The Convolution of Fake News

A recent report by the Pew Research Center explored the current perspectives surrounding how people receive news. A majority of Americans believe that fake news is a significant problem trumping terrorism, sexism, and racism. Furthermore, the survey stated that artificial news deteriorates Americans’ confidence in government (68%) and how it affects political leaders’ ability to progressively get work done. Primary the polluted news serves as a distraction, where duality is present as it impacts politicians and the public.

The study presented by NCBI stated, that the act of publicly debunking misinformation lead individuals to feel indifferent about the news shared. However, it leads the participants in the study to devalue the source that produced the falsity as well as the social media platform used to promote the article. Whereas individuals that favored the news source believed that the information expressed should not be blamed nor questioned. The participants believed that the fake news shared was due to situational factors such as miscommunication of information and a disconnect within the reporters. Thus the individuals continue to support the source regardless of the falsity produced.

Another interesting perspective to discuss is what platforms are being utilized to display the news. A significant amount (68%) of individuals rely on social media to access the news. Yet, 57% of social media-based consumers except the news to be misleading and overall inaccurate.

The Pew Research Center noted that there are three popular social media platforms that people use to access the news. The sources are Reddit (73%), Twitter (71%), Facebook (67%). However, Twitter is prominently used to discuss current issues, and 42% of U.S adults use the platform to commentate on politics. Nonetheless, U.S adults tend to blame political leaders and activists rather than reporters for the manifestation of fake news. Additionally, the same U.S adults believe that the reporters should be held accountable towards proactively fixing the issue that is desecrating the way the public consumes news.

Furthermore, the Pew Research Center analyzed scientific discoveries posted on social media. The research center noted that visuals with minimal background information or scientific context receive high engagement including likes, comments, and shares. Yet, these types of posts allow for misconceptions to manifest, therefore creating fake scientific discoveries.

In regards to combating fake news, individuals have come up with ways to respond to the news that they interact with daily. Many social media users have taken the time to research various sources to check credibility. Individuals are also receiving their news from a wide range of platforms; newspapers, social media, and the internet. Lastly, individuals are more aware of what they are sharing, thus becoming more mindful of the new sources in which they are choosing to invest in purposely.

Works Cited

Jang, J., Lee, E., & Shin, S. Y. (2019, June). What Debunking of Misinformation Does and Doesn’t. Retrieved from ​https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31135182

Matsa, K. E., & Shearer, E. (2018, September 21). News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2018. Retrieved from https://www.journalism.org/2018/09/10/news-use-across-social-media-platforms-2018/

Mitchell, A., Gottfried, J., Fedeli, S., Stocking, G., & Mason Walker. (2019, June 28). Many Americans Say Made-Up News Is a Critical Problem That Needs To Be Fixed. Retrieved from https://www.journalism.org/2019/06/05/many-americans-say-made-up-news-is-a-critical-proble m-that-needs-to-be-fixed/

The Science People See on Social Media. (2019, May 10). Retrieved from
https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2018/03/21/the-science-people-see-on-social-media/

Article by: Alexis Takagi

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