If you’re a regular news consumer, which I like to think my fellow crusaders are, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about “fake news” recently.
Facebook and Google are two names that have been tied to this epidemic. Which makes sense, since the social networking site and search engine are where a lot of people get there news. What doesn’t make sense is holding these two companies solely responsible for the creation and spreading of fake news.
While it’s tempting to use both Facebook and Google as scapegoats, the fact is, they can only do so much to stop the spreading of fake news.
Fake news is nothing new. The way it’s distributed has changed. Think of Google and Facebook as the technology equivalent of a public bulletin board, and fake news as a flier. Anyone can put whatever they want on that bulletin board, and yes, people can tear down the false information, but there are thousands of more fliers ready to go back up in its place.
Thoroughly depressed yet?
Here’s the good news, because we’ve dealt with fake news before, we know how to defeat it, and as you might have guessed it starts with you.
Fake news, or propaganda, is designed to mislead, misinform, and promote an agenda. It also relies on an uninformed and unquestioning audience. Which means that you have the power to stop fake news in its tracks by simply asking questions, looking for missing information, and staying curious. If someone makes an outrageous claim, but doesn’t back it up with facts, always question it…basically, be smart and don’t be a part of the problem.
More on the Story: Guardian
…just for fun: