In political systems restricting communication by means of official controls on information, the dissemination of fake news, as well as counterfeit content in general, increases. Audiences in such locations can be more vulnerable to misinformation, as there are no contrasting sources to check or confirm what is being misrepresented. Concurrently, the dynamics of social media also make fact checking difficult given the large volume of content that can be accessed almost instantly. This piece reviews both concepts surrounding the fake news phenomenon and an approach to citizens’ perception of misinformation in their midst. The existence of a political regime hellbent on controlling information creates conditions for citizens to echo rumors and hoaxes. The – still tentative – answer, precisely in view of a system that generally encourages disinformation, hinges on journalism, particularly that engaging in fact checking.
Part of the book: Fake News Is Bad News