Fake News Has Consequences

January 24, 2018

Have you ever stumbled upon an article that said something so outrageous, that you had to make sure it was true before reading? Those articles are not all too uncommon, in fact, there is a name for news like that. Fake news, is what you call those articles. There are ways that fake news can persuade and alter people’s perspective by misinforming and deceiving them, fake news can be hard to distinguish from jokes if read in the literal sense and fake news can take quotes out of context or be simply incorrect in order to deceive people.

 

Firstly, fake news can take quotes out of context or be simply incorrect in order to deceive people.


News that is falsified and have the intention to mislead the public can use multiple methods to fulfill their goal, for an example, they can blatantly lie and take things out of context. Wynne Davis from NPR also speaks about how fake news can take quotes out of context, or simply lie.


“These stories have gotten a lot of attention, with headlines claiming Pope Francis endorsed Donald Trump in November's election and sites like American News sharing misleading stories or taking quotes out of context. And when sites like DC Gazette share stories about people who allegedly investigated the Clinton family being found dead, the stories go viral and some people believe them. Again, these stories are not true in any way.”


This evidence explains multiple examples where fake news was employed in order to misinform or to deceive the audience, for an example, “Pope Francis endorsed Donald Trump in November’s election” is not an actual event that had occurred, instead, it was fabricated.


Continuing on, a study performed by Man-pui Sally Chan, Christopher R. Jones, Kathleen Hall Jamieson,
  and Dolores Albarracín, proves that fake news can lie and/or take things out of context.


“For example, the rumor that genetically modified mosquitoes caused the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil is misinformation, a claim unsupported by scientific evidence (Schipani, 2016). Despite retraction of the scholarly article making the causal link between autism and the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, some people are still convinced of this unfounded claim (Newport, 2015). Others continue to hold that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion in 2003, a belief undercut by the fact that none were found there after the invasion (Newport, 2013).”


This evidence shows that most people believe in news that deceive others by using lies and other deceptive techniques, it also shows us that the people are easily manipulated, but if they have the desire to go and check these sources, then they can identify fake news.

Moving on, fake news can look professional in order to deceive the public. “Established news organizations usually own their domains and they have a standard look that you are probably familiar with. Sites with such endings like .com.co should make you raise your eyebrows and tip you off that you need to dig around more to see if they can be trusted. This is true even when the site looks professional and has semi-recognizable logos. For example, abcnews.com is a legitimate news source, but abcnews.com.co is not, despite its similar appearance.”


This evidence reveals that fake news can disguise itself and look like if it were a legitimate source, and fool the reader to believing what the website is saying because of its professional appeal.


Moving forward, a team of writers can easily fake a story/article of a certain topic, thus, using the face of a public news outlet, they can persuade people by looking professional, an example of this is included here. “Following a performance by Miley Cyrus on the Video Music Awards program, CNN featured the story on the top of its website. The Onion — a fake-news organization — then ran a satirical column purporting to be by CNN’s Web editor explaining this decision. Through textual analysis, this paper demonstrates how a Fifth Estate comprised of bloggers, columnists and fake news organizations worked to relocate mainstream journalism back to within its professional boundaries.” This evidence indicates that a group of fake news editors can pose as a legitimate author/s and be able to publish fake news if able to.


A common objection to my argument is that :


Fake news doesn’t lie, since all news can inform the public.


I understand the reason why that fake news seems like it doesn’t lie, however, fake news can deceive the public because news can be fabricated or faked at anytime, also, there are multiple examples showing that this is not the case, that fake news is ACTUALLY exists. There is evidence to support my claim such as, “1 out of 4 Americans have visited a fake news website” from the Chronicle and evidence from Berkeley, and there is many more.

 

In conclusion, fake news can be deceiving and can publish misinformed or biased articles that can affect people and as well as look like if it were created by a professional in the field of journalism.






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