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Thesis on Fake News in Social Media

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Facebook has reached 2.38 billion active users around the globe and is one of the biggest social media websites people do rely on the information and news published on social media websites because the trend of reading news, listening radio, and watching TV became old and new generation completely adopted the new versions of media without giving chance to old mediums. As the breaking news unfolds people increasingly rely on social media to stay abreast of the latest updates. The use of social media in such situations comes with the caveat that new information being released piecemeal may encourage rumors, many of which remain unverified long after their point of release. Little is known, however, about the dynamics of the life cycle of a social media rumor. This type of news ruins the main purpose of spreading the news as the media badly discourages it. In this research paper we would discuss the issues of fake news on Facebook as they change the viewpoints of people and their decision as well the biggest example was seen during the US election in 2016 when Donald.j.Trump and Henry Clinton used social media for their election campaign and spread fake news around the world and that exactly worked in the favor of trump later who became the president of USA. So it was very important to study the behavior of people using Facebook that how they believe in news on social media so easily and make decisions according to the information.


Pakistan’s democracy has been repeatedly buffeted by changes in media technology. In the 20th century, cheap newsprint and improved presses allowed partisan newspapers to expand their reach dramatically. Many have argued that the effectiveness of the press as a check on power was significantly compromised. In the 20th and early 21st century, as radio and then television became dominant, observers worried that these new platforms would reduce substantive policy debates to sound bites, privilege charismatic or “telegenic” candidates over those who might have more ability to lead but are less polished, and concentrate power in the hands of a few large corporations. In the early 2000s, the growth of online news prompted a new set of concerns, among them that excess diversity of viewpoints would make it easier for like-minded citizens to form “echo chambers” or “filter bubbles” where they would be insulated from contrary perspectives. Most recently, the focus of concern has shifted to social media. Social media platforms such as Facebook have a dramatically different structure than previous media technologies. Content can be relayed among users with no significant third-party filtering, fact-checking, or editorial judgment. An individual user with no track record or reputation can in some cases reach as many readers as the Jung group, ARY group, and so on.

Following the 2016 election in the USA and the 2018 election in Pakistan, a specific concern has been the effect of false stories and fake news, as it has been dubbed circulated on social media. Recent evidence shows that:

    1. 62 percent of adults get news on social media
    2. the most popular fake news stories were more widely shared on Facebook than the most popular mainstream news stories
    3. Many people who see fake news stories report that they believe them
    4. the most discussed fake news stories tended to favor Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton

Putting these facts together, a number of commentators have suggested that Donald Trump would not have been elected president were it not for the influence of fake news (for example, see Parkinson 2016; Read 2016; Dewey 2016). Our goal in this paper is to offer a theoretical and empirical background to frame this debate. We begin by discussing the economics of fake news. We sketch a model of media markets in which firms gather and sell signals of a true state of the world to consumers who benefit from inferring that state. We conceptualize fake news as distorted signals uncorrelated with the truth. Fake news arises in equilibrium because it is cheaper to provide than precise signals because consumers cannot costlessly infer accuracy, and because consumers may enjoy part of the news. Fake news may generate utility for some consumers, but it also imposes private and social costs by making it more difficult for consumers to infer the truest ate of the world for example, by making it more difficult for voters to infer which electoral candidate they prefer.

We discuss the importance of social media relative to sources of political news and information. Referrals from social media accounted for a small share of traffic on mainstream news sites, but a much larger share for fake news sites. Trust in information accessed through social media is lower than trust in traditional outlets.

Definition and History

We define “fake news” to be news articles that are intentionally and verifiably false and could mislead readers. We focus on fake news articles that have political implications, with special attention to the 2016 US presidential elections. Our definition includes intentionally fabricated news articles, such as a widely shared article from the now-defunct website with the headline, “FBI agent suspected in Hillary email leaks found dead in an apparent murder-suicide.” It also includes many articles that originate on satirical websites but could be misunderstood as factual, especially when viewed in isolation on Twitter or Facebook feeds. For example, in July 2016, the now-defunct website reported that Pope Francis had endorsed Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. The WTOE 5 News “About” page disclosed that it is “a fantasy news website. Most articles on are satire or pure fantasy,” but this disclaimer was not included in the article. The story was shared more than one million times on Facebook, and some people in our survey described below reported believing the headline.

Literature Review

Other studies present a more hopeful portrait, positing that youth have an interest in current events but find conventional newspapers and TV news boring (Barnhurst & Wartella, 1991, 1998; Costera Meijer, 2007; Livingstone, 2002; Raeymaeckers, 2004); difficult to understand (Raeymaeckers, 2004); and irrelevant to their lives (Barnhurst, 1998; Buckingham, 1999; Costera Meijer, 2003; Frola, 2006; McKee, 2005). Rather than interpreting low rates of news consumption as signs that youth are “tuned out” from the world of politics, Raeymaeckers (2004) concludes that news producers should use clearer language and provide greater background and contextualization of stories. Similarly, Costera Meijer (2007) argues that news organizations need to develop new quality standards that young (and all) people will not find boring. An emerging theme in the literature concerns the definition of “news.” For people who hold traditional ideas of what news is, young people do not appear to be interested in the news. However, for those with more flexible definitions of “news” and how it may be accessed, there is more optimism. A recent study of undergraduate university students found that “young people today are not necessarily uninformed, but rather they are differently informed” than previous generations, getting news via cell phone texts, email, social networking sites, and conversations with friends and family (Singer, Clark, & Monserrate, p. 26). In an “a la carte” model of news gathering, youth tend to know a little bit about a lot of subjects, researching topics of special interest in more detail. Costera Meijer (2007) observed similar youth strategies regarding TV news consumption, pointing out that what may look like youth inattention by older adult standards is a reflection of the younger generation’s comfort with monitoring multiple media sites simultaneously. She notes that youth feel at ease zapping from station to station and “snacking” on tidbits of news, gaining superficial knowledge of a broad variety of topics, while older people prefer in-depth knowledge about a smaller number of topics. Unlike older generations, accustomed to postponing their news needs until a fixed hour of the day, young people prefer to get news instantly whenever they want it (Costera Meijer, 2007). This latter group of research falls within the engaged youth paradigm, which emphasizes the empowerment of youth as agents and recognizes a new spectrum of civic actions occurring online and in other nontraditional arenas. As Bennett (2008) observes,

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The dearth of young people in contemporary print and broadcast news audiences have been widely noted (Brown, 2005; Jones, 2008; Mindich, 2005; Patterson, 2007; Purcell et al., 2010) and scholars and news organizations are struggling to understand the phenomenon. Mindich contends that there has been a “generational shift” away from news, particularly political news. Noting that 80% of people below 30 do not read newspapers daily while 70% of older Americans do, and further noting that the median age of TV news viewers is 60, he foresees grave consequences for the future of democracy (Mindich, 2005). A study by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy echoes this concern, showing further decreases in youth news consumption and concluding that there is a “basis for pessimism about the future of news and young adults” (Patterson, 2007, p. 24). It also notes that when young adults and teens follow the news, they “are attracted disproportionately to stories that have little or no public affairs content” (Patterson, 2007, p. 16). These studies are representative of the disengaged youth paradigm (Bennett, 2008), which takes traditional civic actions such as voting and news consumption as the proper measures of a healthy democracy.

Most of the teens interviewed reported reading print newspapers “sometimes” (ranging from once a week to once a month), with fewer than 10% reading them daily. All those who reported reading a paper daily had parents who subscribed to daily papers. The remaining students who read newspapers did so at school, where they received free copies and were usually required to read them by teachers. Students who took public transportation read The Metro, a daily newspaper distributed free to commuters at subway stations. Most of the teens did not independently seek out television news but watched it “by accident” when flipping channels or when older family members happened to be watching it. Dylan, 18, explains, “As far as TV, I’m usually watching reality television or something like that, and then during the commercials, I’ll flip to CNN. That’s how I get my news. During the commercial breaks.” In keeping with other recent findings that the dry and predictable format of professional news alienates youth (Costera Meijer, 2007; UNICEF, 2005), the teens we interviewed found TV news boring, repetitive, and irrelevant to their daily lives:


Our objective in this research is to find out that if Facebook actually leads its users to false information then what measurements would help to reduce the psychological impact on its users?

    1. Which things lead to fake news and how people believe in fake news.
    2. How fake spread so rapidly
    3. If Facebook could not control the spreading of fake news how its users can identify the fake news and tell people about it?
    4. How to verify news published on Facebook and create awareness


People are too attached to social media so they easily believe in every news or story they saw on Facebook.

Extra usage of smartphones and distance from newspapers and TV took people away from authentic and verified news.

There were few pieces of research on this topic that conclude with the statement that people use to avoid using social media websites that were made for connectivity and entertainment not for serious issues like economics and politics.

The study would conclude with the statement of addiction to social media websites which provide a wide range of data and programs for different choices. And people do not want to get the news they just need entertainment which is why they were not returning to the mainstream media and newspapers.

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Thesis on Fake News in Social Media. (2023, October 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from
“Thesis on Fake News in Social Media.” Edubirdie, 09 Oct. 2023,
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Thesis on Fake News in Social Media [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Oct 09 [cited 2024 Mar 1]. Available from:
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