What should be the consequences if someone creates fake news?

Challenge Question.jpg

Stretch and challenge questions require you to read a longer piece of news and give in-depth answers. They're particularly suitable for secondary school students but if you're at primary school and want to also try and rise to the challenge, then give it a go!


This week, a video was edited to make it look like Donald Trump was looking confused at a puddle of water. A fake image also showed a boat with his campaign flag on it. Both had been changed to give a misleading idea of what had happened. It is unclear who made these. Read the full story here.

Joe Biden has also been the victim of altered videotape when a member of Donald Trump's staff posted a video of him that had certain words cut out.

Have a try at answering these questions - remember to give reasons for your answer.

1.What should be the consequences if someone creates edited videos or photographs that create a misleading impression of someone running for president?

2. Should those consequences be any different if the person who made it was:

  • a member of the public?
  • someone who works for someone trying to get elected?

3. Is someone creating edited and misleading video doing something worse than someone who knows it is fake but still shares it on social media?


You can download a guide on how to identify news you can trust (and spot fake news) by clicking here.

Comments (15)

  • Hammond School logo reflective_artic_fox | Hammond Junior School C
    12 Sep 2020

    Step 1: Q: What should be the consequences if someone creates edited videos or photographs that create a misleading impression of someone running for president?

    A: The consequences should be that whomever posted it would not be allowed on social media, or contact media, to post unreliable sources until after an election. This will help us not to get confused between phoneys and facts. If they are not allowed to socialise, then no one could be the victims of misleading judgement. Now you could ask that what if they had urgent news, or was simply spreading other facts? In the latter's case, you can simply ask whoever they had got their facts from, and if they are right, you can let them back. However, if the person is claimed to be anonymous, you can look at their other posts and see whether or not they are true. You can then report the incident to the company. In the first case, ask them whatever the news is, and spread it yourself if it is accountable. This way, no one gets impacted, nor anyone posts it themselves.

    2. Q: Should those consequences be any different if the person who made it was:
    • a member of the public?
    • someone who works for someone trying to get elected?

    A (a): The consequences would change if a member of the public posted it, as they are the ones voting. More people could watch or read it and get affected if they believe it. That would mean that the majority could vote for the candidate opposing the one humiliated on the post. If a member of the public posted something like that, it could be worse, as it might enhance others to say that it is their point, and not that they are just repeating someone else on the media. This could also be that they were not actually posting that, but doing something such as "clipping, not editing" as Mr Scavino claimed.

    A (b): If the person was working for someone trying to get elected, then the case could be much more complex. If a member of a candidate's staff posted something that embarrasses the opponent, then it would be that the staff should get wormed out and held to account. If they were actually just posting mere and unharmful comment, or someone logged into their account and sent it, then they should be pardoned. If they were posting it themselves, or their boss forced them to do it, then it should be stopped. However, what if it was part of their campaign? I am not sure about the answer to this question, so can you please notify me if found?

    3. Q: Is someone creating edited and misleading video doing something worse than someone who knows it is fake but still shares it on social media?

    A: They can be the same thing. If you are creating it and displaying it, you technically know it is fake but still you had shared it on social media. If you are sharing it, when you know it is fake, then that would be on purpose. That should not occur during events like these. If you are posting them, then that would also be on purpose and would be unfair. You should try and post things such as "Did you hear the American election is coming up!" as this means you are acknowledging it but not addressing any inappropriate opinions.

    I hope you enjoyed reading my post!

    Reply to this comment
    1. katie.jpg Katie @ the BNC
      reflective_artic_fox's comment 14 Sep 2020

      Very thorough reflective_arctic_fox! Well done for considering a range of situations and perspectives when suggesting ways to solve this problem - I have given you a star for this! When you say "not addressing any inappropriate opinions", do you mean that people who spread fake news should not be challenged?

      Reply to this comment
      1. Hammond School logo reflective_artic_fox | Hammond Junior School C
        Katie @ the BNC's comment 14 Sep 2020

        What I mean is that no one should give misleading information but should instead just comment accepting that it is occurring, and giving opinions, but not making false statements to convince others that you are right.
        I hope this answers your question!

        Reply to this comment
    2. Hammond School logo funny_meteor | Hammond Junior School A
      reflective_artic_fox's comment 15 Sep 2020

      Wow, that is a lot it also gave me a lot more information thanks

      Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo strong_quince | Hammond Junior School D
    13 Sep 2020

    If someone gives you a piece of news you go and find a bit more information and then you can ell them that the person that you got tell you then they don’t need any one more to panic or any thing else

    Reply to this comment
  • Lyons Hall Primary School committed_maths | Lyons Hall Primary School A
    14 Sep 2020

    If to say one of my friends gives me some news that I don't think I believe happened or doesn't sound right I would when I get back home go into the internet and do some more research about it is real or fake news. Sometimes on the news and radio you hear something and you think, " That doesn't sound like real news? " so you would get on the internet and find at least 1 more source to find that it's true but if you can not find another source to see if it's real then the people that have got the information didn't find another source. So people on here if something on the news, radio or something your friend tells you find another source so you know whether it is true or FAKE news.

    Reply to this comment
    1. JH_pic.jpg EXPERT: Jonathan Hooker @ KPMG
      committed_maths's comment 18 Sep 2020

      Really interesting post committed_maths! I'm really pleased to hear that you would do some more research if you read something that didn't seem right to you (finding more than one source is always important). But what if you initially agree with what your friend has told or given you? Would you automatically check it then, or would you take it at 'face value'?

      Reply to this comment
      1. Lyons Hall Primary School committed_maths | Lyons Hall Primary School A
        Jonathan Hooker @ KPMG's comment 18 Sep 2020

        If my friend have me some news I would still check if it's true or not on BBC or other sources. I hope this answers your question 😊

        Committed_maths

        Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo eager_chocolate | Hammond Junior School A
    15 Sep 2020

    I think the consequences should be that if they post a video or picture that is fake they should not be allowed to run for president any more because it is clear that they are trying to cheet so if they win it wouldn't be right

    Reply to this comment
    1. JH_pic.jpg EXPERT: Jonathan Hooker @ KPMG
      eager_chocolate's comment 18 Sep 2020

      Thanks for the post eager_chocolate! I think you have hit on a really important theme here, on whether or not someone is 'fit for office'. Who do you think should decide whether or not someone should be allowed to run for President?

      Reply to this comment
    2. Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg mindblowing_clarinet | Boutcher C of E Primary School B
      eager_chocolate's comment 24 Sep 2020

      I agree because cheating your way to the top is just horrible.

      Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo loyal_cymbals | Hammond Junior School C
    15 Sep 2020

    What should the consequences be if you create fake news?
    I think that there should be serious consequences depending on how serious there post was. If the post was interfering with the general allection for example if somebody really didn't like joe Biden and they wanted Donald trump to become president. If they wrote a post saying something bad about joe Biden and giving him a bad name saying he never keeps his promises and thinks that may change people opinions on who they are going to vote for then I think there should be serious consequences because they have interfered with the allection and people decisions and people might change there mind voting for Donald trump and then finding out that it's fake it will be really annoying because then the person the didn't want to get in gets in because people changed there mind because of the fake news.

    How can we identify fake news?
    To help identify fake news when you are reading something if you don't know the fact already unsure whether it is true you could find evidence. You could find out whether it is true and find evidence to support that. It may be a long thing to do every time you find a bit a news that your unsure whether it is true or not but it will stop you from getting sucked in to other people's fake facts.

    Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo eager_chocolate | Hammond Junior School A
    18 Sep 2020

    I think the current president

    Reply to this comment
  • Braiswick Primary School buzzing_morning | Braiswick Primary School
    18 Sep 2020

    Really useful and super interesting.

    Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg mindblowing_clarinet | Boutcher C of E Primary School B
    24 Sep 2020

    I think there should be a big punishment because it is giving people fake knowledge which could make them make bad decisions and could affect how people see other people.

    Reply to this comment

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