Written by Ibrahim Halim
We as the members of society have taken two steps forward and one huge step back. The reason why I say this is that with the advancement of the communication technology, with any informing news that we receive, there is a huge possibility that the news is fake. Don’t believe me? In this article I will prove to you that this problem exists, highlight the reason fake news is being spread, and finally tell you what we should do to solve this problem.
The Canadian Prime Minister’s office recently had to request Fox News to delete their statement on Twitter which described a woman of Moroccan origin to be a suspect in the Quebec Mosque shooting, which was proven to be wrong. The very fact that a Prime Minister’s office had to address a single tweet made by a media company shows that fake news is a major concern even by the people who lead countries.
Why spread fake news? There is one main incentive that keeps media giants doing their thing to disseminate fake news: the money they get doing it. The reason media giants get money doing it is because the more sensationalised the news the faster they publish it, the more people are interested to interact with their websites or social media accounts as it is deemed to be the place to get news. When people interact with their websites or social media accounts, they gain popularity which will encourage advertisers to advertise on their sites. This in turn gives money to media companies. This money-gaining system that exists for news companies creates the unbreakable circle of incentive for fake news to be spread.
Given that we now realise the spreading of fake news is a problem that exists, what can we do to stop this? The first step that we have to take is to always be sceptical of all the news that comes out. Never put blind trust in any news outlet. Secondly, following the attitude of the famous Youtuber Philip DeFranco, always check multiple news sources in order to clarify the real news. Different news sources will have different reports of their own, which allows the readers to have a diverse point of view of the events that took place in order to know if a news is accurate or not. Last but not least, do not easily trust media outlets that have histories of spreading fake news. Media outlets like Fox News or Breitbart all have a history of providing fake information to the readers, and news from them must always be taken with a grain of salt.
To conclude, spreading fake news is an epidemic that must be solved as fast as we can. Everyone plays a part in ensuring that spreading fake news does not become an even bigger epidemic than it already has. To end this article I will say one thing. There is one false fact in this article; can you find out which one it is?