Fake News: information or manipulation, how to distinguish the truth from the fake?

It is common to be confronted with information of which one is not sure of the reliability. Sometimes false information, which when spread can have serious consequences. How to separate the truth from the false? Where to get the “good” information?



“Fake News”, the term has become common, even banal. However, misinformation is not without consequences. Younger people, but also adults, face it every day.

But how do you know if the information is real or fabricated? France Télévisions dedicates a special day to the fight against disinformation.

How do we make sense of things in the face of the constant flow of information we are all subjected to? According to a Kantar Institute survey for La Croix newspaper, 76% of 18-24 year olds get their information online and almost exclusively on smartphones.

Note that those who share the most false information are not the young, but the over 65s. Those born with social networks have a better grasp of them and know that there can be pitfalls. Now it remains to know how to detect them.

Lola Fourmy is a freelance journalist and head of the association Fake Off in Reunion. The association, which has 5 professional journalists in Reunion, works with students to raise awareness of disinformation and its dangers. It was born after the Charly Hebdo attacks in 2015, and now consists of around fifty journalists across the country.

At that time, false information circulated widely, the founders of the association thus identified the need to restore a dialogue with citizens, to explain how journalists work, says Lola Fourmy.

Where does the first video on social networks come from? Do we know where the incident happened? When did it happen? Who is posting this video? Is the source a popular news outlet or a fashion influencer? All of them relatively simple questions often make it possible to ensure the reliability of information.

An “infox” is a ” false information, which will very often be deliberately falsified “, defines the journalist. She gives examples of parody sites. this is the first level and often they are identifiable as fake news parody sites and yet they are taken seriously ” sometime.

But there are also, above all, all those “that are assembled for the purpose of manipulation, either to make a fuss, to make money, or to manipulate an opinion”. According to the estimates of an American NGO, sites specializing in the distribution of false information collect nearly 250 million euros every year.

What is information? How do we distinguish it from disinformation, or fake news? Young people are particularly sensitive, even vulnerable to Fake News. It is important to make them aware and allow them to acquire information verification reflexes. They may be able to help their parents.

Watch the report from Réunion la 1ère:

What is fake news and how to identify it, awareness campaign at a Saint-Louis college.

National Education has created tools to increase the awareness of students in schools. The training organization CANOPE supports teachers in media and information education.

Fake news about Alexandra Maurer

All academy institutions have a media and information officer, who is responsible for ” train students in critical thinking when they read newspapers, print and are on social networks “, explains Chantal Manès-Bonnisseau, rector of the Reunion academy.

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