What challenges do billions of readers face every day? According to the article “The Real Fake News Crisis’ by Katy Steinmetz the challenge is whether to trust something on the Internet or not. In this article, Katy Steinmetz discusses how fake news impacts readers every day and why even the brightest are bad at making decisions such as whether to trust the content on the internet. She gave a few examples of the things fake news affected like the 2016 election and conspiracy theories that are affecting others life’s. In this article, Katy Steinmetz also discussed why we are prone to falling for these lies and what could be done to prevent the spread of false news on the internet.
Fake news affects readers every day whether the readers are aware of it or not. Studies have also shown that being exposed to fake news made readers more likely to think the news is accurate since they have seen similar content before. This is because readers utilize the knowledge subconsciously but since the brian encountered this information before it will use information as an indicator that it is real. The spread of fake news makes it more difficult for everyone on the internet to differentiate the facts from fake news. Simple things like going to an event became harder because there are hackers that are creating fake events at the same location where there is another event happening so they can bring thousands of people who oppose each other on the same street and cause riots. false news like this could threaten the lives of the people who attend the event and are not aware of the other fake event that was created by the hackers. Therefore putting innocent people in danger. For example, In India, false rumors of child abductions circulating over WhatsApp have caused mobs to hurt innocent people, sometimes leading to death. Most of the people that were hurt were usually tourists that knew nothing about the situation, but mobs thought they were the kidnappers.
Studies have shown that people are retweeting stories without double-checking the content because they simply rely too much on search engines they found on. Take Google as an example; it’s been known that people think google search engines are more accurate than search engines like Bing because they are more popular. People also think the more times a word appears in a google search the more the result is accurate which is also false because google search engine utilizes algorithms to find websites that suit the requested facts and has nothing to do with the legitimacy of the content on the website.
Reports have shown that many Americans of all ages are struggling to raise important questions about the material they find on the web. That’s not because all the Americans are ignorant, but it’s often because they don’t know what to look for to determine if and when the links are real. They only evaluate sources based on things that could easily be manipulated such as the graphic design of the website or the site’s URL. This is because people also don’t have time to read anything, but the headline before they share news on their social media accounts. Most people read the headline and share information because of their desire for more likes and views on social media. In 2016 alone, a poll found that almost a quarter of Americans say they unknowingly posted made-up news and 14 percent of those said they exchanged made-up news when they believed it was false because they liked the content. According to Katy sch, fake news travels 6 times more than the truth.
Fakes news spread has experts fearful for the future of democracy. On July 31, Facebook announced that it had found evidence of a political-influence campaign on their website. The social-media advertisements were promoted on Facebook by the Russian agencies that were targeting American voters with false information about their candidates. After this information came to light, Facebook lost more than $120 billion in stock in a single day because stockholders saw this issue as an issue that would limit the companies’ growth.
Tech companies all of the world are under increasing pressure to come up with a way to put a stop into the spread of false information on their platforms. Companies like Facebook start attaching warnings to posts that contain false information that was deemed to be misleading by fact-checkers. But a study found that this could make users more likely to believe the facts, because how can any website determine the news or articles are real and which ones are not? There is no certainty that any computer system or algorithm could effectively differentiate between the truth from false without any bias.
In an era where people spend more than half of their day on the internet, it is hard for many platforms like Facebook and Twitter to fact-check everything because they don’ t have enough employees to manually review the billions of posts every day. Even if they did, they would be violating the First Amendment, which allows people to freely speak regardless of where the speech is true or not. High tech companies are limited to what they could do because they could only alert the users to a certain thing, like fake events people create but they cant FactCheck everything.
Companies like Facebook that were attaching warnings to posts that contain false information that was deemed to be misleading by fact-checkers backfires on them. Because readers were more likely to believe the content as true. This is because people look for news that matches with their beliefs, it is extremely difficult to eliminate false news from platforms. Living in an era where technology has become a daily use , spreading false information has become easier than ever before. Reader and viewers should look for information that denies their beliefs to get a different perspective of their view. Tech Companies should start uploading different news to prevent false news from spreading as well.
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