The popularity of fake news has been described as "frustrating" by the charity behind Wikipedia in the UK. The advent of factually inaccurate or fabricated stories presented as truth has been blamed for the rise in popularity of conspiracy theories and extreme views around the world.

John Lubbock from Wikimedia UK, the non-profit behind Wikipedia in Britain, said: "It is frustrating when people are wasting their time on these things, when people are exploiting people's gullibility to make money."

Lubbock, who is also a voluntary Wikipedia editor, added: "If you want to get involved in producing accurate information that can be useful to people around the world which they can access for free and doesn't have a political agenda to it, the best thing you can do is to become a Wikipedia editor. Because you also might learn something about how information, how knowledge and news is produced and how to produce better knowledge."

Wikimedia describe themselves as a global movement to "bring free educational content to the world". As well as Wikipedia, they also run Wiktionary, WikiNews and the Wikimedia Commons.

Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has also spoken out against fake news, calling it an "epidemic" that has "real world consequences". Supporters of Clinton's presidential rival Donald Trump were accused of circulating a number of fabricated news stories during the campaign.

Most recently, the spread of conspiracy theory about Clinton known as "pizzagate" led to a man being arrested after entering a D.C. restaurant with a gun. Edgar Maddison Welch was arrested after trying to "self-investigate" the theory, which accused Comet Ping Pong of running a child sex ring from the basement.

What is Pizzagate? The fake news scandal explained IBTimes UK