By ZACH STUBBLEFIELD
The most-shared story on Facebook before the election was “Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President, Releases Statement.” It had more than 960,000 engagements.
It was a fake story.
This is a troubling trend. A lot of people who are getting most of their news online cannot tell what is fake when discerning stories. They just take what is in print for granted, they automatically assume it is true.
This was fine before the internet, because most things that were actually written and printed had a high chance of being true. It would cost an unnecessary amount of money to print out a lie and distribute it for no reason. They would have to deliver it door to door and make it look as if it is a legitimate news source.
This is not the case with the internet. It is cheap and easy to fabricate a story online. It takes a small amount of time to create a website that looks similar to an actual news source and once that site is up and running millions can see it.
People must be wary of this, because spreading false information leads to uninformed opinions and lessens the legitimacy of real news sources. People must be diligent about the sources they get their news from and make sure they are reputable.
Fake news sites are only become more complex with the advent of new technologies. Users of the internet must know how to differentiate real news sites from the fake ones so that we can have discourses with valid and factual information.