Fake or Fact? Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Fake News

  • George Bara
  • Gerhard Backfried
  • Dorothea Thomas-AniolaEmail author
Part of the Information Fusion and Data Science book series (IFDS)


The phenomenon of fake news is nothing new. It has been around as long as people have had a vested interest in manipulating opinions and images, dating back to historical times, for which written accounts exist and probably much beyond. Referring to it as post-truth seems futile, as there’s probably never been an era of truth when it comes to news. More recently, however, the technical means and the widespread use of social media have propelled the phenomenon onto a new level altogether. Individuals, organizations, and state-actors actively engage in propaganda and the use of fake news to create insecurity, confusion, and doubt and promote their own agenda – frequently of a financial or political nature. We discuss the history of fake news and some reasons as to why people are bound to fall for it. We address signs of fake news and ways to detect it or, to at least become more aware of it and discuss the subject of truthfulness of messages and the perceived information quality of platforms. Some examples from the recent past demonstrate how fake news has played a role in a variety of scenarios. We conclude with remarks on how to tackle the phenomenon – to eradicate it will not be possible in the near term. But employing a few sound strategies might mitigate some of the harmful effects.


Fake news Fake news detection Propaganda Misinformation Clickbait Conspiracy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Bara
    • 1
  • Gerhard Backfried
    • 2
  • Dorothea Thomas-Aniola
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Zetta-CloudCluj-NapocaRomania
  2. 2.SAIL LABS TechnologyViennaAustria

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