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It is any form of intentional dissemination of inaccurate information, very often for the purpose of harming the reputation of a person or institution or for the purpose of gaining a certain benefit, creating panic and causing confusion. Such news is usually of sensationalist headlines and content, dishonest, fabricated, and does not rely on facts. Often the headlines of such news items do not match the content, which seems to get readers "hooked" to click on the link and thus increase the number of page views (so-called "click-bit" headlines "). that is, fraud.
However, a big problem is propaganda articles, videos, news that spread panic among the population, and concern, say, medicine and science. Our entire civilization is based on the fact that scientific achievements, especially those used in medicine, are not lies, but work.
This type of propaganda is most often aimed at seriously ill people and their families, and at new parents who need to vaccinate all their children in order to protect them from certain infectious diseases that are not at all harmless. Thus, prescriptions for fake cancer drugs and various pseudo-scientific practices are spreading on the Internet, practices for which there is no evidence that they are effective or there is evidence that they are not effective. Some of them are expensive, while others are not so expensive, but they delay the patient's departure to the right doctors and the start of therapy. Steve Jobs thus believed in alternative therapies, and when he was forced, in the advanced stage of pancreatic cancer to go for the right therapy, then it was already too late.
Some of this news says that vaccines are unnecessary or even dangerous. Precisely because people have succumbed to this manipulation and propaganda, epidemics of diseases that we have not had for a long time are breaking out today, and the number of infected people is growing. Some of these diseases can have severe complications and be fatal. Sometimes the victims of these infections are quite young children. That is why we must approach the news carefully, which causes us to panic. Those who write such things count on our fear because fear is a very strong emotion.
Here's what we can do, I know it's not easy to take time for all this every time, but if something really interests us and is important in our lives, we should find time for all these steps.
1) Check the news source and the background of the source
2) Read the whole text and not just the title which may have been sensationally written
3) Check who the authors of the news are and whether those people even exist
4) If additional sources and links are offered, take the time to check them out, you will be surprised how many times the links offered have nothing to do with what you are reading about in the article
5) Check to see if this might be a satirical site
6) Always reconsider your views and opinions, having an opinion on something does not mean you are right
7) Check the date of the news, events that happened a long time ago are often used to spread misinformation
8) Always consult with experts, but the right one for the area you are interested in, popular people on social networks are not the right address for that