Fake News: The Rise in Wrong

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)



Can Bloggers Be Sued? Yes, they can.

You may have seen in the news recently that big businesses are getting sued, organizations, but what about content creators and bloggers? Can they get sued too? Yes, they can.

During the midst of election season, a 70-year-old blogger named Webster Tarpley  posted to this blog, “Where is Melania Trump? It is also widely known that Melania was not a working model but rather a high-end escort. ” Tarpley posted this 3 months ago. The Daily Mail posted similar allegations against Mrs. Trump closely following Tarpley’s blog post. Both the blog post and the publication by the Daily Mail caught Melania and her attorney’s attention. Mrs. Trump and her lawyer are wanting to sue Daily Mail and Mr. Tarpley for $150 million dollars for defamation. She and her attorney’s said, “These are some of the most inflammatory allegations possible. These are some of the most inflammatory allegations possible.” Tarpley’s attorney, John Owen, declared that his client is a political blogger who likes to discuss political matters with his audience and that he shared information that was rumored on other outlets of social media and his client felt there should be a public dialogue about the rumored past of the prospective First Lady of the United States.

Since this debate  is on-going, I do see how Mr. Tarpley wanted to question the path of the rumored past of the prospective First Lady, but I do believe that is the Daily Mail who is at fault for posting such an article without complete confidence in its accuracy.

In January 2016 in Pennslyvania,  The Standard Speaker posted that a local blogger named Mark Robbins was being sued $4,000 by former congressional hopeful Andy Ostrowski over allegations that Mr. Ostrowski was posting  “false things on his blog about plaintiff and circulating it, and other communications, widely by email and otherwise.” Ostrowski says that Robbin had  been “impugning my character, suggesting I’m involved in all kinds of illicit activities.” Robbin claimed he got his information about Ostrowski from the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and stood by all of his posts about Ostrowski. Robbin claimed Ostrowski’s motives for providing counsel to a women Robin believes  “Ostrowski has no valid reason to help.” Robbin also pointed out that Ostrowski who has a suspended law license has a history of drug abuse and  that abuse may be continuing. One of Robin’s most defamatory posts was taken down, but Robin doesn’t recall having it deleted in the first place. Ostrowski says he is never one to shy away from his past, but lies and falsehoods, he cannot handle. “Robbins alleged the lawsuit amounts to retaliation against him for filing a complaint with the disciplinary board last month regarding Ostrowski’s conduct with the woman.”

Since I am not sure how this court case ended, or if it is still in motion, I do believe that public figures do need to realize that people may try to dig up their past and question motives more than others may. If Robbin’s correct in Ostrowski’s motives for this suit, and it is a retaliation for Robbin’s complaint, than Ostrowski may need to think more critically about his actions before he puts himself in a more public light in the future.

Overall, bloggers do have their right to freedom of speech, but need to be careful to share only what information is their personal opinion, but to also make sure whatever they post they can back up with proof for their statements.

Local blogger sued for defamation by attorney (Source: http://standardspeaker.com/news/local-blogger-sued-for-defamation-by-attorney-1.2000541)

Trump Lawsuit (Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/in-libel-suit-melania-trump-says-maryland-blogger-held-reckless-disregard-for-the-truth/2016/11/12/f9074a12-a76d-11e6-8042-f4d111c862d1_story.html?tid=hybrid_collaborative_1_na)




Live streaming: The New Thing

Live streaming has become a recently huge way to call audience through a multitude of different platforms from Facebook Live, Periscope, YouTube Live, and many others. But why do we love watching live streams, or broadcasting a live stream so much? Well for me personally, I love to watch live streams of my favourite Youtubers because it allows me to somehow connect with them and the other people watching the stream. As social creatures that humans are, we like to constantly know what others are up to, and we also love to constantly show others we are in turn, up to. But why else do we live stream? To show others what we are up to, or to try to make our life seem more entertaining. I believe that it is a combination of both depending on who you are. Famous YouTubers love to live stream with their audience because it allows fans to ask questions and for them to see a little sliver into their favourite Youtuber’s life even just for 30 minutes.

Besides Facebook Live, Youtube Live, and Periscope, there are other platforms that are also available for live streaming such as YouNow, Twitch, and Meerkat.

YouNow (Free) – YouNow is a popular platform by many teenagers as well as successful Youtubers across the world. I personally have participated in a few live streams on YouNow watching Youtubers such as Danisnotonfire, AmazingPhil, and others. YouNow is known for their quick fixes should a stream freeze or shut down. In my personal experience, out of the hundreds of live streams I have seen, only 1 or 2 had major connectivity issues, and they may have been a poor wifi connection and not YouNow itself. YouNow is also commonly used because it is able to keep up the webcasts with enormous amounts of people watching, and that is something to applaud.

Twitch (Up to 8.99 a month) – while not as Free as YouNow, Twitch is another live streaming platform used by a lot of Youtuber gamers such as TheGamingTerririsor, GassyMexican, and others like them. Twitch is a wonderful way to stream and also game at the same time with little to no interruptions to your stream, a way to donate to these gamers should you wish to do so, and a subscription fee to them as another way to help them out. Personally, I have not been very well acquainted with Twitch, but it is definitely a platform that will continue to grow and expand as time goes on.

Google Hangouts (free)- Google Hangout is similar to Twitch in that users can get a notification or email inviting them to the stream where one person hosts and multiple other people can communicate through chat and video to the host. Google Hangout can also intergrate Google Voice allowing users to make free “domestic” phone calls from their computers. Although not having used Google Hangout, I have heard fr