It is almost impossible to avoid politics and news in todays day and age. Literally everywhere you look there is an article or video that has something to do with President Trump. Everyone has their own opinion and something to say about the topic. News reporters are catching on that Trump is a hot topic and are jumping on the bandwagon of revolving all stories around him, whether they are true or not. One of the dangers of news media is “fake news” or news that is not true, but leads people to believe that it is.
Politics is easily the most targeted subject when it comes to topics for fake news stories. With so many articles and stories coming out that detail the scandals and every thought of Trump and other important political figures, many people may actually be buying into a lie. One of the biggest problems that social media has created in terms of news is making people believe anything they see. LITERALLY, people will believe anything! There was even a news story going viral on Facebook that Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer! PEOPLE REALLY THINK THIS GUY IS THE ZODIAC KILLER.
Not Legit? Just Quit.
The tricky thing about fake news is how we as an audience can differentiate from what is real and what is fake. David A. Bell argues that news has begun to be “delegitimized,” and specifically this past year has turned frightening. Part of this problem, he argues, is how the people behind this fake news have a false sense of knowledge on American Politics and are misleadingly labeling themselves as “journalists,” which can trick an innocent reader into buying into the material. Bell goes on to discuss a “conservative media machine” that takes otherwise small and minor story about competence of public figures they dislike or honesty and turns it into a huge story with the intent to ignite public outrage.
Where’d Ya Hear That?
Personally, I am a big believer in proof when it comes to scandals or accusations. I don’t believe things unless they are very well backed up. In her article “Did Media Literacy Backfire?” Daynah Boyd discusses the importance of having sources to backup statements and claims. It is important to have sources, but not just any sources. As Boyd discusses it is also important to be aware of what sources can be trusted and which can not.
Protect Yo Self
Although the presence of fake news is inevitable, there are ways that you can protect yourself from it and learn how to determine what is true and what isn’t. Wynne Davis gives some excellent tips on how you can better protect yourself from false news. One tip Davis points out that I especially found interesting was to check the comments section on articles. If someone is commenting that the article or news is fake it probably is. This is such an easy concept and makes so much sense, I don’t know why I never thought of it myself! Another interesting tip Davis offers is to check the Domain or the URL for the source. Trusted organizations usually have their own Domain or URL and a standard and recognizable format. This also goes back to the previous section and how it is important to know the sources for the media.
Fake news is definitely present in today’s society and it is not something that should be taken lightly. It is important for you to do some research and investigating of your own! See what details or other information you can find on a subject if you have doubts about it. And most importantly, not everything you see on the internet is true.