Fake News Outcry Is Misguided
Essay 3 will be a research argument essay. This week you will receive a course message with an article attached to it. The article will be taking a position on a current event. Your essay will be an classical argument paper that either agrees with or disagrees with the author’s of the article’s position.
You must support your argument with evidence from the academic databases found in the college library–Academic Search Complete, EBSCO, CQ Researcher, etc. Please review the library orientation videos to refresh your understanding of including reputable sources for research papers. Sources that are found outside of the academic databases will not count and may even harm your grade for this essay.
-7-10 pages of content typed in MLA format with a work-cited page (work cited page does not count as a page of content).
-You must include at least 4 sources for you paper–these sources must be indicated in the annotated bibliography.
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Fake News Outcry Is Misguided
“Fake news” has taken center stage and has been determined to be a trending topic in the last few years. The fake news challenge has been researched by the committee to protect journalists that established that in the year 2017; about twenty-one journalists from various countries were imprisoned and charged with charges that relate to fake news. At the beginning of 2018, several countries attempted to come up with plans to introduce legislation that targeted the issue. According to the ABC news, in the year 2018, several freelance journalists were arrested in Egypt and they included May al-Sabbagh and Ahmed Moustafa who were working on providing information about the outdated trams of Egypt (Ibrahim, 1). In addition, several technologies based companies also reported having adopted measures to address the fake news that was spread on their platforms. An example of such attempts is the introduction of a new metric called Click-Gap, which Facebook’s news feed algorithms will use to determine where to rank a given post. This effort was aimed at redefining Facebook’s authority on the internet, as well as, fighting the abuse of the platform by those who spread fake news. With regard to the actions to be taken, there has been a furore that has been created in public debates with people taking the opposing sides. Some argue that people should not turn a blind eye to the fact that the crackdowns on fake news are a threat posed to freedom of expression. This is explained to be characterized by the prospect of State-controlled information, or a situation where a dominant group sorts out the information that needs to be shared. Although the opponents of the crackdown on “fake news” have made arguments that the efforts are misdirected and that the stories are nothing new, “fake news” has several implications on the audience and especially on contemporary democracy and, therefore, the “fake news” outcry is not misguided.
The term “Fake news” is commonly used to refer to allegations that the information provided is misleading or contains significant omissions in the content. It implies that the information is false and the main purpose of the content creator is to deceive a certain intended audience. “Fake news” refers to a wide range of things including satire and parody shows, comedy news shows, as well as, news stories that are characterized by having a mix of true and false to misleading stories (Harsin, 99). These stories may be invented or may not have any basis at all. “Fake news” may also be defined as false news that is spread on the internet or any other media to influence a particular stand or political views. Fake news is a purported fact and this is mainly characterized by being either entirely false or in some cases having partial truths, or simply information that is fabricated to make a certain theory look warranted.
“Fake news” brings about anxieties especially about the complex or unwelcome consequence of democracy when people consume the information from mainstream media such as the newsrooms. However, the problem goes beyond that and includes several individuals on social media platforms and especially Facebook and Twitter. This is because of the algorithm that connects the news, which does not assess the quality of the source but instead connect users to the news by second-guessing what the user might like. This becomes a hub for advertisers to make their advertisements for audiences that are in the digital environment and are hungry for content. These people’s clicks’, ‘shares’ and ‘likes’ are tracked by Digital programmatic advertisers during their browsing sessions. When this happens, the brands may end up appearing inadvertently on “fake news” sites and other inappropriate destination. There has been criticism about the two platforms, Facebook and Twitter, mainly because they play a significant role in the spreading, facilitating, and even encouraging “fake news” (Marwick, 474).
There has been an outcry and hullabaloo about fake news and disinformation becoming more prevalent especially in the recent times with special focus in the public domain. The concerns are a result of the rise in the number of populists and anti-intellectual politicians who have become more pronounced as days go by. The “fake news” issue, however, becomes centralized when considered in line with the centrality in the political campaigns as well as regimes. “Fake news” has been used significantly in the past in various political discourses for different purposes. For instance, several parts of information that would be deemed misinformation formed part of the story that was used by western powers in an attempt to sell the weapons of mass destruction to the countries such as Iraq. False information and misconceptions have also been established to have played a role in the rationale for the cold war and other similar political issues that were faced in the past. Therefore, in the debate about fake news outcry, one needs to consider the issues that surround it keenly. A critical analysis should be made on the impact of “fake news” on the politics of different countries as well as the various epistemic and ethical concerns that come about with fake news. An analysis into these aspects will prove the fact that the “fake news” outcry is guided and there are serious implications that people, societies and even nations face as a result of the spread of false news. The implications spread to different sectors of life, including the health and education systems and most importantly the political systems, which in turn directly affect the other system within a country.
The “fake news” outcry is not misguided and indeed, there are several reasons why people should work together to support the efforts being made to curb the spread of fake news. This is mainly because, despite the evolution and technological advancements, there are challenges regarding sieving out whether the information is true or false, there is a need to curb the “fake news” because of the negative issues that it presents. One major characteristic of “fake news” is that it produces some form of false belief about an issue and consequently, the false belief brings about confusion among the members of society. This is because “fake news” represents a particularly bad and direct avenue by which inaccurate beliefs have been propagated via social media. The confusion may lead to misinterpretations or misunderstandings of various important social and political issues because it has the ability to capture the attention of the audience and consequently, the audience views it in a particular light. In return, inaccurate beliefs pose a threat to democracy. A study by Pennycook and rand in the year 2018 established that people tend to fall prey to the “fake news” and they investigated the cognitive psychological profile. The study revealed that several people have the tendency to relate randomly generated sentences with great depth of insight or knowledge, something that they referred to as pseudo-profound bullshit receptivity. This attribute among people was positively correlated with the perception that individuals have of the accuracy of fake news. Furthermore, it showed that people did not have a satisfactory ability to differentiate between fake and real news. This lack of media truth discernment may influence the perceptions that they have and consequently contribute to the confusion or misunderstanding of the social and political issues. As a result, there should be a critical analysis of news, as well as, media truth discernment so that individuals can consume news that is true as this will present the misconstrued beliefs that are propagated by fake news, which capitalize on the inability of people to tell the difference.
“Fake news” has received attention because of the role that it plays in the politics of a country, for instance, the last election of the USA (News Media Association, 3). “Fake news” is bad for democracy in several ways mainly because democracy is unlikely to survive when there is a poor information environment. Although the decisive role of “fake news” in determining the outcome of that election has not been established, there may be reasons to believe that some people were duped (Hubbard, 474). Unreliable information, as is characteristic of “fake news” may shape the choices of the voters and consequently the elections and economy. This action may bring about incompetent governments and have a public that is disappointed. Also, it is possible that “fake news” may in the long-term; erode civic engagement through the action of replacing real news with fictitious ones. This may be carried out through different strategies such as diverting, stories that destroy public faith in the media and displace advertising revenues that support real news media and their investment in journalism.
For these reasons, it becomes evident that “fake news” has an impact on the lives of people and, therefore, the crackdown should be enabled so that the effects are reduced. In addition to the crackdown, there should be an effective and strong real news sector that will efficiently filter the “fake news” and ensure that individuals are presented with real news. A vivid example of the scenario is as lived by the president of the United States of America, Donald Trump. The phrase “fake news” was frequently used by the president and his allies on various platforms as they addressed the critical coverage from major media organizations reporting on the president’s administration. In the year 2017 alone, the president sent out a total of 146 tweets that included the phrase “fake news.” The phrases were sent out to change the perception that people may have received from the alleged “Fake news” that sought to establish that there was a dysfunctional White House (News Media Association, 3). There may have been several people that received the information and it may have changed their perception about the president’s administration.
Misleading information has been a major issue in the political world mainly because it is used to propagate stories for political interests. However, other crucial fields such as the field of medicine have also been subject to misleading information, an action that may be detrimental to the lives of several people (Peters et al. 365). There has been a misconception that “fake news” does not affect the medical practitioners mainly because they are involved in scientific projects. As a result, the medical practitioners have for a long time underestimated the effects of misinformation on the health of the public information gets distorted and amplified between the medical community and the public. Consequently, information gets distorted and amplified between the medical community and the public. The result of such misleading information could be detrimental to the health of several consumers that require medical knowledge. Therefore, irrespective of the source and the motive, medial related information should be verified for facts because the impact would be severe (News Media Association, 3). For this reason, the “fake news” outcry is not misguided as there are facts to prove that the effects are harmful.
“Fake news” remains a significant problem and its effects can be felt even in the academic world, where students rely on several sources of information for their projects, as well as, knowledge on current trends. Although the schools require that the students make use of quality sources of information for their research assignments and papers, some assignments may require sources such as news channels, especially when addressing current issues within a given society. The spread of false or misleading information may affect the student’s assignment because they may end up spending so much time and resources on the project and they end up failing the test because of the misleading facts. Furthermore, the “fake news” outcry has led to the imprisonment of several journalists who were associated with propagating or spreading them.
The “fake news” outcry has brought about debate and although people acknowledge the challenges that the issue presents, some individuals believe that the outcry is misguided. Some argue that “fake news” stories are not nearly as significant a problem as bias and inaccuracies in mainstream reporting. However, with the advancements in technology and the fact that many people rely on social media and other platforms as their sole source of information, the impact of “fake news” will be felt by many people contrary to this belief (Hubbard, 474). Another major argument is that the internet has been successful in helping individuals to experience democracy in publishing mainly because everyone with access to the internet and a computer are able to publish content. Their thoughts are published and spread across different groups of people. The critics of the crackdown argue that carrying out the crackdown could harm the process and reverse the democratized publishing, which is viewed to have advanced. However, owing to the negative implication of fake news, coupled with the inability by several people to differentiate between fake and real news, there is a need to come up with strategies to curb fake news.
In conclusion, there is a need to curb fake news, which is a news story that has no factual basis but is presented as news. This is because the outcry is not misguided and is instead based on the negative implications of the “fake news” on the different aspects of people’s lives. There is a need to investigate, expose and debunk all the people that share “fake news” including the ones that use social media platforms such as tweeter and Facebook. This can be achieved through an examination of the advertising supply chain and ensure that it does not undermine the news media’s sustainability. With the “fake news” detriment, the audience tends to neglect the issue of politicians who choose to create and suppress realities. The first place to begin is to have fact-checking sites and media literacy campaigns so as to prevent people from sharing “fake news” because they bring about negative implications. People make use of digital networks as a constant feed of information and, therefore, whenever there is misleading information, several people may be affected. It is, therefore, necessary to have the crackdown on “fake news” so that the perpetrators including those on social media platforms are brought to book in order to have better reporting and so that people can consume information that is true and substantiated with facts. The legislature is also instrumental in managing the issue. For instance, in Egypt, “fake news” has been outlawed and reporters of false and misleading information have not only been punished but some have been detained in an effort to deter others from following suit.
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