The Negative Effect of Fake News
After the recent election in the United States, it has become clear that society is getting its news off the internet without questioning its content. The fake news was blamed, by some, for one candidate’s loss and the others win. Fake news is defined as a type of hoax or deliberate spread of misinformation with the intent to mislead to gain financially or politically. Fake news is primarily spread via social media, twitter, traditional media, and now their own fake websites. T.V. station have been quoted saying that even they have been tricked into spreading fake news.
The effect fake news is having on society is huge. It has gone from just being a source of political and financial gain to causing acts of violence. A story came out that a child sex trafficking ring was being ran out of a restaurant. A man went into that business firing his rifle. He thought he was going in there to save children. Instead, he committed an act of violence against an innocent family. This is but one example of how the negative effect of fake news is spreading.
Our brain loves humor and satire. We recall humorous information first. Our memory gives more interest and attention into processing communication that it finds humors, even when we know the information is false. The humor appeals to our minds and even if we would disregard the information if it wasn’t set in a humorous format, we do accept the information due to its humorous format. This is what makes fake news so easily believed and spread.
Fortunately, social media is stepping up to try to reduce the number of these stories coming across their systems. Facebook and Google have even taken steps to keep fake news sites from collecting money from their advertising programs. This shows that at least someone is taking accountability. When the blame is put on those spreading fake news instead of those creating the fake news, there is an issue in how our society is thinking. Those creating the fake news is responsible for its negative effects.
Another trend in fake news is hackers. As soon as you click on an article or go onto one of their website or click an ad the hackers are gaining information about you and your computer system. Embedded in the article, website or ad is a hidden program that once clicked on tricks your system into giving up such information. Thankfully there is security programs that detect such acts and stops them. Thanks to websites such as Groupon.com it is easy to save money on such security programs. Groupon.com’s sole purpose is to showcase the discount codes and coupons that merchants are offering. There are two main things that can be done to battle fake news and its negative effect. First research the information before you accept it as true. Second have internet security program on your computer, laptop, and any other electronic device you access the internet from.