Challenge Of Evaluating Information Sources

The world we live in has hanged tremendously, especially with the development and adoption of technology in almost every aspect, if not all aspects of life. Technology has given rise to features such as social media that are doubted beneficial to society. For instance, with social media development, the dissemination of information has become an easy task. People can access and share information at any given time, irrespective of their location. This has created what is commonly described as the global village. Nonetheless, while sailing in the so-called benefits of using technology and mainly social media platforms, several demerits have come up, which warrant a severe discussion among people. Fake news and post-truths have become popular aspects associated with media. Although the phrases have not been coined in the present, their use has intensified in the current world. Hence, people need to understand the meaning of fake news and post-truths and why it is essential to understand more about them in terms of how they affect societyChallenge Of Evaluating Information Sources.

 

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Fake news cannot be described using one definition but can be defined using some of its features to ensure the definition is comprehensive. However, in its most common definition, it refers to the sharing of non-factual information. Fake news is defined as the spread of disinformation for profit. This is where the information shared is fictional, but the main agenda behind its spread is for-profit purposes. For example, multiple for-profit hoax sites from different regions such as Eastern Europe developed a follow-up on the 2016 US elections, and information from their sites would be shared on Facebook. The hoax sites benefited from digital advertisingChallenge Of Evaluating Information Sources. Fake news is also defined as the spread of false information for political gain. According to Annett (2017), rulers in history such as Julius Caesar to modern leaders have used spreading disinformation for their political gain. Fake news is sharing non-factual information for a crime. This is mainly advanced by hackers who will gain access to a popular media site and disseminate false information catalyzed by the need for profit or political gain. The list of definitions using the features attributed to fake news is endless. Still, the central aspect among all definitions is that it involves sharing false information for a specified reason.

Post-truth is an element commonly used in the political arena. Although not a new feature, the current global political environment has used post-truth to advance its agenda. In a standard definition, post-truth describes the suppressing of the truth and sharing of false information. The link between the information spilled, and the truth usually has a fine line between them. This means information shared is parallel to the truth. Bacon(2016) considers port-truth a modish myth. Facts used as the equilibrium and accurate data are left out when advancing post-truths, and information disseminated is based on personal beliefs and emotions. The public is thereby subjected to disinformation spread to cover up some truth. For example, in Australia’s case, the claim that the country is performing its fair share in terms of climate change is a message that means doing more to help with the condition of climate change would cause undermine prosperity (Grafton & Kompas, 2020). This shows that when post-truths are shared, they are usually hiding a specific truthChallenge Of Evaluating Information Sources.

Fake news always resembles the truth, making it easy for the reader to fall into the trap of sharing fake information. I have fallen victim to this, mainly due to the constant reliance on social media for news updates. During the lockdown period, and notably, some fake messages about the government’s type of lockdown prevailed when it began. One of the messages I shared with my friends was about people being given a day to go out shopping in large numbers.

It usually matters if people cannot tell which news is, differentiating between fake and real news. The inability to separate the two often leads to people trusting and following misinformation that could affect their lives drastically. Typically, people rely on news to make everyday decisions, and the inability to identify the real from fake news could result in some adverse decisions.

The media creates reality. The only downside is that the media is the same medium used to disseminate fake news, attracting many media users’ attention quickly. Some media sites are legit in that they offer original truthful content since they filter the type of information issued. Nevertheless, other media platforms share any information, including non-factual information, for for-profit purposesChallenge Of Evaluating Information Sources.

Social media is an excellent way to get news. All the same, social media users need to be vigilant and acquire sufficient filtering skills that enable them to identify and differentiate between real and fake news. Social media makes access to information accessible and shared in real-time, which is why it is an excellent way to get news.

References

Bacon, D. (2016, September 10). Yes, I’d lie to you. The Economist. https://www.economist.com/briefing/2016/09/10/yes-id-lie-to-you.

Annett, E. (2017, February 1). What is ‘fake news,’ and how can you spot it? Try our quiz. The Globe and Mail. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/community/digital-lab/fake-news-quiz-how-to-spot/article33821986/.

Grafton, Q., & Kompas, T. (2020, January 22). Tackling climate change in a ‘post-truth world. Policy Forum. https://www.policyforum.net/tackling-climate-change-in-a-post-truth-world/ Challenge Of Evaluating Information Sources.

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