No, a shark didn’t swim down a Houston freeway after Hurricane Harvey. But nevertheless, an image of a fearsome fish popped up on social media during the natural disaster and the story quickly spread. Now that Hurricane Irma has whipped through the United States people are once again inundated with fake stories.
Big weather events aren’t the only breeding ground of nonsense news. Misinformation and false news stories have popped up during the Rohingya refugee crisis and the aftermath of several violent attacks.
So why do hoaxes go viral? And how can you tell the really incredible from the incredibly false? We’ll learn together when Claire Wardle from First Draft News and Alastair Reid from Press Association join The Stream for a master class in spotting fake news.