I’ve seen a lot of articles in the past week about fake news stories, so I thought I’d take a look into what’s happening and give my opinion on it.
There are fake news stories everywhere, personally I see them when I’m scrolling down my Facebook news feed and one or more of my friends have shared the story without reading or looking into it first, sometimes believing it based solely on the headline. In the past few days there have been lots of actual news stories about fake news stories, all from different angles, focusing on different aspects.
BBC news interviewed the creator of the fake news site Southend News Network (SNN) who freely admitted that the articles they post are fake but they are for entertainment purposes and the site was set up as a joke. You can see by reading some of the articles (I’ve linked the site above) that they are clearly fake, but many of them have sparked debate on Facebook and other sites with the amount of people believing and sharing them. But what’s wrong with a bit of healthy debate?
The biggest thing I’ve seen from the genuine news is that they believe that the fake news stories may have been partially responsible for Trump winning the election. Buzzfeed found that the fake election news outperformed the real news in the last three months leading up to the election. But with the man himself coming out with statements that were, let’s say..untruthful, I’m not surprised that people were actually believing the stories.
People are also calling on Facebook to do more about fake news stories/sites on the platform, although I don’t see how it is their responsibility. A lot of the fake news stories are created for entertainment purposes and gain a lot of engagement on the site. Also it is not as if Mark Zuckerberg can stop people from sharing content as it is one of the main uses of the site. Facebook has however promised to do more to get rid of hoaxes and have stopped many of them from using its advertising.
So, fake news seems to be everywhere at the moment, and it is a bit annoying when the real news doesn’t sometimes get through. But even genuine news sometimes twists the truth and some of the fake news is actually quite amusing.
What are your views on the fake news epidemic?
Do you have a favourite fake news story?
Let us know in the comments.