful information to increasingly wary followers. But it indeed calls for a “heads up” on the Web.