Photo Source: BBC News, www.bbcnews.com
The recent U.S. election has shed light on the surge in fake news websites flourishing with the help of various social media websites. Some people even claim that it played a significant part in deciding the election results. Now, whether there is any truth to the claim is yet to be seen, but one thing is certain; fake news is a big problem to everyone that gets their information digitally.
I remember during my high school days, there were people on street corners selling newspapers with fake news all over them. The salesman would usually shout that a prominent figure died only for it to be a completely different person with the same first name. I was amused that people would buy these newspapers, some knowingly, while others just believed the story.
Fast-forward a decade, and here I see a whole range of fake news on my Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter dashboards. They appear usually because one of my contacts liked or shared them. I’m bothered by seeing fake news liked and shared by my friends and family. Fake news not only misinforms the audience but it also shows how easily we trust articles shared on social media.
Facebook and other social media have already vowed to fight the fake news problem by partnering with third party organizations. But as we rely more on social media as our news source, it is our moral responsibility as well to verify the news. I usually search on Google for the news event to see if they are shared by other news agencies as well. Nowadays, there is hardly any news that is only shared by one news website. In addition, it is also important to inform our friends on social media about their misinformation of fake news.
At Whittaker Associates, we are committed to providing quality and up-to-date information about industries and companies. Although the fake news has not yet been that big of a problem for us, it is only a matter of time before it affects industries other than politics. We constantly rely on information to make our decisions, and false news would result in faulty decision-making.
If you want to learn more about fake news and the people behind it, you can listen to an interview with one of the creators: