Fake News and Social Stability

Fake news is nothing new. It has been around for a long time and has been largely used as a means of misinformation particularly in wars, because of its ability to twist facts and influence public opinion. With the rapid rise of smartphones and social media, fake news is travelling fast and becoming more prevalent at the same time, making it difficult to trace the source. Because this type of news is often aimed at provoking feelings and spreading fear, people tend to circulate it without going that extra mile to validate. This is particularly true because citizens often rely on mainstream media, more so on social media, as a source of news and information.
In Lebanon, the widespread and circulation of fake news stirred up problems, fear, tensions, and conflicts among families and sects within the same region or across the country. These problems have often evolved into violence, thus putting social stability and civil peace at stake. A lot of examples can be drawn from Lebanon in this regard.

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