Fake news: a threat to society

by audreysantello on February 3, 2017 - 10:40am

color:#333333">"Fake news is about to get even scarier than ever before" written by Nick Bilton from Vanity fair published on January 26th of 2017, discusses the dangers and the threats that "fake news" may be for society. Following Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States, "fake news" became a term that everybody was familiar with. We hear about it more each day and it becomes scarier as time goes on. An example of this, happened in the United States Capital, Washington D.C; a young 28 year old man, Edgar Maddison Welch read about the Comet Ping-Pong Pizzeria where apparently many young children were used as sex slaves. The craziest thing about this "news" was that it said that this business, going on in the basement of the pizzeria (there are no basement), was controlled by ex-Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. After reading about this, Edgar Welch decided to drive 6 hours from his home town to Washington D.C where he opened fire in the Comet Ping-Pong Pizzeria. Luckily nobody was hurt. This is a good example of how fake news moves quickly and how it can be a threat to society. In Edgar's case, he automatically believed what he had read and acted right away. Fake news can be confusing. The even scarier thing about it is that the United States have acquired a new President who himself spent his entire campaign spreading and inventing stories; such as saying that Ted Cruz's father had something to do with John F. Kennedy’s assassination, which he was not. 

color:#333333">A research made last year by a Professor from Stanford University and Erlangen-Nuremberg University showed how technologists can record a video of somebody speaking and easily changing the person on the video's facial expression in real time. This research was made in order to show the world how it is easy to manipulate the society into believing something that never happened. This is another reason why fake news are getting scarier and why we need to be careful what we believe. 

Source: http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/01/fake-news-technology


Your summary is straightforward and easy to understand, and the Comet Ping-Pong Pizzeria incident is a striking example of the impact “fake news” can have. The fact that the new president of the United States has been accused numerous time of spreading fake news himself is indeed worrying, and you could strengthen your post by elaborating on this idea a bit more. Giving a few more examples, or explaining why the claim about Ted Cruz’s father is false, could give the reader a more complete idea of the situation. The New York Times published an article regarding that issue, which identifies 10 times Trump has used false claims, and explains why that information is incorrect. The article can be read here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/business/media/trump-fake-news....

I think this is a very good topic to address, and I like the way you did it. The constant presence and influence of social media makes fake news a practical danger to society. People are quick to believe what they hear and see in the media because of the proximity we have to technology in our lives when in reality the accessibility of social media makes it even more vulnerable to unreliable sources. You clearly identified effectively the influence fake news can have in other disciplines like politics. You discussed the different angles of the issue by stating the cause and effect of fake news, both the reason we soak in everything we hear in the media and the reason why it has a powerful effect on domains like politics.

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I can describe myself as a very curious person, always in for new adventures. Travelling is one of my goals in life and I hope that life will give me the opportunity to travel and make a change in the world.