The people behind fakenewsnetworkgroup & (FCI's) ,,Facts Checking Investigations'' will look at

How it spreads :

by Who, Where fake news comes from and What impact it has.

Many of us like to share news and stories on social media with our friends.

We all share things for different reasons. Perhaps it's an interesting story, news about a celebrity that you like, or something that made you laugh.

But when you see something you like online, do you check to make sure that it's true before you share it?

Not everything that we read or see on the internet is true -

and if it isn't, and we share it, we could be making more people believe something that is actually made up.

Stories like this are called 'fake news' and they can be a problem.

Read the online guide to find out more about it.

What is fake news?

Fake news is news or stories on the internet that are not true.

There are two kinds of fake news:

  1. False stories that are deliberately published or sent around, in order to make people believe something untrue or to get lots of people to visit a website. These are deliberate lies that are put online, even though the person writing them knows that they are made up.
  2. Stories that may have some truth to them, but they're not completely accurate. This is because the people writing them - for example, journalists or bloggers - don't check all of the facts before publishing the story, or they might exaggerate some of it.

It is happening a lot at the moment, with many people publishing these stories in order to get as many shares as possible.

Now that we have social media, it is much easier for these stories to spread quickly, which can be a problem.

It is also easier than it used to be to edit photos, and create fake websites and stories that look realistic.

Why is it a problem?

Fake news is a problem for different reasons.

The first kind of fake news - deliberate lies - is a problem because it can make people believe things that are completely untrue.

The second kind - when people publish something without checking that it's completely right - can make people have less trust in the media, as well as make everyone believe something that might be inaccurate.

People also only tend to share things that they agree with. So if people are sharing a lot of fake news, and lots of people believe it, it's easy to get sucked into a bubble that is actually completely different to the real world - and a long way from the truth.

When is "fake news" not fake news?

Sometimes, a story might be called fake news (when actually it isn't) by someone, or a group of people, who don't want to accept that the news is true - even if it might be.

They will tell people that a story is fake, just because they don't want it to be true.

Some people will call things fake news, when really they just have a different opinion.

Calling something fake news, when it isn't really, is a problem as it can mean some people don't know what to believe anymore.

Why are we talking about it?

Fake news is becoming more and more of a problem.

Some people say that fake news stories can have an effect on how people vote, which - if true - is also a serious problem.