Due to the recent political election, a big thing that has been said about news is how to determine whether or not it is the truth or if it is satire. With the abundance of social media and technology in our presence, it is very difficult to keep false information from spreading at a rapid rate before it is proven false. Although sometimes we can get a good laugh out of this (dank memes), it can be a very dangerous bridge to cross.
A few months ago I came across a Facebook link that was shared by many people in my area about an actor having positive remarks on our city. Dozens of my friends on Facebook shared this post; excited and sad to see such kind remarks from an actor that they had missed a photo opportunity with pass by. Curious, as anyone would be, I clicked on the link. I clearly could see the signs that this was fake news. Browsing through other articles, it seemed that this website did this a lot with multiple cities. “(Actor’s name) Absolutely Loved (random city) because of This!” was the common article the site was generating. Curious, I clicked on the contact information for the page. The page stated that the news was clearly satire and that if anyone has any funny suggestions for articles they should contact the site owner’s personal email account.
Although this site stated that the news account was clearly for entertainment purposes, it took a lot of searching to find the disclaimer. This is how this fake news spreads. It looks believable. A clever caption with a URL that has the word “news” in it and a trendy high quality picture can make anything seem believable. So the question remains: How can we fix this issue of fake news?
There is no single correct way to diminish fake news. However, if we can somehow have people be more aware of the signs of fake news. Something similar to having a little symbol of verification next to your name on a social media site if you are a celebrity. There has to be a way to help reduce the negativity of fake news. As for real news stations having false information, I can not say I have an answer to that. I only have hope that journalists can have the intelligence and perseverance to only distribute real news to our modern day world in order for us to get accurate and useful information to others who are watching the news looking for this info.