WHAT IT IS
Fake news is the deliberate fabrication of facts that are manipulated to appear credible.1
Social media has intensified the frequency of fake news, given that most platforms are unregulated.2
Fake news is a global issue.5
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.
Some believe the reader responsible for differentiating between fake news, clickbait, political propaganda, media bias, and satire.6
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.
Some believe that it is going too far to expect all citizens who share stories on social media sites to be held to core values of journalism.7
THIS IS SERIOUS
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.8
Because politicians and individuals are having trouble determining what is fake and what is legitimate9, one could argue that the definition of reality is in danger.
Defend the truth
If we don’t take it upon ourselves to uncover the real facts, there may no longer be any real facts.12
WHERE WE ARE NOW
- Google is investing $300 million to protecting high quality journalism with two new efforts: (1) Google News Initiative (2) Google News.14
- To help fight against fake news spread on the platform, Facebook recently expanded their fact-checking program.13
- The New York Times' published a "How-To" fight against fake news.14
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
Where does one draw the line between fake news and bad reporting or media bias?
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?