What motivates creating or sharing misinformation?
People may create or share to promote their own interests at the expense of others (e.g., gaining other people's private personal information). This includes organizations and individuals who create or share scams, participate in clickbait farming, and individual organizations who create fake information to advance their own agenda.
Groups may promote their own interests or beliefs as a means of creating a divide in society, such as in content from hyperpartisan sites and groups. For example, these groups can fabricate or manipulate content to discredit people/groups which goes against their interests.
This is the most common motivation for ordinary users who share content. Some people may believe that a news story is true and share it as a way to help others.
People may be motivated to create and share content that intentionally provokes emotions or undermines someone's authority. Examples include trolls, extremists, and conspiracy theorists.
Media bias falls on a spectrum. News stories can be classified as less/more biased instead of simply biased/unbiased. Although media bias is not fake news, consuming news from media sources which only agree with our worldviews could prevent us from getting a balanced perspective of an issue.
When identifying bias in news stories, we can look out for these signs: reporting tone, framing of the story, omission of relevant sources, choice of stories being reported on, and the lack of fairness/balance in reporting.
These are some of the common types of bias in news reporting:
Bias where the news author's political views influence the news coverage.
This may occur when a news outlet tries so hard to be neutral in their news coverage to the point that they start to misrepresent facts.
Bias where demographics, such as race, gender or economic status, may impact the coverage of the news.
"Big story" bias
Can occur when a journalist becomes too focused on a major developing story leading them to miss reporting on key information.
Bias where a news outlet's decision to report a news story is influenced by the business or advertising interests of the news source or their parent company.