Several websites spreading fake news about the 2016 US presidential election were set up by teenagers based in the Republic of Macedonia.
Their task was to rapidly create and plagiarise sensationalist stories for various US-based companies and parties. Their main goal was to generate revenue from the online advertisements that were shown next to the fake news articles. Fake news articles were used as clickbait and the topic was chosen in the hope that it would catch the attention of a large audience and lead them to share the fake news on social media platforms, increasing the amount of internet traffic for the fake news websites and, consequently, also increasing the revenue of the creators.
Therefore, it seems like the main purpose of the fake news creators was not to influence the outcome of the election but to produce income.
Much of India's fake news is spread through the smartphone instant messenger application WhatsApp. Messages about natural disasters, conspiracy theories, and health hazards are circulated, sometimes causing mass hysteria among the population.
These stories sometimes lead to tensions between castes and religions. A video of a gang war in Brazil depicting two people being decapitated was spread around Indian social media, with those sharing it falsely claiming that it showed Indian soldiers being killed in Pakistan. In another instance, several fake images said to depict violent attacks against Hindus by Muslim Rohingya people were spread through a tweet. These examples of fake ...