cyberspace

Class topic: Students Have ‘Dismaying’ Inability To Tell Fake News For Real, Study Finds

Photo: Gary Waters/Ikon Images/Getty Images

Recently, there has been an increase of fake news especially on Twitter and Facebook. And frankly, I have to admit I have been guilty of spreading false news by just retweeting what I thought was real. Or what I knowingly knew was false, but thought was funny. I think there are many hints of whether or not a news source is credible or not but it’s easier to accept everything as truth. I doubt many people check the source or worry about whether or not their retweet would have an impact. But when millions of others are capable of the same action with that same mindset (that retweeting will cause no harm), it becomes a problem. Social media gives us the power to influence reality, and so people should be more careful with what they are reaffirming by retweeting or liking something online.

What I don’t like about the article though is that it’s pinpointing young people. Of course young people are most susceptible to false news because their activity on social media, but adults are just as likely to share. And false news is not new, it’s been around since propaganda was invented. During the Spanish-American war, yellow journalism was common too. I think because recently the election took place and we had a very unconventional candidate its become common again. Apparently, the people who are creating these fake articles are teenagers in countries like Macedonia making thousands on the careless internet-sharing of Americans. So although I think it’s wrong to create fake news, I think it’s the responsibility of social media users to know how to decipher  between what’s credible and what’s not. And since the worry is younger users like middle schoolers, maybe it’s something that has to be taught in school.

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