You might have seen a fake news story on Facebook or Instagram claiming that an African country had banned all facial hair and facial grooming in order to stop a deadly outbreak of the coronavirus.
You might even have seen the fake news report claiming that a doctor in Africa had told the country that it should adopt a “hairless, facial-only” society.
But you’re not alone.
Fake news can be scary.
You’ve never seen a story like this one.
It’s about a doctor who is promoting a cosmetic product that will stop the spread of the virus and it is claiming that the virus is already on the verge of hitting Australia.
The story was picked up by a local news website called ABC News and picked up on by a number of news outlets across Australia, including The Australian Financial Journal and The Australian.
The Australian article claims that the doctor’s product has a “disease-fighting” effect and that it will stop “the spread of [the] coronaviruses coronavillosis, influenza, and mumps”.
It also says that the “Australian-based health authority” that made the statement is Dr Anthony Watson, who has previously been linked to a series of false stories about the Ebola outbreak in Africa.ABC News says it’s not the first time Dr Watson has been linked with the spread or use of false news.
In January, Dr Watson told a local radio station that he had “no knowledge of the [Zika] outbreak” and that “a virus that is currently not circulating in Australia is not in Australia”.ABC News has not responded to requests for comment.
The fake news stories that appeared in Australian news outlets are being circulated online on social media and used by a growing number of people to spread the fake stories that they want to believe.
In an attempt to get to the bottom of these hoaxes, we spoke to experts in social media, news sharing, and digital marketing to find out what they say are some of the most common ways people spread false news online.
Dr Andrew Gough, professor of digital media at the University of Technology Sydney, says it is a lot easier to spread fake news online than it is in person.
“What people do in the real world is find people and share their information with them,” he said.
“So that’s what people are doing online in a way that is not the case in the person’s life.”‘
There’s not a lot of research on the impact of fake news’It’s hard to know what exactly is the impact on the real lives of people.
But Gough says that there is evidence that fake news has an impact on people’s online behaviour.
“We’ve found evidence that people are more likely to share fake news, more likely they share things that they don’t like, and more likely that they have more negative attitudes towards others,” he explained.
“And so that can have a significant impact on real life and the real things that people care about.”
The impact on our online behaviour is significantDr Gough said that one of the ways fake news spreads is through the sharing of misinformation.
“It’s quite hard to find research that really examines the impact that fake stories have on people, so I don’t think that’s something that we can necessarily talk about,” he told AM.
“But I think that there’s a lot more research to do.”
Dr Gaugh said that while fake news does have an impact online, the effect is much smaller than what is being reported on social networks.
“For example, in real life, if you have someone telling you something, if it’s true, then you probably think they’re really brave and you’re going to listen to them and be supportive,” he says.
“The truth is that if you’re reading a story about Ebola and they’re spreading it around like this it’s likely that you’re also reading a piece of misinformation that’s spreading around, that’s making people very angry.”
People are likely to be more likely than not to spread misinformation online.
“Dr Jodi Vaz, a social media expert from the University in Melbourne, told AM that the effects on people online are likely “more subtle”.”
What we’ve seen in real-world research is that people tend to be very negative towards each other, so there’s less of a negative impact on us as users of social media,” she said.
Topics:global-warming,science-and-technology,social-media,news,advertising,australiaFirst posted January 22, 2017 11:50:42Contact Lisa WillsMore stories from Western Australia