March 26, 2018
The Impact of Fake News on Social Media
With social media taking over the world today we have been more connected than ever in history making it so easy to spread information around the world. Social media is a place for people to share their thoughts and ideas to the world and a place they are able to read the news. But with how easy it is to spread information around the world through social media it is also just as easy to spread false information the same way. The Internet isn’t for everybody and many people can be fooled very easily. So when the hot topic of discussion is the 2016 presidential election everyone has to share their opinion about it and spread around news stories that are posted form news sources to the website. But with the great ability to share thoughts on social media comes the ability to also share fake thoughts as news. And sometimes those false news stories can be spread around so much that people start believing them and it has an effect on their vote.
Before our digital age we live in now the only way for news to be spread was primarily through newspapers and the nightly news on T.V. Back then when a young, eager reporter would come to the editor with a new story they would often turn them down because they wouldn’t believe the story that was brought to them. Publishers for these newspapers would turn down more manuscripts than accept them (Hundley). So why now in our digital age do we believe the false stories we read online? One theory might be that on a daily basis we get tons of conflicting messages. We have a worldview with our fundamental beliefs and values and so when all of this information is thrown at us we cypher it through our worldview. “When our worldview is challenged by new and potentially compelling information, we become anxious and uncertain” (Hundley). We grow up with our parents showing us their political views and they try to teach us to believe the same. Life circumstances that hurt us get blamed on the high power and we end up believing that a certain candidate has done something evil and we spread the story written about it all over social media even though it might not be true. On social media everyone has a voice and those voices are often contradicting themselves making it confusing for us. With all the different stories we see on our Facebook page we tend to choose what makes sense to our worldview and us. We stick to what we believe and spread the stories that agree with our political views.
In the fall of 2016 a story was spread around social media sites with the title, “BREAKING: Tens of Thousands of Fraudulent Clinton Votes Found in Ohio Warehouse”. It was published by twenty-three recent college graduate Cameron Harris through the Christian Times Newspaper. In it Harris talks how an electrical worked named Randall Price discovered all of the fraud ballots in a warehouse and how it could make Clinton win the important...