Fake news: 2017’s ‘Word(s) of the Year,’ as decided by Collins Dictionary. What is fake news? Well, according to Collins, fake news is “false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news.”
While the issue of fake news is nothing new, it has garnered a considerable amount of attention over the past 598+ days.
The problem of fake news is especially prevalent on social media, where users can make outlandish claims anonymously. In an effort to combat this, China’s Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center under the Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission (no acronym was provided, but we’re suggesting IIIRCOCCAC) launched an online rumour platform to combat fake news on August 29.
According to China Daily, the aim of the platform is to enable the public to “quickly discover and debunk rumours floating around online.” The system will operate with the use of “cutting-edge technology.”
The nationwide ‘fake news buster’ will combine over 40 rumor-refuting services and be hosted by xinhuanet.com.
This isn’t the Chinese government's first crack at removing fake news. In 2013, the government introduced guidelines to prohibit the spread of false information. For instance, if an online rumor attracts over 5,000 views or is shared 500 times, the person responsible for posting the information could spent up to three years behind bars.
[Cover image via NeOnbrand/Unsplash]