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Busting the myths: Most Spaniards say ‘fake news’ is bad for democracy
12 March 2019 @ 14:13

Spaniards firmly believe ‘fake news’ influences public opinion and harms democracy, leading people to take decisions, adopt opinions and cast votes in a certain way based upon what they have read and shared – 83% of those interviewed in the latest Eurobarometer survey say so, compared with 76% across the rest of Europe.

And 78% of Spaniards say they often come across

'fake news' although only just over half believe they would be able to tell straight away whether a post on social media or a headline was not true.

The European Union set up a ‘Myth-Busters’ group in 2015 to combat ‘fake news’, which is becoming more difficult in the digital age where a story or post can find its way to millions of computer screens worldwide in fractions of a second.

It has stepped up the game sharply ahead of the elections in May, when it suspects outside influences will attempt to sway voters’ views in a given direction.


What is ‘fake news’?

‘Fake news’ does not refer to spoof stories on satirical reporting sites, which are purely for entertainment and written in a way that it is unlikely they would be believed; these pages are immensely popular because they force readers to look at the funny side of current affairs. Instead, it refers to deliberate campaigns aimed to create hatred – for example, myths about immigration and certain cultures or religions – to steer public opinion in a certain way ahead of a crucial

vote, and to tarnish reputations.



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