I’ve seen quite a few posts about “Fake News” sites pop up in the past few weeks. These sites publish satire articles or purposefully create their own facts and stories to get some traffic.
It seems those websites have become a real issue, especially during the US presidential campaign, because some readers rely on those sites as their main source of information and those fake news end up influencing the way they live and vote.
Fake News aren’t new. Satire wasn’t invented yesterday, and that’s one of the good things about Internet.
What’s new is where we go for news. a few years ago, you’d rely on a handful of sites to get your daily news. You’d subscribe to them via a daily newsletter, bookmark them, use an RSS reader, or just refresh the site every now and then to get the latest news. Today, folks rely on their friends instead; no need to go anywhere, just open Facebook and see what your friends shared. Regardless of where the post is from or what it says. It seems clicking the Like button is just too easy.
So what should we do about Fake News? Censor them? Wrong.
Let’s address the biggest problem here. Define “fake”. If you can’t, who do you think should define if a site or a news release should be censored or deleted because it’s fake? Some seem to think Facebook should be the one to decide since it plays such a big role in spreading fake news. Facebook? Really? What could possibly go wrong?
If we take a step back, I think it’s fairly easy to see who really plays the biggest role in spreading fake news: you.
Wouldn’t it be great if we all made it a 2017 resolution?