The headline read, ” President Obama Confirms He Will Refuse to Leave Office if Trump is Elected.” As one scrolled through the comments it was very obvious that this “news story” was not only fake, but also, available on more than one news outlet. Comments such as, “[F]ake story,” and “This isn’t real news,” stood out amongst most of the other comments. This raises the questions– what is fake news, and what can be done about it?
According to Anthony Ha of TechCrunch, fake news is a completely false story created to increase traffic, influence ad revenue and/or used for political advancement. The internet has helped the spread of fake news by allowing anyone with access the privilege to spread a story, real or fake. For as long as one can remember, fake news has been around. For example, chain emails, which once read ridiculous stories and then prompted one to forward to a group of people, can be deemed as fake news. However, current outlets such as Facebook and Twitter allow fake news to spread a lot easier and a lot faster.
Fake news played a very large role in our 2016 election. According to BuzzFeed, in the last three months of the election, fake news stories generated more likes and shares than the real news from credible sources such as The New York Times. Often times, one may notice Mr. Trump refer to fake news, as well.
There are a few ways to stop fake news. One responsible way to stop fake news is to share responsibly. It literally takes a little under ten seconds to research the accuracy of a news story. Therefore, DO YOUR RESEARCH before deciding to share a story. Also, one should know and respect the trusted news media outlets such as The New York Times or CNN. To sum up, believe half of what you see and none of what you hear– unless, its from a trusted news outlet!