Is Fake News the New News?

Scrolling through my twitter feed, bored by the updates people are posting about their day and weird hobbies, my eye suddenly catches an article titled “Cinnamon Roll Can Explodes inside Man’s Butt During Shoplifting Incident.” I do a double take when I see this article, and cautiously click on the link. As I’m reading the article, that seems bluntly fake, I am shocked to find 765,00 people have viewed this story. Not only does this article pop up when I try searching the title through Google, but also endless links come up with many peoples’ reaction to this ugly breakfast explosion. I decide that’s enough bogus for one day. So, I go to click off the webpage, but my hand suddenly stops when I notice the site is generously recommending I read, “Man on Meth Made “Stew” Using Unborn Fetus Removed from Wife After She Died of Meth Overdose” next. Obviously, I must find out what that disturbing article is all about, and I click the link even though I know it is most likely fake. Why do I keep reading when I know it’s probably not true? Because it’s entertaining and shocking. Media has clearly found a way to hook their readers on even the most outrageous of stories. However, problems arise when many people don’t even realize what they are reading is fake.

Although most of the time, I find fake news interesting; I feel it is only hurting our society and we would all be better off without it. Unfortunately, we can’t just get rid of all the lies on the internet with one click of a button. Whether we know it or not, most of us are reading, sharing, and frankly enjoying fake news all the time. By sharing this fake news, we are damaging our society, media’s reputation, and our self-judgment. So, who is to blame for spreading this false news? Many are to blame, but I feel the publishers and the people who are sharing the fake stories are the ones who contribute to the issue the most.

Last week I watched a video of Donald Trump dressed as a clown, singing and dancing with a cat. It was the funniest, most entertaining, and heartwarming video I have seen throughout the whole political campaign. There was only one thing that could have made this video better; if it was real. Unfortunately, this video I just described does not exist. A fun cat video is something everyone would want to see during these times of a brutal election campaign; so most people would probably believe my praise and the existence of the video. The use of social networking has created an easy chance to share anything and everything, but it does not make it right. And quite frankly, some of the fake news shared recently may have changed the outcome of the election.

I recently found out about people who make thousands of dollars off of fake news and my original thought was, “good for them, finding an easy and effective way to make money.” However, I gave the situation more thought and realized that lying about someone else and creating fake news stories just to earn extra money is selfish. There are plenty of other ways to make cash that won’t kill someone’s reputation. Often time, the media forgets that celebrities and politicians are people too and deserve nothing but the truth published about them on the internet. Clearly, publishers are not the only ones to blame, and I do believe people contribute to spreading fake news. However, if the lies weren’t put online in the first place then the people would have nothing to share.

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