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Fake news makes its rounds on Mariemont


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BY CHARLIE ZACK

Repeat after me: This is not fake news. I know how to identify fake news. I will not fall into the trap of fake news.

Fake news has become an epidemic. It’s a disease that was introduced on the internet, and has been procreated through retweets and re-shares.

A picture that went viral. Some would call this a meme (PHOTO FROM TWITTER).

The picture on the right was seen by senior Ryan Fields when it showed up on his timeline.

“I just glanced at it really quick and was like, ‘Woah that’s so messed up,’” said Fields. He then retweeted the tweet, thinking it was fact even though it is a parody.

The paragraph starts off by saying that “Microsoft actually uses dog noses for thumbsticks on the gamecube controller…” The first fallacy is that it is claiming to be a Microsoft made controller, even though the controller says in big, block letters “SONY.” Also, the Gamecube is made by Nintendo, meaning that in the very first sentence, the controller talked about is called by three different names for three different consoles.

Fields claims that he is susceptible to fake news to a fault. “There hasn’t been a day where I haven’t retweeted something that ends up being fake,” said Fields.

While this is a humorous and extreme example, it is not far from more professional fake news that is meant to fool the reader into believing something that isn’t factual. This next example was posted on Facebook, which has seen an increase in the amount of fake news on it’s site. So much so, that the New York Times wrote an article about how Facebook is in the middle of a war against fake news and how Facebook is purging every fake news site that goes through Facebook.

But this is a war against fake news, not satirical news. That means that Facebook is relying on the readers to be able to deviate parody and real.

My own mother could not do that.

She read an article by the well-known, satirical news site The Onion. The article was about two grandfathers who had been sent home with the wrong families in an unprecedented case of hospital neglect.

The Onion is a well known satirical news site (PHOTO FROM THE ONION).

She read this article and shared it on Facebook with the caption, “OMG! How could this happen?!”

Fake news does not have to be an issue. Readers need to be vigilant in where they get their news. Lots of people read news and do not realize it is fabricated.

It also doesn’t help when President Donald Trump is tweeting things like, “Any negative polls are fake news, just like CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting.”

When the president is accusing real, reputable, and trustworthy news sources as fake, the fake news problem becomes even more confusing. The power of journalism is that it has the power to give the people the facts; to be able to check the President if he/she acts out of order.

Fake news has become such an extreme issue because in modern journalism, it is more about clicks than content. The most interesting headline gets the most clicks. That leads to completely outrageous headlines and stories with the sole purpose of receiving clicks.

Along with getting clicks, advertisers are getting smarter. There are ads that are posted on the home page of news sites to look like real articles, but they are just to support some product.

To you, the readers of the Warpath, stay vigilant in your search for news. Do not believe everything you see. Check facts and get multiple sources. There are sites that are trustworthy, and, for the moment, Twitter and Facebook are not trustworthy.

Librarian Emily Colpi suggests to use good judgement when reading any news. “Fake news does a great job of being either extremely infuriating or confirming your biases,” said Colpi.

She recommends using Snopes.com whenever you are in doubt of whether news is real or not.

“If an article makes you say, ‘Oh my god! This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen!’ or ‘Oh my god! This is the best thing I’ve ever seen!’ there is a good chance that it could be fake. That is a good time to check Snopes to see if there’s any truth to it,” said Colpi.

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Fake news makes its rounds on Mariemont”

  1. Don Books on February 21st, 2017 8:40 pm

    Nice job Charlie.

    [Reply]

  2. Cy Zack on February 28th, 2017 12:53 pm

    Thanks for sharing that story with your readership!

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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