Fake news includes influencing governments or non-governmental organizations to control political sentiment. Fake news, pretending to be correct, but deliberately propagating misinformation to create mood. Likewise, discussions and disinformation can be transported in a targeted and coordinated manner with fake online accounts.
For example, on Sunday, October 30, 1938, on the radio stations of the American CBS network the program was interrupted for a breaking news item. The moderator announced then that there had been an explosion on the planet Mars and that the gas clouds were moving towards Earth. A little later, the report followed that a strange object had been seen in a field in New Jersey. On that evening, the young film director Orson Welles had staged the novel “The War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells from 1898 about an invasion of aliens as a radio play.
In an unknown form he used various stylistic devices and allegedly expert interventions to entertain radio listeners. Some listeners were panicked by this interruption, but the great mass hysteria that was reported in the newspapers over the next few days turned out to be a hoax. Mass manipulation and fake news are therefore not only a phenomenon of our time, but can be traced back at least since the appearance of the popular media. In today’s world, of course, the quantity and accessibility of the media and the associated probability of so-called fake news have increased many times over. Today, we talk about media manipulation as long as intentionally false information is spread on the Internet, especially in social networks.
Political propaganda in the media often aims at manipulating opinion in order to influence media consumers. Destructive feelings and fears of fictitious enemy images are also deliberately created in order to divide the population and set them against each other. The more entrenched a political conviction, worldview or opinion is, the more inclined the person will be to believe news that supports this worldview. The power of the media should not be underestimated in this context. The terms “lie press” or “gap press” are also used in this context.
The big challenge lies in detecting dubious internet sources or forums and not to share information from these sources without verification. Especially articles in Wikipedia and other online encyclopedias are not immune to misinformation. There are still one-sided articles from some religious, economic, social or political opinion manipulators. Convenience and a gullible mind are the optimal breeding ground for manipulation. To sharpen your own mind and to use it is therefore the best prevention against it.
Fake news are purposely controlled disinformation to generate emotions and manipulate the population unilaterally. Very often this can be found in media that have a monopoly position.
Tendentious and manipulative reporting can also be found in the areas of freedom of belief, spirituality/religion alternative medicine etc. Numerous bloggers or “journalists” disguise themselves under the guise of scientificity in order to make a living with sensationalism of their readers. They are not afraid to insult other people with different religious values, to damage their reputation, to revile them or to present them as ridiculous. Their research is often unscientific and dishonest, and their sources are often based on “hearsay”. They are officially committed to “freedom” and minority rights, and their journalistic work makes them the biggest enemies of freedom of expression.
They portray themselves as the “do-gooders” and at the same time insult all people with different values and portray them as Nazis, extremists, radicals, agitators, racists or homophobes, although they would be more likely to be included in this category. They resemble the pawn victims on the chessboard who do not understand the “big” picture and are themselves abused by various corporations, parties or powerful organizations for their own interests without even realizing it. They are the true mob, who in the Middle Ages “in the name of God” burned every dissenter at the stake with jubilation. Today they stammer instead the phrase… “in the name of science!” Instead of being burned at the stake, they burn the reputation and renown of those who think differently.