Recently on social media and news outlets, people have been talking about fake news outlets, fake news stories circulating, and hoaxes on people about unreal events. As asked in class, how can we stop these fake news outlets from spitting out bad information to the general public? Furthermore, can this problem ever be completely solved, or will be left to deal with people being misinformed forever?
There are certain sites that put out satirical news for humor and enjoyment such as The Onion. The Onion was founded in 1988 and continued to post satirical news stories in print until 2013 when they stopped printing. They have since been posting from their website http://www.theonion.com. However, since they were founded on posting satirical news, their “news” stories are not counted in the circle of bad information.
According to Emily Willingham, a Forbes contributor, says that it’s not just “middle-agers or the elderly who didn’t grow up digital. Digital natives don’t do any better, according to a recent study.” Willingham goes on to ask if we should believe we are doomed since some of these fake news sites are being backed by foreign governments and are made to look so real. She says while it would just be easier to open up people’s head and pour vital, real knowledge, we must try to come up with a “usable framework” for when people see things on their Facebook feeds, or online that they can check through to justify if it is a real, reliable source of information.
You ask but how can I find out if a source I am looking at on my Facebook timeline is real or fake? My answer? Research it more. Look to see if other news anchors or newspapers you trust are spouting the same information. If not, you may be on to something. The Washington Post posted an article a few days ago giving it’s readers a few steps to determine real news from fake with some simple steps. Tip 1: “Determine whether the article is from a legitimate website:” Tip 2: “Check the contact us page.” Tip 3:”Examine the byline of the reporter and see whether it makes sense.” Tip 4: “Read the article closely.” Tip 5: “Scrutinize the sources.” Tip 6: ” Look at the ads.” Tip 7: “Use search engines to double check.”
With these helpful tips provided by the Washington Post, you can check out those stories on your Facebook timeline, your Twitter feed, and not be fooled by these fake news stories again because now you have tools to legitimize their authenticity.
(The Fact Checkers Guide for Detecting Fake News Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/11/22/the-fact-checkers-guide-for-detecting-fake-news/)
(A Scientific Approach to Disgusting Real from Fake News Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2016/11/28/a-scientific-approach-to-distinguishing-real-from-fake-news/#1b833cd26920)