By: Adam Crook/Senior Staff Writer
Amid the victory of President-Elect Trump a lot of fingers were being pointed to find a reason for this surprising victory. One popular cause for this victory is due to the amount of “fake news” during this election. The definition of fake news is rather fluid, meaning it has many different interpretations; it depends on who you ask. The only seemingly concrete definition is, “news that is not true, but portrays itself as so.” Famous sites of this phenomena are The Onion and Clickhole, although these sites are known to be satirical and are not to be taken seriously.
Fake News has been in journalism for so long and so many are questioning its increase in relevancy. While some are stating that the one’s pointing the finger of fake news are only using it as a way to devalue the credibility of opposing political views, others claim that the only ones perpetuating fake news are the main-stream outlets of news.
Social Media outlets like Facebook and Twitter have been associated with the spread of fake news. Due to the abundance of people who get their information from these platforms, fake news targets social media to easily spread misinformation.
When asked how he felt about the topic, Cody Gleason stated “…[fake news] is an issue because people don’t research anymore, so they wind up believing whatever they read.” His statement broadly states how Fake News is theorized to work.
A survey was conducted by the KAIST Graduate School of Management which tested how people would perceive something when reading reviews for a mp3 player in one trial. The scientists figured out a way to alter the mindset of the participants to perceive the product a certain way. When given an overwhelming amount of user feedback, they would only accept reviews that agreed with their manipulated views, even when given reviews talking about the positives and/or negatives about the product.
“Misinformation is very dangerous to a democracy,” Ms. Ross cautioned when asked about the matter. She then gave a personal example about her running into fake news on Social Media, which, as previously stated, is one of the ways in which this kind of misinformation is spread. She then stressed the importance of sourcing information and how that lets the reader not only know the information given has some potential credibility, but it allows the reader to review the previously sourced information and come to a conclusion themselves.