Fake Information on the Internet

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We rely on the multifunctional Internet more than ever. We get the information we need and share the information we know. We need the aid of the Internet to get information like emails, daily search, shopping, news, socialization, and tourism. According to a factbookfrom the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), the Internet using in Canada is growing rapidly. All kinds of information are circulating on the web, including both useful and fake information.

Watch out for Fake Information


I spend a lot of my leisure time surfing the Internet everyday. I read news, watch videos, and updated my Facebook to see what is going on with my friends. Many times a news post by my friends on Facebook shocked me but a few days later, it turned out to be fake information. Fake information on the Internet often annoys me. Do you feel the same?

Phil Bradley has a list of fake websites. These websites seem to be real and convincing, but they all contained bogus information.

An article on the Huffinton Post mentioned the research by Harris Interactive found that 98% of the participants who are American users choose not to totally believe what they see on the Internet. The reseach also showed that 94% of the participants believed false information can lead to bad influence.

It Bothers…

For me, there has not been any serious problem that are caused by fake information in my life, but it is not true for everybody.

It bothers a brand.

When you shop online or reserve a hotel room, how often do you read and trust the online review? 81% of travelers consider reading user review as a necessary progress on travel-decision making. Fake reviews may bother a brand because they play an enormous role in this Internet era.   However, a travel agency website usually receive a number of reviews much more than customer actually came. Fake information may make other people misunderstand a brand. Companies should manage reviews in order to protect their brands reputation even if it can be complicated. Frederic Gonzalo lists some activities a brand should do.

Here’s a short video for you to learn how to spot a fake review

It bothers social stability

China arrests more than 10 people who spread rumors about H7N9 bird flu online.These people claimed new cases of H7N9 happened in their area thus created mass panic. China’s Communist Party always hammers at maintaining the stability of the society. Suppression of rumors online has always been important because they often spread quickly and extensively.

How Fake Information Spread Online


Some people can tell whether the information they read is true or not. However, people who trust the rumors pass the information around Facebook and Twitters simply by the “Like” button. Then, people who doubted it see their friends passing the information begin to doubt themselves and join them passing it. In this way rumors online spread so fast and fool more and more people.

Is it legal?

Fake information online could bring up troubles. Is it legal to spread these rumor? The answer is, it depends. It depends on what the information is, how bad the consequence it causes, what country you are in, etc.

Fake Names

Using fakes names can get you arrested. It is one of  6 Laws You’ve Broken Without Even Realizing. It listed by Cezary Jan Strusiewicz.

In the “ faking name” part, it mentioned a story of being arrested because of faking online profile for boss.

North Korea: Not Punishable

A defendant was announced to be not guilty in the court because the Constitutional court denied spreading fake information online is an act of harming the public good. However, some North Korean newspaper wrote that Korea needs laws to regulate rumors online in order to maintain national security. See the original article for details.


It seems that fake information on the internet will never die, but we need to know how to avoid them. Make sure the author is professional.

  1. Are there any attributed quotes?
  2. Look for the origin of the quotes.
  3. Do not trust websites with inappropriate ads。

If you are interested, please see these websites for further information

The Sandy Photos that Weren’t


How Do I Correct Someone Who Shares Fake Information Online


Top 7 Common Misconceptions about False Information Online


Check Your Sources- The Prevalence of False Information Online


How to Avoid False Information on the Internet



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