Presence of fake news continues to threaten society

Sarah Estok, News Editor

Facebook, CNN, Twitter, Apple News, the Sunday Paper. There is a myriad of ways that people today can get their information. However, no matter the availability of information there is no solution to how to know what’s real and what’s a hoax.

The term “Fake News” has lost its true meaning within the media over recent years. At one point, it indicated that the information wasn’t true, now people use it as slang whenever the press covers something in a way they don’t like.

President Trump is a recurring offender of misusing “fake news.”

He has been caught allocating the term fake news coverage of his Administration’s response to events like Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico or The Washington Post’s coverage of Amazon not paying a fair amount of taxes.

However, neither of these actually constitute fake news as there are many accounts of them actually happening, or being investigated.

Many people, especially on Twitter, blame bots for the rapid spread of fake news, however, according to a study done by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), most fake news is spread by people instead of computers.

Fake news is often times more unprecedented than what actually happened, giving people a reluctance to stop talking about it.

Although it has become more popular recently, fake news has always had a presence in media. In the early 1900’s, there was a very fine line between yellow journalism, the use of blasphemous headlines to gain the attention of a potential audience, and fake news. Both tend to be very exaggerated, but fake news steps over the line of what is allowed.

The best way to avoid falling into the ambuscade of fake news is to rely on more than one source. If the only way someone gets their news publishes something untrue, the foundation of their opinion is untrue.

In addition, it’s easy to identify fake news by paying attention to if the writing is emotionally charged, unless the story is supposed to be opinionated. If there are feelings present, that means almost all the time that there is also subjectiveness.

All in all, the main purpose of news is to correctly inform, but people often manipulate the information until its tainted enough to no longer be considered true, warping people’s opinions in irreversible ways.

The best way to avoid being beguiled by fake news is to simply be aware of it and to question what is published rather than going in blind.