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During the Presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton there was a lot of news that was circling social media, and the local news. A reader can pull up any Facebook page and see that the one of the latest stories being talked about was handling Donald Trump and his campaign. There was one story that was being talked about describing how Donald Trump slapped a man in the audience for disagreeing with him. This article was shared around eight hundred times, with no credible source to tell if it was true or not (Subramanian). People truly don’t know whether what they are reading or listening to is real news or not. There are only certain ways to find out whether the information is reliable or not. Fake news can be unreliable information that is publicized for others to see; going as far as people making money off of fake news being promoted. It is an opening source that can be deceiving if the reader does not take the proper cautions to avoid it such as being aware of the content being shared, and not being susceptible to anything one hears or reads.
There are different kinds of fake news that one should be aware of. There is critical fake news such as dealing with the President, or other political figures. Some information may not matter to others whether it is fake or not. But the information that is dealing with political figures can really make a nation or country worry. The impact that fake news can have on our nation political is the political parties being confused or not. Republicans and Democrats say that they tend to get highly confused about the current events happening in politics because of the constant rumors and fake news (Barthel). Being aware of these problematic sources will help eliminate the fake news frenzy. The First Draft News article has broken down each type of misinformation and clarified it into certain subjects. They broke them down into 7 types starting with, “Satire or parody, misleading content, imposter content, fabricated content, false connection, false context, and manipulated content” (Wardle). Each subject has a different meaning but they are very similar because they deal with the same problem. The type of content dealing with misinformation has a specific purpose to each one. Whether that is provoke, profit, or have political influence. A political influence that misleading content can have is interfering with Political campaigns. The recent findings were that the town of Macedonian was registered to more then 100-pro Trump websites, most of them filled with fake news (Subramanian). The problems that occur with “fake political news” is that it leads to wrong information getting out about leaders that could possibly have control over the nation. It is up to the people to personally figure out if this information is correct or not.
An effect that fake news is causing is people are actually making thousands of dollars off of these fake news websites, just because of the attraction of people it brings to the website. People can be susceptible to fake news because now a day, we don’t take the time to see whether the information we are given is 100-percent true. One of the teens from Macedonian has recently been a creator of one of these websites that host fake news, dealing with Donald Trump and his campaign. He has not only promoted false information to his audience, but he has also grossed almost $16,000 off of his websites (Subramanian). The internet has made it possible for people to make a living off of certain websites, just by the attraction the website brings and the ads that are being promoted on the website, or article.
Humans are used to everything they hear or the things they are told, to be a reliable source because they may appear real. With the constant rise in the social media outlet, fake news is hard to depict from real news. With the help of Facebook becoming more of a place to share local articles and videos, people tend to read these articles and share them whether they are true or not. The reasons for sharing this information is because the content being looked at is relatable or something for the reader to voice their opinion on. The more times that the article is shared or commented on, the more popular this article gets, and users will see it more frequently. Readers can even comment “this is fake news” and it will still allow the story to be in popular demand because of the increase of comments. This topic of “fake news” can make people tend to get highly confused on believing anything that they see or read is true. About 64% of Americans say that they have a great deal of confusion about basic facts because of the fake news frenzy, 24% say there is some confusion, and only 11% say that there is hardly no confusion (Barthel).
Fake news is a problem in today’s society then it ever has been because of the multiplication of mobile devices, and social media causing any information to be “on-hand”. It is impacting people because of the constant confusion. However, most Americans feel like they can spot out fake news by the reasonability of the reporting, or credible sources. A recent study dealing with statistics, states that 39% of Americans are pretty confident in detecting fake news, or not (Barthel). It can be difficult to actually see what part of the news is changed or not. Anything can be considered fake news by just having the slightest bit of change to the actual story. Fake news is very similar to gossip, or a rumor because of the large percentage of it being real or not.
The competition of journalism is causing multiple things being mixed together and becoming highly impossible to solve. The reason for this competition is the news sources wanting to be the main headliner for each story, whether true or false. News sources will go as far as to changing a whole story to match a certain picture just to draw attention to their source, allowing them to profit off of it. Slate news wrote that the term fake news was highly unheard of, until about recently. Fake news is easy to lose sight of because of who is sharing it, making it, and the impact that it has. The consequence that fake news has its biased opinion and having the problem of objectivity (Oremus).
A reader should not be automatically influenced by what they encounter. Sadly, our nation is changing and sometimes it is not for the better because things that were not a problem before, is a problem now. It has a huge impact on someone when turning on a local news station can be tricky because of the questioning one may have when receiving the information that is being aired. Information being so easily at hand has caused “fake news” to be a concern. Being cautious of what a reader is reading and locating the specific and reliable sources on the website or article, will help eliminate this problem. Fake news is just another way of categorizing bad journalism.
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