The paper argues that the spreading of fake news and other forms of misinformation (which are not entirely untrue nor published with a clear intent to mislead) is facilitated by specific features of today's mainstream media and social media, as well as by the way the public interacts with “news stories”. Moreover, it is precisely these specific features and the public's interaction with media content that generate vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited in the information warfare. Taking into account that regulations on media content are difficult to implement and also questionable from the perspective of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the focus should be placed on educating the public to identify fake news. However, before launching any information campaigns, the first step is to assess the public perception of the fake-news phenomenon and other forms of misinformation. To this end, we propose a methodological design for investigating the public awareness of media threats.
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