Telling Real News From Fake News

Gretel Dougherty

12.7.2016

Analyze a news-based tweet that states a claim based on its source and validity.  Use at least one additional source to evaluate the tweet’s validity.

 

https://twitter.com/FoxNews/status/806687249173712896

 

Telling real news from fake news is a big issue in today’s world. New sources that aren’t credible keep popping up. Since the internet is relatively new, people don’t have as much experience telling true from false when the jobs of fake news companies is to make people believe them. There are also a lot of issues regarding political bias, which can potentially influence elections negatively because of false news circulating about one or more candidates. Many times, such as in the recent NPR article, “Telling Fake News from Real News”, the inability to recognise incorrect information is passed off as a problem just affecting teenagers, but in reality it is a significant problem for everyone using the internet. No one can teach what they don’t know and people are very used to simply taking things they read as the truth.

This tweet is from Fox News which is notorious for incorrect information. They also only post news that supports their biased right wing views. Looking at the Bloomberg website, the company that collected the data, there are a few prominent ads, and every article on the politics page is about Trump. There is nothing demeaning him and nothing that seems particularly opinionated, but everything about him seems rather favourable. However, sources on the internet say that Bloomberg is a non biased news source. That may be so, but the main thing that is concerning about this so-called survey is that it only includes 999 people out of all 300 million in the US. Also, there is nothing saying if these people were chosen randomly or from a certain area or demographic. It also seems hard to believe that his favourability rating is up 27% in only 4 months. Donald Trump is still doing things of questionable intention regularly, including making fun of minorities and marginalising women. Based on the past they wouldn’t reflect by increasing his favourability. I would say that this information is not credible.

With the invention and growth of the internet, so many more sources with untrue information are coming on to the scene. This includes some large scale media companies, especially those that cater to extreme left or right wing demographics. Sometimes opinion pieces are mislabeled or misinterpreted as factual, and that is when things can get dangerous. It is more important than ever to make sure that people are aware that not everything they read is accurate. However, studies show that when people are aware there may be a questionable news source in the mix, they are less likely to trust everything they read. Awareness is key when surfing the net, and it can only get more common from here.

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