The Power of Fake News: Big Data Analysis of Discourse About COVID-19–Related Fake News in South Korea
The study investigated people’s perceptions and reactions to fake news by evaluating trends in online comments sections. First, fact-checked newspaper articles were identified using an online fact-checker provided by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. Only 2 of 98 pieces of fake news were found to be revised. A Word2Vec analysis of 38,057 comments posted to 98 articles about public health, education, and the economy that contained fake news revealed readers’ perceptions about fake news, government policy, and criticism and praise for the government. The findings of this study highlight the speed of messaging in modern society and short media attention spans, reflected in the fact that the public ultimately does not appear to be interested in correcting fake news. It is necessary to increase public awareness of the importance of correcting fake news as an essential part of media literacy to prevent the delivery of fake news.