The Advent of Fake News

A recently hot-button topic that has come around is the realization of “fake news” sites, sites that look official to drum up support towards one side of a position or another. This is the double-edged nature of the internet: While the spread of information is faster than ever before, the spread of misinformation is just as fast, and can have just as adverse consequences as not being informed at all, if not worse.

During the most recent election, a rash of “fake news” sites popped up for the sole purpose of swaying opinions to one side or another. This is a prime example of the resurgence of “yellow journalism”, or the exaggeration of an event to gain more attention. The outbreak has gotten to be so bad that multiple sites have banded together to better locate and remove fake news sites. While social media users are becoming more aware of the issue, the damage is already done in terms of the spread of misinformation.

There is still yet hope for future occasions, however, as the trend is being currently dealt with by major tech companies, such as Google. Google’s plan is to prevent fake news sites from using its ad service, a major avenue for information flow to various websites. Other large websites, such as Politifact and Snopes have been hard at work to uphold the veracity of claims that have been made in the news over the past few weeks.

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UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism