Actually Fake News: How to Avoid

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Actually Fake News: How to Avoid

Jerri Moyes, Editor In Chief

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In recent years, the validity of news sources has plummeted, leaving readers and watchers confused and often misinformed about current events or even an event that didn’t happen. Though the internet, information can get scrambled. Whether it’s because someone tried to pass off lies as real news or a comedic or openly false story was taken as the truth. This has proven to be a real problem because now it is hard to find a trustworthy site or paper that you can be sure won’t lead you astray.

How does this affect daily society?

Though the spread of fake news seems harmless enough when obvious, it is not always that way and can affect the very way our country is run. Lately, the internet and social media has made for big changes in the way news spreads. There is no one to fact check or source check the specific person and thus anything can be posted and sadly enough there is a chance someone will take it as fact.

Democracy is based on the ability to make decisions on topics, whether it be the new president, new senators or even topics which they can not have a direct say in, like tax laws and same sex marriages. With fake news creating the controversy of whether certain facts are true or certain people are lying, citizens don’t can’t make proper decisions. This was extremely prevalent in the 2016 election season. Despite legitimate news channels trying to get the real facts out there, information, true or not was painfully easy to pass around. Though it would be impossible to prove, there is the possibility that the election results would have been different if the truth was dominant in the media. We may have had a completely different president if every single blurb of information put out there was one hundred percent true. The purpose of democracy is to give the people the chance to vote in the kind of person they want to lead the country. If all they know about a candidate is what they want to hear, they’ll choose them instead of the candidate they would rather choose.

Overall, false media is sending the wrong signals out and corrupting those who could otherwise make proper and informed decisions. With where today’s media seems to be headed, it doesn’t seem feasible that a single group could fact check and bias check every single post or article. It is up to the individual to make the decision. With websites like Snopes, that has become easier than ever but it does take at least a little effort. At the very least, it is always a good idea to research a particular topic before making any kind of post or forwarding it to someone else. If it is the wrong thing, you’re just perpetuating false information.

It is our duty as American citizens to base our opinions on facts and not the whimsy of random people on the internet. All it takes is five minutes and a little research on Snopes.com and you can make yourself a better informed person.

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