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Fake news refers to misinformation or disinformation spread through various media channels, often intended to mislead the public or promote an agenda. Essays on fake news could explore the historical precedents, the methods of propagation, and the societal and political implications of fake news. Moreover, discussions might delve into the role of social media platforms, the psychological underpinnings of susceptibility to fake news, and the strategies for combating misinformation. Analyzing the impact of fake news on democracy, public trust, and the polarization of societal discourse can provide a comprehensive understanding of the challenges posed by misinformation in the digital age. We’ve gathered an extensive assortment of free essay samples on the topic of Fake News you can find in Papersowl database. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.
Fake News: a Major Problem in Today’s Society
Fake news is becoming a significant problem in today's society. People know what fake news is but fail to differentiate between fake and accurate news. Fake news is seen on almost all social media platforms. It is designed to attract the viewers' attention and misguide them. Tom Nichols, author of The Death of Expertise, believed that more than 80% of information on the Internet is fake, "worse, bad information can stay online for years," says Nichols. Unlike yesterday's newspaper, online […]
An Issue of Fake News in World
Introduction Now-a-days, Technology is present everywhere. Its impact is seen in every part of the world. This growth of technology introduced lots of improvements in everyday life like online news, Virtual Friendships, Sharing photos and documents etc. While these can be the positive impacts, there are many negative impacts too. One of such negative impact is Fake News. Fake News occurs because of two terms. They are: Misinformation: This false information is because of honest mistakes shared by important organizations. […]
News Media: how and why to Spot “Fake” News
There is hardly a thing that has affected the reputation of media as the increased prevalence of fake news. While many people consider the concept of 'fake news' as a threat to the democracy of the United States and other democracies around the world, it should be noted that the phenomenon is not new and has been around for quite some time. Much of the popularity that the term has gained over the past few months can be attributed to […]
Should Fake News be Banned
The Newfound Prevalence of Fake News and its Impact on the 2016 Election In order to understand the impact of fake news, it is essential to understand first what real news is, what determines credibility, and what the purpose of news is. According to Bill Kovach, “Inherent in the First Amendment freedom provided to the owners of a newspaper is an obligation to provide the kind of public service information a self–governing people need” (Fuller, 1996). While this isn’t explicitly […]
Social Media and Fake News
Growing up in a strict family with only one best friend at a time and having a horrible self-image, it was difficult to be social. I was very shy and insecure and in lot of ways I still am. Real life interaction was not my strong suit. At work, I try not to give my work interactions too much influence or I run the risk of “taking my work home” and stressing myself and my husband out over work issues. […]
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Public Opinion: Mass Media and Social Media
Public policies are created to ensure the public’s safety and well-being. From amusement park regulations to laws on drinking and driving to more political issues, lawmakers put these policies in place for the best interests of the people. Sometimes the public does not find favor with these policies and have a different outlook of what the policy should be. This is called public opinion. These views and beliefs of an individual combined with a sizeable collective group, result in forming […]
Problematic Issues of Fake News
In recent years fake news has become more problematic due to the attention it has been receiving. One of the biggest reasons for this is that it is taking credibility away from all journalist, and is even giving other countries the confidence they need to wrongfully punish journalist for fake news. It has also made all news questionable, even if it is the real news, because when certain people claim everything to be fake news it can heavily influence others […]
Facebook and Fake News
Introduction Since the 2016 election, the media issue of fake news has become a major topic of discussion. Fake news are invalid news articles and coverage that are meant to stir controversy and spread false information. The media has played an extremely huge role in the development and spread of fake news, particularly Facebook. However, Facebook has adopted an interesting stance regarding their response to tackle fake news and although its users and the public have other opinions, Facebook's obligations […]
Transformative Impact of Social Media on Communication
Growth and Influence of Social Media Social media has grown tremendously in this recent years. From 2006, the onward growth rate is unexpectedly high. Especially Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and many others have raised much faster and captured millions of users in only a few years. Social media has changed the way people communicate. In many ways, social media has led to positive changes in how people communicate or share information. However, sometimes, it can also result in negative outcomes […]
What do we Know about Fake News
Fake News "A lie told often enough becomes the truth" (Vladimir Lenin). In the climate of a free democracy where news is one of the core characteristics of the system; the world is facing an issue. News, or rather said "fake news" was never before so strong and dangerous like it is nowadays. Accurate news is vital to democracy and the explosive growth of fake news is cited by many as a threat. Because of the spread of internet, fake […]
Fake News Detection
The above headline was reported by few media houses throughout the world and by the time the mistake was realised, it had already reached to millions. And thanks to internet, anything published online is turned to stone instantly. The meteoric rise of internet and social media have been very beneficial to mankind but it has created a lot many scourges of our time. One of the biggest menace in today's time is accurately believed to be Fake news. Fake news […]
Fake News and Media in our World
Rhetoric is a persuasive use of a language that has been around since philosophy ages. The term rhetoric can completely change the way we think critically by engaging us emotionally. We have the ability to communicate in different ways using the same information while adding our own little personal twist to it. In doing so, we may engage our audience differently, it could possibly change the way they receive the information and depending on how much of a personal twist […]
Fake News in Modern World
Fake news is shown throughout the world without people knowing. It affects our learning, our understandings, and beliefs. What is there to trust anymore? The web gives us a lot of info we use daily. Fake news has been a serious issue in American and international society lately. For instance, recently on July 2018, Facebook has shut down a sophisticated disinformation operation on its platform that engaged in divisive messaging ahead of the U.S. midterm elections. Facebook said it founded […]
War against Fake News
In this day and age, the internet is one of the most prominent ways that information is distributed. Unfortunately, the internet does not always provide individuals with valid information, but attract individuals to inaccurate information, also known as fake news. In a recent study conducted by Stanford University, roughly 82% of middle-schoolers struggled to distinguish valid from fake news (Shellenberger). This now becomes a call for regulation in order to ensure that valid information is being distributed rather than false […]
Fake News Epidemic Within Society
'Fake News' as the false stories that fail to get flagged as inaccurate or just plain false in order to be considered validated, and thus are seen as more accurate. Many individuals then begin to share the misinformation taking it for facts because it has an appealing headline, or because it reinforces their viewpoint. Such an effect is particularly important given that it is extremely easier to produce misinformation than it is to debunk it. I am interested in this […]
Seven Commandments of Fake News
The insidious nature of fake news is apparent throughout many different cases, with layer upon layers of puppeteers ultimately pulling the strings of other puppeteers. However, the audience are not the only ones being manipulated in some of these cases, but the reporters and networks themselves are proven to be malleable in the hands of the right players. In The Seven Commandments of Fake News, Vladimir Putin is the ultimate puppet master of disinformation. (Ellick & Westbrook, 2018. 1:37-2:52.) Whether […]
Problem of Fake News
The responsibility for media companies is to be constraint for monitoring and preventing the spread of Fake News; but the consumer also has responsibilities of their own. Both the consumer and companies should have the responsibility to make sure the source is credible. You've all seen Fake News, it's been around so long in form of rumors, gossip, and allusion. Fake News is surfacing on most channels, whether on television, Facebook, or online. Many people have trouble on deciding whether […]
The Age of “Fake News” and Data Consumption
In the TED Talk "Information is Food" by JP Rangaswami, the author compares the way we grow, cultivate, and prepare food to how it correlates with data consumption in America. He looks at the stages of how we grow information, prepare that information, and which sources we consume information from. However, Rangaswami brought up that maybe in the future we will label sources for how much factual information are in their stories or articles, I find this to be a […]
Real Vs. Fake News
With the use of technology these days it has become more and more easier to have all you doubts answered by just one click. Does the information given need to be sited and backed up by the company that is giving out the information or is it up to the consumer to investigate and determine on its own if the article being read is a hoax...? Both consumer and company should have the responsibility to make sure the source is […]
You probably hear the phrase “fake news” every day but, perhaps, haven’t thought about its core meaning. Moreover, have you considered its severe and long-term impact on human psychosocial health and behavior? If not, the time has come to debunk some myths. In general, fake news is any piece of information that is untrue, distorted, or fabricated. The goals of such news can be to mislead the public, spread political propaganda, sell suspicious goods and services, or sensationalize an otherwise typical storyline. Fake news in social media like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook is prevalent. As a result, young people end up exposed to false information without having the skills or tools to combat or deflect the phenomenon. That’s why assigning speech essays about misinformation is a wise idea to raise awareness among the wider public. The global journalism industry, particularly in the United States, is ever-growing, and it has become increasingly difficult to prevent disinformation. Moreover, today everyone can access the Internet and post or publish whatever they want. However, there is power in the written word, and high-quality papers can help against the deliberate falsification of news spread via the media. So, the next time your teacher discusses the effect of misleading information on the youth, go for it. Accept the challenge to write an essay about fake news and make your peers aware of the trap they’re constantly getting into. The more we know how to detect false stories, the less gullible and prone to lies our society will be. When writing your research paper, there are several essay topics to pick from and develop. You might want to focus your work on the sources of fake information, the reasons why they appear, or the effect they have on people. Moreover, you can discuss different strategies that might contribute to solving the problem. Most importantly, don’t forget to outline your thesis statement for fake news before you write the first draft. This step is critical for a well-structured paper consisting of an introduction, a few body paragraphs, and a conclusion. So, what are you waiting for? Check the argumentative essay examples on fake news available on PapersOwl and get into the mood of writing. These model papers will help you start on the right foot and deliver a high-quality piece worth reading.
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Explained: What is False Information (Fake News)?
False Information v Fake News
What is false information.
Lots of things you read online especially in your social media feeds may appear to be true, often is not . False information is news, stories or hoaxes created to deliberately misinform or deceive readers. Usually, these stories are created to either influence people’s views, push a political agenda or cause confusion and can often be a profitable business for online publishers. False information can deceive people by looking like trusted websites or using similar names and web addresses to reputable news organisations.
According to Martina Chapman (Media Literacy Expert), there are three elements to fake news; ‘Mistrust, misinformation and manipulation’.
The Rise of False Information
False information is not new, however it has become a hot topic since 2017. Traditionally we got our news from trusted sources, journalists and media outlets that are required to follow strict codes of practice. However, the internet has enabled a whole new way to publish, share and consume information and news with very little regulation or editorial standards.
Many people now get news from social media sites and networks and often it can be difficult to tell whether stories are credible or not. Information overload and a general lack of understanding about how the internet works by people has also contributed to an increase in fake news or hoax stories. Social media sites can play a big part in increasing the reach of these type of stories.
The economics of social media favour gossip, novelty, speed and “shareability”’ Simeon Yates
Types of False Information
There are differing opinions when it comes to identifying types of false information. However, when it comes to evaluating content online there are various types of false or misleading news we need to be aware of. These include:
These are stories that are deliberately fabricated to gain more website visitors and increase advertising revenue for websites. Clickbait stories use sensationalist headlines to grab attention and drive click-throughs to the publisher website, normally at the expense of truth or accuracy.
Stories that are created to deliberately mislead audiences, promote a biased point of view or particular political cause or agenda.
Lots of websites and social media accounts publish fake news stories for entertainment and parody. For example; The Onion, Waterford Whispers, The Daily Mash, etc.
4. Sloppy Journalism
Sometimes reporters or journalists may publish a story with unreliable information or without checking all of the facts which can mislead audiences. For example, during the U.S. elections, fashion retailer Urban Outfitters published an Election Day Guide , the guide contained incorrect information telling voters that they needed a ‘voter registration card’. This is not required by any state in the U.S. for voting.
5. Misleading Headings
Stories that are not completely false can be distorted using misleading or sensationalist headlines. These types of news can spread quickly on social media sites where only headlines and small snippets of the full article are displayed on audience newsfeeds.
6. Biased/Slanted News
Many people are drawn to news or stories that confirm their own beliefs or biases and fake news can prey on these biases. Social media news feeds tend to display news and articles that they think we will like based on our personalised searches.
7. Imposter Content
When genuine sources are impersonated with false, made-up sources. This is dangerous as it relates to information with no factual basis being presented in the style of a credible news source or article to make it look like a legitimate source.
8. Manipulated Content
When real information or imagery is manipulated to deceive, as with a doctored photo or video. This can be used to mislead people or create a false narrative about something or someone.
T he False Information Business Model
The internet and social media have made it very easy for anyone to publish content on a website, blog or social media profile and potentially reach large audiences. With so many people now getting news from social media sites, many content creators/publishers have used this to their advantage.
False information can be a profitable business, generating large sums of advertising revenue for publishers who create and publish stories that go viral. The more clicks a story gets, the more money online publishers make through advertising revenue and for many publishers social media is an ideal platform to share content and drive web traffic .
False Information, Social Media, and the Filter Bubble
In a recent article on media literacy, Hugh Linehan noted; “Media is no longer passively consumed – it’s created, shared, liked, commented on, attacked and defended in all sorts of different ways by hundreds of millions of people. And the algorithms used by the most powerful tech companies – Google and Facebook in particular – are brilliantly designed to personalise and tailor these services to each user’s profile.”
When we go online or login to a social network we are generally presented with news, articles and content based on our own searches online. This type of content tends to reflect our own likes, views and beliefs and therefore isolating us from differing views and opinions. This is often referred to as a filter bubble.
What can we do about False Information?
Google and Facebook have announced new measures to tackle fake news with the introduction of reporting and flagging tools. Media organisations like the BBC and Channel 4 have also established fact checking sites While these are welcome developments, digital media literacy and developing skills to critically evaluate information are essential skills for anyone navigating the internet and especially for young people.
The vast amount of information available online and rise in fake news highlights the need for critical thinking. Children need to develop critical thinking from an early age. This is a key skill for young people to develop as they enter into third level education and prepare themselves for the workplace.
How to spot False Information?
Anyone can fall for false information online. There are a number of things to watch out for when evaluating content online.
1.Who is sharing the story?
Check if the the social media account sharing the post is verified. Most public figures and media outlets display a “blue badge or check mark” which means the account has been authenticated. This can mean the content of the post is more likely to be reliable, although not always.
2. Take a closer look
Check the source of the story, do you recognise the website? Is it a credible/reliable source? If you are unfamiliar with the site, look in the about section or find out more information about the author.
3. Look beyond the headline Check the entire article, many fake news stories use sensationalist or shocking headlines to grab attention. Often the headlines of fake new stories are in all caps and use exclamation points.
4. Check other sources Are other reputable news/media outlets reporting on the story? Are there any sources in the story? If so, check they are reliable or if they even exist!
5. Check the facts Stories with false information often contain incorrect dates or altered timelines. It is also a good idea to check when the article was published, is it current or an old news story?
6. Check your biases Are your own views or beliefs affecting your judgement of a news feature or report?
7. Is it a joke? Satirical sites are popular online and sometimes it is not always clear whether a story is just a joke or parody… Check the website, is it known for satire or creating funny stories?
Developed by Media Literacy Ireland, Be Media Smart offers useful tips and guidance on how to tell the difference between reliable and accurate information and or deliberately false or misleading information.
Facilitated by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, MLI is a network of volunteer members coming from a large number of sectors, organisations and interests, working together to empower people to make informed media choices about the media content and services that they consume, create, and disseminate across all platforms. The MLI offers useful media literacy resources, research, and news.
Fact checking sites
Fact Check: factcheck.org/
BBC Reality Check: bbc.com/news/reality-check
Channel 4 Fact Check: channel4.com/news/factcheck
Reverse image search from Google: google.com/reverse-image-search
Deep Fakes and Visual Deception
Deepfakes are fake videos created using digital software, machine learning and face swapping. Deepfakes are computer-created artificial videos in which images are combined to create new footage that depicts events, statements or action that never actually happened. The results can be quite convincing. Deep fakes differ from other forms of false information by being very difficult to identify as false.
Find out more in Explained: What Are Deepfakes ?
Talk to someone
Worried about something you have seen online or concerned about your child? Childline and the National Parents Council Primary offer free advice and support service.
Childline is a support service for young people up to the age of 18.There is a 24hr telephone, online and mobile phone texting service.
1800666666 50101 Get started
The National Parents Council Primary enables and empowers parents to be effective partners in their children’s education.
01 887 4477 [email protected]
Report Illegal Content
Sometimes you might unwittingly stumble across illegal online content like child abuse imagery. Always remember: you can report it and get it removed using Hotline.ie.
More on illegal content
Make a report
Effects of Fake News
Fake news has been a discussion rising topic over the last three years. Initially, people consumed news from trusted sources, journalists as well as media outlets that are needed to tow behind strict codes of practices. The problem statement of this research is based on the fact that the emergence of the internet has promoted a contemporary method of publishing, consuming, and sharing news with minimal regulations or editorial guidelines. There has also been a general lack of comprehension concerning how the internet performs and also contributes to hoax stories. Consequently, fake news has been used to persuade and deceive people, leading to violence, and terrorism and making minority groups vulnerable to risks.
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Therefore, the purpose of the research is to find out about the emergence of fake news and the threats that it causes spreading through social media, where is difficult to determine its credibility. The common method of the investigation is recent secondary materials from which it is evident that social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are the core foundations of fake news. Finally, I recommend that school curriculums should include media literacy to educate students since they are the greatest percentage of people that consume news via social media platforms.
Two years ago, the term ‘fake news was not a term many people used, but now it is identified as one of the greatest threats to free debates, democracy, and world order. Last year, the word was in many instances used by world leaders to refer to the fact that people are raising tensions between people, nations, and media houses by spreading untrue information, therefore, resulting in new regulations. Yet, there is no agreement on what fake news is, how much damage it causes, and how to prevent it. Within this study the origin of fake news will be established, as well as the way it emerges, types of false news, their mode of spreading, and the impact it has on education, political and economic spheres. However, there are measures that social media platforms have proposed to undertake against fake news and all these findings offer a comprehensive study of fake news circulating the globe.
Understanding the Concept of Fake News
A lot of information that people encounter on social media feeds may seem to be true, but often it is not. Fake news includes stories, news, or deludes developed to intentionally misinform or mislead the reader. Normally, it is developed to manipulate people’s points of view, cause confusion or push a political agenda and in most cases a profitable business for the online publishers (Balmas 434). Fake news can easily deceive people by implying trusted websites or applying the same names and web addresses as distinguished news institutions.
A political story, which seems to be damaging to the reputation of a person, entity, or agency, is frequently termed fake news. However, fake news is not restricted to politics but seems to possess currency in terms of general news. The presswork and distribution of bogus news are comparatively new, but the terminology ‘fake news has been in the domain for a long time. Fake news seems to have begun acquiring the general application at the closure of the nineteenth century (Darnton 78). Although people undoubtedly encountered fake news before the year 1890 it was not referred to as ‘fake news. There was an extensive range of expressions that an individual user had when the newspapers had been concocting, but the most accepted one was false news (Darnton 87). This expression dates back to the sixteenth century.
The researchers from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore examined over thirty academic articles that had studied fake news since the year 2013 to 2017 and it yielded at least five different definitions of fake news (Balmas 439). However, all of these definitions based their facts on examples from social media feeds. The feeds have satirical content that applies how shows aired daily use humor to contextualize and ridicule actual world events (Rubin et al 265). One of them is a news spoof, which differs from satire in the stages of development of made-up stories for comical reasons. In addition, the propaganda developed by the state to manipulate public perception is another kind of fake news. Manipulation of actual videos and photos is targeted to generate an invalid narrative. Similarly, content created by public relations or advertising groups that seems as though it has been created by news channels falls under the same category of fake news (Balmas 440). Lastly, there is news hogwash, the definition of fake news, which appeared during the United States presidential elections in implication to fragments with no factual basis that tried to pass all authentic news articles.
The difficulty in differentiating fudged fake news happens when partisan institutions publish the news, providing a certain aura of impartiality and counterbalanced reporting. However, fake news has evolved fast enough, with one that has been remodeled by politicians, most notably the US president Donald Trump, when he dismissed good-faith reporting that he did not agree with (Allcott, Hunt, and Matthew 211). Thus, politicians sometimes redefine fake news as any reporting they do not like.
Impact of Social Media on Fake News
Social media has dramatically changed the acquisition of fake news as a whole. Fake news spread incredibly fast on social media, getting quicker and longer-lasting pickup compared to facts. Accurate scrutiny of Twitter, a most recognized and used platform for sharing news anywhere in the world, reveals that false news was re-tweeted more frequently than the actual news was. Lies diffuse significantly faster than actual information and the impacts get extra pronounced for bogus political stories than for dishonest news concerning terrorism, science, financial information, natural disaster, or urban legends (Shao et al 54). It means that it takes six times as long as bogus news to reach over a thousand and five hundred people. Surprisingly, most of the falsehood was not spread by bots, but by actual people, who identified the so-called ‘verified’ Twitter users and the individuals with abundant followers were in most cases not the source of some of the most popular unreal viral news feeds. It is not remarkable that the internet has also played a vital role in the resurgence of fake stories (Allcott, Hunt, and Matthew, 214). For instance, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Congress are in pursuit of evidence that Russian and other foreign users of the internet intentionally flooded social media with false information and posts intended to misguide US citizens concerning 2016 political candidates.
Besides Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms are the basic sources of news across the globe. Yet, users of these platforms are exposed to content that has questionable credibility, with people fabricating fake stories, conspiracy theories, and even hyper-partisan content. A lot of disinformation published, online fraud and spam are remunerative for culprits and political and government propaganda and produce both financial and partisan benefits (Shao et al 60). However, the fact that low-plausible content spreads easily and quickly suggests that individuals and the algorithms behind social media platforms are susceptible to manipulation.
At the end of the year 2016, a tweet from a white supremacist received more national recognition than ever anticipated. The tweet had incriminated one of the prominent figures in US politics, which interested many readers. Consequently, other rumors started to surface concerning the same person, using of term ‘hashtag’, whereby the news circulated to millions of tweeter users, and the screenshots were shared on other social media platforms (Shao et al 62). In less than two months, the story that began as a simple tweet turned into violence as members of society could not tell the difference between actual and fake news.
Every person is becoming a victim of intentionally highly misleading and fake news and high-quality reporting is considered vital to a healthy democracy and a peaceful world. Moreover, the spread of fabricated news, videos, photos, and memes on social media, specifically through Twitter and Facebook, has severely distorted man’s perception of the truth. It is most likely to worsen irrespective of concerted trials by social media organizations to decrease the provoking phenomenon (Balmas 440). The reason behind this fact is that contemporary technologies give humans opportunities to fabricate photos, videos, and audio. For instance, small and big organizations are creating frameworks to digitally develop speech in the decisive voice of sentences, words, and phrases a person never literally uttered. Some people refer to it as ‘Photoshop for voice’. Synthetic intelligence entrepreneurs are not left behind as they are developing systems that will enable the cinch fabrication of photos and videos. Furthermore, with advancing technologies, people will be capable of developing footage, images, and sound clips that make an impression that individuals can do things they never said or did (Balmas 442). The results will be not differentiable from authenticity, as the internet and specifically, Google is becoming one of the greatest sources of information about the history of the world.
One aspect of the tendencies of humans is that people cling to groups of like-minded individuals and skew the facts together. These societies that are intensely polarized are a reflection of this factual ideology. For instance, take a feminist movement; it consists of a variety of liberals, political ideologists, and religious conservatives. People select or reject information depending on how they concur or disagree with the ideologies or perceptions that dominate the group (Balmas 444). Therefore, it is clear that people tend to belong to a group, so they would rather lie to remain in that relationship that supports the facts that the community finds admirable.
An underlying transformation of forms of communication takes place, specifically how the media is transforming news to the public, which is from service delivery to strategic communication and the airing of news. These media houses have a multitude of channels to communicate straightforwardly with shareholders, yet only a few of them apply them well. Additionally, the shareholder-driven media have undergone a tremendous transformation in the past decade, and those adjustments firmly influence organizational prominence, since the mainstream media intends to remain significant players. However, due to contemporary competitors of social media, the shareholder teams conceive their own stories, thus fake news altogether (Allcott, Hunt, and Matthew 214). As a result, investigative journalism has been given up and instead renewed itself and broadened. The influence of these trends on stature is conspicuous and growing.
The argument is not that journalism is never wrong or free from mistakes, but fake news, which is a deliberate fabrication of stories with the intent to lie, is much more dangerous. Imagine a fictitious message, meant to exploit the practical logic of social systems of communication, that can be snuffed out at any time, sometimes with commercial or political intent from crafty groups to abuse this paradox for their gain (Allcott, Hunt, and Matthew 218). For instance, the pro-Russian site Sputnik which is managed and financed by the Kremlin usually publishes stories and makes them seem credible using several devices and social media platforms. However, it was discovered to publish absurd claims, such as the story of Merkel's refugee policies that led Germans to flee their homes (Allcott, Hunt, and Matthew 214). This kind of information was deemed dangerous in the sense that it exploits people’s fears, incites separation, and subjects minorities to risk. In this manner, it can lead to actual harm, besides the wrong impedance of the nation’s democracy framework, but at the same time cause unequivocal violence.
Measures Taken Against Fake News
In 2016, two of the global largest internet companies were confronted with criticism over how fake news on their sites has negatively influenced numerous political and commercial fronts. What followed were responses by these sites on how they do not tolerate the kind of misinformation by contending pointed aims at fake news sites’ revenue sources. For instance, Google banned websites that solicited fake news from using its online advertising service (Wingfield, Mike, and Katie 12). Facebook, on the other hand, updated its language in the Facebook Audience Network Policy, which at the moment claims it will not exhibit advertisements on sites that indicate illegal or misleading content, including fake stories sites. Further, Facebook took the initiative to update its policies specifically clarifying those websites used for spearheading fake stories (Conroy et al. 158). It has closely monitored all prospective news publishers as well as those already existing to make sure they comply with its policies (Jang and Joon 295). Altogether, the decisions of the two internet companies indicate that they did not take a step aside and ignore the growing outcry against the power of fake news sites, which influence societies across the world.
During the 2016 US presidential elections, Facebook was accused by some newsroom commentators that it swung some voters in favor of the Republican presidential candidate via misleading and untrue news that spread quickly through social networks (Allcott, Hunt, and Matthew 224). For instance, a false incident Facebook had to explain was the credibility of the story that Pope Francis had endorsed the Republican presidential candidate (Wingfield, Mike, and Katie 12). Google was also accused of providing extra prominence to fake news. For example, a site known as 70news, which was hosted by Google, had spearheaded false information that the Republican presidential candidate had won the Electoral College in a popular vote ahead of the Democratic presidential candidate.
Further, Facebook enlisted with the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), which is a branch of the Florida-based think tank Poynter. The network enables Facebook users in Germany and the US to flag any news as deliberately untrue. The news then proceeds to the third-person fact checkers, usually from media organizations such as the Washington Post, who will scrutinize the news (Jang and Joon 297). If it happens to contain any form of incredibility, they tag it as untrue or false, and then the news gets a confuted tag that stays with it across the social network (Wingfield, Mike, and Katie 17). An additional warning pops up if Facebook users attempt to share the fake news, and the ‘fake’ tag will negatively influence the story’s score in the Facebook algorithm, meaning that fewer individuals will view it in their Facebook account news feeds.
How to Equip Students with Knowledge to Check the Validity of News Sources
Young people are the most influenced by how catchy the source of news appears on the internet, specifically social media, and not by the source of information. However, it is not right to blame the young generation for the way they consume news as even adults have an issue separating actual news from fake news (Golding 76). Some people tend to perceive the fact that the internet provides users with ostensibly endless feasibility when it comes to uncovering material as a favorable circumstance. Nevertheless, it can take the form of fake news, satire, or harm and also become impelled with cash rewards created via advertisements.
Fake news has subjected students to believe in anything that is transmitted via social media and any other media outlet. It is also evident that most students are not taught media literacy in their curriculums. Students learn all the significant life skills, awareness, and comprehension to eventually graduate with the least knowledge of how media influence their daily lives as well as deliberation processes (Golding 80). In addition, it is evident that students are the greatest number of people that consume news from a variety of sources, but are not geared with the mental instruments fundamental to determine the genuineness of the content that various sources deliver. Thus, it would be necessary to place accountable measures on schools to develop a curriculum that offers media literacy and obliges teachers to assist the students to differentiate between credible and incredible news and their sources (Jang, Mo, and Joon 299). Moreover, teachers need to incorporate contemporary-related pivotal terms such as satire, credibility, and bias into the curriculum and take time to ensure that students are aware and get empowered to be able to question the credibility of the news they consume (Golding 83). They should be enlightened and encouraged to discuss the validity of all news, thus students will fact-check the information they come across on social media.
Fake news is a news spoof that differs from satire and has developed in stages of made-up stories for comical reasons or the spread of propaganda. Fake news is not new and in the last two years, it has been prominently used to spearhead propaganda, cause conflicts, and change how people perceive certain ideologies. Its channels of spreading rely on social media, specifically Twitter and Facebook. It has been identified that fake news was largely used back in 2016 during the presidential campaigns in the US, resulting in negative effects and victims, such as the US Democratic presidential candidate. It has also been used against political ideologies and policies like the migration policies in Germany. Fake news has also led to extremism specifically in a form of terrorism in Europe and risking vulnerable minority groups. Namely, it has been applied to influence the attitude towards certain minority groups such as the migrants from Syria to Europe who are affected by civil war. Furthermore, it has come to my notice that countries such as Germany are criminalizing immigrants and their citizens through fake news. However, most news outlets such as Google and Facebook have put measures to curb the spread of fake news and to enable checking the credibility of news that the users of these sites encounter. Since the emergence of social media platforms, the young generation specifically students are the most numerous consumers of fake news. Due to this realization, a measure to ensure the credibility of news they view has been proposed by introducing media literacy into the curriculum to enable them to differentiate between credible and fake news.
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Effect of Fake News on Social Media
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Effects of Social Media , Fake News , Impact of Media
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Definition and meaning, local communities, the impact of fake news in social media.
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Fake News in The Media
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Fake news refers to deliberately fabricated or misleading information presented as factual news or journalism. It encompasses the dissemination of false or misleading content through various mediums, such as online platforms, social media, traditional media, or word-of-mouth. The purpose behind fake news is often to deceive, manipulate public opinion, or generate sensationalism for personal gain or ideological reasons.
Fake news continues to be a pressing issue in the United States, spreading misinformation and influencing public opinion. Here are some examples of fake news stories that have circulated in the US: Pizzagate: In 2016, a conspiracy theory emerged claiming that a Washington D.C. pizzeria was operating a child sex trafficking ring involving prominent politicians. The baseless allegations led to a man entering the restaurant with a firearm, highlighting the dangerous consequences of fake news. 2016 Election Misinformation: During the 2016 US presidential election, fake news stories spread widely on social media platforms. One notable example was the false claim that Pope Francis endorsed Donald Trump, which gained significant traction online, despite having no basis in reality. COVID-19 Misinformation: Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous fake news stories emerged, including false information about the origins of the virus, ineffective treatments, and conspiracy theories. Such misinformation has hindered public health efforts and undermined trust in authoritative sources.
The origin of fake news can be traced back to the advent of print media and the spread of misinformation throughout history. However, in recent years, the term "fake news" has gained significant attention due to its widespread dissemination through digital platforms and social media. The historical context of fake news is closely tied to the evolution of media and communication technologies. With the rise of the internet and social media platforms, anyone can create and share content, blurring the lines between reliable information and falsehoods. The speed and reach of digital communication have amplified the impact of fake news, making it a pressing issue in today's society. Various factors contribute to the spread of fake news, including political agendas, profit motives, and the manipulation of public opinion. In the age of information overload, distinguishing between accurate and false information has become increasingly challenging for individuals.
Fabricated Stories: These are completely made-up news stories designed to deceive readers. They often have catchy headlines and sensational claims, targeting people's emotions and capturing their attention. Misleading Content: This type of fake news involves presenting information out of context or selectively omitting details to manipulate the narrative. By distorting facts or presenting biased perspectives, misleading content can shape public opinion and deceive readers. Satire and Parody: Satirical news articles or parody websites are created for entertainment purposes, but they can sometimes be mistaken as real news. Although they are intended to be humorous or ironic, their content may be misconstrued as factual. Manipulated Images and Videos: Visual misinformation involves altering or manipulating images and videos to mislead viewers. This can include photoshopped images, doctored videos, or deepfakes, which use artificial intelligence to create realistic but fabricated media. Clickbait: Clickbait headlines are designed to grab attention and generate website traffic. They often exaggerate or sensationalize stories, luring readers to click on the link. While not always fake news, clickbait headlines can mislead readers by oversimplifying or distorting information.
Misinformation Campaigns: Fake news can be used as a tool for spreading false information to advance specific agendas or ideologies. It can be employed by individuals, groups, or organizations seeking to shape public opinion, influence elections, or sow discord within societies. Clickbait and Profit: Some creators of fake news aim to generate web traffic and earn advertising revenue. Sensational headlines and false stories are designed to grab attention and attract clicks, maximizing ad impressions and potential revenue. Propaganda and Disinformation: Fake news can be employed by governments, political parties, or interest groups to manipulate public opinion, discredit opponents, or create confusion. It can be used as a strategic tool to shape narratives and control information flows. Satire and Parody: While not necessarily intended to deceive, fake news in the form of satire or parody aims to entertain or critique through exaggerated or fictional stories. However, it can sometimes be misconstrued as genuine news, leading to unintended consequences. Personal or Social Malice: Individuals may create and spread fake news with the intention of harming others, settling personal scores, or causing social unrest. This can include false allegations, fabricated stories, or malicious hoaxes.
Concern and Distrust: Many people are increasingly concerned about the prevalence of fake news and its potential impact on society. They view it as a threat to the credibility of news media and the democratic process. As a result, there is a growing distrust in the information presented in news sources. Skepticism and Critical Thinking: The rise of fake news has led to an increased emphasis on critical thinking and fact-checking. People are becoming more cautious about accepting information at face value and are seeking reliable sources to verify the accuracy of news stories. Polarization and Confirmation Bias: Fake news can exacerbate existing divisions within society by targeting specific ideological groups. Some individuals may be more susceptible to believing and sharing fake news that aligns with their preconceived beliefs, contributing to echo chambers and reinforcing confirmation bias. Media Literacy and Education: There is a recognition of the importance of media literacy and education to combat fake news. Many individuals are advocating for improved digital literacy skills, teaching critical evaluation of sources, and promoting fact-checking as essential tools to navigate the information landscape. Call for Action: Some people are calling for regulatory measures, media transparency, and increased accountability to address the spread of fake news. They believe that platforms, governments, and news organizations should take responsibility for curbing misinformation and promoting accurate reporting.
The Momo Challenge: In 2018, rumors circulated on social media about the "Momo Challenge," a supposed online game encouraging self-harm and dangerous activities. The viral hoax created panic among parents and children, although there was no concrete evidence of its existence. Bowling Green Massacre: In 2017, a senior advisor to former President Donald Trump referred to a nonexistent "Bowling Green Massacre" to justify a travel ban. The event was fabricated, causing widespread confusion and criticism. War of the Worlds Radio Broadcast: In 1938, Orson Welles' radio adaptation of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds" caused panic among listeners who believed the fictional alien invasion was real. The broadcast highlighted the power of media to deceive and manipulate public perception. The Jayson Blair Scandal: In 2003, Jayson Blair, a journalist for The New York Times, was exposed for fabricating stories, plagiarizing content, and deceiving the public. This scandal highlighted the importance of media ethics and the need for fact-checking to combat fake news within established news organizations.
1. According to a study by Pew Research Center, 64% of adults in the United States believe that fake news has caused "a great deal" or "a fair amount" of confusion about basic facts of current events. 2. A research study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that false information spreads six times faster on social media platforms like Twitter than true information. 3. A survey conducted by Ipsos in 27 countries revealed that nearly 60% of respondents said they had accidentally shared fake news or misinformation on social media. 4. The term "fake news" was named the Collins Dictionary's Word of the Year in 2017, reflecting its widespread use and impact on society. 5. In 2016, the Oxford Dictionaries declared "post-truth" as the Word of the Year, emphasizing the growing prevalence of fake news in public discourse. 6. The rise of fake news has led to increased efforts in fact-checking, with organizations like Snopes, FactCheck.org, and PolitiFact dedicated to debunking false claims and misinformation.
The topic of fake news is of utmost importance to write an essay about due to its significant impact on society, democracy, and the flow of information. In today's digital age, where information spreads rapidly and easily, distinguishing between factual news and misinformation has become increasingly challenging. Fake news has the potential to distort public opinion, undermine trust in credible sources, and even manipulate political processes. Exploring this topic allows for a critical examination of the factors contributing to the creation and dissemination of fake news, such as social media algorithms, echo chambers, and the profit-driven nature of online platforms. It also opens up discussions on the implications of fake news on individual decision-making, public discourse, and the erosion of democratic values. By analyzing the origins, types, effects, and responses to fake news, an essay on this topic helps raise awareness and promotes media literacy, emphasizing the importance of critical thinking and fact-checking in the digital era.
1. Allcott, H., & Gentzkow, M. (2017). Social media and fake news in the 2016 election. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(2), 211-236. 2. Berger, J. (2018). Contagious: How to build word of mouth in the digital age. Simon & Schuster. 3. Bovet, A., & Makse, H. A. (2019). Influence of fake news in Twitter during the 2016 US presidential election. Nature Communications, 10(1), 1-9. 4. Guess, A., Nagler, J., & Tucker, J. (2019). Less than you think: Prevalence and predictors of fake news dissemination on Facebook. Science Advances, 5(1), eaau4586. 5. Lewandowsky, S., Ecker, U. K., & Cook, J. (2017). Beyond Misinformation: Understanding and coping with the “post-truth” era. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 6(4), 353-369. 6. Lewandowsky, S., Ecker, U. K., & Cook, J. (Eds.). (2020). The debunking handbook 2020: Myths and facts about myths and facts. University of Bristol. 7. Pennycook, G., & Rand, D. G. (2019). The Implied Truth Effect: Attaching warnings to a subset of fake news stories increases perceived accuracy of stories without warnings. Management Science, 66(11), 4944-4957. 8. Roozenbeek, J., & van der Linden, S. (2019). The fake news game: actively inoculating against the risk of misinformation. Journal of Risk Research, 22(5), 570-580. 9. Vosoughi, S., Roy, D., & Aral, S. (2018). The spread of true and false news online. Science, 359(6380), 1146-1151. 10. Wardle, C., & Derakhshan, H. (2017). Information disorder: Toward an interdisciplinary framework for research and policy making. Council of Europe.
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Essay on Fake News
Fake news is a term that symbolizes all news articles intentionally released to change people’s perspectives about facts and events. Fake news is inaccurate information presented in the form of news by the promoter. Fake news can include events, statements, or occurrences that never happened. Fake news can also be described as fabricated information mimicking news media content but lacks processes that ensure that the information being released is accurate and credible. In most cases, fake news is meant to damage a person’s reputation or entity. Fake news is also used as a source of revenue through paid advertisements. However, there are ethical issues that revolve around fake news. Ethics means the moral principles used to guide and dictate individual behavior. In the same way, there are ethical principles that guide the propagation of news. In other words, there is a relationship between fake news and ethics. This paper will therefore discuss the ethical issues relating to fake news and state ethical theories that relate to fake news.
Fake news occurs in three types. First misinformation; misinformation is the spread of false information without the intention of spreading harm. Secondly, disinformation; is the spread of incorrect information to cause damage and manipulate other people. Thirdly, mal-information; is the spread of accurate information with malicious intentions. Propagation of fake news has been on the rise for the past few years. The propagation of fake news has been on the rise because digital technology has become easy and convenient. However, the ease of propagation of fake news has led to many ethical challenges affecting all technology users and other platforms. Fake news is widely and quickly spread through social media platforms. Misinformation is known to spread faster and more efficiently by using social media platforms.
Conceptual ethics is a concept drawn from the normative theory that puts into question what people need to and need not use when thinking and sharing what they believe with other people. The concept argues that fake news is deficient in three significant areas. First, it is faulty in the use of language because it has no stable meaning. Second, the term fake news is unnecessarily used because so many words can be used to describe the dysfunction of democracies. Third, the term fake news is only used to serve propagandistic purposes. It is, therefore, crucial that people should rely on something other than the term fake news because of the deficiencies mentioned above. Even though fake news is related to lying, distortion of facts, and propaganda, there is a philosophical value (Etienne 144).
The first argument about fake news is that it is not linguistically sufficient because it has an unstable meaning. Many people, including lay people, use it when expressing their disapproval of specific stories and news. Academic people also are not satisfied with specific definitions of ambiguous term. Meanings assigned to terms are determined by the community or by using agreement from experts. This is according to influential philosophical theories. However, fake news is a term that is always contested, and this proves it to be problematic (Etienne 144). Some philosophers think that fake news has the property of being misleading, while others think that news should be circulated and, when they mislead people, should then be considered fake. The lack of agreement on the meaning of fake news also explains why philosophers contest over its extension. For example, people who think that the intention to deceive people lies behind fake news will always edit errors while reporting such instances. On the other hand, people who think fake news to be produced accidentally will not edit while reporting.
However, even without an agreed meaning about fake news, the discussions around it raise some interesting questions. For example, if some philosophers are right in saying that mimicking is the primary gesture behind fake news, would it be wrong to design and diffuse fake news articles or would it amount to lying cases? In addition, who is to be held accountable when fake news trend on social media? Can fake news be legally prohibited since they amount to misrepresentations? The use of fake news should not be a problem provided it is used within the context of a discussion aiming to fix the concept’s meaning or question our moral and legal practices (Rubin & Victoria 1). Even though philosophers are used to doing so, journalists and news reporters should not engage in such practices. However, journalists have always expressed their interests in trying to understand fake news and discuss all the challenges associated with the phenomenon. Therefore, journalists can be cautious as philosophers when giving readers the meaning of the concept because not all news is fake. Journalists should also not take positions that command the readers to bank their trust on specific sources.
The second argument about fake news is that it is an unnecessary concept. At this point, there are so many concepts that can be used in diagnosing lies, false assertions and propaganda. This is because fake news cannot be used to mean epistemic democracy dysfunction because it cannot be enumerated from the above concepts (Rubin & Victoria 1). However, there is at least one feature of fake news that has not been captured in the aforementioned concepts. Some philosophers argue that fake news signifies an intellectual imposture that mimics traditional stories with an attempt to inform the public. If fake news can then be reduced to propaganda, it will be more interesting to know how it relates to classic instances such as those of wartime propaganda. But if fake news cannot be justified, explaining how it is not lying would prove to be of great value. The claim that fake news is an unnecessary concept means that we should have its true meaning so that we can then compare it with the meaning of concepts such as propaganda and the rest of the concepts of epistemic dysfunctions of democracy (Rubin & Victoria 1). It is from this point that we can conclude that the concept of fake news is redundant. However, since fake news has no stable meaning, we are not in a position to compare its meaning to other concepts.
Therefore, people should stop using terms such as propaganda and stop using fake news. This is because propaganda has a stable meaning compared to fake news. To start with, the definition of propaganda has been greatly disputed by philosophers. Secondly, the definition contradicts other definitions available on contemporary literature. Thirdly, the meaning of propaganda is always contested by the public to the extent that partisan affiliations use the concept to advance to frustrate their adversaries. However, fake news has in many times been used to propagandistic agendas. Fake news has been so much weaponized such that it is used as an epistemic slur. For the last few years, fake news has been used by politicians to discredit all the news that criticize their opinions. Even though journalists and academicians use fake news with sober intentions, there is always a danger of spreading bad ideologies (Jaster, Romy & Lanius 1). For example, the use of fake news can help disseminate a media manipulation narrative that is parallel to the idea of media bias.
Application of fake news to a story issues a command to people to disbelieve the news. It does not advise people to avoid the claims contained in it. Making fake news discussions do not contain a heading saying that an article is made of fake news. This leaves a gap of so many questions of whether specific news articles can be classified under fake news. Therefore, there is so much controversy surrounding fake news (Jaster, Romy & Lanius 1). The many questions raised are whether philosophers are free to engage in terms that are central to public attention, even if the meaning of the used terms is ambiguous. However, failure to do so can limit philosophical creativity and create a great barrier between the work of scholars and public reflection. There are several dangers associated with fake news. A lot of fake news can be extremely malicious and dangerous. For example, publishing the private address of an individual puts them at the risk of attack.
In conclusion, Fake news is about inaccurate information presented in the form of news the promoter. Fake news can include events, statements or occurrences that verifiably never happened. However, there are ethical issues that revolve around fake news. Ethics means the moral principles used to guide and dictate individual behavior. In the same way, there are ethical principles that guide the propagation of news. Conceptual ethics is a concept drawn from normative theory that puts into question what people need to and need not to use when thinking and sharing what they think with other people. The concept argues that the term fake news is deficient in three major areas. First, it is faulty in the use of language because it has no stable meaning. Second, the term fake news is unnecessarily used because there are so many terms that can be used to describe the dysfunction of democracies. Third, the term fake use is only used to serve propagandistic purposes. The first argument about fake news is that it is not linguistically sufficient because it has an unstable meaning. Many people including lay people use it when expressing their disapproval of specific stories and news. Academic people also are not satisfied with specific definitions of the ambiguous term.
However, even without an agreed meaning about fake news, the discussions around it raise some interesting questions. The second argument about fake news is that it is an unnecessary concept. At this point, there are so many concepts that can be used in diagnosing lies, false assertions and propaganda. This is because fake news cannot be used to mean epistemic democracy dysfunction because it cannot be enumerated from the above concepts. However, there is at least one feature of fake news that has not been captured in the aforementioned concepts. Some philosophers argue that fake news signifies an intellectual imposture that mimics traditional stories with an attempt to inform the public. Application of fake news to a story issues a command to people to disbelieve the news. It does not advise people to avoid the claims contained in it. Making fake news discussions do not contain a heading saying that an article is made of fake news. This leaves a gap of so many questions of whether specific news articles can be classified under fake news. Therefore, there is so much controversy surrounding fake news.
Brown, Étienne. “Fake News and Conceptual Ethics.” J. Ethics & Soc. Phil. 16 (2019): 144.
Jaster, Romy, and David Lanius. “Speaking of Fake News.” The Epistemology of Fake News 19 (2021).
Rubin, Victoria L. “Disinformation and misinformation triangle: A conceptual model for “fake news” epidemic, causal factors and interventions.” Journal of documentation (2019).
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