How to Combat and Take Stand Against Fake News

Rahul Maheshwari
5 min readMay 26, 2024


Picture Credits : BIDT

Fake news is not just your everyday gossip; it’s information dressed up in a suit, pretending to be something it’s not. It’s a chameleon, blending in, making you believe it’s the real deal when it’s actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Now, don’t confuse fake news with its cousins, misinformation and disinformation. Misinformation is like a rumor that spreads without any malicious intent — it’s false, but not on purpose. Disinformation, on the other hand, is the mastermind of lies, created and shared with the sole purpose of deceiving you.

The reach of fake news on social media is mind-boggling. It’s everywhere, spreading like wildfire, and it’s hard to control. It’s like trying to catch smoke with your bare hands. And the impact? Oh, it’s massive. It can shake the very foundation of trust, leading to chaos and confusion. It’s like a domino effect; one false story can trigger violence, cause public health scares, and even sway elections.

But let’s hit you with some hard facts. Did you know that a study found that fake news travels faster and farther than true news? That’s right, the lies are sprinting while the truth is still tying its shoelaces. And in India, a whopping 88% of first-time voters acknowledged that fake news is a real issue. That’s a lot of people who are aware of the problem, but the question is, what are we doing about it?

Nothing I guess.

It’s time we start taking this seriously and fight back with the truth. Because in the end, the truth is what sets us free, right?

First, let’s see how the fake news spreads.

Why Does Fake News Spread?

Let’s learn what bias and echo chambers are in order to understand how fake news spreads.

Imagine you’re in a room where everyone agrees with you. Sounds comfy, right? That’s an echo chamber for you. Social media often becomes this room, where our existing beliefs are echoed back to us, making us more likely to fall for fake news that sounds like our kind of tune.

And then there are emotional triggers. Fake news often plays on our feelings, like fear and anger, to get us hooked. It’s like that movie that scared you so much you couldn’t sleep, but you couldn’t stop watching it either. That’s how fake news gets us; it hits where it hurts and makes it hard to look away.

So, what can we do about it? Well, being aware is the first step. Check the facts before you share that article, and remember, just because it’s trending doesn’t mean it’s true. Let’s be the change we want to see on our feeds. Stay smart, stay skeptical, and let’s keep it real out there.

Remember, in a world full of noise, the truth deserves to be turned up loud and clear. Let’s not let fake news turn down the volume on what really matters. Peace out!

How Does Fake News Affect Us?

Fake news has the power to shape our perceptions and influence our decisions. It’s not just a harmless prank or a misleading headline; its consequences are real and far-reaching. Let’s see how this phenomenon affects us all.

- Elections Manipulated

Take the 2018 presidential election in Mexico, for example. False information about a candidate’s involvement in a scandal was widely disseminated. Although later proven innocent, the damage was done. A study found that the retraction of fake news caused post-election regret among voters with lower political efficacy. Similarly, during the 2016 U.S. elections, fake news discrediting Hillary Clinton significantly affected Democratic voters’ choices.

- Public Health

When it comes to public health, the stakes are even higher. The World Health Organization found that misinformation during health crisis leads to harmful behaviors, such as vaccine hesitancy and delayed healthcare. In the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 6,000 people were hospitalized due to coronavirus misinformation in the early months of 2020.

- Social Movements Stirred Up

Social movements aren’t immune either. Fake news has been used to inflame social conflicts, as seen in the United States, where it has turned neighbor against neighbor. It can also suppress social movements by spreading disinformation, creating a breeding ground for mistrust and division.

- Trust Eroding

The trust we place in institutions and media is eroding. Only 40% of people consistently trust the news today, a stark decline fueled by the spread of disinformation. This erosion of trust has profound implications for our society’s fabric, undermining our ability to discern truth from fiction.

How to Counter Fake News (Solutions and Tips)

So, how do we spot these fibs and tall tales? Well, it’s like being a detective in your own right. You’ve got to dig a little deeper than just reading the headline.

“Don’t just read the headline but dig deeper. Read the full article and assess the sources of the claims,” says an article from Psychology Today. It’s about looking for evidence, not just opinions.

And hey, if you see the same story popping up in different places, that’s a good sign it might be legit.

Now, what about the big guys, the social media platforms? They’ve got a role to play too. They’re like the referees in this game, trying to make sure everyone plays fair.

X (Twitter) Community Notes, allows users to flag potentially misleading tweets. This can raise awareness and encourage further scrutiny by others. Additionally, users can add explanations and clarifications to tweets, potentially debunking misleading information or providing crucial background details.

So, what else can you do? Be curious, ask questions, and double-check what you read before you hit that share button. It’s all about being smart and not letting the fake news win. Together, we can make sure that what we’re sharing is the real deal. Stay sharp, friends!

So, let’s be vigilant, let’s be critical, and let’s not fall for the fake news trap. It’s up to us to keep the internet a place for truth, not lies.



Rahul Maheshwari

Digital Marketer at SocioBlend | Football Maniac | Value Investor | Petrol Head | Plantsman