Don't Be Faked Out!
It has been said that the most important thing in a functional society is a well-informed public. Unfortunately, we have learned that we are now a society of uninformed and misinformed citizens. Online, many people just click and share posts because of their headline. They may not even open the link to read the story, or they may only read the comments. In an effort to crack down on fake news, Google has instituted policies that will ban ad software from appearing on sites that “misrepresent, misstate or conceal information about the publisher, the publisher’s content, or the primary purpose.” Facebook has also stated that they will ban fake news sites from using the company’s advertising network. All of this comes after criticism was heaped on the media over fake news stories that have proliferated during the election season. A chart below, from BuzzFeed’s Craig Silverman, gives us an idea of just how much influence fake news stories had in the final months of the 2016 presidential campaign:
Chart courtesy of Craig Silverman, Buzzfeed
As you can see, the top 20 fake news stories outperformed REAL news at the end of the 2016 election.
We have to do better, America! Here are some steps you can use when surfing the web: 1. Read first, then share.
2. Check the source. Then, check their sources.
3. Watch out for old or recycled stories. ALWAYS check the date.
4. Care about FACTS and watch for sites that claim to be fair and balanced, but are slanted.
5. Google it. Verify. Sources:
Matt Masur, The Huffington Post
Timothy B. Lee, Vox