Fake News
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Life and Arts

Fake News

Real issue or trending topic?

WHAT IT IS

  • Fake news is the deliberate fabrication of facts that are manipulated to appear credible. [University of Michigan]

  • Social media has intensified the frequency of fake news, given that most platforms are unregulated. [The New York Times]

  • Echo chambers have been brought to light, which occur from websites relying on algorithms to auto-populate content. [Bloomberg] [NPR]

  • Fake news is a global issue. [The Guardian]

WHY IT MATTERS

 

Fake news is a serious issue for American democracy. If voters are uneducated, mislead, or distrust the media, they can make misguided or misinformed decisions at the polls. Fake news perpetuates the cycle of bad leadership.

DON'T REGULATE

Fooled ya!

Some believe that the reader responsible for differentiating between fake news, clickbait, political propaganda, media bias, and satire. [The Observer]

 

 

Speed

With technological advancements like the smartphone, some argue most breaking news is spread via independent public citizens reporting in real time. Speed and ease of use could diminish if media regulations occur.

 

 

Expectations

Some believe that it is going too far to expect all citizens who share stories on social media sites to be held to the core values of journalism. [Open Democracy]

THIS IS SERIOUS

Real consequence

Fake news can lead to very serious consequences—as evidenced by a fake news story leading a 28-year old man in D.C. to bring an AR-15 assault rifle into a pizzeria. [CNN]


 

"Alternative facts"

Because politicians and individuals are having trouble determining what is fake and what is legitimate [The New York Times], many argue that the definition of reality is in danger.

 

 

Defend the truth

Some believe that if we don’t take it upon ourselves to uncover the real facts, there may no longer be any real facts. [Politifact]

WHERE WE ARE NOW

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Where does one draw the line between fake news and making an honest mistake?

  • Do the positives of a more dynamic media outweigh the negatives of less quality control?

  • What does fake news mean for other areas of reporting, like science and religious developments?

Key Vocabulary