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  • Hello this is Fake News: Fact and Fiction

  • from BBC Learning English. I'm Hugo and

  • I'm Sam. In the program today we'll hear

  • from expert

  • Samantha Bradshaw on the dangers of

  • fake news, and I'll be giving you some

  • information about information.

  • We will also

  • hear a story about what

  • happened when fake

  • news was spread in a small town in

  • Mexico. Now Sam how are you today? I'm

  • fine thanks Hugo, how are you? I am very

  • well and I'm looking forward to your

  • vocabulary slot later. Okay, I am

  • today going to be talking about the word

  • information. I can hardly wait. Yeah I

  • think that might be fake sincerity there

  • - no honestly I'm really looking forward

  • to it - okay, okay well we'll see if you

  • feel the same way afterwards. Here is

  • everything you could ever want to know

  • about the word information, maybe not

  • everything but as much as I could fit in.

  • What is information? Information is

  • knowledge, it's facts and details about a

  • particular subject.

  • Grammatically information is an

  • uncountable noun so we talk about bits

  • of information or pieces of information

  • but not informations. Information has a

  • number of very closely related

  • grammatical variations - the verb to

  • inform is quite formal and means to tell

  • someone something and the adjective

  • informative is used to describe

  • information that is useful and

  • interesting. Information also appears in

  • at least two initialisms I.T. - information

  • technology and F.Y.I. - for your

  • information. Information comes from

  • sources and there are many different

  • sources of information including TV,

  • radio, newspapers, books, magazines, the

  • internet, social media, teachers, friends,

  • colleagues, even overheard conversations

  • on the bus.

  • In fact, wherever we turn there is

  • information of one kind or another and

  • not all information is useful

  • or appropriate so it's definitely

  • possible to have too much information.

  • In fact that's a phrase

  • we use when someone

  • tells us something that is very personal

  • and makes us feel a little uncomfortable.

  • You haven't changed your underpants in a

  • week?! Oh too much information. Too

  • much information is another

  • initialism - T.M.I. When thinking about

  • fake news we should be aware that

  • information isn't always true and not

  • all sources of information are reliable

  • or accurate. We need to be on the lookout

  • for disinformation which is false

  • information deliberately spread and

  • misinformation which is false

  • information that is accidentally spread

  • though to be honest these expressions

  • are both commonly used for the same

  • thing - fake news. I hope that wasn't T.M.I.

  • now F.Y.I. it's back to the studio.

  • Thanks, that was very informative. Ah

  • Hugo you're very

  • good. I try my best. But now our theme of

  • the day is the possible dangers of

  • sharing fake news. To give us an overview

  • we're going to hear from Samantha

  • Bradshaw from Oxford University. She's a

  • researcher in fake news and

  • disinformation at

  • the Oxford Internet Institute.

  • Fake news can have real human

  • consequences when it spreads from the

  • online world to the offline world

  • particularly because of the speed at

  • which this disinformation can spread.

  • Often unlike in the past where there are

  • many checks to the information that was

  • being put out to the public there aren't

  • as many checks with

  • social media and viral

  • stories containing fake news or other

  • forms of disinformation have real-life

  • consequences for people. For example, if

  • we look at India or Mexico

  • disinformation and fake news have led to

  • people actually being killed. If we look

  • at the medical world with vaccines, a lot

  • of the anti-vacs movement

  • narratives and the

  • fake news about vaccinating children

  • have caused real-life children not to

  • get vaccinated and then die of sickness

  • later. So there are real consequences to

  • fake news and to these rumors that

  • spread online.

  • So Samantha was talking a

  • lot about consequences there. Yes some

  • tragic consequences in that case. So

  • consequences are the result of things

  • that happen or in the case of

  • vaccinations don't happen and the result

  • is usually bad. Yeah and she mentioned a

  • story in Mexico when people were killed

  • as a result of fake news and I remember

  • that because we covered that story here

  • at the BBC. I tracked down one of the

  • producers who worked on the story, Reha

  • Kansara, to find out more of the details

  • Reha you covered a tragic

  • story and that

  • was because of fake news.

  • Tell us about that.

  • So this is the story about two men who

  • were murdered for something that they

  • didn't do. These two men, they were going

  • back home, they stopped over by a school

  • to take a break.

  • They had loud music on and were resting

  • in their car but someone at the school

  • got suspicious and so

  • they called the police.

  • As soon as the police arrested them not

  • for you know not for anything but just

  • finding you know beer bottles, empty beer

  • bottles in that car. People came, saw

  • everything that was happening outside

  • the school and started spreading fake

  • news on Whatsapp.

  • The rumor that essentially

  • spread was that they were two men who

  • were child kidnappers who were waiting

  • outside of school to abduct children and

  • that obviously caused a frenzy on social

  • media, on Whatsapp, and that turned into

  • something bigger

  • when they were arrested.

  • because this went from Whatsapp to

  • Facebook, gathered on Facebook to call

  • out on people to come outside of the

  • police station and basically take the

  • law into their own hands. They were

  • dragged from the police station to a

  • town hall, doused in petrol and then lit

  • on fire. Lynchings are not a new thing but

  • what is new is the way that this whole

  • thing was filmed on Facebook. It really

  • shows the danger because it went from

  • Whatsapp to Facebook and then it was a

  • very small town in Mexico so in a matter

  • of hours everybody was talking about it

  • and what struck you the most when

  • covering the story? The fact that people

  • so easily believed things without you

  • know fact-checking or double sourcing

  • things. It has grave consequences and

  • this was one of them. Has there been any

  • change in terms of I don't know

  • legislation in Mexico like public

  • perception even like public behavior

  • when when they said something that is

  • not true? There are people talking about

  • misinformation more particularly over

  • here disinformation - the fact that people

  • can turn lies into actual news

  • and this is something that Mexico is

  • dealing with not just with lynchings but

  • also with elections and just in general

  • fake news in the country and so you have

  • platforms like Lo Que Sigue that is the you

  • know that has had to come about just to

  • combat fake news in the country.

  • Reha, thank you very much indeed.

  • Thank you.

  • A terrible story Sam. Yeah

  • really really tragic. Yeah and we know

  • this has happened not just in Mexico but

  • also in other countries as well like in

  • India and Myanmar.

  • Yeah it just goes to show that we have

  • to be really really careful when we're

  • sharing information online. Most of us

  • only share cute cat videos probably but

  • there are consequences to things like

  • gossip that are shared. It seems a little

  • bit insensitive to talk about vocabulary

  • after such a tragic story but Reha did

  • use a really interesting journalistic

  • term there. So could you explain to us

  • what double-sourcing means. So it is

  • making sure that you have two

  • independent sources confirm the same

  • information but you also have to make

  • sure that these sources are not

  • confirming you know the news using the

  • same source themselves.

  • Now if you are an

  • avid news consumer

  • and want some advice

  • on what you consider before you share

  • anything on social media here's Reha

  • again with her top tip.

  • The best tip that

  • I can give people who

  • are consuming news

  • non-stop is that you need to if you see

  • something you need to find a way to

  • verify it. That means if you see

  • something in the news check another

  • media organisation's

  • coverage of that news

  • to see whether they are following the

  • same line. If you see something on

  • Whatsapp that isn't news but people are

  • spreading question why they're spreading

  • it - what's their agenda? You know if there

  • is something involved in it that shows

  • that it could have a reliable source of

  • news then go to that source and find out

  • what's happening.

  • Well it's a great tip there, not just for

  • journalists but for everybody. It's very

  • important to verify before sharing.

  • Absolutely and to verify simply means

  • to check that something is true. Okay

  • well almost done for today

  • before we go Sam reminders of today's

  • key vocabulary. Of course,

  • very happy to. So

  • today I was talking about different

  • forms of the word information.

  • Information itself is an uncountable

  • noun and when it comes to fake news you

  • can talk about disinformation which is

  • deliberately fake information and then

  • there's also misinformation which is

  • accidentally fake information. So for

  • example if you're sharing something that

  • you didn't know was fake that's

  • misinformation but you might hear

  • misinformation and disinformation being

  • used interchangeably. The adjective for

  • something that is interesting and useful

  • is informative. In the programme we also

  • talked about the

  • word consequences which

  • are the negative results of something

  • and we also heard

  • the word double- sourcing

  • which is checking a news story

  • is true by seeing if two independent

  • sources are reporting the same thing and

  • if you do that you may be able to verify

  • the story and you may be able to confirm

  • that it is indeed