ZIMBABWE, like many other countries in the world, has been blighted by the tsunami of “fake news” for a long time.

This phenomenon has become more pronounced as the country gravitates towards the so-called “watershed” elections pencilled for July 30.

The notion of “fake news” has received so much publicity ever since Donald Trump outwitted Hilary Clinton to win the presidential elections in the United States. For the purposes of this article, the term “fake news” is used to refer to stories that are generally false, but have enormous popular appeal and are shared far and wide.

This includes hoaxes, propaganda and disinformation purporting to be real news — often circulated online to drive web traffic and amplify their effect. Also important part of the mix is completely false information that is created for financial and political gains.