By Sergio Berreuta
Recognizing legitimate news sources is an important issue that everyone must acknowledge and understand.
With major media outlets being labeled as fake and online stories growing more and more believable it’s beginning to become more and more difficult to distinguish what is real and what is fake news.
The main problem with fake news is that illegitimate articles can spark major controversy with the smallest cases of libel.
Libel is when a publication or any form of news media publishes a false statement that can easily damage one’s reputation.
However, there is a current problem with fake news entering our social media circles. While there is a bevy of jokes sites and satire news within the media, none of the press outlets that have been deemed false actually are.
The aforementioned news outlets have wrote their stories and articles with the facts given in order to write these stories even though they can be easily lost in the midst of the fake news surge.
Facebook and Google are implementing systems in place to target to bar the real forms of fake news from invading their feeds with the help of mainstream organization.
France and Germany are the first two countries. The terms “fake news” and “alternative facts” only cause harm by making the public not trust worthy of news and information.
In an article from Buzzfeed from last year, fraudulent political news made up a total number of 10.6 million shares in news feed out of the 21.5 million shares analyzed.
These numbers do not take into account the fact whether or not the stories shared were under belief of it being fact or merely for satirical purposes.
There are ways to spot the fake from the reality around. FactCheck.org has a whole section devoted to giving a guide on how to point out the fiction from the fact.
First and foremost is checking the source. If the source reads a bit off from the real URL of the site, then it most likely is false.
For example, instead of it saying cnn.com, it says cnn.tv with usually an outrageous headline that borders on merely rumor. Other sites such as Above Average and The Onion also can fool readers with legitimate Associated Press style and writers on staff, despite opting for a satirical point of view.
What also helps is reading more than just the headlines. Headlines are only part of the story by giving you a brief summarization. If one reads the actual story, one can come across made-up quotes with fictitious people and maybe even written by an author that never existed.
Other interesting notes to look out for are the date of the article and the lack of supportable evidence that can easily be solved with a quick Google search.
If a news piece has a certain bias attached to it, the articles can be deemed fraudulent as well. Sites have been in place since the beginning such as the aforementioned FactCheck.org to check the evidence within the piece.
Political news itself that seems fishy can easily be cleared up via PolitiFact.com by checking out all the sources and claims in the article. One popular site known as Snopes.com originally began to debunk sites for urban legends.
Now, it is devoted to debunking the claims of fake news, ranging from the political to current pop culture. Media plays an important role in observing those in power and it is essential that they have all their facts straight before publishing stories.
Media take note of those who abuse their power and in many cases can change people’s stance on any topic. It is a right to let people know the truth and with freedom of press.
Many outlets do so and help spread information around. The right of free speech is granted in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights within the Constitution. This amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
This gives the people of the nation the right to speak freely, the right to protest, the right to worship freely and the right to the freedom of the press. Sometimes that freedom of the press and speech can become the fake news given, but it is up to readers to figure out how to sort out the mess.
If nothing is done to combat these claims and the fake news in general, then the attacks will become more constant and will never cease.
So remember, read every single detail about any news story you come across and always research the publishers source.
If what you’re reading seems fake, then it probably is. Identifying and acknowledging legitimate outlets will bring change to what is being published in today’s news.