Bruno Fagali recently took a look at the threat that fake news poses to the electoral process and electoral integrity. He also took a look at fake videos, which often end up fueling fake news. Below are some of the insights and finding that the Brazilian attorney who specializes in ethics, compliance and administrative law found during his research.
Fake news has only fairly recently entered the mainstream of the populace and media. However, it is not a new issue. Fagali found that fake news was a concern and a highlighted issue all the way back in 2010 for Brazil Elections. Furthermore, in the 2014 Brazilian elections, three of the top candidates for president in the country had over a thousand bots or fake profiles associated with them. These bots were responsible for creating and spreading fake news and other kinds of manipulative content designed to influence voting and perception.
The resurgence of fake news and bots has led Brazilian authorities to start taking action against its spread. Task forces have been set up to study fake news, locate their sources and remove it from the internet or media. The integrity of elections is of paramount importance to a thriving democracy. Fake news poses a threat to this because it threatens the very integrity of the people’s voice in a democratic government.
Bruno Fagali has pointed out that research into fake news has found that people are actually more likely to spread the fake news through social media such as Twitter and Facebook than actual real news. This presents a real problem. We have mentioned that bots are created to make and spread fake news. It seems that fake news spreads like wildfire even without any fake or automated profiles.
Besides the problem of fake news being spread on social media, there is also a problem with fake videos and audio clips. Developments in video editing software and audio editing software have allowed people to generate highly believable videos that turn out to be fake. Some of this software has gotten so good, that many people fall prey to believing these fake videos or audio files.
Authorities must now not only deal with the fake published news that has no sources, but they must also deal with counterfeit videos and sound files that may be believable to some. The best way to fight fake news, videos and audio files is to make sure they come from authoritative sources. This means that people need to scrutinize any news they come across. It also means that the media must fact-check stories. Authorities must also crack down on malicious fake news creators to protect voter and election integrity.
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