Two Truths and A Lie? an overview of the " fake news" epidemic

A never before seen issue is plaguing millennials: fake news. Since the birth of the human experience, we have shared stories, happenings; essentially: news. Now, that tradition is in danger. The days of Walter Cronkite and the trust of an entire nation are coming to the end. Fake News jeopardizes American culture by undermining the legitimacy of our experience and creating non-existent issues sprung from an ingenuine, perhaps malicious author. It is important that one knows how to spot fake news in order to stop this phenomenon from hurting our culture any further.

Just a few of the fake news stories that can be found in mere seconds on the internet.

It is the year 2017, and news isn't just news anymore. Consumers and listeners today face numerous variations of a single story. There are three major levels of credibility for a news story: unreliable/untrue/satire, opinion-based, and non-bias reporting. Most major news sources such as FoxNews, The New York Times and Boston Globe report with a liberal bias. Other major sources, such as The Wall Street Journal, have been cited with conservative biases. However, the BBC World News, CNN, The Independent, and PBS are currently recognized as the most reputable, unbiased news source. On the other end of the spectrum, sites like Empire News, National Report and Huzlers provide completely bias or untrue news stories, often referred to as "clickbait".

The glideshow above features screenshots from three news sources all reporting on the same event: the results of the 2016 United States Election. Despite the having the same topic, each of these sources represented the event differently based on what they chose to write about it and the way that they did so. The first article is from a source called Christian Times Newspaper, titled "Thousands of Fraudulent Ballots for Clinton". This article was 100% fiction, and even included fake, staged pictures of ballots that were filled out before the election and hidden in favor of Hillary Clinton. While this was not only entirely untrue, this article was in clear support of Trump, and perhaps anticipating a loss. This article has been subsequently deleted, but can still be viewed through internet archives. This is definitely #fakenews. The next article about Donald Trump winning the election was from CNN World News, a known liberally affiliated source. The article is called "So Much for the Selloff", and talks about global markets in the post election world. Right away from the title, it is clear to tell this source is not favoring Trump and anticipated the global economy deteriorating after his election. While the facts about the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq actually rising are correct, the tone of the article still is clearly liberal and anti Trump, with lines like "Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's favored candidate". This article is factual correct but the tone is liberal, thus it is not #fakenews, but #biasednews. The last article is from BBC World News, one of the most reputable news sources to date. This article is called "US Election: World Media Digests Trump Election Win", and just includes a compilation of other sources from around the world reporting on the election win, as the title would suggest. This article has basically no biased, because it is just reporting on what other people said accurately, and did not add in personal affiliations. Thus, BBC is #realnews.

If it is becoming difficult to distinguish between real news and fake news, the most important thing to do is check whether the source you are reading includes other sources' quotes and information. The most people that contribute, the higher likelihood that the article is not biased or includes all points of view.

Watch the Video above to learn more about how to spot #FakeNews!

Read more in-depth about my investigation with fake news here on my blog!

Check out this informative graphic on the legitimacy of news sources!


Created with images by HerryLawford - "Fair and Fake News"

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