How Fake News Can Influence the Upcoming Election Cycle

It’s no secret that fake news is a problem and everyone is wondering how fake news can influence the upcoming election cycle. There has been much speculation and investigations as to how much it influenced the 2016 election. People are still constantly being tricked into believing that something happened or didn’t happen, when in reality everything is vice versa. Here’s how fake news can influence the upcoming election cycle.

1. Bots and fake profiles

Bots and fake profiles operate to create traffic for certain websites, accumulate likes and comments on posts, and tweet and post about certain topics. All of this is done to bring your attention to fake news and propaganda, or promote certain ‘beliefs’ that will ultimately influence your vote. Bots and fake accounts can also initiate discussions to increase the popularity of certain topics.

2. Altered statistics

There are hundreds if not thousands of articles with statistics that aren’t real. There is no real research or the studies are biased. For example, small groups of people are being questioned about an issue, which cannot be counted as proper research; the sample size is too small. So these statistics are skewed to support one side. Always try to find a different source for the statistics the article is talking about to see if it’s real.

3. Fake news stories

This more common than most people realize. A news story is created with little or no basis in truth and then the story gets cross posted to hundreds of news sites across the web. It offers the illusion of credibility. Leading people to believe that because something is published across hundreds of sites all over the world that it must be true. Most people don’t understand the digital world or how easy it is to through up a news site that looks credible when it isn’t.  Here is a look at how this happened in 2016.

4. Rumors

Rumors are something that his not always based on facts. Something along the lines of “I heard this happened there” or “I heard he/she did that.” It’s often that they are presented as facts, but don’t give into this. Rumors, even if they are found out to be fake later, can actually damage the image of a certain politician a lot. Not only will you have a negative feeling about them, but you might also start questioning their actions and stop trusting them.

5. Biased websites

Finally, there are biased news websites. These post articles and news only about certain politicians or make certain public personas look better or worse than they actually are. It’s easy to understand if they are pro-rightist or pro-leftist or anything else by going through their newsfeed and seeing who do they usually praise, or on the contrary, disparage.