“A lie told often enough becomes the truth” (Vladimir Lenin). In the climate of a free democracy where news is one of the core characteristics of the system; the world is facing an issue. News, or rather said “fake news” was never before so strong and dangerous like it is nowadays. Accurate news is vital to democracy and the explosive growth of fake news is cited by many as a threat. Because of the spread of internet, fake news can reach out to people faster and easier. Billions of people have access to the media and social networks where information is revealed. Because of that, it is possible for anyone to become famous in online and to act as a journalist without having to follow the complicated professional standards imposed by what was in the past “by the book”. Anyone can write a text today, but not everyone realizes that their text, once in public, influences people’s opinions. People’s mentality can be manipulated trough false news. “The false news is obviously false and is created and presented in a way that deceives consumers to believe it is real” (Burshtein, 2). Therefore, some of the solutions to combat fake news are news literacy, online accountability, and a clear and transparent, headline.
“News literacy translates into the ability to understand, control, and apply information” (Burkhardt, 29). Because of the internet access, information can be found very easy, but it is not always that easy to decide if the information comes from a reliable source. Information should always come from a trustworthy source instead of an anonymous source. Because social media is used by more people to receive their news, it is a problem to determine if the news is real or false. People share news through social networks because of a title or image, rather than the actual content of an article. Alternate sources of information usually are not checked so that the information cannot be compared to see how the details are different.
Online accountability is needed. Is the news recent? Can be the news checked or corroborated with other information? Is it published by professional journalists or by influencers whose profession is not journalism, or the news is not assumed by anybody? Because of the opportunities that technology offers, it has become clear that the possibilities of manipulating people are at this time unlimited. People receive the information directly without having the time to check what is true and what is fake. On the other hand, people provide information about themselves on social networks. It has become easy to discover their preferences, fears, and their political option.
A false news, most of the time, does not have a clear and transparent headline. The headline is mysterious and often pompous, without providing the source. In general, false news has shocking titles – some are capitalized or contain capitalized words.
In conclusion, the world has not been prepared to defend against disinformation and manipulation on such a scale. Any technological advancement has a beneficial and destructive potential. Right now, it is hard for countries and their government to control fake news. “Online content manipulation is harder to detect and fight, which is why it affects more free debate and the access to accurate information, in an environment that is by excellence thought of as free” (Popescu, 609).
- Burkhardt, Joanna M. “How can we Help our Students?” Library Technology Reports, vol. 53, no. 8, 2017, pp. 29. ProQuest, http://ezproxy.cpcc.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1967322606?accountid=10008
- Burshtein, Sheldon. “The True Story on Fake News.” Intellectual Property Journal, vol. 29, no. 3, 2017, pp. 397-446. ProQuest, http://ezproxy.cpcc.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1934912990?accountid=1000 8
- Popescu, Alina V. “The Impairment Of Citizen’s Right To Information By “Fake News” Publication.” Challenges of the Knowledge Society, 2018, pp. 607-613. ProQuest, http://ezproxy.cpcc.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/2130763503?accountid=10008.