I’ve always been taught, especially by my parents, to always check the information you get from different sources because of the mass amount of misinformation out there. Now with all of this conspiracies about fake news, it shows to be even more true, although these companies and publishers are now posting many different additions to their articles to show that their information is in fact trustworthy. I will discuss about fake news and how its not entirely bad for the community because of how it can help people and different media companies/publishers develop to become better individuals and groups.
In Forbes article “Two Reasons Fake News is Good for Society” by Jay McGregor, he shows two reasons on why fake news can have a positive effect. One of the reasons is saving journalism. The big reason fake news is actually saving journalism is because of the fact that ever since fake news has become a highly discussed topic and is looked out for in the community an increasing number of journalists have started to invest into fact-checking and showing the consumers that they have fact checked the topic that they are writing about. This has helped greatly with the legitimacy of the different articles that these journalists are writing about. The reason that they aren’t writing about just anything they hear without fact checking now is because of the fact that they don’t want to be labeled as a journalist that spreads false information, therefore leading to less and less consumers to actually take the time to read what they write. An example of how easily fake news can be spread is talked about in the video “Reddit For Sale: How We Bought The Top Spot For $200”. In this video Phil Harper talks about how he made it to the top spot on reddit by just buying some bots to upvote and downvote certain comments. This is what readers look out for and if a big journalism company did this they would get major lash back and more than likely lose a huge sum of their readers.
Fake news has also helped the people themselves and the different social media and browsers they use. Jay McGregor states, “If fake news hadn’t happened, Facebook would’ve continued serving up fresh crap every day with little oversight or responsibility.”. Because of fake news these big companies that are used on a worldwide scale have put more consideration into what they are putting on the top of their feeds, and if there are articles that are “crap” they are defunded and put lower on the queues so they won’t be popping up on the consumers feeds or suggested results. Fake news is also helping the consumers because of the fact that they don’t want to seem misinformed and be called out for falsities because of something they read from a news article that is fake or untrue. Because of this they are doing more research into the articles they are reading. Consumers have actually been doing their own fact checking and making sure that the journalist and their article is in fact legitimate, which increases the readers overall knowledge of the topic.
In the article “The starving polar bear raises a question: Is fake news okay for a good cause?” by Margaret Wente, she talks about the popular videos and pictures of a couple of starving polar bears. Many people saw that and immediately jumped to the conclusion that polar bears as a species were dying off because of climate change. Although this is not true since Wente went to the exact place where these pictures and videos were taken and there were more than enough polar bears, in fact she asked the indigenous people of the area and she heard the same thing, “…they’re so abundant that in many places they’ve become a nuisance.”. Now this relates to fake news being a good thing to make a problem seem worse than it is, by even lying about it, to make people change habits to help the environment in this case. Even though Wente talks about how this can be a problem, I believe that spreading fake news about any sort of problem that can lead to people making a positive change in their lives or in the world can create an overall better ecosystem or community.
In conclusion, fake news isn’t as terrible as people think it is. Although it is bad since it spreads misinformation, it has improved the community in different ways. It has improved consumers researching skills and made them less prone to misinformation. It has also, in ways, helped others open their eyes about a problem which can lead to them making a change or donating to a good cause. Journalism itself is being improved daily because of the amount of fake news that is being spread around, making journalists take extra precautions to ensure that their articles are proofread and fact checked to avoid any misinformation or errors which can lead to them being labeled as an untrusted journalist.